Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

trisha2766

NPCR and Harry Potter

Recommended Posts

trisha2766

I'm working on NPCR3 right now and hope to finish it by the end of the year - doing one chapter a week. Then I plan to start book 4 and work through it at the same rate. I don't know if I will be able to keep up that pace though yet or not.

I would like to be able to start reading the Harry Potter books in Chinese soon. After I finish book 3, how difficult do you think it would be? Would it be better to start after finishing book 4?

I expect that there will be words in the books that just aren't going to be taught in any textbook that I will have to look up on my own. If I have to look up too many though, it could be too time consuming and frustrating.

One thing that might help would be to read somewhat simpler books before I start Harry Potter. I like reading kids books, and found it helpful with Spanish, but I can't find as many kids books in Chinese compared to Spanish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

querido
I like reading kids books, and found it helpful with Spanish

In Spanish, yes, me too!

I have a gift for you.

The gift is an idea that has generated little interest in the forum for some reason.

Do you know about the P.E.P. Yuwen series viewable on the internet for free?

Go to http://www.pep.com.cn/ and fish around with the Chinese you know or with peraperakun (sorry I don't have a direct link at the moment and I'm in a hurry). The complete set of textbooks and coordinated reading books for grades 1-6 are viewable there. Grade 6 is pretty advanced. Another huge plus is that you can get aquainted with your true level there... and know where to go from there! (I downloaded the whole thing, but they were so beautiful I eventually had to buy it.) Let me know if you use this idea. Gotta go now...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
renzhe

You won't know if it's too hard until you try.

I did a lesson per week. It's doable, if you do enough revision and don't forget the vocabulary you've learned.

Just a word of caution -- when you first start reading, it will seem extremely difficult. It gets easier after a while, but it will be frustrating at first, there's no getting around it.

What I found useful to bridge the gap between textbook and books was comics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kdavid
After I finish book 3, how difficult do you think it would be?

Extremely difficult.

After I finished all five volumes I still struggled to read newspapers. Something like Harry Potter is going to have a lot of colorful and literary language (I assume).

If your goal is to eventually read literature (or anything at a decent level), I highly recommend the Boya series. Once you finished NPCR 5, start with Boya Intermediate (2 volumes) and then move on to the Advanced (3 volumes).

At Advanced 3, you're reading essays that high school students in China read for their big exams--so you'll be reading at a high school level. NPCR will only get you to a basic intermediate level.

Also, if you're developing your oral skills as well, you'll need to supplement Boya with something else like Chinesepod. As with any series, you're going to learn a lot of words that you'll never use in day-to-day conversation, such as 10 different ways to say "momentum".

I expect that there will be words in the books that just aren't going to be taught in any textbook that I will have to look up on my own. If I have to look up too many though, it could be too time consuming and frustrating.

This isn't going to get any easier even once you've finished Boya. When I started reading literature I found novels online and read them in Mozilla with the mouse-over dictionary add-on. Every time I came across a word I didn't know, I'd put it in ZDT. I'd read until I had accumulated 50 new words, then stop. I'd study those new words over the day, and then pick up from where I left off the next day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
renzhe
After I finished all five volumes I still struggled to read newspapers. Something like Harry Potter is going to have a lot of colorful and literary language (I assume).

Actually, I still struggle with newspapers, after reading loads of books.

Personally, I'd say that Chinese newspapers are among the most difficult stuff you can read, due to specialised vocab and extreme shortening of many words.

I wouldn't be surprised if Harry Potter were much easier than an average newspaper.

But this is where knowing lots of characters really helps. NPCR3 doesn't really teach that many. It's a great textbook, but I'd supplement it with separate flashcard vocab study along with reading. That's what I did and it worked for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
trisha2766

Thanks!

querido - I am interested in that idea! I'm not sure if I found the right thing though. I found this book: http://www.pep.com.cn/xiaoyu/huodong/fangjia/sjxs/dsl/xsb/200807/t20080710_489124.htm - but it has a '7' at the top of the cover, so I'm guessing its more advanced. Not that its that hard, but it doesn't look like first grade level to me. I like the pictures too and the bigger font size.

I found this page too: http://www.pep.com.cn/xiaoyu/ - which looks like it has links on the left numbered up to 6 - but I can't seem to find anything that looks like reading text.

And how much did they cost and can they be shipped to the US?

renzhe - I've been doing a chapter of NPCR a week for a while now, but I just never know when something in life might come up and take up all my time. I've found if I review the past 3-5 chapters a few times each week I can usually remember the vocabulary.

I can see how comic books might be helpful, but I was never into reading them in English so I don't that I would be able to find any that interest me in Chinese or not. I wonder if you can get simple Monkey King comic books? That might be interesting.

kdavid - I think renzhe is probably right about newspapers being more difficult to read than Harry Potter. I've looked through the HP books, and although it wouldn't be impossible for me to read now, it would be a big challenge. And a big pain to have to look up so many characters.

