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Beginning Cantonese (Critical Languages Series)

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Item Number 264541  
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Item description for Beginning Cantonese (Critical Languages Series) by Dana Scott Bourgerie...

Despite the fact that they are spoken by millions of people, languages such as Korean or Turkish are not usually offered in schools or colleges. The Critical Languages Program (CLP) at the University of Arizona was created to meet the need for interactive instruction in these less-commonly-taught languages. In order to meet the needs of a wide variety of learners who wish to gain proficiency in some of these languages, CLP has developed a series of CD-ROM courseware beginning with Brazilian Portuguese, Cantonese, Kazakh, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, and Turkish. CD-ROMs for other less-commonly-taught languages are planned for the future. Each package contains two CD-ROMs with a total of twenty lessons for the beginning learner, consisting of video dialogues and readings by native speakers, thousands of audio recordings, graphics, and extensive notes. Handy browser features enable users to go back and review words and pronunciations and to access five types of exercises: multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, audio flashcard, pronunciation, and listening dictation. These exercises enable users to test and improve their knowledge of each lesson. Learners with microphone-equipped computers can record and play back their own voices and then compare their pronunciation with that of the native speaker. With the click of a button, learners can hear native speakers pronounce words or phrases, facilitating quick comprehension of these challenging languages. Each package of two CD-ROMs contains the equivalent of a textbook and workbook with audio and video components, making it practical for either self-instruction or directed educational, governmental, and business purposes. System requirements: Windows 95 or higher, sound card, and 9 MB-free disk space. Microphone recommended. For more information Please note that Critical Language Program CDs are non-returnable (except for replacement due to defects or damage in shipment).

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Item Specifications...

Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 5.6" Width: 4.9" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.1 lbs.
Binding  CD-ROM
Release Date   Jan 1, 2000
Publisher   University of Arizona Critical Languages Program
ISBN  1929986041  
ISBN13  9781929986040  

Availability  0 units.

More About Dana Scott Bourgerie

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Dana Scott Bourgerie has an academic affiliation as follows - Brigham Young University, USA.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages > General
2Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages > Instruction > Chinese
3Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages > Instruction > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Beginning Cantonese (Critical Languages Series)?

LOVE IT!! Great Cantonese language resource when there aren't any around.  Sep 8, 2008
This program is a great way to learn Cantonese when you haven't got a class or instructor to teach it in your home town. The actor and actresses are old fashion, which gives you the traditional feel of Cantonese. The dialogues are defined by sentences and word for word (the best feature). The sentences give you an adapted and sensible meaning, while the word for word definition gives you the literal meaning. The literal meaning doesn't make much sense at first, but it helps train you to think in the foreign language by drilling the pattern in your head. You're going to use the language in the way that you learn it, so if you learn the placement of Cantonese words literally, you won't have to memorize the syntax of the grammar. I love it, love it, love it!!
Very good value  Sep 16, 2007
If you were starting from scratch to learn Cantonese on your own, I don't think Beginning Cantonese should be your first choice. Without establishing any grounding,it jumps straight into dialogues delivered by native speakers at normal to rapid speaking speed.

I had already gone through the full Pimsleur course and half way through the FSI course before buying Beginning Cantonese. With that foundation I have found Beginning Cantonese very helpful indeed.

The twenty video dialogues with accompanying romanised text are excellent for playing over and over again. You can highlight words or sentences in the text to get Cantonese pronunciations or English translations. You can also record your own speech and compare to the pronunciation of the native speakers. A very user friendly package.

There are other features such as exercises involving multiple choice questions,dictation and the use of flash cards. I don't use any of them but others might find them helpful. There are also many useful footnotes to the texts explaining usage and Cantonese customs.

I think Beginning Cantonese is great value for money. Worth every cent for the video/audio alone. For straight up beginners though, I would recommend starting with something like Pimsleur or Teach Yourself Cantonese, then using this as a supplement.
I feel bad for the students at U of Arizona  Apr 26, 2007
Well, I finally found a Cantonese course that was worse than the Instant Immersion product. Their romanization is the most confusing I've seen, with several words jammed together to make large, hard-to-read words. From what I can tell, this course also totally ignores the tones in Cantonese, making it extremely difficult to tell exactly which word is being mangled in their horrid spelling. It's obviously intended as a companion to a course in their university and is almost useless on its own. The very first lesson contains dozens of new words used in poor context. Definitions are not always easily found and the native speakers in the audio/video clips are so fast I suspect they work in an auction house in their spare time.

Don't waste your time here. Try Pimsleur's wonderful (though short) course or the Teach Yourself course by Hugh Baker. The Language Learning course from Laser Publishing Group is okay too.

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