Speaking of Chinese: A Cultural History of the Chinese Language

Speaking of Chinese A Cultural History of the Chinese Language Not a how to text this beguiling book is instead a fascinating look at Chinese language and culture Ranging through history literature folklore linguistics and sociology this is a breezy straig

  • Title: Speaking of Chinese: A Cultural History of the Chinese Language
  • Author: Raymond Chang
  • ISBN: 9780393321876
  • Page: 447
  • Format: Paperback
  • Not a how to text, this beguiling book is instead a fascinating look at Chinese language and culture Ranging through history, literature, folklore, linguistics, and sociology, this is a breezy, straightforward primer of surprising breadth.

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      447 Raymond Chang
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      Posted by:Raymond Chang
      Published :2018-04-02T19:21:13+00:00

    1 thought on “Speaking of Chinese: A Cultural History of the Chinese Language”

    1. Insightful, short book into Chinese linguistic history, with some fascinating cultural insights along the way. I enjoyed it especially since I've studied a (very!) little Chinese and many of the chapters filled in gaps or reinforced things I'd learned already. A solid book, recommended for anyone interested in Chinese language and cultural history.

    2. Language has always fascinated me, but I never attempted to learn the Chinese language because of all the horror stories you hear about those that have learned it; they say the language is very complicated and takes longer to master than other languages. However, when I read the back of this book—”Here is the book for the person who wants to know more about Chinese without learning to speak or write it, or who is about to begin learning it”—I decided to give it a read.Interestingly, the [...]

    3. I've been interested in the Chinese language in the last two years, ever since hosting an exchange student from Malaysia who spoke Mandarin, Cantonese, Malay as well as English. I've taken a year of Mandarin Chinese and hope to get the chance to improve my language skills! Speaking of Chinese was a fascinating book because it talked about the Chinese language and culture. It answered some questions I had and I was pleased to learn that I already knew some of the answers. Did you know that Mandar [...]

    4. The subtitle sounds daunting, doesn't it? But this clever little book is so well written, in a friendly, colloquial voice, that you'll turn the pages as quickly as you might while reading a frothy novel. At the same time, the book is jammed with information--about the basics of the Chinese language and how it has managed to survive without an alphabet; about various dynasties; about Chinese folklore and everyday life. If you're thinking of visiting China, if you're interested in languages, or if [...]

    5. As a lifelong student of Chinese and a Chinese teacher, I really enjoyed this book. It is easily accessible to people who do not speak Chinese but are interested in the language from a cultural and anthropological perspective. At times it seemed a bit dated and simplistic but still worth the read. It is full of interesting facts and examples.

    6. A fun and breezy survey of some of the aspects of the Chinese language. Deals about half-and-half with language development and the culture surrounding language. The comparisons between China and the West were sometimes a bit facile and unfair to the latter, but then again, I expect a little chauvinism from a book dedicated to singing the praises of a certain language and culture.

    7. I found this a bit cutesy. It's a hard book to do because you want to appeal to readers who don't know much of squat about Chinese, and not insult those who do, for whom much of what they'll read they knew already. Ach! Good luck.

    8. As it says, it's good for people who have never studied Chinese or who plan not to. It's very simple. Kind of outdated for some things, especially the technology section. This was written before Unicode, and Chinese seemed impossible to print.

    9. This is a somewhat dated overview of the Chinese language and its origins from wenyan onward. Too detailed for someone that is not studying the language.

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