The Secret Garden, now in an easy-to-read version in Mandarin, and in print!
Those great Shanghai guys at The Mandarin Companion, Jared Turner & John Pasden, have taken their e-book* translation of The Secret Garden (a classic kids’ book) into Mandarin and turned it into a print book. While I really like the e-book version because you can click on words you don’t know and jump directly back to the vocabulary list, for many people I know a print book is a better “form factor” (to use the fancy Silicon Valley term.)
Either way, these are great ways to get kids reading in Chinese, they’d be especially good for middle school students as the stories have a little umph but they’re in easy-to-read Chinese.
And they’re working on Dickens’ Great Expectations, which is very cool. And it will be Level 2, nice as all their previous books have been Level 1.
Check out their site here.
* One problem people have noted is that when you click on a word in Chinese to hop to the English translation, it can be a hassle to find your place in the book again. They posted these solutions to the problem on their blog: ” If you are using a Kindle, there is a “back” button on the reader that can take you back to the place you just left. If you are using iBooks, touch the page to bring up the navigation menu and there is usually text on the bottom strip in the corner that says something like “go to p 12″ (or whichever number) which will take you back to the last link you came from. There is similar functionality built into the kindle reader app for different mobile devices. If all else fails, a crude method is to bookmark the page before you click on a link so you can easily find your way back.”
The Secret Garden in Paperback
Many of you have been waiting for this day. I’m happy to announce that The Secret Garden《秘密花园》is now available as a printed book on Amazon! We’ve realized that doing the first of anything takes more time than the second. The Secret Garden will always be a special story to John and me because it has been a number of firsts: our first Chinese graded reader, our first ebook, and our first print book. Because of that, we’ve collectively spent more time working on the Secret Garden than any other story thus far (although the upcoming “Great Expectations” is going to be a close 2nd). The print edition is now available on Amazon and we are now ready to take larger orders for schools and organizations.
More good news is on the way; our four other Level 1 graded readers will be available in print edition by then end of this March. We are currently proofreading and finalizing the print designs.
Level 2 Graded Reader: Great Expectations
Great Expectations《好美的前途》is on the way! Adapting a Charles Dickens novel has been much larger task than we anticipated. In fact, despite simplifying and condensing the story, it has turned out to be so long that we are dividing the book into 2 parts: 上 and 下. To put it in perspective, our level 1 readers are approx 9-11 thousand characters in length while the entirety of Great Expectations will be approximately 30 thousand characters in length! This new book will be labeled as an “extended reader”, the first ever in Chinese!
Great Expectations will be set in modern day Shanghai. There will be fun easter eggs, specifically regarding the locations in the book which will be real locations and addresses in and around Shanghai. We had a lot of suggestions for Pip’s Chinese name and in the end we selected “小毛” (Xiǎomáo). The expected release date will be in April.
John and I want to sincerely thank you for your support and encouragement! We are so excited to make it possible for so many to read in Chinese.