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Chinese Breeze (汉语风) Graded Readers


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I just use 'em as a supplement. Read a chapter, listen to chapter, move on to the next. Maybe on the more advanced one if I'm starting to hit a ton of words I don't know I'll have take a new angle.

Some of the stories are stupid beyond description but others aren't too bad, I actually like the ongoing saga of dude with his popular computer program and think it would be cool if they carried that all the way to the advanced levels.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I completed TLI's "New Read Chinese" book 2 about a week ago, which gives me a total of 600 characters. I have a background in written Japanese and spoken Mandarin. About an hour ago I finished my first Chinese Breeze book, "Two children seeking the Joy Bridge". It's red, or 300 word level. Here are some stats that might interest you:

Pages - 44

New characters - 43

New Characters not recognizable from Japanese - 12

New words (to my eye) - 40

New words (to my ear) - 12

I bought 6 of the red books, and 5 of the blue. I'm thinking about typing some of these out and converting them to traditional to practice my traditional reading. If someone could recommend a conversion tool or has any ideas to make this easier, please pm me.

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I've been looking for lists of characters and/or words that are used in the Chinese breeze books, could someone post those? (I hoped the editor's website would have those...)

Also, if it is of any interest and allowed on this board, I could post pictures of the first page of each story that I have bought along with the corresponding audio track extract.

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  • 1 month later...

I found out about the 汉语风Graded Readers through seeing other students at my school reading them. I am using / plan to use the books as supplementary learning in terms of reading a cohesive narrative, and understanding words and grammar in context.

I‘m currently reading 你最喜欢谁 (Level 1: 300 words) and have found it surprisingly more difficult than I expected due to a mixture of forgetting basic words ** (I need to kick my ass into touch and spend more time on 记住生词 - actively using Anki, incorporating words into sentence structures and rote memorisation through writing them out on whiteboards) and reading material that isn't a Chinese textbook.

Another poster mentioned in another thread, that dialogues in Chinese textbooks cover familiar situations, and one can generally anticipate both the dialogue and vocabulary. Hence, it's good to read non-textbook material to get a feel for using vocabulary and grammar in a different context, and in a sustained narrative.

I have been using a Chinese textbook series (Chinese In Steps - switching to BOYA, Integrated Chinese or NPCR once I've finished Vol 3), and a few grammar books (Yo-Ping and Rimmington, and Chueng) - the 汉语风Graded Readers allow me to reinforce my learning, as well as read in Chinese for pleasure, given that 四大名著 are slightly out of my depth ;)

Once I buy an external drive for my netbook, I'll be able to practice my listening as well.

** I also use the occasional odd piece of vocabulary that appear in all language textbooks e.g. 现代派 (modernism) in my 1-2-1 lessons to 'diverge' and converse with my teacher on a different topic such as different forms / movements in the history of art; thus why I can have a basic conversation [in Chinese] on the differences between Degas and Picasso, but I struggle with remembering 报纸 ;)


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  • 4 weeks later...

Since I got an enquiry about the books, here are a few samples.

I might add more this weekend.

300 word Level:

Two children seeking the Joy Bridge

I really want to find her

Left and Right: the conjoined brothers

Can I Dance With You?

If the text appears blurry in your browser, just save the file to the hard drive and open it with another application.









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Thanks for posting these Hanyufeng samples up, it definately makes me want to buy the books!! :)

Looking at the level 2 (500 words) makes me think I can read to about this level with a few nicely placed unknowns that I'd like to learn.

One of these (if you can take the time to explain) was that I read a couple of times: "拿着"- I know the two characters (The 拿 I know from the middle of "Cananda" (加拿大), the other 着 I know from reading it on here a lot of times).

Maybe I'm misreading it, or missing something, but I dont know what this term means on it's own... do you mind explaining? It seems like it's something that comes up relatively often, and I might be reading it wrong phonetically which is throwning me also (I dont think it's "a-zhe")!!

Thanks!! :)

BTW- I'm reading that on the first page of "huangxiaoming shige xiaotou" 黄小明是个小偷, if that helps! :)

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...(if you can take the time to explain) was that I read a couple of times: "拿着"

I believe 着 here is "zhe" used as a "durative aspect marker" (like 了 is a perfective aspect marker) indicating "a state associated with its activity meaning" (Li & Thompson). Fancy way of saying that 拿 is "to take" (the activity) but when coupled with 着 it means the state of "holding". So the first sentences you reference means "..., he is holding/carrying a bottle of water,...".

(Please pardon me if I missed the point of your question.)

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Ahh... brilliant, that's just what I was looking for :) And I was indeed reading it as "a2", probably because I've always heard the word "Canada" as "Jiā​ná​dà​", but split it incorrectly (jian1 a2 da4).. meaning I've been mispronouncing it somewhat too! :)

"nazhe" is something I have heard before, but not seen written, I always assumed that the "na" was 那(3) with tone sandhi (na2zhe).. makes no sense, but now it all makes sense.. thanks!!!!

BTW- I was looking to find Hanyufeng online and have found it easily for sale in the UK:


So, this is all good, I'll have to get buying!

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Does anybody know, when the next ones are coming out? They said something about the whole 60 being finished until 2011 or so?

Last week, I emailed Cheng & Tsui asking about CB level 3. This was their reply:

Thank you for your interests in Chinese Breeze. I have forwarded your email to our purchasing dept. to see if we can get level 3. I will let you know once I hear back from them.

I'll let you know if I get more info

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Last year I asked one of the main authors of this series a similar question. This was his reply:

We are about to release the 7th book of the 500 work level very soon.

The 750 word level may not appear until the end of the year.

1100 word level is planed for next year.

Again, this was last year and still no 750 word level book :-)

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Wish they had something around the 1k character mark (or whatever that translates into as a straight word count). The excerpts (thanks!) were unproblematic.

You have to admire the will it takes to write something this straitjacketed; I can see why it would take longer than expected :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks, looking forward for the info.

Bad news. We'll have to wait.

Cheng & Tsui say "Purchasing just informed me that nothing is new with Chinese Breeze(levels 3 or 4 ) but our vendor told us to check back with them in Mid-August 2010 to see what the plans are for level 3 then."

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Wish they had something around the 1k character mark (or whatever that translates into as a straight word count). The excerpts (thanks!) were unproblematic.

You have to admire the will it takes to write something this straitjacketed; I can see why it would take longer than expected :D

Maybe you should look into the Graded Chinese Reader series. See http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/18248-book-review-graded-chinese-reader-1-%E6%B1%89%E8%AF%AD%E5%88%86%E7%BA%A7%E9%98%85%E8%AF%BB1/

Currently there are 3 books.

The first one is for people who know 2000 words, the second one is for people who know 3000 words and the third one is for people who know 1000 words.

Personally I believe the levels are not really correct. I first started with the 3th book. It was doable for me, but it had a lot of words that I didn't know. Currently I almost finished the first book and think this one is much easier. At first I thought this might be because my Chinese improved a lot, but I just went back to the 3th book and still find it contains much more difficult words than the first book. HedgePig made a similar observation: http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/18248-book-review-graded-chinese-reader-1-%e6%b1%89%e8%af%ad%e5%88%86%e7%ba%a7%e9%98%85%e8%af%bb1/page__view__findpost__p__178669

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