I know enough Chinese characters to read quite advanced texts in this language. The problem, though, is that I'm terribly slow, so slow that reading anything is not a pleasure. This is something that really hampers my progress. I know how reading improved my proficiency in other, Latin script-based languages that I've learnt.

I know that practice makes perfect, and after spending enough time with Chinese texts my reading speed will eventually improve. However, I don't know how to do this effectively. As for learning characters, spaced repetition is a great invention which makes learning much more effective compared to traditional methods. Is there any such invention for reading?

  • 2
    Read stuff that is interesting to you, to hold your attention even if you're going terribly slow.
    – Hatchet
    Oct 22, 2016 at 12:22

2 Answers 2


Perhaps the problem may lie in the fact that you are still unsure, or at least, quick enough in your identification of the Chinese characters. If that's the case, there are plenty of vocabulary practice tools like HSK Locker app which may prove helpful.

Otherwise, I believe the answer is as you've said it, namely a lack of practice in reading. To which the solution would be to read more, unfortunately, to get over the 'bump' in your fluency.


The Russian Internet browser "Yandex" has a very good translation function ("Переводчик") on the browser's main page [go to https://www.yandex.ru]. The Yandex translator can translate Chinese [Китайский] words, sentences, and paragraphs to any one of more than sixty languages.

For example, one can set up the browser for translation by clicking on the word "Переводчик" on the main menu bar. Then select "English" [Английский ] as the source language box by clicking on the existing language selection in the first (source) box -- which will then bring up a list of all the languages available for use as the source language and then clicking, followed by clicking on "Английский" to set the source language.

The target language (Chinese, in this example) is similarly selected by clicking on the existing language in the second (target) box as was done in selecting the language for the source box.

When the initial source/target boxes are set up for English/Chinese translation, then typing in English words, or a sentence such as "Good morning, how are you today?" for the target language to be translated into Chinese will result in "早上好,你今天怎么样?" being displayed in the target (result) language box.

For another trial translation you can type in the first (source) box another English (Английский) sample sentence "The American President's press conference tomorrow is sure to be covered by many international news agencies. ". Yandex will begin translating your source text into Chinese (Китайский) as soon as you begin typing your source text, i.e. "美国总统的新闻发布会明天是一定要涵盖的许多国际新闻机构。"

You can use this translation method to test and retest your Chinese character recognition for words with which you are familiar; by continually repeating this initial one-way translation learning procedure you will be able to select at will source words that will produce Chinese sentences that you will be able, not only by repetition but also by editing your translations (e.g, spacing characters, syllables, spacing between words, and the like) to improve readability and consequently your speed in reading. You will also be able to quickly construct and enter your own long or short words, phrases, and sentences as comprehension exercises.

In addition to entering text manually, copying Chinese text and pasting the copied text into the source window for translation into English (or whatever language you set up as the target/output language) will enable you to use Yandex's editing features to manipulate and change both source and text. By copying (highlighting) text from Internet news sources and pasting the copied text into the Yandex source text box you may be able to discover, for example, words that you are finding yourself having difficulty with recognizing, and thus slowing down your reading speed.

If you are able to input Chinese characters in your source text you will be able to almost immediately check the correctness of your Chinese character inputs with the translated outputs in a selected Yandex language. And vice-versa as well.

The browser's translator function has 'look ahead' capability for 'guessing' what word you are likely going to type. If you find that Yandex has that 'look ahead' capability for its Chinese language, then you may find that not only is your source input capability quickening, but perhaps you may find that with use and practice of the Yandex browser you will perhaps be able to enter (and read) your Chinese source text -- and your Chinese output text -- with increasing rapidity ... and will hopefully have thereby accomplished your goal.

  • Yandex can translate Russian into any one or more of its foreign-languages. The browser's Russian instructions, grammar terms, abbreviations, menu items and headings, text, or whatever, can be translated into a target language (e.g., English (Англиский) by simply highlighting the Russian abbreviation, word, phrase or whatever and pasting it into the source text box (set up to translate Russian). The output language (target) translation can then be read in Yandex's output box. In this way, all the languages listed in Russian can be translated and read. Apr 7, 2017 at 1:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.