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Chinese For Dummies, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-43666-0
384 pages
March 2013
Chinese For Dummies, 2nd Edition (1118436660) cover image


The fast and easy way to learn to speak Mandarin Chinese

China has become a major influence in the world today, and Mandarin Chinese is the world's most widely spoken language. Not only is China full of opportunities in business and politics, but Chinese culture, continues to make its way into the western world.

With an updated CD including real-life conversations, Chinese For Dummies expands grammar, verb conjugations, and pronunciations—and includes a refreshed mini-dictionary complete with even more essential vocabulary.

  • Basic vocabulary
  • Everyday conversations, including phone dialogue and small talk
  • Speaking in perfect pitch and tone
  • Easy-to-understand grammar rules
  • Getting around in a Chinese-speaking country
  • Cultural references like maintaining face, dining etiquette, and social mores

Also included is an audio CD that features actual Chinese conversations by native Chinese speakers, which allows you to hear how Chinese is really spoken. Written by a leading Chinese language teacher in the United States, Chinese for Dummies introduces an often-daunting language to you in a fun-and-easy For Dummies manner.

CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of the e-book file, but are available for download after purchase.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I: Getting Started 7

Chapter 1: Chinese in a Nutshell 9

Chapter 2: The Written Word: Checking out Chinese Characters 21

Chapter 3: Warming Up with the Basics: Chinese Grammar 31

Chapter 4: Getting Started with Basic Expressions: N¨« H¨£o! 51

Chapter 5: Getting Your Numbers, Times, and Measurements Straight 65

Chapter 6: Speaking Chinese at Home 85

Part II: Chinese in Action 97

Chapter 7: Getting to Know You: Making Small Talk 99

Chapter 8: Dining Out and Shopping for Food 111

Chapter 9: Shopping Made Easy 137

Chapter 10: Exploring the Town 159

Chapter 11: Taking Care of Telecommunications 171

Chapter 12: Chinese at School and at Work 187

Chapter 13: Recreation and Outdoor Activities 205

Part III: Chinese on the Go 217

Chapter 14: Planning a Trip 219

Chapter 15: Making Cents of Money 231

Chapter 16: Getting Around 247

Chapter 17: Asking for Directions 265

Chapter 18: Finding a Place to Stay 279

Chapter 19: Handling Emergencies 295

Part IV: The Part of Tens 309

Chapter 20: Ten Ways to Learn Chinese Quickly 311

Chapter 21: Ten Things Never to Do in China 315

Part V: Appendixes 319

Appendix A: Mini-Dictionary 321

Appendix B: Chinese Verbs 343

Appendix C: On the CD 347

Appendix D: Answer Key 349

Index 355

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Author Information

Dr. Wendy Abraham has taught Chinese language, literature, and culture at universities throughout the United States. She has Master's degrees in both Chinese Language and Education, an EdD in International Educational Development from Teachers College, Columbia University, and was a PhD candidate in Chinese literature at Stanford University. Dr. Abraham has lived in the People's Republic of China and Taiwan, where she conducted post-graduate research on oracle bones and the origins of the Chinese writing system.

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