Rai (arrowwhiskers) wrote in linguaphiles,

Beginner Chinese Stories

I have seen that for many languages there exist stories written with the express goal of giving beginners something to read--normally they limit the vocabulary to a certain number of words, and those words tend to be (for the most part) stuff you'd see in beginning classes, etc.

I was wondering if such a thing exists for Chinese and if so, if anyone knows where I could find it? Traditional characters are much preferred but really I'll take anything.

Thanks in advance :)
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Here are some texts which are supposed to be suitable for beginners: http://www.franklang.ru/index.php/2013-10-25-20-33-00/100-2010-12-30-19-59-10
As far as I understand, you can download a sample and then buy a book if you like it. Tell me if you need any help there.

Here are some links on Chinese texts libraries (can't say anything about the level though): http://www.franklang.ru/index.php/2013-10-25-20-33-00/176--online
Maybe you'll find anything useful.
Oh wow! Now I wish I knew Russian cause it seems like the annotations are probably really helpful. xD Still, it's got the pin yin, so that's very nice. I'll definitely try to work with this. Thanks a lot :)
Actually the first link gives you texts for a foreign language learning method based on reading texts for several times: with translation of every word, then of a phrase and a paragraph (or something like that). So Russian text should mainly be translation, I suppose. I hope that helps.


August 22 2014, 07:38:21 UTC 2 years ago Edited:  August 22 2014, 07:39:31 UTC

Not really a "beginner story", but I usually read manhua or Chinese translations of manga if I become tired of reading the newspapers. I also enjoy Chinese cartoons on youku, since all movies I think are now required to have Chinese captions (due to dialect differences).
Hmm, I'm pretty sure there's no way I'd be able to even get the jist of a manga with the small vocabulary I have...it might be something to look into once I get more advanced, though :)
I suggest you stick to poems, like those from Li Bo or some other people. The vocabulary can get pretty advanced but they do use common words (the "advanced" vocabs tend to be so because the need for pithiness in the stanza length).

From there you can advance to stories. If you can't understand read the captions in 喜洋洋和灰太狼, then you shouldn't read beginner stories because they are at the same level as that (you should be able to read/recognize and understand about a minimum of 50 character phrases, not necessarily individual characters). You might instead become frustrated.
Beginner stories...do you mind the stories for children?or the testbooks?

Bye the way,Traditional characters are only used in Taiwan,Hong kong and macau now,not as wisely as simplified characters.
And Traditional characters will be more difficult to write.why not try learning simplified characters?
Either stories for children or textbook style stories would be fine!

I studied Mandarin for a semester in college and they made us use traditional characters so it's what I'm accustomed to...also I really want to go to Taiwan. :) Though ideally, I'd like to be able to at least read both styles.
Well,I am from China and use simplified characters.That is pity I dont have ebooks in traditional Chinese to share.
You can find some web fictions which are not educational but useful for language learning here:

As a language learner,I would say going some forums may help.TIEBA and weibo are both for traditional and simplified Chinese uers :P

Good luck!

Thank you so much!! :)
I have really enjoyed the Mandarin Companion books, which can be found here: http://mandarincompanion.com/
I've used the simplified versions, but they have traditional ones as well. I find the features of reading them as e-books quite handy, such as highlighting for definitions or hyperlinking to the glossary.

I've also heard good things about the (physical) Chinese Breeze books, but I have to admit that I haven't actually read all of the way through one yet. I'm not even sure whether they come in traditional format, or are simplified-only.

Although this page is primarily aimed at parents buying books for children, it might still work as a source for finding other graded readers that use traditional characters: http://miparentscouncil.org/2013/07/05/get-your-kids-reading-in-chinese-this-summer/
Oooh, the first link in particular looks really promising. I'm going to try to work through one of their samplers. Thank you so much! :)