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heqi_liegou

Something to read with a daily life vocabulary? (HSK6 at halfway level)

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LiMo

I also strongly recommend novels. A good trick is to use the Chinese translation of something you've already read (Hacking Chinese, 2012). I'm reading Harry Potter at the moment, it's going slow due to other life commitments (and the strong lure of English language books) but I'm probably only at HSK5 and I'm doing OK. Just learn to put up with not understanding every single character or sentence and you will be fine.

 

Regarding useless vocab, like someone else said, I don't put any effort into learning the specialised subject matter, I use my initiative to select things that seem likely to be useful, e.g. sentence patterns, and vocab that obviously have real world application.

Considering the OP seems wary of novels translations make perfect sense, OK so there won't be as much Chinese culture and specific vocabulary for that, but it will get him/her used to reading novels in Chinese. A transition from graded readers to native novels would most likely be very difficult and perhaps discouraging. I recommend a smooth transition.

 

(Interesting fact: I haven't read these books in ages but reading them in Chinese sometimes brings back the exact scene and phrases word-for-word used in the English version as I read. I know it's a translation and that's kind of the point, but I'm surprised I remember them so clearly anyway.)

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Basil

Silent, those word counts are different from the books I have:

 

许三观: 178千

活着: 136千

平凡世界: 1100千

 

Does Imron's analyser compare the characters in the text with the most frequently occurring characters in general use?

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imron
Of course, I like this kind of novels, and I come across some not so useful vocabulary

I agree with this, and that these kind of books can be great, however I also would caution against using them as a first novel due to the amount of transliterations and other things that Chinese doesn't really have words for.  Once you can easily parse sentences and spot things such as transliterations and funny words in a way that is easy to skip over them then sure, go for it.

 

 

Silent, those word counts are different from the books I have:

Two things that might account for the difference - 1) electronic versions can be different from the printed one and 2) CTA excludes punctuation but I strongly suspect character counts listed in the cover pages of a novel don't.  It'd be interesting to see the total unicode codepoints value from CTA for comparison.

 

 

Does Imron's analyser compare the characters in the text with the most frequently occurring characters in general use?

No.  And this is on purpose.  Frequently occurring characters in general use are not necessarily going to be frequently occurring characters in the material you are reading.

 

Instead, CTA provides you with frequency information for the text you are analysing, which is far more useful - e.g. you can use it to learn the next top 20 frequently occurring unknown words, sorted by order of appearance in the novel.

 

Edit: I should also point out, CTA doesn't really provide much in the way of 'character' statistics.  CTA uses 'words' as the primary unit of analysis because that is what the language is made up of.

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imron

许三观: 178千

活着: 136千

Ok, using the link above to xiaoshuotxt and running these through CTA, total unicode codepoints is 104k for 活着 and 142k for 许三观, which is still large enough to be interesting.  Hmm, I wonder what is responsible for the discrepancy.

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edelweis

don't those online versions often have missing chapters?

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imron

They often do, but if that's the reason, it's a substantial amount missing.

 

I've checked with a completely different program the total unicode codepoints in both files and they match the answer CTA gave, so I don't think the problem is on CTA's side.

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xuefang

I have another suggestion that OP and others around the HSK6 level might find useful. On WeChat there are plenty of articles to be found from different accounts you can follow, for example recently I read about our Finnish education in Chinese by idushu1984. I copy the article to Pleco's document reader and as I read add new and interesting words to my flash cards where I can review them later. All comfortably on my iPhone when taking the metro or a bus.

So if you don't want to or have time to read a whole book, reading shorter articles can be very helpful as well. Easy to find topics that interest you.

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Silent

 

Silent, those word counts are different from the books I have:

First of all, I put the disclaimer there for a reason :) (Illegally) downloaded books are not always perfect and I did encounter some problems when reading 许三观卖血记. There may also be small differences due to overhead such as prefaces etc, these are edition dependent and ripped books may exclude them. Differences however look very big too me and my paper editions agree with your figures so my guess would be that my downloaded versions are of poor quality.

 

I think however that the figures are still of some use. It's not so much the absolute numbers of characters/words but the number of characters/words compared to the total length, the variety, that is relevant for the difficulty. If you combine the books and analyse them the amount of unique vocabulary will far exceed that of the individual books. Vocabulary is only a very rough proxy for difficulty anyway. Grammar, writing style and subject (difficulty of the vocabulary) also weigh in.

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Basil

Very depressing news Imron.

 

In that case I read over 200,000 commas and full stops...

 

So much for my reading progress charts...

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