Our mission at Capturing Chinese is to provide a copious amount of reading material for the intermediate and advanced Chinese student in the best possible format to make the transition between Chinese textbook stories and the original Chinese literature. Listening to Chinese audio while reading the stories in our Capturing Chinese series will reinforce your learning and improve your reading speed.
The Chinese audio books that we provide are included with each one our books and we recommend them to each and every one of our readers. When reading Chinese literature, students should focus on reading instead of trying to understand the meaning and pronunciation of each character. By focusing on speed first and comprehension second, students of Chinese literature will find themselves more comfortable with reading. One of the biggest obstacles to learning to read Chinese is to get comfortable and confident with one's reading ability. The Chinese language is so different to Western students that we feel overwhelmed with the task of learning the Chinese characters.
However, like all aspects in life, once you get good at something the difficult and challenging tasks of yesterday become the fun and exciting tasks of tomorrow. For this reason, the Chinese audio books that we provide are so important. Two native Chinese speakers read each Chinese audio book. These speakers are qualified professionals with a standard Beijing accent. The speakers do not read the Chinese stories artificially slow, but instead at a normal speed aimed for other native Chinese. By reading the Chinese stories while listening to the Chinese audio, students will find themselves simultaneously improving their pronunciation, listening skills, and reading ability.
We advise all of our readers to use our books with the following method.
First, read each Chinese short story without the help of the pinyin or the footnotes at the bottom of the page. No doubt the story is very difficult to understand, but at this point we are focusing on being comfortable with the layout of the Chinese and reading the Chinese characters.
Second, reread the story and utilize the definitions at the bottom of the page.
Third, use our Chinese audio books to reread the story while listening to the Chinese audio. By the third round you will find yourself understanding the story and reading at a native Chinese level.
Many Chinese textbooks state that they have accompanying audio, but usually come in a difficult to use format such as tapes and CDs. At Capturing Chinese, all our Chinese audio books are available for download online in MP3 format. The reader is then free to use these files in any way that they wish. You can download the Chinese audio to your iPhone or computer or both. No matter how you use the Chinese audio you will find them to be an indispensable tool in your Chinese language learning.