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Chinese Breeze (汉语风) Graded Readers


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I just found a great new graded reader series called Chinese Breeze. As far as I know only 3 books are out (60 or more planned). Their website is here, though its rather incomplete. A more detailed introduction to the series is available here.

The books are available on www.amazon.cn and www.studychineseculture.com (this one has excerpts).

Looks promising, Ive ordered all 3!


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  • 3 months later...
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Two more books in the Chinese Breeze Graded Reader Series have just come out, so currently there’re 5 books altogether:


Every book has a free CD with two speed choices (normal and slow). The five books are all for level 1 (300 base words). It’s said by the publisher the books for level 2 (500 base words) will come out in November around.

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I was given the first one by Elina and her awesome online bookshop as part of the review a book deal on this forum (review is being done and will be posted by end of next week latest), and I have to say I really like the series... so much so that on the last day in Beijing I got two of the others (only 3 then) and now hearing that they have 2 more will buy them soon as I can from Elina... nice series... interesting and motivating...

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Shadowdh, I remember you’re a “lower intermediate or intermediate” Chinese learner from No. 25 post here, are the 3 books of Chinese Breeze too easy for you? Just curious which level is the “lower intermediate and intermediate” level.

The only negative I have is that the included CD's are those small CD's, not normal sized CD's. Be careful using these (at least in macbooks) as they might get stuck.

Good reminder. We have added the information of “small CD (8cm)” to the products.

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Hi Elina, I would not say "too easy" but they are easy and I can understand all the text with very few new characters, I would say they were advanced beginner at most... I like reading them for their motivational factor (yahoo I can read something!) but also like the style and way its written... I am writing a review about the one you sent me now (which god willing will be up by the end of next week, actually make that definitely up) and I really like it, as soon as you get more in I will be making an order from you. I am looking forward to seeing what the higher level ones are like...

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Thank you so much for sharing this, I got three at WangFuJing Book Store and then my classmates got them too!

I found another book on Amazon from Yale that has 300 Characters, but haven't seen it yet

The Lady in the Painting: Simplified Characters (Far Eastern Publications Series): Simplified Characters (Far Eastern Publications Series)

Paperback and CD.

It comes in a Traditional Characters version too.

Apparently it has some vocab lists at the end of each chapter, as well as some comprehension questions.

I can't quite read the Chinese Breeze ones yet, but I am close, and I really enjoy reading. So if anyone has any other 300 (or less!!!) character books/stories/online resources to share, please do :)


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The Lady in the Painting: Simplified Characters (Far Eastern Publications Series): Simplified Characters (Far Eastern Publications Series)

Paperback and CD.

It comes in a Traditional Characters version too.

Apparently it has some vocab lists at the end of each chapter, as well as some comprehension questions.

It also has some grammar explanations. It's a really nice book (I have the trad version). Keep in mind it's not an absolute beginner's book and doesn't explain every grammar point/define every word.
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  • 2 months later...

This seems interesting:


I've often whined about the shortage of learning materials for those who know most of the grammar and have the vocabulary but don't live in China so need practice practice practice to make their language knowledge into a language skill.

I'd love to have books where I could find my level and read for enjoyment plus be able to use the audio in mp3 format to sharpen tingli.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I stumbled across those readers by accident today in the "Foreign Language Book Shop" in Wangfujing, BJ. Actually, I didn't really "stumbled" but the 可爱 sales girl pointed to them when I said I don't like learning material, I just want to read.

There were 5 or 6 titles and I bought 3. Level 1 is 300 words, level 2 (not out yet) will be 500 words.

List price is RMB 15.00 incl. a MP3 CD

I was looking for something like that for really long time and it's great finally somebody did it!

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  • 1 month later...

I received the six volumes of level 1 from studychineseculture.com They are exactly as described and illustrated there (see the ten pictures).

First, I ensured that these small-sized CDs would play and rip (for my personal use) alright. They do.

They have a few introductory pages and a (partial) glossary and quizzes in the back. The stories themselves are all 44-48 pages long.

Here is their order of publication with the playing times of the audio fast/slow:

1. Wrong, wrong, wrong! :43/:55

2. I really want to find her :43/:55

3. Two children seeking... :54/1:29

4. Left and Right 1:18/1:51

5. Can I dance with you? :59/1:25

6. Whom do you like more? :53/1:30

They decided to slow down the recording speed for numbers 3-6, and #4 is noticeably the slowest. With a tool like Audacity you can play these at whatever speed you wish, but I think I'll start with the one they made the slowest, #4. Maybe they made a special effort to make this one the easiest. It is lovingly enunciated throughout; I appreciate that. I haven't had time to survey them all, but about the two faster ones: the male speaker in these does a great job projecting emotion in his reading. They are all excellent and I am very optimistic about them...

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The recordings are divided by chapter, 7 to 9 chapters per book.

#4 chapter one is :10/:16 (fast/slow).

can an intermediate level learner get something from these?

I'm a beginner. I know solidly about 300 characters, plus about 300 others less well.

#4 chapter one has 214 unique characters and is 1200 characters long. I already know most of them, and typed it into Wenlin fairly easily (learning many of the others in the process).

I don't expect to learn characters from it; I already have good books for that. What I hope for is "massive intelligible input". I intend to read it while listening until I understand everything (easy). Then I intend to read the whole thing aloud, practicing the best pronunciation, tones, and rhythms that I can, over and over, until something resembling fluency comes alive. I believe I can do this. Then, the other five books will have the same base vocabulary, with their small proportion of new words glossed at the bottom of the page and in the back, so I probably won't bother typing them in. And I expect to be able to *really read them*! *For pleasure*! (I'm thinking "SRA Reading Laboratory"; I've been here before... and it was the happiest time of my life.)

That's my plan.

If you're intermediate, it will be like a children's book to you. Probably, you would get it only for the reason I describe above, if you need that.

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