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Books for Reading (Chinese Language)

The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries. ~ René Descartes

I always encourage people to read. Reading is even more important when you are learning a language. Below are the two lists of books that I recommend to people or students who want to learn Chinese Language or Mandarin:

List 1 (for younger children and elementary learners)

  • My First Chinese Words, published by BLCU Press. There are a total of 36 books. Upon completion, children will learn basic Chinese characters and sentence patterns.
  • 《我自己会读》系列, published in Hong Kong and distributed in Singapore and Malaysia. There are 12 books in 2 series (蓝色小书和橙色小书), total of 24 books. The series is similar with My First Chinese Words, both with illustrations and HanYu PinYin. But, the books have longer sentences than My First Chinese Words.
  • Fairy tales and children stories. Maybe you have read the English version, but it is better for you to read them in Chinese version, because there are some minor differences in the story line. Some suggested titles: 《灰姑娘》、《白雪公主》、《美女与野兽》、《三只小猪》、《大萝卜》、《小红帽》。

Along the way, before you go to List 2 below, you can look for any books that interest you. Learning a language should be fun, so find something that you like, a cookbook, a comic book, anything. When you are ready for heavy stuff, go to List 2. It is written in Chinese Language, simply because you are ready for Chinese Language articles without translation!

List 2 (for young adults and advanced learners)

当你对中文越来越有兴趣,而你又渴望更上一层楼时,中国的四大名著是你最佳的选择。中国有超过五千年的文明历史,其灿烂辉煌的文化是值得我们去探讨的。而成书于明清时期的四大名著,承载了许多文化精华让我们去细细品尝。

四大名著:

  1. 《西游记》– 此书讲述唐三藏和他的三个徒弟去西天取经的故事。其中以大师兄孙悟空的角色最为脍炙人口。虽然孙悟空很调皮,但是他胆大艺高、有智慧、也对师父唐三藏很忠心。
  2. 《三国演义》– 此书讲述魏、蜀、吴三国之间的军事和政治斗争。你可能会问,军事和政治斗争不就是打打杀杀,有什么好看的?当然有,其中诸葛亮的神机妙算,关羽的义气等等都可以让现代人学习、参考。
  3. 《水浒传》– 此书讲述108个好汉在梁山聚义的故事。读完此书,你会对所谓的好人和坏人有更深一层的看法。当坏人被逼上梁山时,他还是坏人吗?
  4. 《红楼梦》– 别名《石头记》。此书讲述一段关于贾宝玉、林黛玉和薛宝钗的三角恋。当然,除了儿女情长,故事也讲述一个家族的荣衰无常和到现在还存在的阶级斗争。

已有百多年历史的四大名著,随着时代变迁,现在有很多不同的版本,有适合儿童的漫画版,也有适合青少年的简短版。不论你选择哪一个版本,都希望你可以从中学习到故事里所要带出的讯息。

Enjoy the reading! 祝阅读愉快!


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