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What kind of Chinese graded readers would you like to see on the market?


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The options for graded readers has been growing steadily. When I first started learning Chinese, there were just a few options. Now there are series like Chinese Breeze and Mandarin Companion Reader series, among others, so lots to choose from.


I'm curious though, what additional kind of stories would you like to see on the market?


Do you prefer heavily abridged novels with ~60-100 pages like the aforementioned series, or would you prefer completely unabridged, 200-300 page novels, though with simplified language reduced to x characters?


Do you prefer translations of existing Western classics? Chinese classics? Or completely original stories? Any particular genre?

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1 hour ago, PerpetualChange said:

What would be far more interesting to me is native content that is curated for learners based on their general level and interests.


Completely agree!

Just grading the difficulty of native material and classifying it by vocabulary, degree of formality and a rough categorization of the content,

that would be something I get excited about.

There are quite some resources that include selected newspaper articles or essays (e.g https://press.princeton.edu/books/paperback/9780691153100/all-things-considered) ,

but I haven't seen anything more broad with a big selection of content.


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 Strong plus to the above.


A while ago, someone posted the following site here, aiming to rate the complexity of various shows and movies:  http://www.jiong3.com/gradedwatching/


If you parse a lot of requests on this website, they have to do with either 1. How do I start reading native content, or 2. What books are even reasonable options for me to be considering.


I don't know exactly what this would look like, but some way of parsing/finding book recommendations for learners would be an amazing tool.  While CTA can be awesome for judging how hard a book will be for me, I still have to spend a bunch of time trying to figure out what books are even reasonable options to parse with CTA.  I usually look at the "what are you reading now" threads here, download some of the suggestions, parse them, and then decide if I am interested in trying.

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On 1/22/2021 at 3:54 AM, Friday said:

Do you prefer heavily abridged novels with ~60-100 pages like the aforementioned series, or would you prefer completely unabridged, 200-300 page novels, though with simplified language reduced to x characters?


Back when I was transitioning from classroom Chinese to authentic Chinese, graded readers were exceptionally helpful. I think they do wonders not just for building direct language ability but also building up softer skills like confidence, comfort with seeing a page that entirely small Chinese characters, the ability to hold names and relationships in Chinese in my head, etc.


With that said, there are plenty of short graded readers. I think longer ones (200-300) that are unabridged but simplified version of real Chinese novels would be the most useful. Another option is doing something like Paul Nation did for English graded readers in which he published the same story at three different levels of vocabulary, each getting increasingly close to the original. Some people (though not me) are content with working through the same story several times and this way allows for steady growth.

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  • 3 months later...
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More options written in Traditional characters (and not just Google-translated from Simplified.) 

Novels that don't involve romances, so that they will better appeal to elementary school kids, not just to teens and adults.  (Reading the short descriptions, so many of the graded readers based on Chinese legends seem to be about romantic relationships.)

Graded Readers in graphic novel format.


The idea above about curating and grading native material sounds good, too.  

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