I'm taking classes at a local Chinese school, so I am getting some practice speaking. But I will need a lot more. My husband works with many people from China and some have offered to help me out, but I know their time is limited too. I'm hoping that by summer anyway, that they might be able to spend some time letting me practice with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
renzhe

For remembering characters and words, you should look into smart flashcard programs like Mnemosyne or Anki. If you enter the new vocabulary after each lesson, they will figure out the optimal repetitions and reduce your load.

But I recommend giving it a shot. If, after a chapter, it still feels like no fun at all, you should wait for a while. If it's difficult, but you can get the gist of the story, you should keep pushing on, as it gets easier after a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron
I'd say that Chinese newspapers are among the most difficult stuff you can read, due to specialised vocab and extreme shortening of many words.
For me, I find the opposite is true, that newspapers are easier than novels. Mainly because novels typically tend to employ lots of less common descriptive language. Newspapers are much more plain in this respect. Obviously it depends on the newspaper, but if its just a plain old ordinary newspaper rather than one aimed at a particular market (financial newspapers etc), I find them easier than novels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
renzhe

I won't disagree with you, but it will depend on the newspaper, and it will depend on the novel.

Once you're into a novel, know the main characters and have gotten used to the vocabulary, it kind of rolls on its own.You don't need to understand every sentence to plod along (though you'll be missing out on a part of it). A newspaper article is short, condensed, brimming with information, and each article is on a different topic.

Something like 鲁迅 will obviously be a mouthfull, even compared to complicated magazines. But something like 巴金 reads very smoothly, with no strange language constructs, relatively common vocabulary , and plenty of redundancy, which is important when you don't understand every word. I'm guessing that Harry Potter is closer to that end of the spectrum, but I admit that I haven't read it.

In any case, struggling with a newspaper shouldn't discourage you from attempting to read stories, novels, or other material. As long as you find material you are interested in, and which is at the right level for you, it is one of the best things you can do to improve many aspects of your Chinese.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
querido

Here are the links. I point out again that these can be viewed for free.

Texts: http://www.pep.com.cn/xiaoyu/jiaoshi/tbjxzy/kbjiaocai/

Reading: http://www.pep.com.cn/xiaoyu/jiaoshi/tbjxzy/yuedu/

Writing: http://www.pep.com.cn/xiaoyu/jiaoshi/tbjxzy/xzjiaocai/

And how much did they cost and can they be shipped to the US?

Very little, and yes.

More posted by me on this subject here: http://www.chinese-forums.com/showpost.php?p=198509&postcount=20

Here is a thread about buying from China. I was nervous at first but after a half a dozen times I no longer worry any more than I do over any other internet purchase. http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/16310-buying-chinese-books-online-and-shipping-to-the-us

In the following I'm referring to reading comprehension, and I realize that full coordination will not be possible because my listening and speaking will never be native. But, I figure that once I know my grade level within the Chinese educational system and get coordinated with it, all the materials *designed for that level*, with *vocabulary controlled accordingly by the standards they've established*, then a whole world of graduated literature will open up. This world can be glimpsed at, for example, dangdang (a Chinese language equivalent of Amazon, I think) where one can browse literature for students. I saw for example editions of some of the usual classics U.S. schoolchildren read in Grade School, whose vocabularies are (presumably) suitably controlled, ...simplified versions of Chinese classics ...textbooks in **other subjects** at every grade level, etc.

As a small child I looked up and saw things I couldn't understand on higher shelves. Naturally, they were fascinating because they held secrets I felt compelled to unlock. If my road in Chinese can be made to parallel that even a tiny bit, it would "leverage" that experience. Studying these children's books, I get little echos from the happiest time in my life, and that is worth a lot to me.

Edited by querido

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mouseneb

I am currently reading HP6 (Half Blood Prince) in Chinese online. It's very difficult, but I've read the whole series in English already, so I know the story and that helps a lot. I love reading it online because I can just copy and paste bits I don't know into the online dictionary, get the meaning, and go on reading. I'm currently not keeping track of every word or character I didn't know, because it would be overwhelming and discouraging. Instead, I am picking and choosing the ones I feel ready to learn, and just not worrying about the rest. I find I can learn quite a bit of vocab and grammar sort of "passively" this way. I am studying a couple of Chinese textbooks and I find the words I've studied recently all the time while reading HP. Great way to review, and see the vocab in context. Here's the website with the books, they have plenty else besides HP if you have different interests.

http://vip.book.sina.com.cn/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gato
Personally, I'd say that Chinese newspapers are among the most difficult stuff you can read, due to specialised vocab and extreme shortening of many words.

