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Practical Audio-Visual Chinese 4

Title: 實用視聽華語
Year: 2008

Arriving in Taiwan in September 2008, I first encountered Practical Audio-Visual Chinese at Chunghua University in Xinzhu. I had studied one year of Chinese and jumped straight into book three, which was quite a challenge at the time. Still, a semester later, we had finished book three, half of Taiwan Today and had also started on this book, being number four in a series of five books in total. Moving to Gaoxiong in the spring, I started with book five, which means that I had to study book four on my own, which I did quite a long time ago, even though this review is quite late.

There isn’t much new to say about the book as such, since it more or less follows the same pattern used in the first three books. It is by far the best series I’ve seen and book four gives no reason whatsoever to change that. I have only one complaint. I realise that vocabulary becomes more and more specific as the learner advances, but some vocabulary in this book is, frankly speaking, utterly ludicrous (like “nose cancer”, ever needed to use that?). This is quite a minor disadvantage though, so don’t let it stop you (the other series I’ve seen have been far worse in this regard, especially the Far Eastern Everyday Chinese).

As usual, I have also compiled word lists for ZDT for book four. This time I’ve been a lot more careful, entering vocabulary almost verbatim. There probably are some mistakes in there and by reporting them to me, you can help me helping other people to learn correct Chinese. The file can be imported to ZDT via the “Restore data” function (in other words, do not use “Import”). Since I’ve now skipped most of book five, striving even higher, it will probably be quite some time before I review that book and publish my word lists, but that day will come, too. In the meantime, have some fun with the vocabulary for book four!

Important: The lists for ZDT will still be here, but no longer updated. The vocabulary can and should be accessed from the Anki software, which is far superior to ZDT. If youh aven’t changed already, you should do so now.

Download ZDT word lists for Practical Audio-Visual Chinese 4

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  1. Pete’s avatar

    I have looked at other books, many using just about no English, and they seemed considerably better, because they would give more examples on how to use certain words. The dialogues from one chapter to next do not have very much repetition, so it becomes rather easy to forget what had been learnt the week before.


    1. Olle Linge’s avatar

      Yes, I agree with you. I have come across some books used here at ??? that are a lot better in this regard, especially when it comes to more examples and explanations of the individual characters. On the other hand, the level of these books is in general a lot higher, leading to difficulties in other areas. For instance, the book we use now for reading completely lacks explanations of grammar, which is fine if you have a teacher, but useless otherwise.

      What books are you thinking about more precisely? It would be interesting to check them out, because I still think, disregarding Taiwan Today, Practical Audio-Visual Chinese is the best series I’ve found so far. I’d be happy to check out something else.


    2. Arne’s avatar

      Thank you for sharing these word lists! I know how tedious it is to enter all those words. When I was studying in Taiwan I typed in the vocab from the old first PAVC book (which is now the books 1 and 2).

      At the time I put the vocab up on http://www.zhongwiki.com . I also wrote some scripts to turn it into printable flashcards and vocab list pdfs. Ever since I’ve been looking for help to type in the other books and finish the job. I would like to create the same type of pdfs, but also provide files for the flash card program Anki.

      These are such popular books in Taiwan and it would be great if students could just use a flashcard program throughout studying the five books without having to type everything out again.

      I was just wondering, would you give me permission to use your lists as a basis for the files on ZhongWiki?

      Thank you,


      1. Olle Linge’s avatar

        Of course you can use the lists! I would appreciate if you linked back to my website, though, preferably to my Chinese main page: http://www.snigel.nu/index.php?cat=54. You could also check this post for my thought on software and flashcards: http://www.snigel.nu/?p=6283


        1. Arne’s avatar

          Thank you! It might take a while before I get around to doing it, learning Chinese is no longer a full time occupation for me, unfortunately :)

          I see from your other posts you’re also a convinced Anki user, did you already share a PAVC deck on the Anki site?

          I started working on these things again after I got a couple of emails from people that stumbled upon ZhongWiki. I really hope to see a definitive PAVC deck for Anki, complete, accurate, and properly tagged for all the five books.


        2. Olle Linge’s avatar

          Book 1-4 plus half of book 5 is there. Only the fourth and fifth book are close to being completely accurate, but all the word should be there in all the books. They are tagged properly as well! And yes, Anki is really good (i wrote about spaced repetition here http://www.snigel.nu/?p=6283).


        3. Yenney Lai’s avatar

          Hi Olle,

          Thank you so much for the review of PAVC! I’m teaching Chinese in Australia and some of my students are interested in studying in Taiwan, and as you can guess, they often wonder what sort of textbooks they’ll be using, so your review really helps.

          Can I ask you a question? Is it possible to find the grammar list of the series? Many thanks.