I’ve been idly looking at moving to a new apartment lately (looks like I won’t be moving after all – a good thing, too, because I like my current place), and I typically use the Chinese property search sites instead of the foreign ones. The prices are about 4 times as high on the English sites made for foreigners, and the properties they offer there are often aimed at high-rolling executives. It helps quite a bit to be able to browse the Chinese listings, so I’m doing a few here. This is solidly advanced stuff. Local place names abound, so you have to be able to at least guess when something is or isn’t a proper noun, and because we’re working with real estate classifieds, a few words are shortened to save space or the formal version is used to sound professional.
Chinese Title: 拿到压岁钱以后
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 is about what happened to one kid’s Spring Festival haul. We’ll cover a lot of beginner grammar here.
Chinese Title: 童年傻事
This essay about a kid who takes his father’s advice a little too literally (with amusing results) is almost as beginner as a five-paragraph read can get. You’ll find very few intermediate-level words, and extremely basic sentence structure.
Chinese Title: 神农尝百草
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.
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 “advanced” not necessarily because of the vocabulary – which isn’t terribly difficult – but also because some of the sentence structures aren’t very straightforward. This is the easy end of the advanced spectrum, so if you think you might be an advanced reader, try this.