By Ling-Ling Lisa Shih
Magazines articles provide a great resource for intermediate-advanced or advanced level reading materials. They are the perfect resources to look for short articles with content that not only enhance your reading comprehension but also enhance your knowledge about a wide variety of topics. I have used magazine articles in my translation courses. My students love the articles I have selected for their translation projects. Some magazines may read like Reader Digest with a wide range of topics, while other magazines may focus on a particular theme or topics related to fashion, news events, people, family, world geography and culture, finances, business, etc.
First of all, it is important to find an article suitable to your reading level. Do not attempt to read anything without first selecting the article suitable to your interest and reading level. I suggest that you first browse through a periodical’s content and select an article with a topic that interests you and does not appear way over your head. Some authors write in a more conversational style than others. For intermediate-advanced or advanced level, I suggest you look for one that is written in everyday language. If you follow my suggestions, you will find that reading magazine articles is a fun way to learn Chinese while making yourself well-informed about the world you live in and gaining insights from other people’s experiences.
How to read a Chinese article?
To read an article, I suggest that you copy and paste the article into Purple Culture’s Vocabulary List Generator to generate a list of vocabulary and their English meaning and put the list aside. But only refer to this generated list when you cannot figure out the new word’s meaning by its context or by the structure of the character itself. You can use Purple Culture’s Chinese to Pinyin Converter to get the pinyin and audio recording for the text you are reading. The Pinyin will be generated on top of the text and you can click on the speaker to hear a sound recording of the text.
In short, to enhance your interest and comprehension in Chinese, the best way is to learn from multiple texts. Magazine articles will certainly fire up your enthusiasm for learning Chinese. They are nice and short; therefore, it is much easier to finish reading an article than finish reading a long novel.
For your convenience, I have begun to collect interesting and fine-written articles that are suitable for advanced- intermediate and advanced Chinese learners. They are included right after the following popular list of Chinese magazines. I will keep adding interesting and readable articles here whenever I come across them.
Popular List of Chinese Magazines (where you can get free articles to read):
- 6 Chinese Magazines to Turbocharge Your Reading Skills
- 5 Popular Chinese Magazines You Should Read
- Top 10 Most Popular Magazines in China
- 读者 (dúzhě)
- 瑞丽服饰美容 (ruìlì fúshì měiróng) （Rayli Fashion and Beauty）
- 菁kids (jīng kids)
- 中国国家地理 (zhōngguó guójiā dìlǐ) （China National Geography）
- 三联生活周刊 (sānlián shēnghuó zhōukān)（Life Week）
- 知音 Zhiyin
- 半月球 Banyutan
- 青年文摘 Qingnian Wenzhai： Recommended articles in this megazine
- 新周刊 New Weekly
- 南风窗 Nanfeng Chuang
- 财经 Caijing
- 家庭 Jiating (Chinese: 家庭)
- 意林 Yi Lin
- Taiwan Panorama 光华杂志
- All the Chinese Megazines 所有中文雜誌列表 （not free)
Suggested List of articles to read (Suitable for Intermediate-Advanced and Advanced Reading Level:
Language Tools to Facilitate Your Reading:
For the news articles written in traditional Chinese, you can use the following plugin to convert on-line texts into the simplified Chinese. It is very easy to install to your device. Just install it and the plugin symbol will appear at the right upper corner of the screen. toggle it to convert the on-line text in traditional Chinese to the simplified.
Chinese-English Popup Dictionaries
After adding a pop-up dictionary on your electronic device, it will allow one’s mouse to point at any Chinese word on a web page and immediately get its definition and pinyin.
- Perapera Chinese Pop-Up Dictionary: Find the right one suitable for your browser and device. (The Plugin for Firefox is Pera Pera Kun, and in Google Chrome you can use Zhongwen: A Chinese-English Popup Dictionary.)
If you don’t want to hassle with downloading any plugins, you can simply paste some text into the Mandarin Spot annotation tool, and then press ‘annotate’. It will provide in-line pronunciation, pop-up English definition when you hover over the words.
For more language tools, please go to:
For news articles or broadcast, please go to Read News, Learn Chinese 看新闻学中文