With wind in its sails, the digital seems to be taking off. But it’s been a little more time before the digital made its way into the classroom.
This is true, though. In fact, there are still echoes of “turn to page 44” in modern foreign language Mandarin lessons, where exercises are done out of books rather than on tablets or digital whiteboards.
In contrast to the “early adopters,” older methods are still working just as well as they always have when it comes to teaching the Chinese language.
If you want to learn Chinese, there are still a lot of books that can be used by beginners, intermediate, and advanced students, and they can all be used.
In this article, Superprof is going to look at some books that you should buy if you want to learn Chinese. These books can help you speak Chinese, study traditional Chinese characters and writing, and be helpful for anyone who wants to move to Mainland China or Taiwan. There should be at least one title on this list that you find useful!
The Range of Chinese Books for Beginners Learning Mandarin Chinese
They could get lost in a book store without help from their classmates, bloggers, or YouTubers. Finding a good book on Chinese can be like finding a needle in haystack.
There are so many books out there to help you learn Chinese that you should be very careful not to end up with a bunch of useless books on Chinese that are taking up space in your house.
Everyone should make sure they choose the right text for learning Standard Mandarin Chinese, because they’ll probably use it a lot during their language learning journey.
Our favorite websites are also good places to look if you study Chinese online more than in front of a Chinese text.
中文听说读写| Integrated Chinese
It was written by Yuehua Liu and published by Cheng & Tsui. It is called Integrated Chinese (3rd Edition). This book is recommended by both Chinese professors and students. Even though it might be a little dry for some people, it has almost everything you need to know about Chinese. As a beginner or intermediate student, this is good for your reading because it doesn’t focus too much on pinyin. It will show you the basics of simplified Chinese through a method that reads like a story, as this text also includes elements of Chinese culture. In addition, this is one of the best books to have in your library because it breaks down vocabulary and grammar into lessons and focuses on the tones that each character has. It also gives you tips on how to understand and remember them.
The book is well-liked on Amazon, with between 3.5 and 5 stars depending on the version. Even though the paperback version costs around $100, this is normal for a language textbook and is worth the money. Even if you want to do the audio exercises and other study, you’ll have to pay extra for the CD or audio, which can cost you $60 or so. Ouch!
It’s still a good place to go if you need to go over the basics again, though. People who study Chinese will benefit from a mix of online and student-led, written and speaking-based lessons. This will help them improve their language skills, as well as give them more confidence when they read on their own, too. It’s great for people who are just learning Chinese and need to get used to Chinese characters, how they’re written, and how to use them. It’s also great for people who plan to stay in China for a long time and need to learn the basics of the language. When you’re a beginner, this resource is a great way for you to learn how to read, write, and speak with confidence. It’s also one of the best for intermediate students, because the transition from beginner level to intermediate level is clear as you study.
Chinese for Dummies
The “Dummies” series of books are not to be taken lightly. We recommend Wendy Abraham’s book, which talks about learning Mandarin Chinese. It costs $33 in paperback on Amazon, but used copies can be had for just a few dollars. The text is for people who are completely new to the language. It can help you learn how to speak in everyday situations, understand the tones used in Chinese, and get around in China. An easy-to-understand pinyin interface makes this book a good choice for students who want to learn how to write Chinese characters. It also takes a more traditional approach to teaching English language students about mainland Chinese culture and the role of Mandarin in everyday life. There are a lot of different ways you can study with this app. It wants you to practice vocabulary and grammar, and then memorize these by subject area. It also helps you figure out which character goes with each term.
With the CD that comes with the book, you’ll be able to hear real Chinese spoken by native speakers and learn how to hear the tones of the language. It’s great for anyone who wants to go to China because it covers everything you’ll need right away.
As a bonus, this book also talks about customs and taboos, so you won’t make any mistakes or offend anyone when you go to China.
You should also think about getting the book of Chinese expressions for beginners.
新实用汉语课本 | New Practical Chinese Reader
As one of the most well-known Chinese language textbooks, this is aimed at students who are just beginning to learn the language. As they move up to intermediate and advanced levels, there are more books in the series to help them learn even more. It’s also a fair price for a textbook and workbook set, at around $100 on Amazon. It’s not much different between the first and second editions when it comes to content. The layout has been a little different, though. This is the third addition you’re likely to find. It adds more technical terms relevant to the digital age, and it can help you find ways to learn that are more efficient.
If you’re happy with the first or second edition, you can get both the text and the workbook for under $40. If you buy a used copy of the workbook, you won’t be able to use it. The workbook is an important thing to add to your learning, because this is the main way to improve your writing skills and learn new words in real life.
Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar (Modern Grammars)
There is a book series written by Claudia Ross that might become your Chinese grammar bible. It’s a must-have resource that covers everything you need to know about Chinese grammar, as well as the exceptions to the rules that can sometimes make you want to rip your hair out. You can’t afford not to buy this book for your Chinese library. It costs about $85 new, so you can’t afford not to. As morphosyntax doesn’t change that much over time, you might want to get an older but still valuable edition that costs $65, which is a lot less. This is very important, as we’ve said, for people who need to figure out complicated things and need extra practice. This resource is a way to put the skills you learn in your Chinese studies to use in a variety of situations that your main books might not have shown you.
500 Common Chinese Idioms
Eventually, when you get to a more intermediate or advanced level of Chinese, you will start to pay attention to the little things that make the language so unique. If that’s the case, this text will show you Chinese idioms with their English translations and explanations. A lot of people think that the cultures are very different, but that’s not the case at all. China and Australia have a lot of contact with each other. Despite the fact that the Chinese diaspora has played a big and important role in Australia, there are still a lot of subtleties that can be misunderstood. This book is great for helping English speakers understand how and why certain phrases exist, and how important they are in society.
This is a great way to improve your spoken Chinese by using Chinese idioms correctly, which are an important part of the Chinese language landscape.
Because it’s a little more pricey, it’s worth the money if you think your Chinese skills are getting a little stale and you want to make your conversations with Chinese people more interesting. A paperback copy costs about $85, and a new hard copy costs $235. The focus on the idiomatic element is very rare, so getting your hands on a book that fills this gap will help you a lot because it adds to the cultural perspective and can make you sound more fluent, more quickly, as well.