Sunday, June 2, 2013

Buying Books Online

This spring marked the completion of 3 years of official Chinese study for my kids.  They've come along way.  The first year was spent get comfortable with the sounds of the language and learning the phonetic alphabet.  Now they can recognize approximately 200 characters, are reading short stories in their textbook, and asking & answering simple questions.  I'm very proud of them, BUT most of this is happening inside the classroom.  I want to move their language practice into everyday life.

I don't speak fluently.  At this stage in the game, I have only completed the first year of Chinese language college classes and it's hard to use Chinese with the kids often when in the chaos of everyday life.  So, I started looking for books my kids could read or ones I could read to them.  Guess what?  It is really  difficult to find Chinese language books for kids.  There are a ton of books, videos, and games that promise to teach your family Chinese (usually the basics like numbers, colors, and fruits), but it is actually very time consuming (and not very productive) searching for Chinese language picture books in the United States.

So what's a parent to do?  Well, I've decided to order books straight from the source.  A friend has sent me the links to some bookstores in Asia and I'm going to pick out the books I want!  One problem, the websites are in Chinese!  So below is a quick (and incomplete) list of vocabulary you will run into if you want to buy books online through a Chinese website.

Publishing Information

·         (zuò zhě, author)

·         (huì zhě, illustrator)
·         ()譯者 (fān yì zhě, translator)
·         語言 (yǔ yán, language)
·         /英文 (yīng yǔ/yīng wén, English)
·         //中文 (hàn yǔ/huá yǔ/zhōng wén, Chinese)
·         簡化版 (jiǎn huà bǎn, simplified (character) version)
·         繁體 (fán tǐ bǎn, traditional (character) version)

Age Groups
·         教養 (jiào yǎng, parenting)
·         (tóng shū, children's books)
·         成長 (yīng'ér chéng zhǎng shū, toddler books)
·         幼兒成長書 (yòu'ér chéng zhǎng shū, early childhood development books)

·         (fēn lèi, category)
·         多媒體 (d méi , multimedia)
·         (圖畫)繪本 (tú huà huì běn, picture book)
·         題繪本 (zhǔ tí huì běn, theme picture books)
·         童話傳奇寓言 (tóng huà chuán qí yù yán; fairy tales, legends, and fabels)
o   童話 (tóng huà, fairy tales)
o   傳奇 (chuán qí, legend)
o   寓言 (yù yán, fable)
·         幻想 (huàn xiǎng mào xiǎn, fantasy and adventure)
o   幻想 (huàn xiǎng, fantasy)
o   (mào xiǎn, adventure)
·         小說 (xiǎo shuō, novel/fiction)
·         漫畫 (màn huà, comic books)
·         (kǎ tōng rén , cartoon characters)
·         百科() (bǎi kē quán shū, encyclopedia)
·         生活百科 (shēng huó bǎi , encyclopedia)
·         文學 (wén xué, literature)
·         歷史地理(lì shǐ dì lǐ, history and geography)
o   歷史 (lì shǐ, history)
o   地理 (dì lǐ, geography)
·         自然科 (zì rán kē xué, natural science)
·         傳記 (zhuàn jì, biographies)
o   名人 (míng rén, celebrity/famous person)
·         語文學習 (yǔ wén xué , language learning books)
·         學習評量 (x xí píng lián, curriculum books)
·         藝術美勞 (yì shù měi láo, arts and crafts)
o   藝術 (yì shù, arts)
o   美勞 (měi láo, crafts)
·         遊戲教具 (yóu xì jiào , games that teach)
·         遊戲練習 (yóu xì liàn , practice through games)

·         (zhé, the percent you pay (see example below))
·         9 means you would pay 90%.  The “0” in “90” is dropped.
·         定價 (dìng jià, original price)
·         特價 (tè jià, special offer/price)
·         優惠價 (yōu huì  jià, favorable/best price)
·         價會期限 (jià huì qí xiàn, price expiration/deadline/limit)



  1. Hi there, I just fund your blog by accident. I applaud for your effort to learn along with your child. We have a mix family and I am the native speaker. Although I order a ton of book oversea, I do find some interesting picture books in the US for my three years old. I was surprised how much she love them. Thought I would share with you.

  2. Another publisher you might want to consider is 和英文化 from Taiwan. Many of their books are dual languages (English and Chinese) with read along CD (dual language as well). One of my favorite illustrator is 賴馬。