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Instant Vietnamese: How to Express 1,000 Different Ideas with Just 100 Key Words and Phrases! (Vietnamese Phrasebook) (Instant Phrasebook) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Oktober 2011


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Sam Brier is the director of Academic Experiences Abroad (AEA), which provides customized study abroad programs to Asia (www.AEA-Asia.com). He has lived in Vietnam and returns frequently with his wife and coauthor Linh Doan. Other works include A Chinese Phrase a Day, A Japanese Phrase a Day and Lao Basics (Tuttle Publishing).

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Amazon.com: 17 Rezensionen
18 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
a must buy for the beginning student of vietnamese 9. Januar 2012
Von Melissa Aronson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
i am trying to learn vietnamese and have a handful of books- but this one is really an excellent book for the beginning learner. it is very concise and the choice of words and phrases really build the basics of the language. i am also very pleased with the very accurate/understandable pronunciations that are added and the including of the northern and southern differences in pronunciation- very, very helpful for someone with vietnamese friends in the us who were born in the south. i am probably the slowest learner of languages i know- definitely not gifted at all in this area- seems like it takes me 50 times to practice something before it sticks. the tones are also harder to learn than the words themselves. so far, my spoken vietnamese is pretty poor, but my comprehension when i read vietnamese and to a smaller degree when i hear it spoken *is* coming along, however slowly. i do have lots of cds, mp3 audio files and a fair handful of books (my second fav being by j catlett). this book really seems to be helping me the most- for some reason it just "clicks" with me. it is an easy and very fun read and the explanations of useage and grammar really help this very beginning beginner! however, it is very essential that you have a few audio cds/mp3s to help you with the pronunciation- no matter how many times you read how a word is spoken, you really need to hear it.
12 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Fun and useful with practical real-world examples 30. Januar 2013
Von VG - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Look, for $6.95, you're not expecting to learn the language, right? This little book (literally small enough to easily fit in your pocket) is fun, useful, and really, really inexpensive. I've been studying Vietnamese for two years now and consider myself a serious student of the language, even though my progress has been painfully slow. I've used the Pimsleur and L-Lingo home study systems and purchased a number of books, dictionaries and grammars, all of which have been useful to some extent. Theoretically, I guess, I should be beyond Instant Vietnamese. But I looked inside, and I liked what I saw.

I was already quite familiar with 90 of the 100 key words, but I found that Sam Brier and Linh Doan brought plenty of extra information regarding pronunciation (including regional variation) and usage. It's mostly practical, very useful day-to-day information and tips that other books don't give you. And for $6.95, why not? I'll take the help anywhere I can get it, even in a beginner's book or tourist phrase book.

Of course, you can't express 1000 ideas with just 100 key words (and phrases). That's marketing talk. In the numerous usage examples, the 100 key words are surrounded by hundreds of others. I don't have anything resembling an accurate count, but if you studied the entire book diligently, I suspect that you'd learn at least 1000 words. Maybe more, maybe less, but you get the idea. Not a bad thing at all -- just pointing it out.

So who should purchase the book? Well, as I wrote above, I've got two years' learning under my belt and I find it a useful supplement to what I already know. But I suppose it's aimed more at the casual visitor, who wants to know how to say thank you and use a few words here and there during a visit. I'm sure it's at least as useful as any other phrase book in that respect. Perhaps more so, given that it contains many modern, nuanced, real-world usage examples.

A very tiny book, but a useful one. I'd give it four-and-a-half stars, but Amazon won't do halves, so four out of five.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Very useful! 27. Januar 2014
Von Mike - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I study this book from time to time. I find it especially useful for learning Vietnamese because unlike most learning resources, this book gives both northern (Hanoi) and southern (Saigon/US) pronunciations. Most resources only teach northern accent, which isn't as relevant in the US. It is well organized and thorough considering it's small size. There are also little tips here and there explaining cultural differences regarding pronoun usage, what's considered polite/impolite, etc. Definitely a buy for anyone interested in learning Vietnamese. It's cheap too so it's great in terms of cost effectiveness.
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Unusable for travel 13. November 2014
Von ari e - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This book markets itself as a useful phrasebook for travelers, as well as a useful study book for busy people. I found it useful for neither.

FOR TRAVEL (no)

I've traveled a lot. When you travel, you need...

... to learn how to put phrases together, using building blocks. For example, you might want to convey, "How much does this cost?" or "What do you recommend [for food]?" or "Can you make this cheaper?" or "Where is the lavatory?" or "I have diarrhea [so you should make an exception for me]."

... to be able to find phrases and building blocks quickly. Usually, this involves themed sections.

