Stories in Chinese
Hi everyone! 大家好!
It has recently come to my attention that there are no stories in Chinese on the Duolingo. I find this frustrating as Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in the world, and that other less-spoken languages tend to take precedence over it (such as Spanish and French).
I think stories would be a great benefit to everyone's learning experience, as well as teaching them new words.
Is it possible to add some stories in Chinese?
Edit: I had no idea this post would be so popular (#1 on the top posts in the Chinese forum?!) Thank you all for your support!
Edit 2: Several people have been echoing my post in past months. If you see any, please comment saying this post is the original and provide a link. Just look at how long ago they were published as proof. Also, Chinese has passed many languages in terms of the number of learners on Duolingo, including Portuguese. So the question is: If a lesser learned and much lesser spoken language has stories, how come the more spoken language doesn't? Just putting that out there.
Edit 3: It's been over a year. How time flies...
Best of luck to you all learning Chinese!
I also give a lingot in support of this! Reading stories in Chinese is one of my favorite things to do, and they are a good vehicle for giving people an overall appreciation of how the language works together above the sentence level. Since so much is left implied by the sparse grammar of Chinese, understanding the language in context of longer examples really is key. I kind of wonder if there isn't a way to partner with one of the many popular Chinese langauge literary weeklies to put up stories.
There's an entire genre of supermarket magazines that largely picks up short essays and stories often written by amateurs. They are an absolute blast to read, and one of the things I miss most now that I no longer live in China.
I don't like to play favorites, in that I don't think the number of speakers should determine which languages are important. Even if Chinese were only spoken by a few thousand people, I would still love it. And that's why many of us are here and sticking with it, right? We all love Chinese and are eager to find more ways to explore it. That alone should justify making it happen!
I'd also like to float the idea of recruiting people to contribute stories. I think quite a few of us here have friends or family in China. And I know plenty of them have short stories or compositions lying around that they could probably be persuaded to contribute. I know I've got a few friends like that. So if this really might happen, and they just need stories, they should ask the community to recruit friends.
the preparation of the release of a new language is done mainly by volunteers, not by duolingo employees. If there were not enough people to work on the language, then it takes longer until the tree is created and filled. On top of that, preparing Chinese for native speakers from the rest of the world is not like preparing a language from the same language group (like for example preparing English for German speakers and vise verse).
I really like this series: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/154466401X/ It's mostly HSK3 level. DL takes you up to about half-way through HSK4. I'm just over half-way through the DL tree, and can mostly read/enjoy this book without too much difficulty. It also gives footnotes on each page for any words not in the HSK3 list.
(Yes, this is not a DL feature, but DL is not a "one-stop-shop" and it's good to combine it with other resources.)
It looks like fun, and if it motivates anyone to read more, I'm in favor. But I would also suggest people not base their reading on HSK levels, and not focus solely on materials that are "at their level."
The HSK has been gutted in the new version. The older version of the HSK was much more rigorous, though all tests are ultimately formulaic and incapable of truly assessing fluency. Placing too much trust in current HSK rankings is probably going to lead to difficulty later on in learning.
But the real problem is: HSK Level 3 is inadequate for learning more Chinese. It only uses about 600 characters, and those may or may not even be the 600 characters you need to use to express yourself. That's a pretty harsh cap on learning progress.
Though it can be intimidating, reading just normal things like newspaper articles, are what will really help you make progress, because they'll contain lots of things you don't already know, used in a natural, non-didactic way. Learning to use what you already know to figure out the parts you don't know is a key skill not only in reading Chinese, but also, it is what enables you to begin assimilating new vocabulary and concepts.
So if you enjoy that story, great, go for it, but I'd really suggest that when anyone "combines it with other resources" they look for other resources that they might originally dismiss, thinking they are far beyond their level. Best of all, things like newspaper articles are often free online, and your reading habits will reflect your personal interests.
Here's a link to one of my favorite Chinese newspapers: http://www.infzm.com/
You're right, of course. HSKL3 just gives an idea of depth and difficulty. The book series' difficulty is pretty low in absolute terms, but still demanding enough for someone at my rather basic level. The story is fun and nice to read, relax and learn with, and consolidates vocab, so I recommended it for that reason.
Thanks for the online newspaper link. It looks like a nice learning resource, and surprisingly, not outrageously difficult :-) You are right again... I was keeping away from newspaper articles until I'd reached a higher level, but this is probably counterproductive.
Oh absolutely. And if you have fun with the story, it's a great way to really get engaged, so there's no harm to enjoying a book like that. The main thing is that you shouldn't feel like that's a limit. If you enjoy that book, try some news paper articles, and even try some books, you'll get a broad spectrum of Chinese literacy that will also reflect your own personality. This is why I think them adding stories for Chinese on Duolingo would be such a great addition as well!
