Categories
Intermediate

Children’s Story: Little Bear’s Beautiful Dream

Little Bear is sad to know his dream was just a dream… or was it?

Categories
Beginner

Children’s Story: 《猪先生去野餐》 Mr. Pig’s Picnic

I love it when I find a longer story that’s suitable for beginning readers. This one, which is either a tale that reminds us what happens when you try to be something you’re not, or a tale that reminds us that men should never be allowed to give each other fashion advice, definitely fits the […]

Categories
Intermediate

Fable: 《沉默的狗》The Silent Dog

Welp, I swore I would never do this again but I found this (and several other short stories) in Hainan Airlines’ in-flight magazine (I’m in Prague!) and couldn’t resist typing it up (as opposed to copy-pasting from an online source). I’ve checked and checked for typos, but I’m not always the best at that, so […]

Categories
Beginner

Children’s Story: The Doctor and the Monkey

Eeps – bad medicine! In this story, the mischievous Monkey – always a trickster figure in Chinese stories – pulls the wool over Little Bear’s eyes. If Little Bear was American, he’d sue the hospital for negligence and rake in millions of baskets of peaches.

Categories
Beginner

Essay: My First Telephone Call

Though the conclusion of this essay might fall a bit flat for all of us who are very used to having a telephone, this is an interesting glimpse into what a monumental rite of passage it is for children in rural areas to have one or use one for the first time.

Categories
Intermediate

Essay: Papa, Please Don’t Smoke!

In this essay, a child desperately (and very angrily) pleads their father not to smoke. Though this is classified as “Intermediate”, beginners should definitely try this read, leaning heavily on the hover word-list. The difficult parts are the mid-level turns of phrase, which are all explained below.

Categories
Intermediate

Guest Post: The exam of life

Well well well, lookie here. A guest post! Today we’ll be reading Rebecca Chua’s (Chinese name: 蔡幸彤) translation of an essay from her textbook. The post is about the rewards of honesty. I remember my own textbook being full of these types of essays, so thank you, Rebecca, for the traditional read.

Categories
Intermediate

Story Behind the Idiom: 失斧疑邻 – Carelessly suspecting others

You know the kind of person who loses something and immediately declares it was stolen? Yeah, that.

Categories
Beginner

Our 100th Post! Plus some new beginner jokes

Hey hey! This site has made it through two years online and 100 posts! That makes an average of 50 posts a year, which averages out to a little less than one a week. Not terribly shabby, huh? In any case, on with the Chinese. I’ve been having a bit of trouble rounding up truly […]

Categories
Intermediate

My Gluttonous Elder Brother

I set out to do a beginner post since I haven’t done one in a while, but no joy, I think I have to classify this as intermediate. Beginners are welcome to try this out, as most of the words are simple and the subject matter is a bit immature (so of course it totally […]

Categories
Advanced

News: Snowstorm has caused 15 deaths and 2000 flight delays or cancellations

In the spirit of the holiday season, which is winding to a blissfully overweight close, I give you an article about something you may or may not have just struggled through if you flew home for the holidays (which I did).

Categories
Intermediate

Story Behind the Idiom: 夜郎自大 – Thinking too highly of oneself

Here we’ll cover the back story behind the idiom “夜郎自大”, or “Yelang thinks highly of itself”. This idiom one refers to someone who has a high, but misguided, opinion of their own worth. Stick this one in the language bank for when you need to take someone down a peg (preferably while stroking your fu […]

Categories
Advanced

A Probe into the Work-Life Balance of Chinese Policewomen

Gonna lay it on a bit thick today with something nice and serious. This is an abstract of an academic paper from the Gender Studies Network authored by Zhou Ying.

Categories
Beginner

Our Family’s Jump Rope Contest

A single-paragraph essay about the results of a family jump rope competition.

Categories
Beginner

After I Got My New Years’ Money

For those of you new to Chinese culture, one thing a Chinese child most looks forward to all year is the time during Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) when they get to go ask their neighbors and other adults for red envelopes containing some money – it’s a bit like trick-or-treating for cash. This essay […]

Categories
Beginner

Essay: A Foolish Affair from my Childhood

This essay is about a kid who takes his father’s advice a little too literally (with amusing results).

Categories
Intermediate

Mythology: The Farmer God Shen Nong Tastes All the Plants

A cool introduction to one of the lesser-known deities, Shen Nong 神农 shén nóng, the God of Agriculture (and later called the Bodhisattva of Medicine). This is upper-intermediate reading: expect a lot of new words (mostly relating to plants and Chinese medicine) but intermediate sentence structure, and sentences mostly communicate a complete point.

Categories
Advanced

Novels: Tiger Team – Ghost Hotel

This excerpt is one of the Tiger Team supernatural mystery novels for adolescents. The Tiger Team series was originally created in German by author Thomas C. Brezina, and features a band of young detectives: Jupiter Katz, son of a supernatural researcher Erasmus Katz, Jupiter’s cousin Vicky and Vicky’s little brother Nick. This is listed as […]

Categories
Intermediate

Fable: Meng JiangNv Cries the Great Wall Down

Seeing as how I just got back from a trip to the Wall myself, I figured I’d stay on that theme. This traditional and very famous story, called 孟姜女哭长城 mèng jiāng nǚ kū cháng chéng, is set in the Qin Dynasty, and is super sad in the way that only East Asian stories can be […]

Categories
Beginner

Little Grass’ Silver Hair

This is an upper-beginner or low-intermediate level text. It’s good for beginner readers in the sense that a) it’s short, and b) it’s extremely repetitive – if you can puzzle out the first two or three sentences, the rest should be clear. To get you going, it might be worth noting there that the protagonist […]