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Graded readers, by the numbers (characters/words, page count)

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imron
10 hours ago, werewitt said:

the only use I have for it TBH

This use case you describe is one of the main reasons I created CTA, and as you mentioned, even with flawed segmentation, it's usually accurate enough for this purpose.

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mkmyers45

Hello

 

Has anyone in Mainland china being able to find a way or link to buy some of these books? I havent found any in bookshops around and i'll like use the online stores anyone has used. Are they books more tailored to HSK vocabulary lists?

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character

I think http://www.studychineseculture.com/ is a Mainland store.  I've ordered from them (I'm in the US).

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roddy

Yes, and run by a member here, @elina

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mkmyers45

Thanks guys. I'll check them out 

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funnypuppy

Fantastic ideas and resources here!     Another brilliant idea from a friend I met here on chinese-forums:

 

  1. Find a native speaker you like on italki.     
  2. Scan PDF and email the desired material  OR if you don't want to scan, just send a copy of the book to  the teacher
  3. Ask him/her to record mp3 for you. 

 

Most of the process can be handled by Internet.    I'd suggest to find teachers in a lesser developed area of China who could really use the money.

 

Another cool thing is if you have questions or want to talk about the material you can work over the Internet with that teacher, since they'd then have the text as well.

 

 

 

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Moshen

After reading a post in another thread, I'm suddenly interested in trying graded readers. However, I am not sure how to correlate the number of characters/words with HSK level. Can someone please clue me in on that? If I've passed HSK 4 and am halfway through studying HSK 5, does that mean I probably know, say, 1000 characters? Or 1000 words? And would those probably be the same as those in these graded readers? I didn't read every post in this thread, but from skimming through it, I didn't see this question addressed.

Thanks!

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imron
2 hours ago, Moshen said:

does that mean I probably know, say, 1000 characters? Or 1000 words?

See here for a breakdown of how many words and characters are required for each level.

 

At HSK4 it's 1200 words and 1064 characters

At HSK5 it's 2500 words and 1685 characters.

 

2 hours ago, Moshen said:

And would those probably be the same as those in these graded readers?

No.  Not unless the readers were specifically designed with HSK levels in mind because those word/character counts are from the vocabulary lists provided by the HSK.  Real life material (even graded readers) will differ from this, with the differences being more pronounced as your level increases. 

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DavyJonesLocker
3 hours ago, Moshen said:

After reading a post in another thread, I'm suddenly interested in trying graded readers. However, I am not sure how to correlate the number of characters/words with HSK level. Can someone please clue me in on that? If I've passed HSK 4 and am halfway through studying HSK 5, does that mean I probably know, say, 1000 characters? Or 1000 words? And would those probably be the same as those in these graded readers? I didn't read every post in this thread, but from skimming through it, I didn't see this question addressed.

 

Any graded reader will be fine IMO, even the 3000 graded words readers. The only difference is that as imron noted the vocabulary list can be widely different. For example even with an ANKI deck of 6000 words at the time which included all hsk 5 , there was hundreds of unknown words from the 1000 and 1500 Chinese grader reader series 

It's the sentence structure and gramner components that define a grader reader level not the number of unknown words. 

When I read the  HSK5 standard course books I really struggled with the comprehension and needed a teacher. HSK6 is much easier and I have no issues with the unknown words and grammar is pretty much self explanatory in my view (I.e by reading the examples in the grammar section) . Having first reviewed the unknown words for a chapter on HSK6 I can get a 95% understanding level , not something I could do with HSK5.

 So I'd say once you approaching HSK5 material any graded reader is approachable. They only factor being how much you want to stop to keep checking unknown words. However digital copies  and pleco make that process a whole lot smoother.

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Moshen

I have a Kindle.  If I buy a Kindle version of a graded reader, will I be able to highlight a word and have the definition pop up?  Would I need to install a dictionary on the Kindle in order for that to happen? 

 

I did this when I was studying Spanish and found it quite useful, but I don't recall whether I had to specifically install a dictionary to do it.

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Moshen

I've started with the Graded Chinese Reader 500 Words book and I'm kind of scratching my head. I cannot figure out what is the guiding principle governing which words are defined in the glossary in the back of the book, or in footnotes and which are not.

So far, all the words I've tried to look up in the glossary are not there. They only list all the easy words in the glossary?? What's the point of that?

In the first two stories, there are many expressions that get footnoted that I already know, but several key ones that are neither footnoted nor listed in the glossary. The pinyin is provided, but when I look it up elsewhere, the literal meaning doesn't really clarify what the word is supposed to mean in context.

For example, the very last sentence of one story is:

人民的心里都没底了

People's hearts don't have a bottom??

Maybe I can't study this kind of book without a teacher?

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character
22 minutes ago, Moshen said:

Maybe I can't study this kind of book without a teacher?

 

Graded readers vary greatly in what additional material they provide beyond the text.  I would encourage you to ask a question on the forum if you hit a phrase you can't figure out; the administrators can suggest the appropriate place if this isn't it: https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/forum/38-tattoos-names-and-quick-translations/

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DavyJonesLocker
On 6/4/2019 at 8:55 PM, Moshen said:

I have a Kindle.  If I buy a Kindle version of a graded reader, will I be able to highlight a word and have the definition pop up?  Would I need to install a dictionary on the Kindle in order for that to happen? 

 

 

The kindle app has built in free dictionaries (well you download them) and does what you say. The only thing i don't like about them is that the Chinese --> English doesn't seem to have pinyin included in my kindle anyway

I only read graded readers on a tablet and the PLECO OCR, its very easy to look up a word and add it to flash cards should you wish. In fact I read all chinese books on tablet for that matter for this very  reason, as it does become a pain to stop reading a paper version and check your phone dictionary for that word. 

 

I would rather read paper material but as regards learning i find this way much better. The only downside is that its very easy to get into the habit of checking PLECO OCR for a word without really trying to remember it first .

 

16 hours ago, Moshen said:

So far, all the words I've tried to look up in the glossary are not there. They only list all the easy words in the glossary?? What's the point of that?

In the first two stories, there are many expressions that get footnoted that I already know, but several key ones that are neither footnoted nor listed in the glossary. The pinyin is provided, but when I look it up elsewhere, the literal meaning doesn't really clarify what the word is supposed to mean in context.

 

Remember graded readers are not textbooks, they are there to give you frequent exposure to a language without getting bogged down. Don't try to get 100% comprehension. I guarantee that as you progress and look back at a much easy graded reader it will be dead obvious what the meaning was. I guess the authors try to keep the word list and footnotes to a minimum to avoid it becoming a textbook. It's hard for them to be aware of who knows what words and grammar. Further they are a step along the way to reading a real book which naturally won't include a word list

 

I and my classmates at the start had the same grievances about incomplete word lists, It is prevalent in just about every graded reader and text book I ever came across. It was frustrating to see a word like a noun included, and yet leave out a much harder ones like a proposition, conjunctions. I never bother with the included definitions now and go straight to PLECO as at times I found the included definition is misleading 

 

Also I would recommend listening to the audio included, as often the tome of the voice gives away the real meaning. 

 

 

EDIT ****

 

16 hours ago, Moshen said:

I've started with the Graded Chinese Reader 500 Words book and I'm kind of scratching my head. I cannot figure out what is the guiding principle governing which words are defined in the glossary in the back of the book, or in footnotes and which are not.

 

 

 

I just noticed which one. I 100% recommend buying the PLECO built in graded readers option. 

 

 

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