The Bottom Line
- Step by step progression in developing character vocabulary
- Introduction to Chinese literature
- Difficult to find
- Characters are introduced in a logical order
- Stoke order, definitions, and pronunciation are provided for each character
- Texts are a mixture of Chinese characters and Pinyin
Guide Review - New Read Chinese
For students who have mastered the basics of spoken Mandarin and who wish to begin reading and writing Chinese characters, the New Read Chinese series provides an excellent starting point.
Each lesson of New Read Chinese begins with a list of Chinese characters, along with their translation, pronunciation, and stroke order. Students should begin each lesson by writing each character several times until they are memorized.
The writing section is followed by several pages of sentences which incorporate the characters just studied. Vocabulary that has not yet been studied is written in PinYin Romanization .
Here is an example sentence from the first lesson:
Zhè 個人是十二月九hào lái的｡
In Pinyin, this sentence would be: Zhè ge rén shì shí èr yuè jiǔ hào lái de. (This person came on December 9th.)
As you might guess, this first lesson consists of all the numbers as well as some of the most common Chinese characters.
Each lesson in New Read Chinese builds on the previous vocabulary, so by the end of the book the student can read a short story written almost entirely in Chinese characters.
There are 3 volumes of New Read Chinese, each with a workbook for writing Chinese characters. Over the course of the 3 volumes, students will learn 1000 Chinese characters.
The New Read Chinese series is published in Taiwan, and may be difficult to obtain. You might be able to find it at Taipei Language Institute.
If you cannot find this particular series, there is a similar series published by Yale University called Read Chinese.