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The Secret Garden: Mandarin Companion Graded Readers: Level 1, Simplified Chinese Edition

The Secret Garden: Mandarin Companion Graded Readers: Level 1, Simplified Chinese Edition [Kindle Edition]

Frances Hodgson Burnett , Renjun Yang , Cui Yu , John Pasden , Jared Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

Mandarin Companion: New graded readers for a new generation of Chinese learners. Now you can read books in Chinese that are fun to read and accelerate your language learning. Every book is carefully written to use only characters, words, and grammar that you, a learner, are more likely to know. The Mandarin Companion leveling system has been painstakingly developed through in-depth analysis of textbooks, education programs, and natural Chinese language. Every story is written in a style that is easy for you to understand and enjoyable to read.

Level one is intended for Chinese learners who have obtained a middle-elementary level of Chinese. Most students will be able to approach this book after one to two years of traditional formal study. The Secret Garden is written in simplified Chinese using approximately 300 unique characters, contains approximately 400 elementary words, and is 9,800 characters in length.

Plot Summary
Li Ye grew up never knowing the love and affection of her parents. After an epidemic leaves her an orphan, Li Ye is sent off to live with her reclusive Uncle in his sprawling estate in Nanjing. She learns of a secret garden where no one has set foot in ten years. Li Ye finds the garden and slowly discovers the secrets of the manor. With the help of new friends, she brings the garden back to life, a decision that forever changes several lives.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1599 KB
  • Print Length: 63 pages
  • Publisher: Mind Spark Press LLC (30 Sep 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FK6X1T6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #195,289 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great new resource for Chinese learners. 10 Dec 2013
By ChTTay
I couldn't actually remember what the secret garden story was at first which meant I really didn't know what was coming next. I think this helped a bit as I really wanted to know what happened next. I found the story engaging and enjoyable overall.

I have been studying Chinese on and off for a while now but I also live in China. I found the level of the book, compared to my proficiency level, to be a bit low. For me, some of the story telling was somewhat simple but the main points from the original story are all there. The main thing is that the simple sentences It didn't detract from enjoyment of the book as a whole. You also get a sense for each of the characters, who they are, how they change etc as the story goes on.

Actually I found it really nice just to read and understand something in Chinese for the entirety. I think this book would have been perfect as more of a study aid when I first started studying.

Compared to the Chinese Breeze level one books, I found The Secret Garden to be easier. The sentences in The Secret Garden have a good mix of longer and shorter ones. I also found the grammar structures used to be more simple when compared to Chinese Breeze.

However, I also found The Secret Garden a far more interesting story than most of the stories I've read in the Breeze series. I was a bit disappointed when It ended. I am not sure if this is because it's a western story or not. The problem I had with the three or four C.B books I've read is that the topics/stories just weren't that interesting for me.

Overall, if you are looking for a Chinese reader then I would definitely recommend this one. I think beginners could use it as a lighter way to study and those who have studied Chinese a bit longer could just enjoy the read!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far more fun than studying. 3 Oct 2013
By Gary - Published on
While this story is aimed at children, I have to admit I loved it despite my age (old enough not to say). Moreover, for the first time since I began studying Chinese, I forgot I was studying while I studied. I spend hours a week engaged with Mandarin situational dialogs, textbooks, and excerpts from news stories. While that content is often interesting, it always feels like work. Reading this was different. I just enjoyed the ride.
The story uses frequent repetition of words, phrases, and plot in order to make it very accessible to the learner, and it was enjoyable enough that I could return to it several times.
That is the power of fiction, even if it is children's fiction. Graded readers give learners access to the world of fiction which is mostly beyond our academic ability, and we get to have fun on the journey.
Highly recommended for low-intermediate Mandarin students, even you old ones!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully accessible (and enjoyable!) language learning 18 Nov 2013
By Amy R.M. O'Keefe - Published on
This book is an ideal material for early (to intermediate) learners of Mandarin. With a familiar (British) story set in a Chinese context, this book felt much more accessible to me than many of the texts I was offered in my college mandarin courses back in the day – wish I’d had access to this then!

The Secret Garden is engaging, the pictures are fantastic (and this is important, especially when reading is still a labor! Hence the need for gorgeous children’s books, right?), and the format is convenient. In particular, the availability of definitions for the more-advanced vocabulary through hyperlinks in the text makes this a really accessible Chinese language experience.

As a native English speaker who uses Chinese texts frequently in my own work, I am sold on the idea that a reading experience that is uninterrupted by frequent character look-ups is essential in getting comfortable with the rhythm and the structure of the language. Unfortunately, one has to have a text relatively well matched to one's vocabulary level before getting those benefits from reading. This book will fill that need fantastically for early and intermediate learners of Chinese, giving an opportunity for seriously enjoyable reading practice that can increase speed of comprehension as well as comfort with basic vocabulary and sentence structures.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Way to Learn Chinese! 23 Nov 2013
By Eric Wei - Published on
Verified Purchase
Although I never read the English version of the story, this Chinese version was engaging and fun! I have taken a few Chinese classes (Up to 3rd year in college), but have fallen a little rusty. Unlike the Chinese stories that have been assigned to me before where I have to constantly look up words, the authors have cleverly written the story to reuse words/phrases only one in a few pages depending on your vocabulary level. This helps drives you to remember the meaning and recognize the characters.

Not all words are defined in the glossary in the back (there's about 70 phrases), so make sure to have a dictionary handy.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Chinese 3 Class 3 Oct 2013
By  Mark Neville - Published on
I teach High School Chinese. My students really liked the fact that it was simple, repeated vocab and easy to follow. I plan to implement this good in my Chinese 3 class curriculum. Easy to teach for Chinese Teachers.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good, well designed, though expensive graded reader missing audio 10 Mar 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Verified Purchase
Very interesting story
Lots of repetition of vocabulary and basic grammar structures
Detailed listing and explanations of the grammar used in the book available online
New vocabulary terms identified with pinyin and definitions

No audio or link to downloadable audio files to listen to the story being read by a native speaker
Twice the price of other comparable graded readers
No traditional character option (edit: they now sell a separate traditional character version)

Overall, this is a very good graded reader for the advance elementary to intermediate Chinese language student. This was the first Chinese book I was really able to read all the way through without constantly checking vocabulary or grammar.

However, with the price being twice as high as other readers and no audio files to strengthen listening, speaking and comprehension skills it was hard to justify giving it more stars. For less money one can buy a comparable e-book from Chinese Breeze and also the book version with an attached CD (both available on Amazon) that includes the audio in MP3 format. Most students will find this to be a much more effective way to increase their overall fluency than a product from Mandarin Companion that charges a comparable price but excludes the audio. If this rather substantial flaw gets corrected then I'll be sure to raise the rating.
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