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New Practical Chinese Reader - good books!


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Does anyone know what the "required" vocabulary means at the back of the first 4 books?


Each book will say how many sentences, characters and words you would have mastered after finishing that book, but for example, the end of book 4 says "you have mastered about 2,400 elementary vocabulary items (of which 1,900 are required).


I can't work out whether it means.


1 - if you learn every word from the lessons you would know 1,900, but if you also learn every supplementary word you would know 2,400?

2 - as these books are fit along HSK, maybe the 1,900 are HSK related words?

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  • 1 month later...
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Hey everyone!

I need a new textbook that corresponds more with the HSK. I worked with a rather fun, yet pretty untructured textbook until now-nearly no characters used (only Pīnyīn), the vocab was kind of weird (I am able to call dozens of fruits by their name, but haven't learned any verbs except 是...). Since I want to take the HSK 1 sometime in late summer/early autumn, I think I need a different textbook. The NPCR seems to be a classic for Mandarin learners, but I'm unsure whether it will be good for my speaking skills, because that definitely was a great aspect of my old book: it really put great importance on pronunciation and speaking. I know that the NPCR comes with an Audio CD, but how much stuff is on that CD exactly? Only some vocab said out loud, or actual exercises (like dialogues you need to participate in, for example)?

Thanks for answers!

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Hi Lou,


I guess this is the wrong thread, but as this is my first post, I don't know what to do about it.


You write that you live in Germany, so I feel free to recommend you some German books. In Munich, there is a Chinese language school that also publishes books for language learning. I leant about them at too late a stage (they only cover material on the HSK 1 to HSK 4 level), but the books I saw are very detailed, well-made, thorough and what I liked most of all is that they put a huge effort into writing stories that are fairly long and interesting (which can't be easy with the limited range of words they can use), plus they also deal with real life situations (this is particularly true for the Ziel HSK 3, Ziel HSK 4 Lesebücher). So it's not only HSK preparation, it will also improve your general level of Chinese. You might take a look at http://www.huang-verlag.de/HSK.html (preparation for HSK level, including CDs for listening comprehension) and http://www.huang-verlag.de/Chinesisch.html (the Sprachtraining CD). It certainly isn't inexpensive, but I think it is worth taking a look at. Good luck!

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I use the NPCR text books and I think they are very good. The audio that comes with it varies very slightly from lesson to lesson depending on the lesson contents.


It reads out the main text of the lesson, the little story or dialogue, then the list of new words. Then there may be some dialogues to join in or fill in missing parts. Some lessons also have some pronunciation drills.


The workbook also comes with audio and this is usually more about listening and filling in blanks, choosing the correct tone, more pronunciation drills and dialogue role play.


There are also videos available on You Tube of the lesson dialogue or text.


IMO to get the best from these text books you need to use all the material available,  The work book is very useful and there is an answer key book available so you can check your work and really get the best from it. Very useful, especially if you are self studying.


The other book I use is Schaum's Outline Grammar Book. Very good, simple but thorough grammar explanation.


With Pleco for my dictionaries and flashcards this is pretty much my core material for my self study. I do have other books (quite a few really) which I dip into now and again and I have tried other textbooks but I find this combination works best for me.


Hope this helps.


Edit: I would also recommend Hanzi Grids for character practice.

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Thanks for the two replies!

The Ziel HSK X-books sound really nice. I'll consider them for my HSK 2. Thanks!

For now, I think I'm going to go with the NPCR for the HSK1.

Thanks for the additional material recommendations, too! I have Hanzi grids, but I'll definitely check out the grammar book-I still need a good grammar explaining book. Also, the workbook might be worth a look.


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  • 3 months later...

The solutions are in a separate book.


The series comes as separate books for textbook, workbook and answer key book for each volume 1,2,3 and 4 etc.


Not a stupid question, :)  if you don't know, you have to ask.

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