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New Mandarin Companion 150 Character Graded Reader Level


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Hey guys, just wanted to let you know that we at Mandarin Companion just released our new Breakthrough Level books written using only 150 characters. I know there are all levels of learners here in the forum, but we developed this level to address a specific issue. 


Since John Pasden and I started Mandarin Companion back in 2012, we slowly started to realize that although our books were "easy-to-read" in comparison to many of the other materials out there, for most learners it would still take them several years before they reached the point when they were able to read our Level 1 stories that use just 300 characters. We've talked to countless learners and teachers who had loved the concept of our books, but they still needed something even easier to read. Also, a big problem we found was the dropout rate in Chinese programs is quite high all over the world. Many students will study for one to two years and then feel like their progress is too slow or that they'll never reach a point where they can do anything meaningful with the language and thus they stop studying entirely. 


We felt like we needed to do more to help this generation of Chinese learners succeed at an earlier stage and provide fuel to continue learning Chinese. That's how the idea for this new level came about. 


You can find out more about the level here and you can find the book here. Right now we have the first book in the level out and we'll be releasing four more stories over the summer of 2019. We hope that this is something helpful to you or those you know! 加油!


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3 hours ago, 道艺黄帝 said:

Give me a heads up via PM when the books are up for sale.


Good news, they're up for sale! Just check our website for the links. I will say that if you are studying for the HSK 4, you will get a lot out of the level 1 and 2 books as well. Good luck! 

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Thanks for publishing the new level of book.  I have bought the The Misadventures of Zhou Haisheng and I am working through it. 


Two questions: do you have a list of the 150 characters that it requires (to use with Anki etc) and which e-book format do you recommend? (the kindle format works OK on a PC but seems very clumsy on an iPhone especially when switching back from the notes pages)

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Hey @shika, we don't have the word list out for the new level. As for reading, I think you really need to do what works best for you. For me, reading on a mobile device or a Kindle is fine, but it sounds like you're having trouble with navigating it. I know the main problem is going back to the page you were reading after clicking on a word and going to the glossary. Kindle changed their app a couple years ago that eliminated a "back" button. Many andriod devices will still respond with a back function on the phone. Ultimately, you'll need to do what you feel works best for you. Keep going, you can do it!


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  • 3 months later...

First time buying a graded reader, bought My Teacher is a Martian, Kindle version on Amazon. Love it! Well done on all fronts. Can't wait to read the other 150 and 300 character level ones.


@Rufus If you're out there, I'm curious, do you recommend reading it silently or out loud? https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/44660-eliminating-subvocalisation/ Would you mind putting in your two cents as a publisher?


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