Simple Chinese readers

The first version of “Anna” is now available at createspace.com/3353080

I plan to do a second version more intended for self-study or lower-level students who might find an English translation added in the back of the book useful. The version that is available at present is simplified characters (sorry) with Hanyu Pinyin. The Pinyin is on the back of each page of characters to “keep it out of your way” (and keep your eyes from straying to it). There’s a glossary of phrases as well. If there is any demand, I can put out a traditional character version with Pinyin as well. There is not enough money in the world to make me put out a Tongyong Pinyin version, though! :sunglasses:

It ain’t Shakespeare, folks, but it should do the trick for giving beginners something to read that has something approximating a story line and that repeats those basic words and characters A LOT.

I hope to have the second book out this spring, perhaps earlier if I can organize myself.

How about a traditional characters version with Zhuyin Fuhao? I likes my bopomofo.

I believe there are some Chinese fonts you could use that automatically have the Zhuyin on the side, so it wouldn’t be very much extra work.

Is the book available anywhere locally as I would go pick one up.

Sorry, no. I’m in the States, so my local isn’t your local.

It’s not a bad idea, though – maybe I can pitch it to the Lucky Bookstore. (Yeah, right. Well, you never know.)

I have traditional char fonts with bopomofo already. The problem is that going simplified to traditional requires a ***load of proofing. I do want to do that sort of version, though. I’d like, ideally, to have traditional chars with bopomofo and then the Hanyu Pinyin on the back of the page. It depends on spacing, mostly.

I’ll put the TC/Zhuyin version on the top of my to-do list.

I think this is an excellent project as there is a huge gap in the market for graded Chinese readers. Compared to the wealth of material for ESL students there is almost nothing in Chinese !

I’d be interested in the traditional character releases of these books or indeed any other simple readers that people know of.

How about traditional characters with Hanyu Pinyin for those of us who believe these two are the superior forms of writing?

Terry,
Mind telling what your strategy is on these books? Is ANNA a graded reader based on a textbook or on frequency ratings?

-jenny

How about traditional characters with Hanyu Pinyin for those of us who believe these two are the superior forms of writing?[/quote]

I’m not interested in superior forms of writing; I’m interested in learning Chinese. Taiwanese people learn Chinese through Zhuyin Fuhao, not pinyin. No matter what Pinyin you use, it’s never going to be as close/real as using Zhuyin Fuhao and learning the proper sounds/pronunciation.

I like pinyin to, but there’s a reason bopomofo is used next to characters.

[quote=“MPenguin”]
I’m not interested in superior forms of writing; I’m interested in learning Chinese. Taiwanese people learn Chinese through Zhuyin Fuhao, not pinyin. No matter what Pinyin you use, it’s never going to be as close/real as using Zhuyin Fuhao and learning the proper sounds/pronunciation.

I like pinyin to, but there’s a reason bopomofo is used next to characters.[/quote]

Any written form is just a convenient shorthand for the sounds. Totally a matter of preference, and which is ‘best’ is utterly irrelevent. The ‘best’ is the one that helps you remember most easily. And as I remember, Chris’ Chinese wasn’t too shabby…

I use IPA symbols.

Sorry, but this is simply not true (though often repeated). Hanyu Pinyin and Zhuyin do an equally good job of representing the language. There is a 1-to-1 correspondence between syllables in HP and Zhuyin.

The reason is historical, not linguistic.

Sorry MPenguin, but you’re repeating a myth here.

zh and ㄓ , for instance, are both perfectly adequate ways to represent that sound. Conversions can be made between the two systems with no loss of accuracy, just as with imperial and metric. Which one you prefer is just that, a matter of personal preference.

And mainland Chinese learn Chinese through pinyin, not Zhuyin Fuhao. If you study Chinese in the West, China, or Southeast Asia, you will be learning and using Hanyu Pinyin (no idea how they teach Chinese in Russia or Arabic-speaking countries).

If you like Zhuyin Fuhao, fine. But it’s not used anywhere outside Taiwan, and is not necessary for learning Chinese. To me, the only two useful things about Zhuyin Fuhao are seeing how certain obscure characters are pronounced in Taiwan (these are often accompanied by bopomofo symbols), and discussing/asking the pronunciation of characters with local people.

No system is perfect. But Zhuyin Fuhao, like any other phonetic system, has its own inconsistencies, the most glaring being the representation of “yong”.

Another vote from me for Traditional Characters and Pinyin.

I agree, there surely must be a huge market for a series of graded readers.

Ditto.

One more vote for trad + bopomofo.

But still wondering on the “graded” part of the project.

Sorry, start of the school year, haven’t been online much the past 2 weeks.

These are not “graded” readers per se. They are based on frequency tables and strive to repeat the most frequently occurring items in the language. This one is an adaptation of a book originally written in Spanish.
I am not aware of any widely-accepted scheme of grading readers in Chinese – which may be at least partly because there are not many beginners’ reading materials in Chinese outside of textbooks, which do not do a very good job on repetition for acquisition.

The book is getting a good response thus far from Chinese teachers in the US. There is just not much out there for beginners. I’d also like to do a book for absolute beginners – obviously you do need quite a bit of language to be able to read “Anna”. But the next project is another book where Anna’s friend Patricia comes to the US from Taiwan (this one is also an adaptation of the existing Spanish language reader.)

I made a tactical error in writing the book in Simplified characters. In the future, I’ll be writing in Traditional and then converting. Converting from Simplified to Traditional is a pain and requires a lot of proofing. :cry:

Hi,

I am originally from Russia, although I haven’t studied Chinese in Russia, I know that Hanyu Pinyin is very popular. It’s used in textbooks and dictionaries more often than the Cyrillised Chinese (transcribing Hanzi into Cyrillic alphabet (Russian). Cyrillisation is used for writing Chinese names in Russian, Hanyu Pinyin for teaching Chinese. The Cyrillisation doesn’t use tone marks, that’s the main disadvantage.

In the Arabic world Hanyu Pinyin is also used. The Arabic alphabet does not allow the same flexibility to render the Chinese phonology, of course, they write Chinese names in Arabic letters in the Arabic text.

alaboyu.com/danciyujuzi/76.html

Hanyu Pinyin is used quite universally by overseas learners, even in countries where non-Roman alphabets are used, including Japan and Korea.

On the topic of readers, I know some good ones but they are in simplified.