I think "literary" novels are harder, too, as they require a larger vocabulary. I'm surprised that you can read Jin Yong novels but find newspapers hard. Which papers have you tried?

Have you tried 南方周末? http://www.infzm.com/

This thread offers more recommendations:

http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/2-favourite-chinese-musician3193&highlight=newspaper

Best Chinese Newspaper 最好的中文日报

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
renzhe

I didn't say that Jin Yong was easy :wink::mrgreen:

Have you tried 南方周末? http://www.infzm.com/

I got stuck at the first headline :) It's some kind of bribery scandal involving a principal, but without a dictionary, I can't tell you what exactly.

In general, I can get the gist if I concentrate, but it's not easy.

But maybe it's because I don't live in China and my main sources of vocab are literary. In any case, I find 巴金 orders of magnitude easier :conf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron

How about this from page 2 of 金庸's 书剑恩仇录:

沅芷女弟青览:

汝心灵性敏,好学善问,得徒如此,夫复何憾。然汝有立雪之心,而愚无时雨之化,三载滥

竽,愧无教益,缘尽于此,后会有期。汝智变有余,而端凝不足,古云福慧双修,日后安身

立命之道,其在修心积德也。愚陆高止白。

:mrgreen:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
renzhe

I'm not convinced that this was a truly random sample :mrgreen:

Here's the first sentence I ran into when opening 射雕英雄传:

他说到这里,华筝“啊”的一声,从石上翻身坐起,叫到:“郭靖,爹爹不信我的话,已到王罕那里去啦。” 郭靖大吃一惊,忙问:“他怎么不信?”

Now, that's easier than anything in that newspaper.

True, Jin Yong can be nasty in places, but taken as a whole novel, with the context, it's completely doable. Anyway, I never claimed Jin Yong was the measure of easiness.

But maybe I'm reading too much literary stuff and not enough newspapers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron
I'm not convinced that this was a truly random sample
It was the first passage I got stuck on in the first Jin Yong book I started reading :mrgreen:
But maybe I'm reading too much literary stuff and not enough newspapers.
Quite possibly. Like I've said time and time again, if you want to learn to read newspapers the best thing to do is read newspapers. To me the title was pretty clear:

武大 (i.e. 武汉大学 - Wuhan University) 官网 (i.e. 官方网站 - official website)发布消息称(announced that) 副校长与副书记 the vice principal and vice party secretary 涉嫌受贿被捕 have been arrested on suspicion of bribery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
renzhe

It took me about 10 minutes to figure out that 武大 is 武汉大学 :D I knew it was an abbreviation of some sort, but that's it. And stuff like 官网 is exactly the reason why I find articles difficult. They use all these abbreviations that you basically need to learn.

Anyway, my main message was that struggling with newspapers shouldn't discourage you from trying easier novels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron
Anyway, my main message was that struggling with newspapers shouldn't discourage you from trying easier novels.
And by the same token, struggling with headlines shouldn't prevent you from reading newspaper articles :mrgreen:

If you'd read the first sentence of the article, you could have saved yourself 10 minutes:

武汉大学副校长陈昭方与副书记龙小乐涉嫌受贿被捕一事,10月9日晚间,武汉大学官方网站上登出了一则题为.....:mrgreen:
The newspapers usually teach you the abbreviations and the more you read the better you get at it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
renzhe
And by the same token, struggling with headlines shouldn't prevent you from reading newspaper articles

True.

Actually, what prevents me from reading them is that I don't find them interesting. I don't read many newspapers in general.

In any case, even that sentence is more complicated than anything in 家 and probably much of Harry Potter. In my opinion, of course.

Edited by renzhe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
trisha2766

renzhe - I've been using old fashioned index cards for flash cards. Yes, its primitive, but so far it still works for me.

Glancing through the first HP book, I think I should wait a little while. Today I did finish reading another book though: 鸽子检到一个热狗 ! Yes, its a little kids book, but it was cute. I had to look up quite a few characters too though to do it - it was work, but it was fun.

querido - thanks! That is so cool! I might send you a pm at some point about it.

Mouseneb - did you read the earlier books in the series in Chinese too? I'm guessing that they start out a little easier to read, and then get a bit more complex as it goes on. Plus, I'm hoping that many of the new words learned in the first book would be repeated in the later books.

I find the words I've studied recently all the time while reading HP. Great way to review, and see the vocab in context.

I agree, I definitely saw that with Spanish. Somehow seeing or hearing a word that is new in more than one context makes it easier to remember! I just had that happen English too! I heard a word I didn't know on a TV show last night, and then my husband was watching something that used the word today too. Now I'll probably remember it forever. Not that it was a useful word.

As far as the newspaper excerpts and Jin Yong go - I'm sticking with the kid stuff for a long, long time! Those were definitely too hard for me!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...