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greenet09

Where to buy graded readers in Taipei?

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greenet09

Hello,

 

I'm just a beginning learner, but I've gotten through a couple of the Mandarin Companion (traditional) books and they've really helped me to consolidate a lot of my self-study.  They've also helped a lot with my general reading skills. Long story short, I want to keep reading as much as I can, but at the level of high beginner/low intermediate. The problem is that most of the graded reader series seemed to be only available in simplified (which I want to avoid for now). 

 

In the graded reader thread, some of you mentioned the DeFrancis books and the Yale Written Chinese book. I'd be very interested in buying hard copies of these--the problem is I don't know where to buy/find them. Or if anyone can recommend a traditional Chinese reader with audio included, I would be extremely grateful.

 

I've gone to the Chinese section at ESLite on Dunhua RD, but I didn't find any there (or maybe I couldn't read the titles). I'm not a university student, so I haven't checked at NTU or NTNU.  Does anyone have a recommendation for the best place to find these kinds of graded readers in Taipei?

 

Thanks,

 

Travis

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TheBigZaboon

@Travis,

 

I've been to a number of the general bookstores in Taipei, and found they are a mixed bag. Some have good selections for foreigners learning Mandarin, but often a lot of stores have books more oriented towards non-Mandarin Chinese speakers who want to improve their Mandarin. So these books are often from Hong Kong, with no grammatical explanation, and no vocabulary help beyond pinyin.

 

The best selection will probably be available at the Lucky Bookstore which seems to be the (semi-official???) student bookstore for the Chinese program at NTNU. There are a number of items about this bookstore in One-Eye's series of threads on the Chinese course at NTNU. It is pretty easy to find, even the gate guards at NTNU know where to send you. So there is no need to even go onto the school property to ask directions. . When I went to the Lucky Bookstore, they were extremely helpful and very accommodating. When it was obvious that I was going to be there browsing for a long time, the women running the shop even brought out a little table for my wife (who has no interest in studying Chinese) to write postcards, and then they served her coffee. I went there a couple of years ago, so the books available have surely changed in the interim, but there seems to be a series of academic-style readers that parallels Practical Audio-Visual Chinese, as well as a number of other textbooky type offerings. But there are a fair number of other, less academic, things there, too. Best to go see for yourself.

 

As for the Defrancis series, they are all available on Amazon. There are both new and used versions, so you can probably find something to meet your budget requirements. I have had very, very good experiences with the used booksellers on Amazon (both US and UK), and I have found that you can usually trust their evaluation of the physical condition of the book itself. Sometimes, I don't even look at new books if the price is too high. The audio for the entire Defrancis series is available for free on iTunes, and there is a thread for that somewhere here, too.

 

Just remember, the Defrancis Readers are just that. They are excellent examples of basic Chinese usage, maybe a bit dated, but excellent for implanting a feeling for the way Chinese says what it wants to say. They are intended to introduce you to the characters that are then repeated on a controlled basis. But they are not textbooks of Chinese grammar, and have no explanations beyond some translated examples. There are textbooks, however. And it is explained in the intro to the series that there is a lag of eight to ten chapters between the Basic Chinese textbook and the Basic Chinese Reader. You are expected to have mastered the first eight to ten chapters in the textbook before starting the Reader. The reader is then self-explanatory. 

 

Hope this helps.

 

TBZ

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Geiko

Or if anyone can recommend a traditional Chinese reader with audio included, I would be extremely grateful. 

 

I read a series of graded readers called 中文讀本, with CD included. As far as I know, there are only six books in total (three at the beginner level, one at the intermediate, and two at the advanced one), and I bought them online, so no clue about where to find them in Taipei.

They have their own thread in the forums: www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/24736-chinese-readers-beats-chinese-breeze-to-traditional-market/

 

Edit: now I see that the person who opened that thread mentioned that he bought the books in Eslite, you could go there and ask.

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roddy

Welcome to the site, Travis, and thanks for the useful posts above!

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li3wei1
When it was obvious that I was going to be there browsing for a long time, the women running the shop even brought out a little table for my wife (who has no interest in studying Chinese) to write postcards, and then they served her coffee.

 

Taiwan's a great place, isn't it?

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Geiko

@greenet09, here you can see the complete 中文讀本 series (all of them in traditional characters, the simplified version was never published, as far as I know).
I browsed the Eslite webpage, and some of them are out of stock, but others are not:

初級本:
晏子 (Isbn: 9789570834956) Available
你愛我嗎? (9789570834963) Out of stock
中國笑話 (9789570834949) Available

中級本:
西遊記 (9789570834932) Available

高級本:
成語故事 (9789570834918) Available
心結 (9789570834925) Out of stock

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