Chinese Primer, Volumes 1-3 (Pinyin)
Revised Edition
Ta-Tuan Ch'en, Perry Link, Yih-Jian Tai & Hai-Tao Tang


This revised and updated edition of the Chinese Primer--an introductory textbook in wide use for more than a decade--uses proven techniques to put beginning learners of Mandarin Chinese on the path toward true mastery. The goal of the book is internalization--to lead students to adopt Chinese as one of their own languages and not to regard it merely as an object of study and translation.

Features include:

  • Use of hànyu pinyin romanization
  • Rigorous foundation work in pronunciation, including tones and the other special phonemes that are crucial to mastery
  • Lesson texts that combine authentic, natural Chinese expression with lively everyday topics that allow students to immediately begin using Chinese themselves
  • Carefully designed incremental introduction of grammar, accompanied by thorough and precise notes
  • Completely revised notes that link Chinese language to Chinese culture-such as names, modes of address, and conventions of politeness
  • Additional lessons for self-study during the summer following a first-year course
  • A completely revised character workbook that introduces both traditional and simplified characters and that simulates the way native speakers learn characters as children: in small doses that eventually "catch up" with speaking ability

Like its earlier edition, The Chinese Primer: Revised Edition is composed of three integrated volumes: (1) the Blue Book [Lessons]: introduction; foundation work on pronunciation; lesson dialogues in romanized Chinese and English; appendices; glossary-index; (2) the Red Book [Notes and Exercises]: vocabularies; grammar notes and culture notes keyed to the lessons; exercises; and (3) the Yellow Book [Character Workbook]. (There is also a fourth volume, the Green Book [Pinyin Character Text], which is sold separately.) Texts of the lessons are in both traditional and simplified Chinese characters, and there is a Chinese introduction for teachers.

First published in 2007.

Ta-Tuan Ch'en was, until his death, professor emeritus of East Asian Studies at Princeton University. Perry Link is professor of East Asian Studies at Princeton University. Yih-Jian Tai is lecturer emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hai-Tao Tang is lecturer emeritus at Princeton University.