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Book Review 简单的难题 (Jiandan de nanti)


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This is part of the free book project.

简单的难题 (Jiandan de nanti) is a part of the easy Chinese reading series from Beijing Language and Culture University Press

The book is slender and 128 pages in length. The contents consist of 20 short stories. A story runs from 3 – 4 pages. Each story is about using wits to overcome circumstances. The story’s title page includes six to eight keywords used in the story. The stories are all in simplified Chinese with pinyin above. There are no English translations. Keywords are in a vocabulary list at the back of the book arranged in pinyin alphabetical order.

However there seems to be no way of knowing when you read the story which words are defined in the vocabulary list at the back. Difficulty is elementary and should be easily accessible to anyone who has finished volume one of the practical Chinese Reader. The level of Chinese is about the same. Every story is followed by two pages of multiple choice questions with answers at the back of the book.

For example chapter 3 is a short story about a careful wife (细心的妻子 xixin de qizi). The chapter starts with a short list of six keywords and definitions. This is followed by the story which is 3 pages of Chinese characters with pinyin above. Font is large which is good for easy reading. The story is about an absent minded man whose wife wants him to send an important letter. When the man leaves home he finds strangers start reminding him to send the letter. Finally he asks a girl how does she know about this letter and she says that the wife posted a notice on his back for strangers to remind him to post the letter. The story is followed by two pages of multiple choice questions. The key to the questions is in the back of the book.

This textbook is average with nothing special to recommend it other than it provides reading practice The book comes with a CD of the stories that can be used for coordinated practice in the skills of listening and reading.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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  • 4 months later...

It's a very nice book and the CD is of excellent quality too and well spoken!

For those obsessed with statistics, the stories have nearly 8900 characters and consists of 830 different characters (single characters, not words). 800 is about HSK level 1.

I found one error in the last sentence:

rú guǒ shí guāng kě yǐ dǎo liú ,shì jiè shàng jiāng huì yǒu yī bàn de rén chéng wéi wěi rén

如果时光可以倒流,世界上会有一半的人成为伟人......

The Chinese character text misses the "将". I know, it was just a trick to test us....

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