help desk

ALERT: The Firefox web broswer might not work for the audio files on the website temporarily due to our audio server update. Please use IE to access the audio webpages for the time being. We are looking for a solution to solve this problem. Thank you for your patience.


(1) Technical Requirements

(2) Instructions for Flash plug-in HTML files

(3) Technical Instructions for Viewing Chinese Characters on this Site

(4) Frequently Asked Questions


(1) Technical Requirements
In Chinese Reading World, each lesson test is presented with a Flash Plug-in HTML file, a GB file, and an MP3 audio file for users to practice their reading. Macromedia Flash Player, NJStar Chinese Word Processor, and a media player are required to explore the reading lessons. The links for free downloading are provided below:

What you need
Where you can download
Flash Player
NJStar Chinese Word Processor (Free trial version)
Media Player for Windows

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(2) Instructions for Flash Plug-in HTML files
Flash Player is required for the interactive multiple-choice tasks in Flash Plug-in HTML files, in which you will be asked to take a vocabulary pre-test, read an article, do reading comprehension questions, and take a vocabulary post-test. We will show you a grade report at the end that includes your reading efficiency index and your progress from pre-test to post- test. Thus, in the Flash Plug-in reading exercise, the Go B ack function in the browser is disabled.

    Please follow these three steps to do the reading exercise:

    Step 1—Vocabulary Pretest
    For each word, three answers in English are provided. Please choose the one which best matches the target Chinese word. Please click Submit once after you have completed the pretest. The following figure shows the step 1 vocabulary pretest.

    Step 1 -- Vocabulary Pre-test

    Step 2—Reading Exercise
    You will be presented with a reading text. Please read the article and answer the reading comprehension questions. If you would like to use the learning aid in NJStar Chinese Word Processor, the link to the GB file is on the top of the reading text box, as shown below. To answer each question, please click the drag- down menu for the multiple choices. A list of options will appear.
    You will be timed in this reading exercise. Please click Submit when you have answered all the questions. After you submit your answers, the timer will stop. For incorrect choices, you will see the Chinese character 错. If you answer all the questions correctly, you will see ^_^ 全对!很好!

    The time you spend on reading and answering questions, and the accuracy of your answers in this exercise, will be calculated as your reading efficiency index, which will be presented o n the report page.

    Step 2 -- Reading Exercise


    Step 3—Vocabulary Posttest
    You will take a vocabulary posttest. The format is the same as the vocabulary pretest.

    Report page—After you have done the above three steps, a grade report will indicate your progress in the two vocabulary tests, the time you spent o n the step 2 reading exercise, and your reading efficiency index (REI). A skilled reader’s REI will also be provided for your reference.

    To view a sample lesson, click here.

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    (3) Technical Instructions for Viewing Chinese Characters on this Site

    File Types

    The pages on this site are of three basic types:  HTML, B5, and AUDIO.  The html pages are basic text documents that can be displayed on any machine capable of displaying traditional Chinese characters.  The B5 files are Chinese word processor documents created using the NJStar Chinese Word Processor (available as a free trial and as shareware from NJStar).  These files are meant to be used with NJ Star¡¦s on-line dictionaries.  The audio files are the same as the html files, but have embedded QuickTime sound files. QuickTime software must be installed on your computer in order to play these files.  The audio files are somewhat large and streamed, so if you are accessing the files from a computer not on the UVA network, it may take a few minutes for the file to begin to play and the file may occasionally stop as the data is downloaded.

    Internet Explorer vs. Netscape Navigator

    The Chinese pages on this site have been optimized for Internet Explorer and will display best with v5.0 or higher.  All pages can also be viewed with Netscape Navigator, but paragraphs will not be indented properly.  (The first line of Chinese paragraphs should be indented two characters, but will only be indented one character in Netscape.)  Also, the links to the B5 files will not work properly in Netscape.  In order to open these files with Netscape, hold down the ¡§shift¡¨ key while clicking the B5 link.  When prompted, save the file to your hard drive and open it directly from its saved location.  In IE simply clicking on the link will open a dialog box asking whether you want to save or open the file.  The final difference between the two web browsers on this site concerns what must be done in order for Chinese characters to be displayed on your computer.  The IE option is easier (less expensive!) here too.  See below for more details.

