Chinese Grammar – Broken down into 100 items

This book covers the most important grammar points for beginners and intermediate learners. Explanations are in both Chinese and English. All Chinese entries come without Pinyin. The example sentences are not translated, so you need to already have some basic knowledge of Chinese. The answer key comes in a separate booklet that is included in the package when you buy the book. The answer key also provides a short grammar overview in the beginning.

The book is fairly big (210 mm x 285 mm), so it’s not suitable for reading in bed or on the sofa.


Brushing Up Your Vocabulary for HSK


I love this textbook series! I never found them on Chinese language books websites, so in the end I got them in China. This series covers the HSK vocabulary from Beginner till Advanced level (I also own the two volumes of the Beginner level but they’re not relevant to me anymore). It’s alphabetically sorted (which is a bit of a downside, imagine learning six characters pronounced “fan” in a row and trying not to confuse their meanings) and every page on the left lists around 10 to 15 entries and on the right side are the corresponding exercises. The first exercise is about filling in the blanks with the words you just learnt. The second exercise often shows two or three words that can be easily confused as they have similar meanings but are used differently. The third exercise shows a few sentences and you have to choose the corresponding usage explanation. It also comes with an answer key at the end of each volume.


Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary – The printed version

I also own the book (that being said I first bought the book and later found out there’s an app). The biggest difference between the book and the app is that the book solely uses katakana and hiragana for the readings. As I mentioned in earlier blog posts, I’m normally a person who loves to highlight and write notes in textbooks. However, this time it’s different. I find the book to heavy to carry around and finding a kanji takes up a lot of time. The book is also a lot more expensive (it was around 40 € last time I checked on amazon) whereas the app was just 18 €. And the app is much more useful as it can also be used offline and it’s virtually always with you. So studying on the bus etc. is really comfortable with the app.

Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary App


  1. Here you can have the app show you more or less information. Less information basically shows only the English meanings of this kanji. More information is like it is on this screenshot.
  2. Lets you add a bookmark for this kanji.
  3. Lets you look for a different kanji.
  4. Settings.
  5. Basic English meaning.
  6. First comes the on-reading in capital letters (or katakana) followed by the kun-reading in small letters (or hiragana). It depends on your settings whether you see the readings in our alphabet or in katakana/hiragana.
  7. Radical of this kanji. If you click on it, the app will show you other kanji with the same radical.
  8. Shows you in which grade this kanji is taught. E.g. Jōyō 1 means it’s taught in grade 1. The example here is without a number meaning it’s taught after grade 6.
  9. The first number shows the total stroke number. The second one refers to the stroke number of the radical only. And the last one shows the amount of additional strokes to the radical.
  10. Stroke order.


A Guide to Japanese Grammar

This guide shows you how the Japanese grammar works from a Japanese perspective which makes it so invaluable compared to all the other study materials covering Japanese grammar. And the best thing is: It’s completely free! You can get the guide and more information following the link below.

You can also buy the paperbook version on amazon if you’re like me who needs an actual book in their hands and the possibility of highlighting etc.

Long time no see

Oh my god… it literally has been years since I wrote something on my blog and I’m terribly sorry about that. Yes, it’s just a hobby so far but I really wanted to make so much more out of it. Anyway, I have good reasons for being so negligent about my blog. I was abroad for longer periods of time and also some personal stuff happened. But now I feel like rejuvenating this blog with a lot of good textbooks I encountered on my travels 🙂