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13

Yes. For Mandarin (Simplified Chinese): The Contemporary Chinese Dictionary (现代汉语词典): This one is for words and phrases. They have a version in both Chinese and English. Xinhua Dictionary (新华字典): this is for Chinese characters. Also available in both English and Chinese. I'm not too familiar with traditional dictionaries. But 國語日報辭典 seems pretty popular ...


6

There is one main difference between children's books and adult foreign textbooks: Adult foreign textbooks are designed to give foreigners the best chance to communicate in simple everyday circumstances. Children's books start with the very basics and require longer to get to the same place, however they provide you a much more solid base and a far wider ...


5

I have read some children's books and found that they can be helpful. However, there is one drawback that I've seen, which doesn't apply to textbooks. Some children's books are designed to help children learn to read. However, the assumption is that the children already know how to speak. Thus, the book helps new readers learn characters but assumes they ...


5

I learned Chinese through children's books as a child. I've suffered from NOT using children's books in other languages. What has happened in those languages is that I've learned a lot of "technical" terms, and can hold my own in "advanced" discussions. Then I trip over some grammar point or some every day phrase that every 10-year old native speaker knows. ...


4

Xinhua Dictionary is kind of a gold-standard for Chinese dictionaries, similar to the place Merriam-Webster holds in the English-speaking world.


4

No. Children's books are written -- not surprisingly -- for little native speakers. These are little people who have an astonishingly broad vocabulary at age three. And that vocabulary includes many words that foreign learners of the language never pick up (or need, really.) What kid doesn't know the sounds that every animal makes, or the words for a bunch ...


4

There are three similar style guides for Chinese: 文后参考文献著录规则 GB/T 7714-2005 Appendix A Appendix B 科学技术报告、学位论文和学术论文的编写格式 GB7713-87 文摘编写规则 GB 6447-86


4

Regarding starting with pinyin or characters: It's funny, I recently asked this question myself. In your case, I would recommend: Starting with basics of pinyin... getting the hang of pronunciation. TalkBank provides a pinyin chart that pronounces each for you given the selected tone. It's really cool. Just choose a tone, and click on a vowel/initial. ...


3

LingQ has a huge library of texts that generally also include audio. You can read any of the texts you like without paying for a subscription, as long as you don't want to add unknown words to your wordlist (creating LingQs). I have not paid for a subscription and find it to be very useful. If you do want to create a wordlist of the words you don't know for ...


3

This is a HUGE topic, which I think is impossible to thoroughly cover in one answer here. As usual, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simplified_chinese is a good start. As for mainland, the simplification efforts and processes are inherently tied to the geopolitical history of the turmoils and revolutions in the first half of the 20th century and PRC, as ...


3

Learning the characters is mostly a matter of memorization. You will need to learn a lot of characters in the most efficient way possible. Textbooks are not good for this. Using a spaced repetition system is normally the best method. A free spaced repetition program is Anki (http://ankisrs.net). You can find "decks" of traditional characters within Anki to ...


2

I've used a mixture of textbooks and children's books to practice reading. The biggest advantage to children's books is that I can read them together with my daughter. She's not very interested in my textbooks! The biggest thing to be careful of with children's books is to check which phonetic system they use before you buy or borrow them. Here in ...


2

Well. If you learn as an adult, usually you want to learn quickly. There are many specialised learning methods targeting adults, and they are very helpful. So, if you want to learn quick - don't use children books. But. If you have children. And if you read to them. This is another pair of shoes. Yes, even if it is you who wants to learn. If I read a ...


2

Chinese: A Comprehensive Grammar (Comprehensive Grammars)


1

Yuen Ren Chao: A Grammar of Spoken Chinese. University of California Press, Berkeley, 1968, ISBN 0-520-00219-9.


1

A Practical Chinese Grammar for Foreigners, which is a great book for non-Chinese speakers. source: www.chinazest.com


1

AllSet Learning just launched a grammar web site, and the front page has a list of reference books that they used to prepare it. The site itself also looks useful. There's not a lot of detail yet, but they say they will continue working to add more content.



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