Jump to content
Learn Chinese in China

Textbooks for reading

Guest phipongkhang

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone!


Would you be so kind as to recommend me textbooks which put emphasis predominantly on reading texts and detailed grammar explanations.


You see, I'm not interested in dialogues, in training of speaking skills, learning of vernacular language, etc. I just want to read books on my subjects (religion studies, anthropology, etc.) in Chinese, not to talk about my grandparents.


p.s.: I have been studying Thai language for 3 years, so I will not have so many problems with phonetics (with tones, in particular), it's another issue.

Link to comment
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.

Hey there,


My textbook does comprehension and grammar very well.  It's called Developing Chinese: Comprehension and has 6 levels.  Here's a link to the amazon for Elementary (1)




The style is like this:  There are 15 chapters.  Each one starts off with 35-50 new vocabulary words, then a long text which uses all of them.  There are comprehension check questions as you go along.  The rest of the chapter focuses on grammar prevalent in the text, how to use it and what it means.



If you live in China, I've seen it cheaper in most bookstores in Shanghai.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I have precisely the answer that you are looking for!

I was browsing through a bookstore in Flushing (NYC's largest Chinese community), and I found one copy of possibly the best book I've ever seen for teaching reading comprehension in Chinese. It is called 'Practical Chinese Reading & Writing (2010)', aka 實用中文讀寫 (the 'writing' portion is covered by the accompanying workbook, which they did not carry in-store). There are two volumes in this series. The main content is written in traditional characters, with English explanations, but a simplified-character appendix is provided in the back (including all simplified-character versions of all the readings). There are no phonetic annotations for the reading and grammar sections, but the vocabulary section offers both Zhuyin (as ruby text) and Hanyu Pinyin (as supplementary text). The introduction is very brief and outlines the most important aspects of the construction and logic of Chinese characters. There is a glossary in the back that offers traditional characters annotated with Zhuyin, simplified characters, Hanyu Pinyin, and English definitions. This book is surprisingly affordable considering its offerings and sheer amount of content (you can order it new on Amazon). I already own all five books of its companion series: Practical Audio-Visual Chinese (實用視聽華語), which focuses on speaking/conversation and listening comprehension. The reading/writing series is even better because it cuts out all of the fluff and gets straight to the point. However, reading the first two installments of the speaking/listening series is extremely helpful before beginning this book, but not necessary.




For those who want to learn with Zhuyin, I've crafted this chart demonstrating the beautiful logic and phonological symmetry of the system:




It is meant to have an accompanying read-along audio file (for organic consumption), which is why there are no Pinyin or IPA annotations.

Link to comment
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.

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...