This online textbook represents materials that were used in the first four semesters (two years) of the Mandarin program at MIT. They eventually formed the basis of a print textbook of the same name, published by Yale University Press; information and supplemental materials for the Yale edition are available at the companion website. The OCW course materials were extensively revised, and at times reordered, before publication, but the general principles of the original remain: to provide a comprehensive resource for the foundation levels of Chinese language that separates the learning of oral skills from literary (the former being transcribed in pinyin, and the latter in characters). This resource contains the complete online version of the text and accompanying audio recordings.
Learning Chinese teaches basic conversational and literary skills in Mandarin. It is designed to build language ability while stimulating learners’ curiosity about the linguistic structures of the language as well as the geography, history, and culture of China. Conversational lessons are separated from lessons on reading and writing characters, allowing instructors to adapt the book to their students and to their course goals.