Career Magazine

227: How to Talk About the Books You Have Recently Read in Mandarin Chinese

By Learnmandarinnow

Most people enjoying reading for leisure, as well as reading to learn. If you like novels or stories you probably have your own particular tastes in what you prefer to read, and it’s rare for someone to like, say, science fiction and also classic literature. Still, that’s just one of the reasons why there are so many books and novels covering all sorts of topics available in modern times!

In this Podcast, you will learn:

1) To discuss some of the books you have recently read

2) How to talk about things which interest you such as reading books


In the café, two friends are chatting:


(Zài kā fēi tīng)

(in the café)

B: 最近有一本特别火的小说,叫《三体》,你看了吗?

B: Zuì jìn yǒu yī běn tè bié huǒ de xiǎo shuō, jiào “Sān Tǐ”, nǐ kàn le ma?

Recently, there was an extremely popular novel published called The Three-Body Problem. Have you read it?

A: 没有,是讲什么的?谁写的?

A: Méi yǒu, shì jiǎng shén me de? Shuí xiě de?

No, what is it about? Who wrote it?

B: 哦,这是一部科幻小说,故事背景是文化大革命。作者是刘慈欣。

B: Ou, zhè shì yī bù kē huàn xiǎo shuō, gù shì bèi jǐng shì wén huà dà gé mìng. Zuò zhě shì Liú Cí Xīn.

Oh, it is a science fiction story, which is set against the backdrop of the Cultural Revolution. The author is Liu Cixin.

A: 听起来很有趣,但是我不喜欢科幻小说。我最喜欢的书还是一些经典名著,比如《傲慢与偏见》。

A: Tīng qǐ lái hěn yǒu qù, dàn shì wǒ bù xǐ huān kē huàn xiǎo shuō. Wǒ zuì xǐ huān de shū hái shì yī xiē jīng diǎn míng zhù, bǐ rú “Ào Màn Yǔ Piān Jiàn”.

Sounds interesting, but I do not like science fiction. My favorite books are classics such as Pride and Prejudice.

Chinese words and phrases mentioned in this Podcast:


火:popular, a hit


《三体》:The Three-Body Problem

讲什么:what is it about?

谁写的:who wrote it?

科幻小说:science fiction



文化大革命:Cultural Revolution





《傲慢与偏见》:Pride and Prejudice

Cultural/Grammar notes:

The Cultural Revolution was a socio-political event which took place in the People’s Republic of China from 1966 to 1976 led by the Chairman Mao Zedong. Even until today it’s one of the sensitive topics in Chinese society although many years have passed. It’s wise to be careful to talk about any Chinese politics topics in general in China.

The Three-Body Problem is a science fiction novel written by the Chinese writer Liu Cixin. The background of the story is the Cultural Revolution in China and tells a story about people on the earth and aliens.

Mandarin Chinese learning resources we recommend:

Using Italki, a unique system of learning Mandarin Chinese where you interact with real teachers, is widely recognised as an effective way to learn a new language! You’ll make more progress and learn how native Chinese speakers really speak. Plus, Italki is more affordable than offline tutors, offline schools and software, and is convenient to use at your own pace and place!

Keats Chinese School
Keats Chinese School, which was founded in 2004, is one of the top Mandarin Chinese language schools in China, offering both one-on-one immersion Mandarin courses and small group Chinese classes. Located in Kunming, Keats develops personalised exercises and materials for students to meet their learning goals and requirements and can arrange a student visa for its 16 week course.

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