Cantonese is a vital living language spoken by upwards of a hundred million people in Southeast China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Malaysia, Europe, Australia, Fiji, North America, and many other parts of the world where the adventurous Cantonese people have settled. It is one of a large family of Chinese languages and retains many more traces of its ancient roots than do most of the other languages. On the other hand it is a language which seems unafraid to adopt or adapt, notably from English in the past century or so, and it invents, evolves and discards slang at a frenetic rate. As a result it is a very rich language. Using a combination of book and CDs, Teach Yourself Cantonese will introduce you to a wide range of topics and language structures and progresses quickly beyond the basics to a level where you can speak and understand with confidence. The key structures are introduced in 26 thematic units progressing from introducing yourself and everyday situations to work and finance. Most of the units follow the same pattern: two dialogues, each with a list of new words used and explanations of new grammar points, followed by some exercises.There are four revision units giving more material based on what has been learned but not introducing anything new.
The Appendices summarise the most important grammar points and refer you to the units of the book where they are first explained, and they also introduce you to Chinese writing. We have supplied Chinese characters for all the dialogues and new word lists in case you have the chance to get help from a native speaker but we are not attempting to teach you characters beyond the briefest of introductions. You will learn to speak and to understand much sooner if you ignore the script and you can always move on to learning it later. There is no 'official' romanisation of Cantonese and many different systems are in existence. In this new edition, the authors have chosen to use a version of the Yale system which clearly distinguishes the sounds and tones and is used widely in other reference material. The accompanying CD is available separately (0340912456), as is the book (0340860359). The leader in self-learning with more than 300 titles, covering all subjects. Be where you want to be with Teach Yourself.
Hugh Baker is Professor Emeritus of Chinese at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London where he taught Cantonese and Mandarin for 35 years. Professor Baker has published extensively on Chinese culture, the Chinese family system, Chinese language, and Hong Kong history and society. He was Chief Editorial Consultant to the Channel 4 TV documentary series 'The Heart of the Dragon', and has frequently broadcast on radio and television in Britain and in Hong Kong. Ho Pui-Kei was born in Hong Kong and studied at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Mr Ho has more than 30 years' experience of teaching Cantonese to foreign adults from all walks of life, and he brings to his teaching an approach which emphasises humour and down-to-earth everyday language, the ideal register for the extrovert people of Hong Kong and South China.