Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Advanced’ category

  1. Learn Chinese faster by leaving your comfort zone

    If learning feels like unicycling down this slope, you're doing it right!

    If you want to learn Chinese faster, you have to make sure you leave your comfort zone and challenge yourself as much and as often as you can. There are many things of doing this, including immersing yourself in language above your current level or putting yourself in situations that demand a higher level of performance. Leave your comfort zone!

    Read →

  2. Using voice messaging to practise Chinese speaking and listening

    voice messaging

    Voice messaging can be a powerful way to practise Chinese speaking and listening ability. It has several advantages for language learners, including the ability to record and listen more than once, as well as reducing the pressure that some learners feel when talking to native speakers the first few times.

    Read →

  3. Can you use English learning materials to study Chinese?

    esl

    There’s a very large number of books available for Chinese people learning English, but even if it’s tempting to think that we can use these to learn Chinese, doing so comes with several problems. ESL books have their use, but not as many as you might think.

    Read →

  4. Are there any shortcuts for learning Chinese?

    shortcut

    When asked the question if there are any shortcuts when learning Chinese, some people answer “no”, others “yes”. This is probably because they’re talking about different things. No, there is no method that will enable you to master Chinese without spending an awful lot of time studying. Yes, there are many things you can do to make learning more efficient.

    Read →

  5. How to verify that you use the right Chinese font

    screenshot113

    For second language learners, using the wrong font can make learning characters very confusing. In this article, I will help you verify that you have the right fonts installed and discuss what happens if you don’t. This is a follow-up to an earlier article about Chinese fonts for students.

    Read →

  6. Chinese character variants and fonts for language learners

    screenshot104

    Chinese character variants and regional font standards can be really confusing for language learners. As if simplified/traditional wasn’t enough, characters can look different depending on the font used or where the text was printed! This article will help you understand what’s going on.

    Read →

  7. Learning to pronounce Mandarin with Pinyin, Zhuyin and IPA: Part 3

    phonetics600

    As adults, understanding is important when learning pronunciation. One way to achieve this is through the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), which will allow you to see the sounds your ears might fail to hear. Learning IPA also means learning basic phonetics, and that will do you good in the long run!

    Read →

  8. The real challenge with learning Chinese characters

    invgraph3

    The real challenge when learning Chinese characters is not to commit a large number of them to memory, it’s to relate them to each other, including how they are used, how they are different and how they are similar. Creating such an interconnected web is a lifelong project.

    Read →

  9. Improving pronunciation beyond the basics

    image1

    Learning pronunciation beyond the basics is about knowing where you want to be and where you are now. Then you identify which problems keep you from reaching your goal, and solve them one by one in order of importance. This starts with high-quality practice where you learn to pronounce something correctly, then moves to high-quantity practice where you gradually decrease the effort needed to get it right. After a while, no effort will be required and you will have successfully improved your pronunciation!

    Read →

  10. Which words you should learn and where to find them

    cihui

    When learning a language, it’s important to know many words, but it’s also important that you learn the right words. How do you know which words to learn? Where should you find those words? Note: This was written using only the 100 most used words to show how good it is to know the right words.

    Read →