    Chinese Display With Internet Explorer

    In order to make IE display the Chinese on these pages, traditional Chinese support must be installed.  In IE v5.0 or higher, this can be done by selecting the ¡§Windows Update¡¨ feature under the ¡§Tools¡¨ menu and selecting ¡§tradition Chinese support¡¨ from the list of offered updates.  (Total download and install time is generally not more than a few minutes.) 

    Chinese Display With Netscape

    Getting Netscape to display Chinese is a bit more complicated, as Netscape on your computer might not provide built-in Asian language support.  (Netscape claims that this will be rectified in the near future.)  In the meantime, the only other option is to install a program that will ¡§translate¡¨ the characters for Netscape.  The best programs we know of at this time are NJWin CJK (Chinese/Japanese/Korean) Internet Viewer and NJStar Communicator.  Both are available as free downloads and shareware from NJStar.  These programs both seem to work reasonably well.

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    (4) Frequently Asked Questions

    1. What do those asterisks (*) after certain phrases mean in the reading text?

    Those asterisks denote possible new words which are important for reading comprehension but may not be collected in the NJ Star dictionary. We provide the Pinyin and the meaning of the word(s) at the end of the text.

    2. Why are some characters underlined in GB files?

    The entire compound is underlined. Please highlight the words which are underlined as a unit in order to find the correct corresponding annotation in the NJ Star dictionary.

    3. I want to read in simplified characters. Why do traditional characters appear?

    The default interface setting in your NJ Star may not be properly set. Please check the Chinese interface system setting under your NJ Star working environment. Make sure that you choose the simplified Chinese interface under the HELP Menu. Or, you may also highlight the whole text and change the font into NJ Star simplified characters. In order to highlight the whole article, you can either drag the whole article by using mouse or press “Ctrl + A” on your keyboard.

    4. I want to read in traditional characters. Why do simplified characters appear?

    Please choose traditional Chinese interface under the HELP Menu. Or, you may also highlight the whole text and change the font into NJ Star traditional characters. In order to highlight the whole article, you can either drag the whole article by using mouse or press “Ctrl + A” on your keyboard.

    5. How can I use online annotations in NJStar while reading lessons?

    Fully registered NJStar (version 4.5 or above) has a "Popup Dictionary” function. When the instant lookup opion is activated, a window with glosses pops up as the cursor moves over a word or a character. To enable the Popup Dictionary function, click on the popup dictionary icon on the tool bar. The following illustrates this with an example in the NJStar help menu.

    NJStar Chinese WP Help - Copyright (c) NJStar Software Corp. 1991-2004, All Rights Reserved.

    Another related feature is called Word Annotation. A highlighted passage can be annotated paragraph-by-paragraph and appended below the original text. The annotated file can be saved as a text (GB, Big5, Unicode) file. You can activate it by clicking the “Word Annotation” under the Tools category as follows:

    NJStar Chinese WP Help - Copyright (c) NJStar Software Corp. 1991-2004, All Rights Reserved.

    This function applies to the selected/highlighted block of text in the document window. It searches NJStar Dictionary then annotates Pinyin spellings and English meanings at the end of each paragraph.

    NJStar Chinese WP Help - Copyright (c) NJStar Software Corp. 1991-2004, All Rights Reserved.

    The features above are provided in a registered copy of NJStar. In the trial version of NJStar, users can highlight the vocabulary word and look it up by right-clicking the mouse for hanzi information…

    …or by clicking the hanzi information icon on the tool bar.

    The hanzi information is presented below. For phrases with the target vocabulary word, click the “Dictionary” button in the upper-right corner of the hanzi information window.



    6. How can I convert Hanzi to Pinyin with tone markings?

    To convert Hanzi to Pinyin, highlight a block of Chinese characters and then right-click the mouse in order for “Convert Hanzi to Pinyin” option to appear.

    Next, a window will pop up for users to set up the desired Pinyin output format. For diacritic tone marks, select “on top” option in the Output Tones panel.



    7. Where can I download a free trial version or purchase a fully registered version of NJStar?

    You can download a trial version at
    This trial version is for 30-day-free evaluation. Fully registered version can be purchased securely online at
    The registered version provides better fonts for printing and display, and a full bilingual dictionary.


    8. Why the audio files are not working on my computer?

    Please check if you have a media player installed on your computer/laptop. We recommand Quick Time Player (Free download at

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    More Questions? Please contact the webmaster.