Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Attitude and mentality’ category

  1. Is it necessary to learn the stroke order of Chinese characters?

    Stroke order and direction can feel like something difficult and unnecessary for beginner Chinese students, but it is important that you get the order right from the start. Most teachers and textbooks will tell you that; this article explains why!

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  2. Task based Chinese learning and teaching

    Task based language learning and teaching is built around working with tasks in the target language with a clear focus on meaning (communication). Focus on form should come after the task has been completed.

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  3. How long do you have to study Chinese to make it useful?

    Learning Chinese and other languages is always useful. The real question should be what it’s useful for and what you need to get there. Still, you will never wake up one day and just know that you’re done, there’s always more!

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  4. 5 things Chinese students should do on the winter vacation

    What should Chinese students do on the winter vacation? Apart from recharging batteries, there are a number of things you should consider if you want optimal long-term results.

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  5. Why you should preview before every Chinese lesson

    Previewing before every lesson is extremely important, yet only a minority of students actually do it. By spending more time before the lesson, you learn more without necessarily spending more time, and you will feel better about it too.

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  6. Three factors that decide how much Chinese you learn

    Many things determine how much progress you make. This article is an overview of three factors you should always keep in mind when planning how to reach your goals. You need all three!

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  7. Learn Chinese faster by leaving your comfort zone

    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!

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  8. Are there any shortcuts for learning Chinese?

    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.

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  9. The real challenge with learning Chinese characters

    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.

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  10. About right and wrong when learning Chinese

    What does it mean when something is said to be “correct” in Chinese? Who’s right if all the people around you say something, but the dictionary says something else? Mandarin is a huge language spoken my a very large number of people, so some variation is to be expected. This article is about the flexibility of Mandarin and how to deal with it as a student.

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