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.
The Du Chinese app is quite possibly the best designed Chinese learning app around. I don’t know if it’s the best app overall to learn Chinese but the developers really did an outstanding job. In this review, I’ll tell you more about Du Chinese and help you decide whether or not it’s worth the subscription cost.
First off, I just have to reiterate how smooth and well made this app is. It’s about as sexy as a Chinese learning app can be. It packs all of the features I would want into a clean interface that can be customized to fit your preferences.
Across the top of the screen is the English translation of the currently highlighted sentence. I love that you can tap it to show or hide the translation. If it always showed the English, I’d likely feel it was a crutch and use it too much. However, without it, there would be instances where I’m not certain I understood the sentence correctly. I like hiding the English and then using it to check comprehension later if I’m confused about something.
What is The Chairman’s Bao
The Chairman’s Bao (TCB) is an online newspaper for people learning Chinese. It’s one of the best resources out there and I highly recommend it to everyone.
TCB offers news articles rewritten and simplified for people studying Chinese. They are categorized from HSK 1 to HSK 6+ with new articles coming out daily. The lessons get progressively more difficult, detailed and longer as you move up HSK levels. While it’s not perfect, it’s one of my favorite resources out there.