For anyone who’s learning Mandarin, you know how hard it is to acquire new vocabulary, and specially remember it for more than a week. Finding the right material for your needs is also a challenge.
Here in Seoul, there are tons of nice textbooks to learn Chinese, the only problem for me is: they are written in …. Korean!!! Now that doesn’t help me much, does it!?!?! Try advanced grammar pattern explanation in Korean…
The books I brought with me from Taiwan are a) outdated (wonder if they were ever actual as a lot of content sounds funny even to Taiwanese!), b) in traditional characters that are not in use anymore in China, and c) really geared towards local expressions and vocabulary that Mainlanders don’t use (and really make you sound like a country bumpkin!!!) On top of it, each book is about an inch thick and weighs 1 kilo, so they are not convenient to tote around. So goodbye Shida books!!!
I found this nice online bookstore with great prices and fast shipping: WINCLC, a Window to Chinese Language and Culture. They have a great selection and charge a reasonable fee for shipping (it cost 10 USD to ship the 3 books on the picture and I got them withing 1 week.) Service is great, you email an inquiry and you get an answer in good English within 24 hours. Choosing only a few books was hard (temptation temptation…… as most of the books are priced at under 10 USD, if not 5 USD, including 1 or 2 cds), but I went for these 3 books: Talking About Chinese Culture (a bit too easy but a good way to get used to simplified characters,) Chinese for Economics and Trade (oh dear Lord, that one I keep for dessert, as the vocabulary is really not ‘daily’ stuff) and Advanced Hanyu Kouyu (just the right level and the dialogues are fun.)
What do you use to learn Chinese? What works for you????