June 30th, 2011

Gentle Rose

Best Books for Self-Teaching Chinese

I'm going to teach myself Mandarin Chinese, but am rather unsure of where to start. I've been poking around Barnes & Noble and Borders (yes, there's still one open) for good Chinese coursebooks, and I've been looking through previous entries tagged with "chinese" and "mandarin" here on linguaphiles, but I'm still unsure which ones I should get (especially as my budget is basically non-existent).

I've been looking at Chinese for Dummies, Teach Yourself, Instant Immersions, Berlitz ect. for both speaking and reading Chinese. I prefer books that involve lots of writing, because the more I write things the more I remember them. I make rainforests sad. That said, if you think some books are just really, really good with audio/teaching you how to speak, Tuttle books seem pretty good for learning characters.

So, any tips/recs? What books/self-teaching courses have you found most helpful? Which ones did you think were utter crap?