Mandarin is one of the four official languages of Singapore along with English, Tamil, and Malay. Learning Mandarin is more than just learning a language, it is learning a language, which is spoken by about 1/5th of the World’s population. As China is slowly climbing the economic ladder, Chinese is becoming an important language to learn not just for professional reasons, but also for cultural reasons in Singapore.
Mandarin can be learnt via multiple channels, including online tutorials for Mandarin courses in Singapore, and learning guides or textbooks. Here are five textbooks that can help you learn Mandarin:
1. Colloquial Chinese: The Complete Course for Beginners
Written by Kan Qian, an experienced teacher and professor in Asian and Middle Eastern studies, this book is a solid tool for those who want to learn Chinese as it is spoken and written today. The course is lesson-based and comes with multiple CDs to improve listening skills and pronunciation. No prior experience of the language is required to learn from this book.
2. Integrated Chinese
This book is widely used by college and university students to better comprehend the Chinese phonetics and characters. The book comprises interactive and detailed lessons, along with storylines to better understand conversations and dialogues. It is a great book to begin with as it contains a good set of the introductory vocabulary.
3. Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar: A Practical Guide
This book serves as a great reference guide for beginners. It introduces students to function-based and traditional grammar. The book is split into two parts, Part A explaining the grammatical features of the language and comprising the structure of Chinese, and Part B comprising language functions, notions, and situations.
4. New Practical Chinese Reader
This book comes in six volumes, but each volume can also be bought separately. These volumes help assess a student’s progress from beginner to intermediate. The lessons in this book primarily focus on conversations and help strengthen conversational skills. However, there is sufficient information regarding writing, grammar, vocabulary, Chinese culture, and idioms.
5. Chinese Made Easier
This textbook leans towards the practical use of Chinese and is a great tool to improve your Chinese conversational skills. The vocabulary included in the book can be used for everyday conversations and is mostly ideal for people who are visiting China for shorter durations or trips.
With Mandarin slowly replacing Japanese as the Asian language of business, it is fairly obvious why young adults and professionals are leaning towards learning it. While textbooks and learning guides are a great way to get introduced to Mandarin, taking up Mandarin courses can provide an in-depth view of the language.