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Why can’t the Chinese say “I love you”? Can you wear pyjamas on the streets of Shanghai? Why is it so difficult to hear Chinese tones? In this charming, original book, Harvard linguist Deborah Fallows draws on her three years of living and working in China to provide the answers to these puzzles and many more. Using her own struggles and triumphs with the study of Mandarin as a guide, Fallows manages to describe the workings of the language in a way that is both intelligible and entertaining. Her anecdotes and stories illustrate how Westerners have to think in a fundamentally different way to survive in China. This book will appeal to anyone with an interest in China, be they first time tourists, seasoned business people, or just the idly curious. Accessible and revelatory, it will help you discover this extraordinary nation for yourself.

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