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Is there anywhere (ideally free online) to find a wide range of reading material that is in extremely simple Chinese, the equivalent of perhaps "Fun With Dick and Jane" in English? https://books.google.se/books?id=Gg9iCgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=fun+with+dick+and+jane&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiBoZPes5_nAhXuwMQBHYp_DL4Q6AEIKDAA#v=onepage&q=fun%20with%20dick%20and%20jane&f=false

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Possibilities here

  • I sometimes read essays written by Chinese children: RuiWang's 作文. They have all levels for free, starting from 一年级 (grade 1).

  • You can find many English novels translated into Chinese and available for purchase on JingDong or other sites. I read Matilda (玛地尔达) this way. I thought it was helpful for improving my reading speed.

  • You can access Chinese school textbooks for free at 电子课本网: the reading material is 语文. Again, starting from 一年级 (grade 1). [After selecting a book chapter, it looks like you need to scan a QR code, but you can just click it and it'll show you the pages.]

  • Du Chinese is a well-polished reading app---new material is free [it's also new and fresh], and I feel it's reasonably priced for what's clearly a lot of effort.

  • Hacking Chinese reviews Mandarin Companion's graded readers which are here.


There's a list of resources here: Resources for learning Mandarin Chinese, but it's cumbersome. These kinds of resource questions is why I wrote this post on meta (although it hasn't caught on).

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You can search 小学语文 online. There're a lot of Youtube materials. If you're in China, search with Baidu.

I found this one seems quite easy, with English subtitles.

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  • I recommend reading a mixture of material printed in both unsimplified and simplified characters because the unsimplified ones give a better sense of the pictograph behind the character which gives some insight into the socio-cultural nuances of Chinese thought. You also see the thinking behind the simplification which gives a greater technical appreciation of the language. I prefer reading unsimplified material, not just because I started with it, but because of the innate beauty of unsimplified characters. They have better structural balance and "life" in them. – Wayne Cheah Jan 26 at 3:27
  • @WayneCheah I think you're right, however it might be too confusing for a starter... – sylvia Jan 26 at 5:33

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