Magazines

Reader's Digest for Chinese readers

JDM080201puzhis.jpg
I am Joe's mainland Chinese edition

Reader's Digest has broken into the Chinese market.

A licensing agreement with the Shanghai Press and Publication Development Corporation brings the general-interest magazine to the mainland, where it is published under the name Puzhi (普知, "general knowledge"). The first issue hit stands in January (it's actually a double issue that covers February as well). It opens with a brief history of the magazine, from its founding in 1922 up through the 50 editions in 21 languages that are published today.

Of course, this is not the first Chinese-language Reader's Digest in existence—there are editions in both Hong Kong and Taiwan. And it's not even the first magazine of that name on the mainland.

In 1981, the magazine now called Duzhe (读者) was known as Reader's Digest (读者文摘). It caught the attention of the American magazine as early as 1982, when circulation had reached 420,000, but it wasn't until the 90s that the IP lawyers got involved in earnest. The Chinese publication finally changed its name in March, 1993.

The two magazines are similar in scope, but with its glossy printing and 12 yuan price (compared to Duzhe's newsprint and 3 yuan), Reader's Digest is obviously going after a different readership.

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Is this supposed to be funny?

If you've read the English-language edition, you'll find much that's familiar in Puzhi. The usual departments are all here—humorous anecdotes, medical miracles and scientific discoveries, inspiring stories of real-life heroes, and quotes from famous people. There's an advertising insert section, just like you find in the US (this one's 12 pages long and devoted to the Beijing Olympics). Even the Word Power feature has been adapted for Chinese readers: improve your vocabulary by taking a quiz on obscure terms from ancient classics.

Although translations make up a hefty chunk of the content, there is original Chinese-language material as well: this issue contains an interview with Andy Lau and a profile of zoologist Pan Wenshi.

Translations can only go so far, anyway. It's one thing to read, say, a gripping account of one woman's fight with a cougar; it's another when you're puzzling over a translated joke that doesn't make any sense.

Fortunately, Puzhi continues the Reader's Digest practice of paying readers for their contributions—380 yuan for funny anecdotes and 1000 yuan for real-life stories—so future issues should have more accessible humor.

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There are currently 3 Comments for Reader's Digest for Chinese readers.

Comments on Reader's Digest for Chinese readers

I've seen several Reader's Digest Condensed Books, but I've never seen one that was science fiction.

So, anybody know why they don't have SF?

PS.All of the titles I have seen can be classified as "safe" titles that don't have any genre tinges at all.


This is so nostalgic. Awesome read.

where can we purchase the chinese version of readers digest

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