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Marguerite

"Simple Chinese" news sites to read

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Marguerite

Short version: Are there good news sites to read in very simple Chinese? If so, please share what they are.

 

Long version:

 

When I was in Sweden, one of the things I found very useful was "lättläst", or simplified / "easy-to-read". To borrow from the lättläst website, "An easy-to-read text often has short sentences, simple words, and pictures that are easy to understand. Content is often concrete and follows a logical thought (pattern)." That is, focus on simplifying the language, not just the content. (No "man eats wife" news there - go to thelocal.se for that!)

 

I became a huge fan of 8sidor.se, the weekly news in lättläst / simplified Swedish. RFI has a "français facile" version, Voice of America uses "Special English" (and there is a "Simple English" Wikipedia site), and so on. However, does such a thing exist for reading the news or current affairs Chinese? Or rather, are there any particular sites you'd recommend? So far, I've found the following:

 

Special Chinese from CNTV Seems to be mostly focused on listening.

Popup Chinese's News In Chinese Machine-annotated, no pictures, and uses vocabulary like "plenary session". (Well, it presumably is what was in the article, but wasn't exactly what I was going for.)

Webcasts of biweekly news summaries, provided by NCLRC Audio again, and only through 2012?

There's the BBC and the various Chinese news organisations, but those are definitely not simple!

http://chineselevel.com/ A site which tests you and then makes article suggestions based on your results. So far, this seems the most interesting, but I'm not sure whether I'll have to retake the test each time I want new results. It also estimates that I know about 6,000 Chinese words, and I know that's flat-out incorrect. I've been studying for a month, so if you say 60, sure, but not 600 and definitely not 6,000. I can't find a way to browse the items, so I've no idea what the beginner-tagged bits are like.

 

I feel like I must be searching for the wrong thing, as I'll be surprised if something similar doesn't already exist. I'm pretty sure that the board collectively knows just about every resource out there, so please share what you know!

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tooironic

I would also like to see more of what the OP is looking for.

The links for the mp3s on "Special Chinese from CNTV" are broken for me. Anyone know a way around this?

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hackinger

Hi,

 

Re:"Special Chinese from CNTV"

 

I cannot download the mp3 files either. I discovered the site some time ago, but since they had stopped writing new articles in July 2012 I never really started reading them.

 

However this time I discovered the footnote which states that the articles are done in collaboration with iMandarinPod.com

http://www.imandarinpod.com/hoola/index.php/special-chinese?limitstart=0

 

One can download the mp3 files there or listen to them  online. One can also  read the transcripts online. Only if one wants to read the learning guide one needs to register.

I did not register, but just listened to the latest news item in special chinese. The news item is first read at slow speed and then at (almost) normal speed.

If the slow version is too slow one has to manually find the start of the fast version which does not take very long with the downloaded mp3 file, because the speaking speed difference is striking.

 

 I will listen to at least the next few  news items in special Chinese and see how I like it.

 

Cheers

 

hackinger

 

Edit: See also this somewhat related thread, which asks for 4th grade level  newspapers: http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/40855-whats-the-usa-today-equivalent/

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Ruben von Zwack

I discovered that foot note yesterday, too - thanks, OP! Nifty side effect of your question.

 

I registered and you'll get a proper vocabulary sheet, which I like. I hope they will keep up publishing these. So often, you click on a promising link and find they stopped publishing in 2011 or 2012.

 

But one question, hackinger, where on imandarin do you find current news in special chinese? I guess I'm blind...

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Marguerite

Thanks for the link, hackinger. I'd found a few previous threads on newspaper recommendations, but none covered quite what I was looking for.  I'd ideally like something more in the 500-ish word range, though 1000 and under or 1500 and under would also be good to know. I imagine that even the "4th-grade" standard is way more than that, though.

 

Ruben, hackinger's link takes me directly to the Simple Chinese news list. Otherwise, in the red horizontal bar, there's a link to 'Special Chinese'. Along the left navigation bar, under 'User Menu', there's also a link to Special Chinese transcripts.

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milestones

There is a paid site www.gurulu.com which provides with HSK Levels in mind.

 

For actual news sources, I find the Chinese nytimes the best, mainly because high quality English and Chinese can exist side by side.   

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Marguerite

Thanks, milestones. I'm looking at that site, and hope to find some costs and things up there.

 

Yeah, as I get better, I'll have more options available to me. For now, though, there are times that I want the Chinese Breeze parody videos, and sometimes I want discussion of (for example) Switzerland's new Guaranteed Basic Income scheme. Much easier to get the former than the latter with my limited vocab, though. ;)

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Ania

Thank you so much for all the suggestions! I'm constantly looking for something to read in Chinese, but at my level reading regular Chinese websites is simply impossible. Any website that has simplified texts is of interest to me.

 

But I agree that something is wrong with the http://chineselevel.com/  testing system. It shows me that I know more than 5000 words and would understand about 81% of words in a Chinese newspaper, which clearly is not true!! I would probably believe if it told me 500, but 5000? Definitely not the case. Plus, do you have to take the test every time you go to the website???

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Marguerite

I sent a tweet to the designer, and he acknowledges that there are lots of faults. He is apparently working on version 2.0 now, but I didn't get a projected release date from him.

 

Admin note - split a bunch of topics to here

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Cartoz

I second JRC, The Chairman's Bao is excellent for this type of graded reading Chinese material. They now have iOS and Android apps which are brilliant! 

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Luxi

At an intermediate to advanced level, but useful and - I think - written in reasonably straightforward Chinese:

 

http://www.chinanews.com/

 

It links to a site in English. Although this doesn't offer straight translations of the Chinese news articles, it contains enough information to help in reading the Chinese.

 

http://www.ecns.cn/

 

My impression is that the BBC and other Western bilingual sites for Chinese news, like New York Times and the Financial Times, are generally written in a more 'literary' Chinese than many standard PRC Chinese news articles.

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