Have you started learning Mandarin and don’t know where to begin? If so, the team at TruFluency has you covered! This post will break down some of the best ways to kickstart your language acquisition journey, solidify your knowledge, and gain a sense of Chinese culture all at once!

Learning any language takes time, but we are here to give you the tools you need to succeed. We’ve compiled a list of the best Mandarin books and textbooks for learning Mandarin Chinese so you don’t have to! Read on to discover why textbooks and novels are some of the best resources for acquiring a new language.

Why Use Mandarin Textbooks?

When you first hear the word “textbook”, maybe you think of boring, impersonal lectures and dry, disengaging content. While the team at TruFluency values conversation-based learning, we also know that the right textbooks can be a wonderful addition to anybody’s language learning experience. Here are a few reasons why textbooks are a great resource:

  • They help you understand the fundamentals. While you might want to dive head-first into Mandarin, having a textbook will make you feel more secure when you finally start speaking. If you have any questions regarding grammar or form, your textbook is there to help!

  • They provide structure. Many of us need a structured course of action when learning a new language. Textbooks are often broken up into chapters and sections, which makes it easier to track your progress and gain a sense of how far you’ve come.
  • They help you with pronunciation. Pronunciation can be a little difficult at first because of the difference in the alphabet between Mandarin and English. A good Mandarin textbook will help you with pronunciation because they’ll have pinyin, which is the official romanization system for Standard Mandarin Chinese that allows you to use English letters to pronounce the word.

5 Mandarin Textbooks for Language Learners of All Levels

  1. Chinese Made Easier
    Don’t worry, this textbook won’t have you memorizing useless and obscure terms. Instead, you’ll focus on relevant vocabulary that can be used in daily conversation. This textbook also explains grammatical rules in an accessible way and explains how to read and write with Chinese characters.

  2.  Basic Mandarin Chinese – Speaking & Listening Textbook: An Introduction to Spoken Mandarin for Beginners
    This textbook is perfect for beginners and is a great tool to improve speaking and listening skills. In this book, you’ll find clear and detailed pronunciation, grammar, and cultural explanations that you can bookmark and go back to as you see necessary. You’ll also have access to exercises and activities based on real-life experiences in China. If this book suits your learning style, consider buying the practice book that goes with it.
  3. Intermediate Spoken Chinese: A Practical Approach to Achieving Fluency in Spoken Mandarin
    If you’ve moved on from the beginner stage of learning Mandarin and are looking to continue building your knowledge, this textbook is for you. In addition to helping you become a better speaker, this textbook walks you through situational Chinese etiquette that you can utilize in daily life.
  4. New Practical Chinese Reader
    This series of 6 textbooks will be your companion from beginner through intermediate. While it focuses mostly on conversations, it still contains useful information about Chinese culture, grammar, and language structure.
  5. Advanced Chinese: Intention, Strategy, and Communication
    If you are an advanced Mandarin speaker, this textbook is perfect for you. Not only does this book have vocabulary and grammar, and exercise sections in each lesson, but it focuses on the nuances of Mandarin and helps readers differentiate between formal and colloquial speech.

Why Read Mandarin Novels?

Novels open up our minds, increase empathy levels, and introduce us to new and exciting cultures. Still skeptical? Look to science! A recent study on the role of novels in language acquisition suggests that novels can motivate students, enrich their cultural knowledge, and improve their language ability.

When looking for a book to help you learn MAdarin, make sure to pick the appropriate novel for your language level so that you don’t get overwhelmed. The right novel can help you with sentence structure, keep you engaged, and enforce what you’ve learned in class.

5 Books for Learning Mandarin to Add to Your Reading List Today

  1. Chinese Breeze Graded Reader Series Level 1(300-Word Level): Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!
    This simple, fun book is perfect for beginners! Read this book if you want to get lost in a story about twin girls, death, and a mysterious note.
  2. Graded Chinese Reader 500 Words: Selected Abridged Chinese Contemporary Mini-stories
    This book is great for learners who can communicate in basic Mandarin. In here you’ll find 15 mini-stories that will entertain you, help you learn about language, and teach you a thing or two about Chinese culture.
  3. Tiny Times 1.0
    Perfect for intermediate or advanced learners, this book focuses on four rich women who attend college. You’ll get to see how they deal with their relationships, the future, and their aspirations.
  4. Decode
    Decode is about Rong Jinzhen, a maths genius who is recruited into the national secret unit because of his abilities. However, after making a simple mistake, things quickly go downhill. If you want to get caught up in a captivating tale of success and loss, this novel is for you; It is best suited for intermediate and advanced readers.
  5. A Story of Lala’s Promotion
    Lala’s Promotion is like a handbook for working women! The story chronicles Lala’s struggle after graduating college and follows her on her journey to becoming a sales assistant and HR Manager. You’ll laugh, cry and celebrate with her, all while improving your Mandarin skills!

Why a Language Tutor Makes Learning Mandarin Better

While textbooks and books for learning Mandarin be great supplementary tools for learning a language, they aren’t guaranteed to make you fluent. If you’re eager to boost your communication skills and gain experience with a knowledgeable tutor, come to TruFluency! Our team of skilled, fun, and patient tutors will help you apply what you have learned through reading and provide real-time feedback on your speaking skills.

Ready to start learning Mandarin from its roots? Try two hours of trial classes for just $39!