Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Recent articles Page 41

  1. Using search engines to study Chinese

    Studying on your own comes with certain problems I think all language learners have encountered many times. If you encounter a concept you don’t know how to say in the target language, you have to look it up. The first natural thing would be to look in a dictionary or a corpus, but some kinds of questions can’t be answered in this way. Asking a search engine is a very powerful but often neglected tool that I use on a daily basis.

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  2. Learning Chinese pronunciation as a beginner

    Learning to pronounce Chinese properly is one of the major obstacles for most learners. As a beginner, the task might seem daunting, but I’m convinced that with the right attitude, native-like pronunciation is achievable. The most important thing to do is to take responsibility for your own learning and adopt a correct attitude towards being taught. Focusing a little bit on the third tone doesn’t hurt either.

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  3. A smart method to discover problems with tones

    Studying Chinese, it’s sometimes hard to assess the quality one’s own pronunciation. People in your surrounding might understand what you are saying, but how do you verify how clear your pronunciation is? In an ideal world, it would be easy, you could just ask a qualified teacher and given enough time it would be possible to figure out most of the pronunciation-related problems. However, you seldom have that option, so here I present a method to test your own pronunciation which is difficult to fool and has proven extremely useful in practice.

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  4. Anki, the best of spaced repetition software

    Of all the various websites and programs out there to help you learning Chinese, Anki is probably the most important one. There are numerous software to handle vocabulary learning, but in my experience, none of them are as versatile and dynamic as Anki.

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  5. Take responsibility for your language learning now

    You are the only one responsible for your own learning and if you let other people take responsibility for you, the results might be disastrous. This might sound obvious, but I think the problem is widely overlooked, especially by people who take language courses.

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  6. Pros and cons with travelling to learn a language

    It is often said that it’s very good to travel to learn languages. I don’t think is true, at least not in the sense that most people believe. Travelling has some major language-learning benefits, but it’s far from the panacea some people view it as.

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  7. Chinese listening ability, a matter of practice?

    Many people have asked me how to improve listening ability, not only when learning Chinese, but when learning any language. The problem is that there seems to be no tactic to employ and no smart tricks; to get better at listening, you simply need to practice. Is this really the case? Is listening ability simply about listening a lot? Can’t you hack it?

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  8. Learning Chinese words really fast

    After spending three articles building up our toolkit to learn Chinese more efficiently, the time is now ripe to actually use all these to something genuinely useful. It’s time to make those long-term investments pay off. This article explains how to learn new words really fast.

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  9. Creating a powerful toolkit: Characters and words

    This is the second article in my series on creating a toolkit to enable efficient learning of words and this time the topic is individual characters. This article explains why individual characters are important to learn and there are links to other articles describing how to learn characters efficiently.

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  10. Spaced repetition software and why you should use it

    Spaced repetition means that you review words you want to learn in certain intervals to maximise learning efficiency. Since this involves keeping track of much data, a computer program is needed to handle it properly. Spaced repetition software is very powerful and can be used for many things, but learning vocabulary and characters are perhaps the most important applications.

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