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Dà Máo Hóuzi
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Korean author writes Chinese book:
I think that when the word "English" is spelled Engligh" on the first written page of the book it is no surprise that the author has problems with the English language and writing a book in general. The only thing that would be more pathetic and entertaining would be if she wrote "Engrish".
The back cover of the book claims that you will get a "solid foundation of the fundamentals" of learning "how to read, speak and write Chinese. This is a blatant deception. The 12 pages committed to this do little but confuse the reader.Touted as an "expert in the field", Ju Brown seems to know little about "Chinese" or linguistics. This may be because she is Korean not Chinese.
"The Characteristics of the Chinese Language" (chapter 1)
The author opens her book showing a marked lack of understanding of "Chinese" language and "China". All spoken versions of written Chinese characters are not "all classified as one Chinese language". The author needs to review the ISO categorisation of this and have a better understanding of what "dialect" means versus "language" and "language family" and the geo-political influences on language development.Perhaps she might want to learn about the Tibetan and Uigher languages, "Chinese" yet not "Chinese characters".
"Hanyu Pinyin is very helpful in guessing how to pronounce the word as well as reading the signs on the streets in China".
I spent a long time trying to understand this sentence. It makes no sense at all. Hanyu Pinyin obviously is the Romanized version of the standard sounds assigned to Chinese characters. There is no guess work in pronunciation. In fact, Hanyu Pinyin was designed to take the guess work and variability out of the Chinese language by creating standardized pronunciation. This getting-it-exactly-wrong seems to be a common theme in this "experts" work. You will not see any street signs in China with Hanyu Pinyin, they use Chinese characters. I cannot recall ever seeing a sign in China with Hanyu Pinyin.
And Post Offices, none of them say "You ju" as the author states, they all have the same sign all over China that says "China Post". Oddly, they use English, or should I say, "Engligh". The author needs to visit China before she writes a book.
Note to "Dr." Ju Brown, there is no Pinyin on Chinese street signs.
"The Chinese language is an old and conservative type that assigns a distinctive symbol or character to each word in the vocabulary."
Anybody have any idea what this means? What is a conservative language? This is not a linguistics term. But herein lies a bigger confusion. Other than the fact that Chinese characters are not symbols, they are logograms and ideograms, this sentence is not true. A character and a word can be different, some characters have no meaning, some words are multiple characters. The words used to describe English grammar do not always describe Chinese language adequately. Some Pinyin words are associated with dozens of characters. There are only 409 combinations of unaccented Initial and Finals. The author either does not understand or trivializes the complexity of the language.
"Each character represents a word or idea rather than a sound".
It is hard to believe the contradictions of this author. Hanyu Pinyin, which she goes on to poorly explain, does exactly what this sentence denies. Hanyu Pinyin assigns a standardised sound to each character.
"To indicate aspect and mood, Chinese use heavy particles".
Again, no idea what this means. "Mood" is probably supposed to be "mode".
"Heavy particles" are the realm of physicists and there is no linguistic meaning of "heavy particles".
"... and when you say Chinese without proper tones, you may not be understood at all".
Excellent point, why no include the tone markers throughout your book?
"Chinese is a null subject language that has an independent clause which lacks an explicit subject".
Besides not being true, this exact sentence appears in another book I have written in 1968. The fact that you can create a null subject sentence does not make it a characteristic of the language. All languages can make reference to a subject and they not state the subject in a future sentence.
"Chinese does not have tenses. There are, however, words to indicate the passage of time, days, and change, such as tomorrow, now and so forth".
Wow, you are a linguistic expert? "an expert in the field". Tenses are verb properties. You know, like current continous tense, present perfect tense, etc. Words and phrases to indicate temporal relationships, time, are temporal adverbs. "Adverbials", remember that class? Your above sentence is unrelated between statement and explanation. And is wrong.
"Some measure words are used to quantify verbs to indicate amount of time". Uhh, you sure about that? Can you give an example??? Do you mean durative particals? They are not measure words!
