3rd Edition

Colloquial Chinese The Complete Course for Beginners

By Qian Kan, Qian Kan Copyright 2021
    450 Pages 45 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    460 Pages 45 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Also available as eBook on:

    Colloquial Chinese: The Complete Course for Beginners has been carefully developed by a leading academic in Chinese language teaching and course design.

    Based on feedback from learners and teachers who used its previous version, this new edition has been updated to reflect the language and cultural changes in China, such as online shopping and WeChat payment, and to provide a more integrated and step-by-step approach to making the learning of modern Mandarin Chinese more effective and enjoyable.

    Combining a clear, practical and accessible style with a methodical and thorough treatment of the language, it equips learners with the essential knowledge and skills needed to communicate confidently and effectively in Chinese in a broad range of situations. No prior knowledge of the language is required.

    Colloquial Chinese is exceptional; each unit presents a wealth of grammatical points that are reinforced with a wide range of exercises for regular practice. A full answer key, a grammar summary, bilingual glossaries and English translations of dialogues can be found at the back, as well as transcripts of listening practice exercises.

    Key features include:

    • A clear, user-friendly format designed to help learners progressively build up their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills
    • Jargon-free, succinct and clearly structured explanations of grammar
    • Step by step introduction of Chinese characters
    • An extensive range of focused and dynamic supportive exercises
    • A combination of listening, reading and speaking activities with the support of transcripts at the back of the book
    • Realistic and entertaining dialogues covering a broad variety of narrative situations
    • Helpful cultural points explaining the customs and features of life in China
    • An overview of the Chinese language: its sounds, structure and Chinese characters

    Balanced, comprehensive and rewarding, Colloquial Chinese is an indispensable resource both for independent learners and students taking courses in Chinese as well as teachers of Chinese.

    Audio material to accompany the course is available to download free in MP3 format from www.routledge.com/cw/colloquials. Recorded by native speakers, the audio material features the dialogues, new words and listening practice exercises from the book and will help develop your listening and speaking skills.


    Acknowledgements ix


    1 Hěn gāoxìng jiàndào nǐ 很高兴见到你

    Very pleased to meet you

    2 Xìngmíng, guójí hé niánlíng 姓名、国籍和年龄

    Name, nationality and age

    3 Zài gōngsī de jùhuì shang Jiā hé péngyŏu家和朋友

    Family and friends

    4 Wèn shíjiān 问时间

    Asking the time

    5 Jiārén hé péngyou Zài pàiduì shàng 在派对上

    Family and friends At a party

    6 Rìqī hé tiānqì 日期和天气

    The date and the weather

    7 Wèn lù 问路

    Asking for directions

    8 Mǎi dōngxi 买东西


    9 Wǎngshàng gòuwù网上购物

    Shopping online

    10 Diǎn cài 点菜

    Order food 190

    11 Dă dī hé mǎi huōchē piào 打的和买火车票

    Taking the taxi and buying train tickets

    12 Zài jiŭdiàn 在酒店

    At the hotel

    13 Dǎ diànhuà 打电话

    Making telephone calls

    14 Tànqīn hé lǚyóu 探亲和旅游

    Vising family and travel

    15 Míngxìnpiàn hé wēxìn 明信片和微信

    Postcard and WeChat

    Grammar summary

    Answers to Exercises and Reading/listening practices

    Transcripts in pinyin for Listening/reading practices

    Chinese–English glossary

    English–Chinese pinyin glossary

    Appendix A: Dialogues in characters for Lessons 1 and 2

    Appendix B: English translations of dialogues/texts from Lessons 3 to 15

    Appendix C: Table of combinations of the initials and finals in Putonghua

    Appendix D: Useful signs

    Index to language and cultural notes


    Kan Qian is Senior Lecturer in Chinese at The Open University, Senior Fellow of the British Higher Education Academy, and Bye-Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge.