Sunday, January 29, 2012

I Wish I Were "Dreaming in Mandarin"

Dreaming in Chinese: Mandarin Lessons In Life, Love, And LanguageDreaming in Chinese: Mandarin Lessons In Life, Love, And Language by Deborah Fallows
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Many of the books I've read about China have been fascinating, compelling and informative, but none so much as this one. The author spent time in China in the 1980s and then 20 years later, so she has a valuable double vision of China as it was then and as it is now. What I enjoyed the most about the book though, and what sets it apart from all of the others, is that this is a book about language. It is about the connection of language and culture. It is both deeply intellectual (but easily enjoyed by the non-linguist) and based in the use of language in everyday life, in stores and in the streets, for instance. If you are interested in language you will love this book, even if you have no interest in China. You will end up knowing quite a bit about modern China though, in spite of yourself. The book is short but every page will keep your interest and leave you intrigued and well-informed. Highly recommended!

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