How is your Chinese learning now?


Are you still struggling with the Pinyin, characters, grammatical structures, and conversations? Have you met your bottleneck of reading? Do you find it hard to remember the new words?


My suggestion is to begin reading some interesting stories, which can give you more fun and fresh ways to learn Chinese, like additional nutrients. You can begin with familiar stories such as Snow White, which is also written in Chinese.


Reading not only allows us to learn the standard written form of Chinese, but it also helps us become familiar with the various Chinese dialects. In turn, we can engage in elegant styles of conversation and also learn to write appropriately, so that we become well-educated individuals.


Chinese has long history full of various expressions, including idioms and two-part allegorical sayings. You should learn some daily conversations and business Chinese to survive. At the same time, don't miss the chance to sample the beauty and the wisdom contained within classical Chinese literature.


If you can recognize many Chinese characters and master Chinese grammar, you will be able to read a wide range of texts, including poems, essays, Odes to nature, histories, and so on. Maybe even the Four Great Classical Novels.


Here, I want to recommend some cute articles selected from a Chinese primary-school textbook, which can be easily understood by beginners.


Let's have a look at this story marked with Pinyin. Even if you are a beginner, I hope you can easily understand it and master the spirit.



chán yì tiān dào wǎn pā zài shù zhī shàng jiào


tā de jiào shēng hěn dān diào


jǐ wèi yǒu míng de gē chàng jiā xiǎng jiāo gěi tā yì xiē běn lǐng


huáng yīng fēi lái le wǒ jiāo nǐ fā yīn ba


chán bù yǐ wéi rán de shuō zhī liǎo zhī liǎo


huà méi fēi lái le wǒ jiāo nǐ shí pǔ ba


chán yì yáo tóu shuō zhī liǎo zhī liǎo


yúnquè fēi lái le wǒ jiāo nǐ chàng gē ba


chán hěn bú nài fán de shuō zhī liǎo zhī liǎo

蝉很不耐烦地说:“ 知了,知了!”

jié guǒ chán yǒng yuǎn zhǐ huì zhī liǎo zhī liǎo de jiào 。

结果,蝉永远只会“ 知了,知了”  地 叫。




(This is an interesting story from a primary-school grade one textbook.)

The cicada lies on the tree, singing day and night,


He can only sing monotonous song “zhī liǎo, zhī liǎo.”


Several famous singers wanted to teach him singing skills.


Oriole wants to teach him pronunciation.


Thrush wants to teach him to read the music score.


Lark wants to teach him to sing.


But the cicada is too proud to learn from the three famous singers, so in the end, he can only sing the monotonous song, “zhī liǎo, zhī liǎo.”


(This story taught us to be modest.)


Supplementary instruction


Confucius once said:


sān rén xíng bì yǒu wǒ shī



That means: Among any three people walking, I will find something to learn for sure. This statement shows that Confucius was modest and eager to learn. From the simple story about the cicada, we can also appreciate this profound truth.


Chinese idiom you should know from this text


【不以为然】bù yǐ wéi rán (It means: not to regard it as right)


For example:


wǒ quàn tā jiè yān tā bù yǐ wéi rán


(I persuade him to give up smoking, he is not to regard it as right.)


Additional information on tone change (一) 和 (不) yi and bu


1. When yi and bu meet the fourth tone, it turns to the second tone.


For example: [bú nài fán]  [yí yàng]


2. When yi and bu meet tone 1,2,3, it turns to the fourth tone.


For example: [bù yǐ wéi rán] [yì xiē]


You can read this story aloud, and then try to retell the story in your own words. This way, you can practice your speaking ability. Additionally, you can tell me your opinion about this story in Chinese.



In my lesson, I will use more Chinese to talk with my students.


It can improve your reading speed. It is also helpful for your listening ability.


By reading these stories, you can remember the words naturally and understand the difficult idioms easily.


A lot of interesting stories like these are waiting for you to read, are you ready?


I'd like to take this opportunity to say a few words about Chinese characters. Pinyin is the crutch to help you enter the fantastic Chinese world, but only learning Pinyin is not enough. Please try your best to master some characters if you are determined to learn Chinese well. It will be useful for reading and writing.


In my lesson, I wish to lead you to read step by step.


Please remember these four words while you meet the bottleneck: Success relies on perseverance!


guì zài jiān chí



Finally, let's enjoy this poem named Four Seasons.


sì jì gē


chūn tiān huā er xiào


xià tiān chán er jiào


qiū tiān fēng yè hóng


dōng tiān xuě huā piāo



Image Sources


  1. Hero image by Ernie (CC BY 2.0)