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EINY Annie's Recommendations for Mandarin students

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The following English books are recommended by Annie for Mandarin students.

Cover image credits: Photo by Christin Hume

Common Knowledge About Chinese History

Common Knowledge about Chinese History is an impressive introduction to China's long history beginning around Primitive Society till Opium War and up to the rise of Modern China. The book falls into three parts: Period before the Opium War of 1840, Modern Period and Contemporary Period. The whole book is strung together with abundant interesting historical stories about different dynasties, historical events and figures in ancient and modern China. It is a valuable primer in Chinese history, serving also as a useful Chinese textbook for overseas Chinese and foreign friends.

Common Knowledge About Chinese Culture

A riveting collection of the major features of Chinese culture including its ethnic groups, folk customs, traditional virtues, technology, language, architecture, art and literature. When considering China, it is impossible to separate the culture, geography and history from one another. As a collection these books give readers a well-rounded understanding of Chinas past and present, supplying them with common knowledge of this fascinating country.

Houyi Shoots Down the Suns

When the ten sons of the Mother sun, decide to rule the sky all at once, all life on earth gets burned and scorched. The brave Huoyi takes on the challenge to teach these ten boys a lesson.

Chang'e Flying to the Moon

Share the most popular legends of ancient China with your children in this Chinese folktales series. Meet heroes, heroines, gods, and beasts, and learn the rich and colorful myths behind Chinese culture in these beautifully illustrated stories. In Simplified Chinese characters and English.

100 Chinese Idioms and Set Phrase

To liven up your spoken Chinese, Gems of the Chinese Language Through the Ages series presents this selection of everyday idioms. They have been chosen for their frequency of use, practical value and expressiveness. Each one is accompanied by an appropriate illustration. Some obscure expressions are clarified with the help of annotations in both Chinese and English.

The Stories Behind Chinese Idioms

China has a history of 5,000 years of civilization, and the largest population in the world; yet her language, or in a narrower sense, the language of the Han nationality, had not been widely studied by foreigners. This places impediments in the way of cultural and other types of communication between China and the outside world. The Chinese language is a rather difficult one, which is one of the reasons why foreigners often fail to have a profound understanding of it. This is especially the case with the learning of the Chinese classics or writing in archaic Chinese. A lot of literary quotation and allusions are used in them, and many are still used nowadays. Ignorance of these is a prime cause of misunderstanding. I happened to have read a few English translations of classical Chinese, and was sorry to find some mistakes in the translation which were obviously due to incorrect comprehension of the Chinese literary quotation and allusions in the original. It is clear that more ought to be done to help foreigners learn Chinese , especially the Chinese classics in their various forms. Though I am only an amateur in Chinese literature and language, I would like to do my best in this field to share my knowledge with overseas Chinese and English-speaking friends by producing this small book. I hope that it will be of some use in clearing away the obstacles in the way of international understanding.

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