This book is littered with errors. The authors boldly proclaim that they are "experts in both teaching the Chinese language and the Chinese language itself." What kind of experts would put out such a book?
The vocabulary explanations are simplistic, misleading and sometimes completely wrong. One basic problem is that the authors seem confused about the difference between a printed Chinese character and an actual spoken word. A small number of written characters represent true monosyllabic words, but the majority of true Chinese words are bisyllabic. Thus, Chinese characters usually represent bound morphemes, meaningful parts of words (example: bi-, -lingu- and -al are bound morphemes that make up the English word "bilingual; as bound morphemes, none of these is ever used alone). Since this is a book for beginners, the focus should be on words that people really say, not on Chinese characters, which are usually NOT freestanding words.
In several different places, the authors introduce so-called "words" which are actually bound morphemes, such as "rù" meaning "enter." Here the authors tell you that "jìnrù" means "enter." Actually, the common spoken word for "enter" is completely different: jìnqu (with a neutral tone). Jìnrù is a less common word which doesn't belong in a beginner's book such as this. A true "expert" would recognize that the full 4th tone on the 2nd syllable of jìnrù implies that it is a more formal synonym for jìnqu (neutral tones are a prominent feature of informal spoken Chinese).
Instead of providing an accurate explanation of how to use a word or a bound morpheme, the authors often content themselves with saying "Use this word just as you would in English." Any teacher that knows what they're doing will tell you that this is rarely ever possible with languages as different from each other as English and Chinese, especially when introducing high frequency vocabulary. Here are some examples of these problems (quotations from the book appear in square brackets).
[Xiǎo; Definition: Small; "Tā Shì Xiǎo Hái"; Lit: He is a small child]
This translation is misleading: "Hái" is a bound morpheme. It can not be used alone to mean "child." "Xiǎoháir" does not mean "SMALL child." If you want to talk about YOUNG children, you need to add another "xiǎo": "Tā shì xiǎo xiǎoháir." Note also that in China the retroflex -r ending on nouns is much more common than in Taiwan.
One example of oversimplification is the explanation of possessive "de" Here the authors repeat their standard mantra, but "de" is NOT used "just as you would in English." Possessive "de" actually has several different uses. The "experts" who wrote this book should be aware of sentences like these:
1) Wǒde yíge péngyou (Literally: My one friend = A friend of mine).
2) Nǐ láide shihour (Literally: You come's time = When you come).
If you use the wrong tone in Chinese this is a VERY disturbing error. You are either saying a completely different word or a nonexistent word, and you are forcing listeners to guess what you actually mean. If "100 Words" was a novel with occasional misprints, errors would be a minor irritation, but we are dealing with a textbook for beginners who are paying good money for ACCURATE information. Such errors are very serious indeed.
[Chě; bus/car/train] (should be "chē")
[Nà Ge Gèi Ta; "give"] (should be gěi)
The authors rarely ever mark the neutral tone. A few examples:
1] [Mèi Mèi] should be mèimei = younger sister; the neutral tone is also omitted for many other family terms in this book.
2] [guòlái; "come over] should be "guòlai"
3] [Jiě Jiě Bù Shòu; "my sister is not thin"] There are two errors in this brief sentence: Should be "jiějie búshòu"
There are also misleading translations:
[Xiāng Shuǐ - "cologne"] "xiāngshuǐ" usually means "perfume"
[Bìng Rén - "sick person"] "bìngrén" usually means "patient"
[Quán Zi Tài Cháng - The skirt is too long] should be qúnzi; quánzi doesn't mean anything
The "experts" who wrote this book should know that Mandarin in China and Taiwan is different. Even in Taiwan, people know that [Wǒ Yǒu Ná - I have taken it] is not standard Mandarin. If you say this in China, people might laugh in your face.
Even more serious is [Wǒ Dā Gōng Chē; "I take the bus"]. In China people will give you funny looks if you say this. A "gōngchē" is an "official vehicle" such as a police car, NOT a bus.
This is not an exhaustive list of all the errors in this book, but the conclusion should be clear: This book needs extensive revision.