A bite-sized story with repetitive sentence structure which seems to be about a fickle monkey who can’t focus long enough to enjoy his meal, but which is actually a gut-wrenching satire of my entire life. HSK 2-3.
This very sweet story about an old tree who sacrifices himself for the animals of the forest might be the longest piece I’ve ever found that’s suitable for a beginner (probably HSK 3-4) audience. Both language and grammar is mostly quite straightforward.
This bittersweet 1000-year-old rhyme from China’s artistic golden age is perhaps the country’s most well-known verse. Even better for beginners (HSK 2-3), it’s only a few lines long, and there are only a couple of difficult characters. In fact, this is such a perfect lesson, that the fact that I haven’t posted it until now may be a sign of early-onset dementia.
Yayzors, horsies. I know that when you first start reading, it’s hard to hold a narrative thread through a longer post, but give this one a try – 6 short paragraphs, all of them very straightforward. This one has mostly very beginner language, with a couple of intermediate or upper-intermediate words. The grammar, rather than […]
A fairly simple read for newbies about a self-hating rabbit.
Yang over at Learn Mandarin Now is spoiling me with all these guest posts. I’ve been struggling to find something that suitable for beginners lately – everything I stumble across ends up being intermediate. But this is a very good place for beginners to start reading chéngyǔ (成语 idiom) stories, because you’ll get an introduction […]
Though this post is beginner-level, it’s also very condensed. I’d say you’ll have to stop and remind yourself what something means every few words or so.
A quick and simple poem about morning dew.
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 […]
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.
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.
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 […]
A single-paragraph essay about the results of a family jump rope competition.
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 […]
This essay is about a kid who takes his father’s advice a little too literally (with amusing results).
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 […]
And now a break from all the intermediate and advanced exercises I’ve been posting lately. This one is a straightforward beginner Chinese diary-style essay about a student whose mother is displeased with his (or her, it’s never clarified) homework.
I apologize for not posting a month or so, I’ve been in the process of – ta da – moving back to China, so life’s been exciting but busy. On the upside, looks like I’ll have some interesting new posts from here. But today, in place of something interesting, we’ve got a slightly insipid story […]
A short, sweet, very simple read about a boy, his dog, and a new pair of shoes.
A short, easy (very) beginner read about a child going ice-skating. The word “ice skating” appears about a bazillion times in the space of these few sentences, so, after reading this, you may expect to recognize the word for the rest of your natural life.