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Cantonese Chinese Phrase Book (Berlitz Phrase Book) [Paperback]

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Item description for Cantonese Chinese Phrase Book (Berlitz Phrase Book) by Berlitz Guides...

Learning essential Cantonese phrases will help you communicate with confidence and travel with ease in Hong Kong and three other major areas in China--Macau, Guangdong, and Guangxi. This phrase book offers the widest variety of phrases, a pronunciation guide, and explanations of Chinese characters and how they can be combined to form new meanings. The Berlitz phrase book is the unparalleled market leader in its category.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   192
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 5.6" Width: 4" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Berlitz Guides
ISBN  283156266X  
ISBN13  9782831562667  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Reference > Dictionaries & Thesauruses > Foreign Language > Chinese
2Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages > General
3Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages > Instruction > Chinese
4Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages > Instruction > Phrasebooks - General
5Books > Subjects > Reference > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Cantonese Chinese Phrase Book (Berlitz Phrase Book)?

Recording is of EXCELLENT quality, but inadequate quantity.  Mar 21, 2007
My complaints:
* Only a few phrases per page are on the tape; most are not. A phrase book this size would require at least two cassettes to cover it all.

* The phrases are recited only once (in English and then once in Cantonese), which forces one to hit the review button more often when concentrating on a particular phrase. Some other products recite a phrase twice in the target language, which is convenient.

I disagree with other reviewers in that:

* It *is* possible to learn excellent pronunciation with this tape! I was understood 100% of the time --can't beat that! (The tape pronunciation is declamatory and more vivid than what is commonly spoken. It's probably the accent spoken on national TV. As an aside, those who deal with tourists speak some English, but everyone seemed amused by a Westerner embracing their language; it was a funny icebreaker.)

* The nine tones *are* explained on page 7 of the book.

Bottom line: It's a good, categorized phrase book, but there just aren't enough of its phrases on the tape.
Accurate pronunciation impossible.  Apr 20, 2003
If I could have, I would not have given this book any stars.

This book provides Cantonese phrases along with some phonetic pronunciation system. The book does not explain what sounds the strange combinations of letters represent nor does it indicate tones. Nowhere does it even mention that Cantonese has tones. It would also be nice if there were a short introduction to Cantonese grammar and sentence structure.

The previous reviewer takes issue with the fact that Cantonese colloquial characters are not used and claims that literate native speakers will pronounce the words differently because of different characters. I must point out that the the Mandarin dialect as it is written is the official written form of all dialects, as stated by the Chinese government. When a Cantonese writes, he writes Mandarin. Also, the Cantonese speaker more often than not substitutes the uniquely Cantonese word for the written Mandarin equivalent when reading aloud. Cantonese speakers who cannot do this are uneducated.

For readers of this book, I would recommend the Lonely Planet Cantonese Phrasebook, which provides much more accurate information.

This book is useless  May 11, 2001
This phrase book does not have written cantonese. They just use the mandarin. Cantonese is an oral language, so some words are not written(in mandarin). Cantonese people have developed some extra characters aside from mandarin. If you know a little cantonese it makes it frustrating because cantonese will read it and it sounds different from the phonetics they give you to say. Cantonese is a tonal language, but they have no tones in the book. Stay away from this book. The lonely planet book is much better.

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