“You’re stepping on my shadow, please back off,” she said.

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

Good Mandarin literature for beginner/intermediate speakers


Good advice from Charles Laughlin

attached to: Charles Laughlin


# 1.   

I strongly agree with this advice in the article:

"I think it was one of my first visits to a Chinese bookstore (back in those days, there was pretty much only Xinhua bookstore and China Books 中国书店), and I had this teacher with me who said, you should get a Chinese-Chinese dictionary instead of a Chinese-English dictionary (which I had relied on up to that point). I didn't even know what to look for, so he suggested the Xiandai Hanyu cidian 现代汉语词典, which is roughly the equivalent of the Webster Collegiate Dictionary. The advantage of using a Chinese-Chinese dictionary is that you outgrow the habit of translation for comprehension (which can handicap you considerably), and can stay immersed in Chinese throughout the process of reading. I was astonished at how easy to understand most of the definitions were (except when you look up plants and animals!), and it brought me one step closer to authentic literary materials."

One of the first things I did when I arrived in Taiwan from the states was to buy a young student's Chinese-Chinese dictionary. I only used it when reading, but during 1-2 hours reading daily, I did not allow myself access to Chinese-English dictionaries. It was hard and frustrating, but helped train my brain to think in Chinese, no matter how basic or flawed my syntax.

Bruce, May 17, 2015, 8:11p.m.


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