We have not been adding enough beginner stories to this website recently. In the future we will put more effort to ensure beginners can also find readable content. The Chinese passage contains a few more different characters than most beginner passages but is fairly straightforward. A full translation of the text can be found at the bottom of the page, try not to use it until you have worked your way through first. As always, if you have any questions then please ask in the comment section below. First, let’s look at some of the key words to be found in the passage below.
燕子 – Swallow
窗户 – Window. In the story below, the character 窗 is used without the 户 character. This is very common in Chinese.
只 – Can mean “Only” but also has other meanings. This can be a measure word for birds. In the story below there is an instance where it means “only” “我只见一个” this would mean “I only saw one”. There is also an instance when it is used as a measure word “六只小燕子” meaning “6 baby swallows”. Note that when you read this as “only” then you should use the third tone to read it whereas when used as a measure word the first tone should be used.
The Baby Swallows
For beginner learners then I really recommend picking up a level 1 book from the Chinese Breeze series. These books have helped me a lot.
(Hover over the Chinese for pinyin)
今天，我正在做作业。忽然爸爸在窗外招手让我出去，一脸神秘又兴奋的样子。我跑出去，爸爸指指屋顶的燕子窝，窝里传来几声燕子宝宝嫩嫩的 “喳喳” 声，原来是叫我去看燕子宝宝！
爸爸帮我搬来一把长长的梯子，我 “噌噌” 几下就爬了上去。我见一个碗样的鸟窝里住着六只小燕子，它们都长着黄黄的尖嘴，张得大大的，毛茸茸的身体一扭一扭，细细的黑色绒毛下露出粉红的皮肤，一个个伸长脖子张大嘴巴大叫着，真热闹。
Here is a voice recording of a Chinese speaker reading this. Follow along while you read and attempt to imitate the pronunciation.
Let’s look at a couple of sentences from the passage above and translate them into English.
“Suddenly father beckoned me from outside the window asking me to go out”.
原来 in this sentence can be translated to “As it turns out…”. So the sentence becomes “It turns out that he called me to see some baby swallows”
This translation does not sound like a well-written story. Mainly just to give the basics of each sentence to help you understand it.
Today I am writing my homework. Suddenly my father from outside the window waves at me to go out. His faces has a mysterious and excited appearance. I run outside. Father points to a swallow’s nest on the roof. From the nest are the soft calls of several baby swallows, my father had called me to see baby swallows!
My father helps me to move a ladder. I climb up the ladder with a clanging noise. I see a bowl-shaped nest and inside the nest are 6 baby swallows. They all have sharp yellow beaks that are opened wide. The hair on their bodies is twisting and turning. Underneath the fine black hair is pink skin. All of them are stretching their necks calling out, how noisy!
Suddenly there is a thud. Some bird poo falls onto me, a baby swallow had gone to the toilet! Me and my father laugh a lot.
Cute baby swallows, next time I go to see you I will definitely bring you something delicious to eat.
Thanks for reading
We hope you found this useful. More beginner reading will be added soon so keep checking back for more.