... a section on everyday basics. "Hello", "goodbye", "yes", "no", "where is ...?", "I don't understand", etc.. These are all very basic items that are used very frequently, and should be easily accessible.

... a section on basic conversation, for meeting people: "How old are you?" "What's your name?" "Where are you from?" If not all in the same section, these should all be categorized in an easy-to-find manner.

... to learn basic grammar, so that you can take a few basic words and put them together.

... a thorough and well-organized food section. Especially for a place with foods as varied and delicious as Vietnam has.

... a dictionary section with enough nouns, verbs, and adjectives --- all of which can be combined with phrase building blocks --- to be useful for conveying daily ideas.

This book has exactly zero of the above. It is _lousy_ for travel. I've gone traveling with poor phrasebooks in the past, but never one this poor. I know a smattering of several different languages from my travels (and, no, tonal and gutteral languages are not new to me); I've never visited another country and learned as little of the language as while in Vietnam, due to the fact that I simply couldn't figure out what I needed to use when I needed to use it.

To be clear, there _is_ a food section, but it is not thorough, it is not well organized, and it's just buried under the word "eat" -- not even referenced by the table of contents. It is referenced as a sidebar in a "list of sidebars", which is itself tucked away toward the end of the book.

Additionally, there _are_ some basic conversation questions, but they're peppered about, under specific words, so if you're traveling, and you want to convey a certain idea, they are not useful.

FOR BUSY PEOPLE (no)

The needs of "busy people" are similar to the needs of the traveler, for obvious reasons. When you want to be able to pick up a language quickly, you need...

... a section on everyday basics. "Hello", "goodbye", "yes", "no", "where is ...?", "I don't understand", etc.. These are all very basic items that are used very frequently.

... to learn basic grammar, so that you can take a few basic words and put them together. A more advanced grammar reference would also be welcome.

... to learn how to put phrases together, using building blocks.

... break-down of phrase composition, so you understand that in Vietnamese, you aren't saying, "What is the matrix?", but rather, "Matrix is what?" It's okay if it sounds strange -- it gets the reader thinking in Vietnamese word order and style. Without this, someone who knows fewer than 50% of the words in a sample sentence may not be able to pick out which word conveys what idea.

... words that are _related_ to each other and can be combined to convey ideas.

... sample sentences that focus on using the other 99 words as much as possible to cement the learning process.

... native pronunciation, perhaps in the form of a CD or downloadable mp3s. Not everyone has a Vietnamese person at his disposal to go over the pronunciation of 100+ words in two different accents. Modern Vietnamese is phonetic, yes, but knowing how to pronounce certain syllabic combinations and understanding what consonants to swallow are not things that one can easily infer just by reading. If a beginner studies 100 words without native pronunciation, he will know 100 words that no one will understand.

This book contains zero of the above. It is terrible for "busy people" who want to get a running start on learning or using the language.

FOR STUDENTS (yes)

I'd say that this book seems good for Vietnamese students who already know many of the words. These students will be able to use the example sentences to get an idea of how to use each specific word. Additionally, such students might use the example sentences as guides by which to choose which useful words to learn next. Ironically, many (most?) of the 100 target words will be too basic for students who are advanced enough to make good use of the book, but I'm sure that many will still find it useful.

ACCURACY OF PRONUNCIATION (poor)

The pronunciation guide is woefully inaccurate (at least for northern Vietnam). I understand that the author recommends that you go over the pronunciation with a local, but that isn't a reasonable excuse for the pronunciation to be so far off. Additionally, if you really want to pronounce words properly (and be understood), then, contrary to the author's claim, most consonant sounds in Vietnamese are _not_ the same as in English. Some guided pronunciations are also largely dependent on your personal style (e.g., "eh?" might be pronounced by English speakers in any number of ways). Additionally, it would have been nice if the pronunciation guide were organized in a way that is easy to reference.

CONCLUSION

I bought this book based on positive reviews saying that it would be good for travel, as well as the book's own marketing, proclaiming the same. I regret this decision. Understand what you're getting: A book with 100 useful but unrelated words, each with simplistic sample sentences that also contain many useful words. But that's all you're getting. You don't get grammar (except for what you infer on your own), you don't get sentence breakdown, you don't get a decent reference, you don't get pronunciation that's accurate enough for anyone to understand you, and even if you study and learn all 100 words, you will not know how to combine these words without additional, external study.

That said, had this book's marketing material not lured me in with blatant lies about its utility, I might have rated it more highly.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Very helpful! 23. Mai 2013
Von Mark E. Knez - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Useful for daily activities in Vietnam! Recommended for all travelers to Vietnam who wish to communicate effectively on their first day in-country!!
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