Practical Chinese Reader
Practical Chinese Reader is a series of Chinese language teaching books developed to teach non-Chinese speakers to speak Chinese. The reader follows the antics of Palanka and Gubo through various stages. Practical Chinese Reader is administered by the Chinese Department of Culture, and most students of Standard Mandarin in a classroom setting probably have contact with the book. The course consists of a Chinese reader, a character workbook, and a grammar workbook. It was first published in 1981 by Beijing Language and Culture University Press (BLCUP). . It allows the use of writing in typical Chinese pinyin.
New Practical Chinese Reader
Practical Chinese Reader was completely revised in 2002 and was re-published as New Practical Chinese Reader. New teaching material and concepts were added, while older words not in common use were removed. The new series consists of six volumes: the first four targeting beginners, while the last two are geared for intermediate learners. The New Practical Chinese Reader pays homage to the older edition by introducing a new character, Libo, who is the son of Gubo and Ding Yun from the original edition.
Page two of the NPCR reads:
A Canadian Student, aged 21, male Gubo is his father Ding Yun is his mother.
Versions in English (Simplified Chinese or Traditional Chinese), Spanish, German, French, and Russian are available. Versions in other languages are to be published soon.
- Gubo (古波): Young male student, non-Chinese. The name's transliteration is uncertain but Cooper or Gilbert has been suggested.
- Palanka (帕兰卡): Young female student, non Chinese, Gubo's friend. Chosen as a Western sounding name, the original being possibly Bianca
- Ding Yun (丁云): Young female student, Chinese, Palanka's friend.
- Ding Libo (丁力波): Son of Gubo and Ding Yun. Introduced in the NPCR.
- Ma Dawei （马大为）： An American male student, whose real name is David March. Introduced in "NPCR".
- Lin Na （林娜）：A British female Student, whose real name is Natalie Lynn. Introduced in "NPCR".
- Wang Xiaoyun （王小云）： A Chinese female student. Introduced in "NPCR".
- Song Hua （宋华）： A Chinese male student. Introduced in "NPCR".
- Lu Yuping （陆雨平）： A Chinese male reporter. Introduced in "NPCR".
In accordance with keeping the dialogue the same, the characters are given universal names in translations of the book across all languages.