4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
- Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
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.
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.