Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Advanced’ category

  1. How I learnt Chinese, part 7: Teaching, writing, learning

    Me (left) participating in a plenary discussion at the 13th Annual Chinese Teaching Conference at University College London, arranged by the IOE Confucius Institute for Schools. Photo by: Philippa Vallely.

    This is the 7th part of the story of how I learnt Chinese, bringing us up to date and probably a few years into the future as well. Topics covered include: motivation, distributed learning and teaching as a learning method.

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  2. Mimicking native speakers as a way of learning Chinese

    Using Audacity to mimic native speakers

    Mimicking native speakers very closely is one of my favourite ways of learning a number of things, but mainly pronunciation and intonation. It’s also a good way of learning vocabulary and grammar. This article contains step-by-step instructions for how to mimic your way to the next level!

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  3. 7 kinds of tone problems and what to do about them


    Tones are tricky to learn and students often encounter many different kinds of problems. Since the solution to them are very different, it’s important to understand what the problem actually is before you try to do something about it!

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  4. An introduction to extensive reading for Chinese learners


    Extensive reading is when you read more text at a higher level of comprehension (around 98%), which should be contrasted by intensive reading when you need assistance to understand the text. Most courses focus only on intensive reading, but you should actually spend most of your time on extensive reading.

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  5. Learning Chinese by playing board games


    Playing board games in Chinese is an entertaining and powerful way of learning the language. Depending on what game you choose, it’s suitable for beginners and advanced students alike. Apart from playing, the game itself can also work as a common point for discussions and socialising.

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  6. Expanding your Chinese with 一步一个脚印


    一步一个脚印 is a blog about translating and interpreting Chinese, providing high quality posts about vocabulary and expressions in Chinese and English, as well as interpretation and translation exercises.

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  7. Overcoming the problem of having too many Chinese words to learn


    Learning words is very important, but how should you deal with the fact that there are so many of them to learn? This article discusses the problem of having too many words to learn and suggests some solutions to get around the problem.

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  8. Learning to read handwritten Chinese


    Reading handwritten Chinese is not easy, even if you can read standard fonts okay. This is about practising using computer fonts that mimic handwriting. It also shows a number of useful fonts you can try.

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  9. Transcribing Chinese audio as an active form of listening practice

    Transcribing Chinese audio as an active form of listening

    Transcribing audio is a very active method of practising listening ability that encourages you to pay attention to detail. It works for all proficiency levels and is a great weapon in your arsenal to conquer Chinese listening ability.

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  10. How I learnt Chinese, part 6: Graduate program in Taiwan

    We can still make progress, of course, and if we enjoy it, we can also achieve a lot. But it's not easy.

    In this sixth part of the story of how I learnt Chinese, I talk about my two years in a master’s program for teaching Chinese as a second language in Taiwan. I share three main insight about motivation, extra-curricular activities and advanced learning.

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