Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Attitude and mentality’ category

  1. Will a Chinese-only rule improve your learning?

    Are “Chinese only” rules good for learning? Most people agree that immersion is a good thing and that the more you practice, the faster you learn the language, but this isn’t necessarily the same as saying that using Chinese 100% of the time is good for you. This article brings up pros and cons about Chinese-only rules and then draws a conclusion.

    Read →

  2. Three steps to more and better Chinese listening practice

    Listening to enough Chinese audio isn’t easy. It requires you to find suitable audio in large quantities as well as to make that audio easily accessible wherever you are. That’s not enough, though, you also need to be able to keep this up for weeks, months and years, and that’s where the real challenge is. This article is meant to help you listen to as much Chinese audio as you should.

    Read →

  3. How focusing on intent can help you learn Chinese characters

    What you intend to write is more important that what you actually write. With the right intent, more practice will take you far, but with the wrong intent, no amount of practice will help. Fortunately, a small mental trick can help you learn to write characters more effectively.

    Read →

  4. How knowing your best performance in Chinese can help you improve

    When learning Chinese, it’s important to know how good your best performance is, because this determines the way you study. If your best performance is good enough, you mostly need high-volume practice, more of the same will get you there. But if your best performance isn’t good enough, you need to change tactics and go for high-quality practice instead.

    Read →

  5. Is Chinese difficult to learn?

    Is it difficult to learn Chinese? It depends on what you mean by “difficult”. In this article, I discuss two types of difficulty, both in general and as related to learning Chinese. I think learning Chinese is difficult, but not in the way most people think.

    Read →

  6. How to find the time and motivation to read more Chinese

    Learning to read in Chinese requires time and motivation, and this is what this article is about. How do you make yourself read more? How do you stay motivated when learning? Don’t forget to share your own experiences in the comments!

    Read →

  7. Change your attitude to enjoy life and learn more Chinese

    Attitude is one of the key factors when learning a language as well as for life in general. This article is about how a change of perspective can turn negative situations into learning opportunities and become a happier person overall.

    Read →

  8. How long have you studied Chinese? 290 years or 58 992 hours!

    This article is built on a survey of readers’ study time and shows clearly that counting study time in years is completely bunk. It also shows that most people greatly overestimate how much they actually study.

    Read →

  9. About cheating, spaced repetition and learning Chinese

    Have you even found yourself grading your answer slightly more positively than you should? Even though we all know that we shouldn’t, I think this is quite common. We shouldn’t do this! We’re only cheating ourselves and impeding our progress. In this article, I talk a little about cheating, spaced repetition software and some related consequences and theories.

    Read →

  10. Study more Chinese: Time boxing vs. micro goals

    Time boxing and micro goals are both excellent strategies for getting things done, but which one is most suitable for learning Chinese? In this article, I discuss the pros and cons with the two methods and how that relates to learning Chinese. The short answer is that I use both a lot, but in different situations.

    Read →