Are there any good magazines (or perhaps books) that can be used to practice reading for beginners? I feel that my Chinese level is good enough to read simple sentences but it's still impossible to read newspapers or normal magazines, so I'm looking for something easier to practice. Any suggestion?

Edit: Just started reading a "Chinese Breeze Graded Readers" book and I confirm they are quite good, and it's relatively easy to find a book that matches your level.


3 Answers 3


There are books specifically designed for learners, such as the Chinese Breeze Graded Readers. These books are small, have constrained vocabulary, and relatively simple stories, but not so basic that you don't feel some sense of accomplishment after reading one. I read the book 错,错,错! which features police officers investigating a suspicious suicide. The plot would make a terrible movie but it was still fun to read.

  • Thanks, will have a look at the Chinese Breeze Graded Readers books.
    – laurent
    Commented Dec 18, 2011 at 5:56
  • Really interesting looking series - hopefully they come out with some higher level stuff soon. Thanks for sharing :-)
    – Ciaocibai
    Commented Dec 23, 2011 at 5:23

My personal preference is children's books and television.

If you have a China town section of your local city you should be able to find a book store with children's books in them. You usually won't find these books in a regular foreign langauges store or even large chain book stores.

The alternative is to go to the children's second language section of a local university where you can usually find materials for teaching children Chinese as a second language.

In my local city we have a large Chinese population so we can get plenty of reading material at the local library.

I also like children's television as a starting point to practice reading (subtitiles). If you can't get your hands on some children's DVDs with Chinese subtitles, try the Chinese online streaming video site from CCTV. You can see the children's section here. Most videos have sub titles.

Reading subtitles on TV will help train your brain to read quickl if you already have a good basic vocabulary.

  • +1 for kids' books
    – jsj
    Commented Dec 15, 2011 at 13:12

I built some tools to help me with reading practice. I sieved through Chinese text looking for sentences that use only the characters I know. My first attempt was with Twitter updates, but it was kind of a slow process to find and translate them. More recently, I found a huge collection of translated sentences on Tatoeba. I've collected all the sentences that used the 500 most common traditional characters and posted them on my Google Code page. They're sorted with the most common characters at the start of the page.

  • +1, Tatoeba is a nice find! Commented Dec 17, 2011 at 16:39
  • Yes +1 for mentioning Tatoeba, didn't know about it.
    – laurent
    Commented Dec 18, 2011 at 6:05

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