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Advice for crash course in Mandarin

#1
Hello all!

My husband and I are adopting a school age girl from Taiwan who speaks Mandarin. The adoption will probably be finalized sometime next summer/fall. She speaks a tiny amount of English but we would like to learn as much Mandarin as possible to make the transition into our home easier for her.

Could you recommend a good Anki deck or a place to get vocab? I've looked at the Chinese equivalent to the Japanese Core decks but am not sure if that would be useful for mainly spoken child level Mandarin. I've been learning Japanese for three years and did finish RTK so I have a fairly decent grasp of kanji. Hopefully that will help with Mandarin, since I need to learn using the traditional form of hanzi.

Any and all advice would be helpful! I think our main need for vocab is words used around the house, for school, giving directions when addressing behavior, etc.

Thanks!
winterpromise31
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#2
I studied using the Core 5000 mandarin decks and the Chinese red/blue/green decks found here on the forum.

Made ok progress learning words and sentences, but didn't make proper functional progress in being able to *use* chinese (read, write or speak) until I started a more structured approach at learning grammar, using the Practical Audio Visual Chinese (PAVC) books. These books are aimed at people learning Taiwanese mandarin and are pretty good, with good explainations in English, exercises, CDs, videos and plenty of vocab.

Work through the first 2 PAVC books, preferably with a tutor, and you should be set with basic grammar and vocab.

For learning more specific vocab, i use this nice picture dictionary, which has words in both Mainland china and Taiwanese mandarin.

http://www.amazon.com/Illustrated-Chines...9866051102

Not sure why it's so expensive on Amazon, must be able to find it cheaper elsewhere. I often just go through a page (e.g. "Bathroom vocab") and manually add the words that aren't already in the core decks.
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