Reading books for Chinese learners

Having set my eye on doing the HSK 3 exam in the summer, this requires me to recognise many new Chinese characters. I’ve been keeping an eye out on Chinese books that would be helpful for me to read in Mandarin… I would love to be able to read the Harry Potter books, but they are way too difficult! Maybe in a few more years! My friend said she bought some Mandarin books for foreigners which she said are pretty good so I wanted to give them a go.

So for Christmas, I asked Rafa could he buy me some Mandarin books for me to learn from… and sure enough, he bought me a couple on the internet for my Kindle.

The ones I have are from Mandarin Companion, Chinese Graded Reader. I think so far they have 2 levels, myself studying Level 1.

In the book, it states

Level 1 is designed around the Mandarin Companion’s core set of 300 basic characters. . .. . most of the vocabulary will be simple everyday words that the reader is likely to know.’

It goes on to talk about what level is right for a person and how reading will help improve your Chinese.

What’s good about these books is that they use classic books like ‘The Secret Garden’.. one that mostly everyone has heard about, but the characters and the locations are adapted into Chinese, instead of sticking to the original’s.

At the moment I have finished reading ‘The Monkeys Paw’, which I thought was very good. It isn’t extremely long, but it gives you about 80 new vocabulary, and they make you review the already known characters and phrases throughout the whole book.

With the kindle version, if you don’t know a phrase, you can also highlight it and it will translate for you into English the meaning. In this particular book, there are 10 chapters, with the new vocabulary and their meanings located at the back. There are then questions in Chinese that you can answer about the storyline, the characters and so on.


And most of all, it’s enjoyable!

If you want more information about Mandarin Companion, check out this website: Mandarin Companion Review

So If you are thinking of learning Mandarin, I suggest, when you know some Hanzi, you should try out one of these books….they are enjoyable to read, and they help you remember the Chinese grammar.

Plus, you feel so smart when you read a book completely in Mandarin!



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