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Aaron

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  • Dreaming in Chinese: Mandarin Lessons in Life, Love, and Language

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Deborah Fallows
    • Narrated By Catherine Byers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (51)

    Deborah Fallows has spent a lot of her life learning languages and traveling around the world. But nothing prepared her for the surprises of learning Mandarin - China's most common language - or the intensity of living in Shanghai and Beijing. Over time, she realized that her struggles and triumphs in studying learning the language of her adopted home provided small clues to deciphering behavior and habits of its people, and its culture's conundrums.

    Catherine says: "Interesting examination of Chinese culture"
    "brought back memories of my time in China"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Deborah Fallows and/or Catherine Byers?

    Maybe. I enjoyed the book. I lived in China approximately the same time that Ms Fallows was there, and also studied Chinese. It was entertaining, and brought back memories of my time there.

    As others have noted, the fact that the narrator doesn't speak Chinese was surprisingly annoying. Perhaps it's difficult to find bilingual person to narrate a book, but if there were ever a book that called for it, it's this one.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The story was good, again entertaining. It did leave me wanting more, perhaps bringing more of her scholarly background into the story, or more personal reflections. And, perhaps I'm an atypical reader, having spent about the same time as she did in China, and obtaining some level of proficiency in Chinese, and of course being curious about living in a foreign place. I often thought that it was a book that I could have written (and maybe I could have!)


    Would you be willing to try another one of Catherine Byers’s performances?

    Yes, but not if she needs foreign language knowledge. I think she was a good pick in the sense she sounds like I envision Ms Fallows.


    Do you think Dreaming in Chinese needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Perhaps if Ms Fallows travels to another country, another book would be appropriate.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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