I'm self-studying Mandarin Chinese in preparation for an upcoming trip to China and purchased this dictionary as a supplement to the excellent Pimsleur Conversational Mandarin Chinese audio course. As most reviewers have said, it is a good book: well organized, reasonably complete for a visitor, excellent format, easy to use. By this I mean English - Chinese translations are shown in both Pinyin and 2 character formats as well as usage in a sentence or phrase. Chinese - English words are listed alphabetically using Pinyin. There's also lots of supplemental material like measures, numbers, etc. and even a section on basic rules for writing Chinese characters.
This is all great and I would rate the book 5 stars if the authors had included another section on basic rules for pronunciation and speaking Mandarin Chinese. All it would have taken is 3 or 4 pages on the phonetics and tonal inflections for the Pinyin system which is used to represent the sounds of Chinese characters with western-style letters. It's not enough being able to look up a word if, once found, you're not sure how to say it.
For those of you with iPhones and iPads, there's a good free series by "trainchinese" in the iTunes store. The base module has a large dictionary where you can save words and phrases into flash cards and use a pretty accurate audio feature to hear pronunciation. There are also free Pinyin, Numbers and Writing modules as well as a Common Word and Phrase library. The dictionary allows unlimited lookups and 10 flash cards / week for free. You can buy the feature to create additional flash cards but in either case, whatever you save is yours to keep.
- Paperback: 528 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press UK; Bilingual edition (21 September 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780199298532
- ISBN-13: 978-0199298532
- ASIN: 019929853X
- Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 2.8 x 12.7 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 544 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 107,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)