A Complete Handbook of Practical English Conversation. Fifth Edition.
[Chinese / Linguistics].

A Complete Handbook of Practical English Conversation. Fifth Edition.

Regular price $150.00 $0.00

Shanghai: The World Book Co., Ltd., 1933. 15 cm. [4],ii, vii,[1],1-62,1-363,[3],1-165,[3],xii,[2]pp. Most pages double-column, with either side-by-side or facing English and Chinese text. Brown cloth stamped in gilt and white. Shelfworn, with white almost entirely missing from spine characters; small stain to rear board. Very Good.

An English conversation guide for Chinese speakers that covers the subject in three separately paginated parts -- Vocabulary, Dialogues and Useful Sentences -- plus an Appendix. Numerous examples are provided throughout, although often of such a specific nature that it is hard to imagine such a conversation taking place, e.g., when the reader is provided with dialogue about the benefits of swimming in sea water versus river water, or how to report to the police being robbed by four men with guns, one of whom has a "double thumb" (??).

Interestingly, all of the examples appear to take place in China, and at times offer a sharp cultural critique of English-speaking foreigners. This is particularly true in a section in Dialogues on "Protests," in which a sample Chinese person defends himself against rudeness and racist comments by foreigners in different situations, such as being mistreated by a clerk in a store, when being involved in a traffic accident that was the foreigner's fault, and on a tram car ("The occasions of provocation are numerous, and only a few are referred to here"). An Editor's Note follows this section, noting that while "it does a man good to get a genuine complaint out of his chest rather than to harbour it there," readers should always take the moral high ground: "the spirit underlying the protest should never be one of racial prejudice. A protest should be made with the best of intentions for the sake of the benefit of the offender as well as the scandalised onlookers. The protester should not fall into a passion, for after all to err is human" (p. 140-41).

Surprisingly, not found in OCLC.

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