For most people, learning to read Chinese is incredibly intimidating. The characters are complicated and are easily mistaken for each other. It’s easy to rely on pinyin as a crutch and focus on other areas of study.
However, learning to read Chinese will have significant benefits that carry over to more than just reading. It will help improve your grammar and sentence structure, along with vocabulary, which will carry over into your speaking and listening skills. And, as someone who loves to read, it’s just fun to do.
Like anything, it just takes some practice. Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to find places to practice reading Chinese. As you’re learning, it’s important to find texts at an appropriate level to practice with.
If you try reading native texts too early, you’ll get frustrated, spend too much time looking up words, and won’t enjoy reading. Likewise, if you read stuff that’s too easy, you won’t progress as quickly as you’d like and end up bored.
Don’t underestimate the importance of reading about topics you enjoy. Even if your Chinese level is equivalent to that of a four-year-old, that doesn’t mean you have to read texts written for four-year-old kids. You can find articles about music, science, current events and Chinese culture, among other things, written at a degree of difficulty that matches your Chinese level.
This post is going to introduce you to a variety of resources, both free and paid, that you can use to practice reading Chinese.