Globalization has made familiarity with other people, cultures, and languages not only preferable but also essential in the 21st century. With the help of the Internet and a bevy of social media growing at a dizzying rate, reaching out and touching someone on the other side of the earth has become as easy as clicking a mouse, using a smartphone, or clicking on to RenRen (the Chinese equivalent of Facebook) or Weibo (the Twitter of China). And yet nothing quite beats the excitement of a face-to-face encounter with someone who hails from the other side of the globe in his or her own language. Communication in cyberspace doesn’t even come close.
Whether you’re an inveterate traveler, going overseas for business, studying abroad, adopting a child, interested in frequenting Chinatown, befriending a Chinese-speaking classmate or co-worker, or just plain curious about China, Chinese For Dummies, 3rd Edition, can help you get acquainted with enough Chinese to carry on a decent conversation on any number of topics. You won’t become fluent instantly, of course, but this book helps you greet a stranger, buy a plane ticket, talk to Chinese students, converse with business colleagues, and order some food. It also gives you some invaluable cultural tips so that you not only rattle off those newly acquired words and phrases but also back them up with the right behavior at the right time.
The good news is that you can use Chinese For Dummies, 3rd Edition, anytime, anywhere. No mandatory class sessions, no exams, and no homework assignments to dread. Need to get to a new city for a business meeting? Just turn to the chapters on travel or business to find out how to buy a plane ticket, get through customs, get to the airport on time, or do some negotiating. Have to make a sudden trip to the doctor? Turn to the chapter on your health and figure out in advance how to tell your caregivers exactly what ails you.