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Any good pinyin-books for an illiterate chinese like me?

I have a wide vocabulary in chinese, but i cant read/write so that i am looking for chinese books written in a rather high level language but still with pinyin translation underneath. So far google is giving me books with "kindergarten"-language which is pretty exhausting/boring to read as a grown-up..... 

Dec 15, 2014 12:14 PM
Comments · 12

I doubt you will find anything more advanced than kindegarten level or basic textbooks that use pinyin. If you want to start reading more mature material at a high level in Chinese, you are going to have to learn to read Hanzi!

Chinese is not written using pinyin! It is there purely as a guide to teach pronunciation and to help very young Chinese children as they start to learn to read but don't know enough hanzi and to help foreigners learn prounciation. 

December 15, 2014

@kraut: i totally understand your concern that learning by pinyin is dangerous and  a bad habit. however, i am a german born chinese. thanks to my parents i am able to speak fluent chinese 100% accent-free with a vocaulary easily exceeding 1000 characters. i know it sounds weird but i just cannot read/write. (i just never had to use it). with that, i can skip the process of learning new words, grammar, pronunciation etc. and just focus on learning those characters...and for that, i think this method would totally suit my situation. knowing pinyin is also necessary for typing chinese on pc :)


big thanks to all the suggestions, this was a big help for me

December 20, 2014

>I don't know any good translating site. - does Pinyin too.


December 16, 2014

The only I've seen are kindergarten ones in my public library but like you said it's boring. I'm also illiterate but I know at least 500 characters and I think it really helps to learn the characters and give you access to more reading and vocabulary you won't gain through listening/speaking alone. You may find a combination of song MVs with subtitles, shows with Chinese subtitles and the perapera Chinese dictionary firefox plug-in to help with increasing literacy. I think pinyin is only meant as a tool to aid pronunciation. If you can understand higher level knowledge, I've found the perapera plug-in to be really helpful because the meaning and pinyin pop-up when you mouse over the Chinese characters.



December 16, 2014


We Chinese do write articles in pinyin, before we start learning characters.


It takes us 0.5 year to change the method of pronanciation by learning how to read and write with pinyin correctly.


We do keep practicing pronunciations by pinyin through out student years, almost 0.5 hours per day.

This site have terrible problems in translating characters with multiple pronunciations.


I don't know any good translating site.

Maybe you could find a translating site in Chiniese way, which means:

(a) using or instead of, and

(b) using keywords in Chinese such as “ 汉语拼音转换 ”


December 16, 2014
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Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, German, Spanish
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin)