Read! Read! Read! - The only way to help you fly off the ground on your Chinese learning

When it comes to language learning, most people would work on three language skills altogether: reading, speaking and listening. Since they are three essential ways to communicate with others in any languages, no doubts about it.
However, when it comes to Chinese, people start to hesitate. Can I just learn how to speak? Can I only learn reading in pinyin? Could any learner eventually be able to read and understand a novel in Chinese?
The bottom line is, to be able to read Chinese articles and make the sense out of each word is an endeavor that is comparable of climbing a snow covered mountain. :-)
I'd like to challenge it by putting out a mini novel that is purposely written with Chinese learners in mind. It is presented with pinyin, English translation, and also vocabulary table. You don't need to look up new word in a seperate window if you don't have pop-up dictionary, each single word can be looked up in the vacab table.
The story of the mini novel is simple concept too, though it is a good story in my opinion. The whole mini novel is devided into 6 posts with only two to three paragraphes on each post to make it easy for you to read in a limited time slot each day. People are extremely busy nowadays ... aren't you? :-)
You'll come across words and idioms like this in the story:
战斗 戰鬥 zhan4 dou4 to fight; to battle; CL:場|场[chang2],次[ci4];
故事 故事 gu4 shi4 old practice; CL:個|个[ge4];
深深 深深 shen1 shen1 deep; profound;
吸引 吸引 xi1 yin3 to attract (interest, investment etc); CL:個|个[ge4];
并且 並且 bing4 qie3 and; besides; moreover; furthermore; in addition;
悄悄 悄悄 qiao3 qiao3 quietly;
爱上 愛上 ai4 shang4 to fall in love with; to be in love with;
Hope the tiny novel can help you learn and reenforce these vocabs among others:
Give it a try and let me know how I can improve? Any suggestions are very well welcomed!
This was originally published on the Study More Chinese Blog

(photo credit #eelco)

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Comment by Grace on September 7, 2012 at 1:02am

Hi Sara, 

First of all, I love your blog ... :-)

As for Chinese Breeze and Graded Chinese Readers, do you think they're more helpful on enhancing your reading? Or listening and pronunciation? I know both series have mp3 CDs together with the books...

Since you're reading a Chinese translation of original English novel (your Chinese level seems advanced), I'm curious to know that have you ever tried an original Chinese novel (without being simplified)?



Comment by Sara Jaaksola on September 6, 2012 at 12:44pm

I totally agree that learning to read Chinese is a very important aspect of language learning. I think it's perhaps not possible to get to a high level of Chinese if you can't read.

I usually recommend Chinese Breeze books to beginners, then after those there are Graded Chinese Readers for intermediate students. Then the most easiest Chinese novels are often translations from English, those are the books I'm reading at the moment. So reading a novel in Chinese is of course possible :)

Comment by Anthony Pantekoek on September 4, 2012 at 7:40am

Thanks very much Grace, that's great. I look forward to future posts.

Comment by Grace on September 4, 2012 at 6:19am

I've just updated with traditional Chinese version on all 6 posts, let me know if it works for you ...



Comment by Grace on September 4, 2012 at 1:36am

typo: "with traditional version tonight"


Comment by Grace on September 4, 2012 at 1:35am

Hi Anthony, I'll update all 6 posts with simplified version tonight. Check back in 10 hours you should see them. I'll consider to add traditional version to my reading practice posts moving forward. That's a very good suggestion, Anthony, thanks!!


Comment by Anthony Pantekoek on September 2, 2012 at 9:14am

Thank you for providing this Grace. I have been looking for graded reading material for lower level language learners for some time. In Taiwan there is not a lot to choose from. I have one request, though, as I am learning traditional characters first. Is it possible to include the traditional version of the story below the simplified version?

Comment by Pamela Y (楊梅) on August 24, 2012 at 10:57pm

thanks grace!!! will do!

Comment by Grace on August 24, 2012 at 12:32am

Good eyes, Thomas, I missed that one! I will update the post in a little while.

Thank you so much!


Top Member
Comment by Thomas Doherty on August 23, 2012 at 10:44am

On returning to the story, the only major change is the mention of her age.  So here are the last 2 sentences.

" On the day he was released from the hospital, she at the age of 16 made an announcement to her family that she decided to give up her studying and to marry him. She would go with him to live in the remote mountain area. "



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