Also a great trick to staying enthusiastic about studying, if you are studying a book, like the one you recommended, and you start to bog down and feel it is hard, go spend an hour or two working on just even one page of a typical Chinese book that is way above your level, then when you go back to the learning materials, they will feel a lot more relaxing, and you'll notice what progress you've actually made.
I support your cause. Here have a lingot.
I am studying Chinese at the university now, and it is in my opinion a language that should be supported with as much daily sentences as possible which stories do have. So we really do need stories, I hope we can get them soon.
But I can't help but point out, a language being more widely spoken in no way indicates a superiority.
I have been using the Duolingo app to help me learn Chinese for the past few weeks (and having fun earning exp and lingots for the languages I already know). I hadn't logged into the desktop version until yesterday but when I did, I was very impressed with the Spanish stories.
I loved following the story of the house-sitter and couldn't wait to see what happened next after each question. Reading for me is a lot of fun and definitely, a great aid in learning a language and I think it's the same for most people.
There should definitely be stories for other languages starting with Chinese since Chinese business is becoming such an important part of the global economy.
The Chinese stories that I have read are from a textbook. There is the link to the online version if you want to check out some of the stories: http://www.hwjyw.com/textbooks/downloads/zhongwen/. I hope the link is helpful.
One day,a little monkey is playing by the well.
He looks in the well and shouts :
“Oh!My god!The moon has fallen into the well!” “噢！我的天！月亮掉到井里头啦！”
An older monkeys runs over, takes a look,and says, 一只大猴子跑来一看，说，
“Goodness me!The moon is really in the water!” “糟啦！月亮掉在井里头啦！”
And olderly monkey comes over. 老猴子也跑过来。
He is very surprised as well and cries out: 他也非常惊奇，喊道：
“The moon is in the well.” “糟了，月亮掉在井里头了！”
A group of monkeys run over to the well . 一群猴子跑到井边来，
They look at the moon in the well and shout: 他们看到井里的月亮，喊道：
“The moon did fall into the well!Come on!Let’get it out!” “月亮掉在井里头啦！快来！让我们把它捞起来！”
Then,the oldest monkey hangs on the tree up side down ,with his feet on the branch . 然后，老猴子倒挂在大树上，
And he pulls the next monkey’s feet with his hands. 拉住大猴子的脚，
All the other monkeys follow his suit, 其他的猴子一个个跟着，
And they join each other one by one down to the moon in the well. 它们一只连着一只直到井里。
Just before they reach the moon,the oldest monkey raises his head and happens to see the moon in the sky, 正好他们摸到月亮的时候，老猴子抬头发现月亮挂在天上呢
He yells excitedly “Don’t be so foolish!The moon is still in the sky!” 它兴奋地大叫：“别蠢了！月亮还好好地挂在天上呢！”
is this helpful?
I want Chinese stories pretty bad we need to find a way to contact the development team to get them busy on that. because they have languages that are less popular with stories, Example: Portuguese and they have the stories plus it would help so much with everyone here so thanks for reading this anyway
Quiero historias chinas bastante malas, necesitamos encontrar una manera de contactar al equipo de desarrollo para que estén ocupados en eso. porque tienen idiomas que son menos populares con las historias, Ejemplo: portugués y tienen las historias y además ayudaría mucho con todos aquí, así que gracias por leer esto de todos modos
If you are interested in learning Chinese via reading stories check this: https://www.xinzhongwen.com.sg/content/xzw/sg/en/blog/6-recommended-chinese-books-for-your-child.html they suggest kids stories from kindergarten level but those stories are nice and fun and can help adult learners too - especially on some of the beginner/ intermediate levels.
I agree with adding stories in the Chinese course. This feature should become available for Chinese (Mandarin) because it just makes sense. Stories would help make the language more practical for learners.
I second this! I cannot understand why my German course gets so much development attention: animations appeared! So MANY stories... And yet my Chinese is dry, not even IMAGES? Not to mention stories...
I feel like there is a definite discrimination in favor of European languages. I find it off-putting.
Two years now, and still no stories, but I did see that Japanese stories are coming, so perhaps Chinese stories will be out soon. It's clearly a demanded feature! Fingers crossed they come soon, I'm dying to complete them! I've already completed the Chinese to English stories but it's of course strange to take the test backwards!
I'm with WillowsofXihu, but to explain for those who don't know the back story, and why some of us avoid the term: Mandarin is just Portuguese for "Not Cantonese." It comes from the Portuguese term "Mandare" meaning Commander, which were northern Chinese officials who they encountered in Macao, in contrast to the Cantonese speaking locals.
The problem is that "Mandarin" versus "Cantonese" isn't really a sufficient dichotomy. In reality, even "Putonghua" is a really overly broad category. Many of the local accents, like 北京话, 天津话, 西北话, or 四川话 are all very different, but broadly considered "Putonghua." Dialects like Wu, Xiang, Min, E, and Gan are all not Putonghua, but it is unclear whether or not people consider them Mandarin, since Mandarin is usually just used to designate "Mainland" Chinese or anything that is not Cantonese (Yue).