The chapter on Hanyu Pinyin is confusing. At three 5 by 7 pages it is hardly a chapter. The author fails to identify the components of Hanyu Pinyin as Initial and Finals. There is a very serious and confusing error in that the author tries to explain carry overs from Wade-Gilis Romanisation when anyone buying a entry level book has probably never heard of it and anyone learning modern Chinese language has absolutely no need to know about it. A student doing a Ph.D. may want to know. There is absolutely nothing about the rules of Hanyu Pinyin in constructing words or sentences. If this was not important I am sure China would take it out of their academic curriculum. Oh wait, I am wrong, there are 9 lines of text to cover this very important topic on page 9. I guess that is part of the "solid foundation".
The author uses a comparison with the alphabetic vowel pronunciation being the same as German, Italian and Spanish. This is absolutely wrong. Of the dozens of books I have on "Chinese" I have never heard tell of this before and certainly 1.5 billion Chinese do not speak this way. German's particularly have trouble with pronunciation of Chinese as their language is very different. And given that I speak German, Italian and Spanish, I assure you that this is untrue.
After explaining the importance of tone the author then writes a chapter with unaccented syllable words with no tone markers. There is no accepted word for Pinyin without tone markers. This is an interesting short coming of the book and unprecedented to my knowledge. The book variably uses and does not use tones.
"Tones are designed for learners to learn Chinese easily".
Uhh, you have that on good source? Tones probably evolved due to the small number of sounds. It was if course not "designed". Most people find it the most difficult part of the language.
Writing Chinese (Chapter)
The three pages given to this topic are supposed to give you "a solid foundation of the fundamentals". And given the huge amount of errors in these three pages you will learn little. Students in China take years to learn these fundamentals using dozens of books, three pages, good luck.
"The use of pictographs have remained relatively intact with few changes over the centuries".
Wow, whatever her qualifications, she knows nothing of the history of Chinese characters. The characters of centuries ago show little relationship to modern day Chinese. The author already mentioned "simplification' in which 2000+ characters were changed only decades ago. Chinese characters are not pictographic, they once were, thousands of years ago, there are only 3% of modern characters that are very vaguely pictographic. On initial exposure you would not identify their meaning.
"Chinese writing system consists of an individual character or ideogram for every syllable".
Once again the author shows her ignorance of "Chinese". Some syllables of Hanyu Pinyin have dozens of characters. This is the most difficult part of the language, the sounds, when separated from the characters,are highly context specific as to meaning. If someone come up to you and blurts out the sound of a Chinese character there can be dozens of characters that that sound represents. She has it exactly backwards. But, this is the author who on the first page of her book wrte, "Speaking Chinese is not related in any way to writing Chinese".
"Recognizing these radicals can be a big help in understanding the structure of Chinese characters".
This makes no sense at all, Chinese characters are composed of collections of Radicals and strokes. Recognizing the radicals whether by name, number or meaning has little to do with either the meaning of the character or its structure.
"Chinese characters look very complicated and almost look like a picture".
Again, "Chinese" is not a pictographic language.
"Many complicated looking characters are actually made up of several separate parts, each delivering different meaning".
Wrong again, the component radicals and strokes that make a character seldom add any meaning to the character. And if you want to argue that the indexing Radicals add meaning I will show you a character that has this Radical that it adds no meaning to at all for each one that you say it does.
The Chart, page 13
The author brings all her lack of ability to the final two pages of the 12 pages of the "solid foundation of the fundamentals" chapter. There is a chart that is supposed to detail the 8 classic strokes, 8 of the 50 plus strokes used to write Chinese characters.
Of the 8 strokes, she uses 4 of the wrong strokes in the first column,
Under the column of "Chinese Name" she has all 8 of the wrong Pinyin syllables.
Under the column "how to write" she has 2 wrong descriptions.
Under the column "Example" she used three incorrect examples.
So, 17 errors, in her "solid foundation of the fundamentals" chart.
Pathetic beyond belief.
But she is not done yet in her 12 page "solid foundation of the fundamentals".
The 11 indented lines explaining stroke order are very poorly done. One of the rules she gives is wrong, "Vertical center strokes are written before vertical or diagonal outside strokes".
This is not right.
The finale and coup de grace is the examples of stroke order, first she uses a type font that does not show the nature of the individual strokes. This leaves the student looking at stylized strokes that in fact do not exist. But, this is the best part, given an opportunity to demonstrate stroke order she uses the character for the noun "rice". She gets all 6 of the strokes incorrect.
This is kind of funny but also rather pathetic.
So this is your "solid foundation of the fundamentals" introduction to "Chinese", so pathetically flawed to be near useless. It would take more than the 12 pages she wrote to explain all the errors in her work.
But, now we have the "1400 phrases". Many of the translations between Chinese characters and "Engligh" meaning are terrible. She takes no regard to grammar, word order, sentence structure or worse, meaning. Many of her translations do not include a single word that appear in the Chinese character string. You simply will learn not rules of grammar or meaning of the individual characters. When the translations do not reflect the original meaning you are left trying to rote memorize 1400 inaccuate phrases, impossible.
Here is an example, this site does not support Chinese characters. This example is number 739, picked randomly.
Zhen1 ting3 kuai4 de
The literal translation is "really very quickly" or "really very fast"
The author gives as a translation, "It sure does".
Kangxi Radicals 0/3,
There is nothing on this most important or learning the fundamentals of "Chinese".
Stroke Order 0/3,
Stroke order is deemed to be the basis of literacy in writing Chinese characters.There are 13 lines on this, the examples are error ridden.
The author uses a font the uses block strokes that do not capture the essence of strokes.
At first I thought that there was nothing written on this. then I found 4 sentences of page 9. This is pathetic. A total of 62 words to describe a very important component to writing Chinese characters.
Named Strokes 0/3,
There is nothing on this
This book is a mess of formatting and structure. Ju Brown spells her own title incorrectly on the front page. There are three strange bands of "tribal" tatto like patterns that circle the cover. There is no spacing ebetween paragraphs in the text inside the book.
This is the most error ridden book I have ever read. It is one error to leave out essential information, but a worse error to misinform.
Writing Drills 0/3,
There are none.
There are no grammar guidelines
The translation are horrific.
Overall Usefulness 0/3
This book is useless.
Honesty, Integrity 0/3
Deception is the cover theme of the book.
This book is useless, actually worse than useless, there are so many errors that it is damaging to those wanting to learn "Chinese". Every topic the Korean author covers is wrong, error ridden, and inadequate.
Readability is a big problem with this book. I have 20 20 vision yet if I sit as I am now with the book at the usual distance and my arms resting on my desk, the "Engligh" for each of the 1400 sentences is just readable without glasses. But then the much longer explanations in paragraphs are almost impossible to read without glasses as the font size is smaller. With characters with 6 or more strokes it is not possible to define clearly the strokes or stroke order. I just do not understand why the author would make the type so small. If you were on a train, plane, at a bus station or just about anywhere in China, you would not be able to read this book without glasses and a secondary light source.
"Ju Brown, expert in the field", writes a book bound by covers that are deceptive.
Her back cover promise of the 12 page "solid foundation of the fundamentals", a topic that takes Chinese students years, is so error ridden that the book is rendered useless. She demonstrates an ignorance of "Engligh", Chinese language, history and culture. Then you are left with 1400 phrase that will only confuse any chance to learn.
Ju Brown needs to rethink her ability to write a book, she needs to study Chinese language, history and culture and formal linguistics. After she has mastered that she needs to study "Engligh". This book has no value for the money. Mis-information is worse than no information at all. This book will only discourage and mislead students. It belongs on the rubbish pile.