- Recent articles
Writing Chinese here should be construed both as handwriting characters and writing texts, by hand or using a computer. For the beginner, stroke order and character composition is a major problem, but for advanced learners, writing articles and handling grammar becomes more important. Here are some other questions discussed in this category:
- How do I learn to write Chinese characters?
- How can I improve my writing ability?
- Do I really have to write characters by hand?
I have selected a few articles I find extra important. For a complete list, check the bottom of this page.
- Creating a powerful toolkit: Character components – If you plan to learn to read or write Chinese, you will need to learn parts of characters (components) and parts of words (characters). There are an untold number of combinations of these, and if you only study these it will be impossible. This would be a little bit like learning maths by studying thousands of examples, but never actually looking at the underlying equations.
- Four different kinds of mistakes: Problem analysis – So, you’ve made a mistake, but do you know what kind of mistake it was? Perhaps it was the kind that you can safely ignore and just keep going, but it might also have been a very serious mistake you should spend time correcting. This article is about identifying and dealing with different kinds of mistakes.
- Learn by exaggerating: Slow, then fast; big, then small - If you want to speak or write quickly, you should start out by doing it slowly. Mimicking native speed early will just lead to sloppy language and bad communication. Expose your errors so that you have a chance to correct them.
- Using Lang-8 to improve your Chinese - Learning a foreign language, most people lack proper feedback from native speakers. Even if we have friends and teachers, always having to ask for help isn’t very good. In this article, I explain how Lang-8 solves this problem for you. Useful for any language, not just Chinese!
- Improving writing ability: Common problems and how to tackle them – Learning to write well in Chinese requires lots of practise, which presents us with a number of problems. How do we find suitable topics? How do we avoid performance anxiety? How can we benefit from the mistakes we will make? These are some questions I discuss in this article.
- When perfectionism becomes an obstacle to progress – Perfectionism is usually regarded as something positive, perhaps even necessary. Scoring 100% on an exam is good, isn’t it? No, it’s not. In this article, I explain why perfectionism is bad when learning a language. Aiming for 90% is far better than aiming for 100%. This is being smart, not lazy.
Here’s a list of all articles related to writing ability in some way (scroll down to see all of them in a text-only list):
Learning Chinese through social media
The art of being corrected
Creating a powerful toolkit: Character components
Creating a powerful toolkit: Individual characters
Creating a powerful toolkit: Characters and words
Learning Chinese words really fast
Diversified learning is smart learning
Four different kinds of mistakes: Problem analysis
Benchmarking progress to stay motivated
Learn by exaggerating: Slow, then fast; big, then small
Learning simplified and traditional Chinese
Advancing in spite of praise
When perfectionism becomes an obstacle to progress
Using Lang-8 to improve your Chinese
Language is communication, not only an abstract subject to study
Improving writing ability: Common problems and how to tackle them
Kickstart your character learning with the 100 most common radicals
Chat your way to better Chinese
Learning Chinese in the shower with me
Is it necessary to learn to write Chinese characters by hand?
Translating to improve your Chinese
Phonetic components, part 1: The key to 80% of all Chinese characters
Drills and exercises aren’t only for beginners
How to improve your Chinese writing ability through focused reading
Improving your spoken and written Chinese by focusing on the process
How to learn Chinese characters as a beginner
Asking the experts: How to learn Chinese grammar
Why good feedback matters and how to get it
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- About Hacking Chinese