Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Attitude and mentality’ category Page 2

  1. 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.

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

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    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.

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  3. 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.

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

    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.

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  5. How long have you studied Chinese?

    How long have you studied Chinese? Two years? Three thousand hours? Even though most people don’t expect an answer in hours, there are several reasons we should really count our learning time in hours. It’s the time we spend learning Chinese that matters, not when we moved to China or started learning Chinese.

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  6. Is speaking more important than listening when learning Chinese?

    It’s tempting to focus mostly on speaking when learning a foreign language. There’s nothing wrong with speaking from day one, but you shouldn’t allow that to overshadow your listening practice too much. Listening (and reading) accelerates your learning in a way that speaking (and writing) does not.

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  7. Language learning with a Chinese girlfriend or boyfriend

    Learning Chinese with a partner is very good, because it makes you more motivated and makes it more fun to learn. However, it isn’t a magic bullet that will solve all your problems. You will still need to study, you will still need to practice, it’s just that some of the things you need to learn will be more enjoyable and you will hopefully be more motivated to learn. That’s worth a lot, but you can find other fun ways to learn and other things to drive you forwards.

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  8. How to reach a decent level of Chinese in 100 days

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    Scott Young has written a lot about how to learn more efficiently and this year he has turned his focus entirely on languages. He spent three months in China and managed to reach a very decent level of Chinese in that time, including passing HSK4. In this article, he shares his experience and the strategies he used. The article also contains two video interviews, one with John Pasden (Sinosplice) and one with me.

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  9. How to find out how good your Chinese pronunciation really is

    Evaluating pronunciation needn’t be hard, but many methods commonly used by teachers are deeply flawed, resulting in inaccurate error analysis. If we want to improve, we need to be clear about what we need to improve first. This article looks at some problems with commonly used methods to evaluate pronunciation and suggests some alternatives.

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  10. The three roads to mastering Chinese

    Mastering a foreign language is a daunting task, especially a language as foreign as Chinese! In this article, I outline three possible roads that all lead towards mastery. They have in common that we really need to make Chinese an important and integrated part of our lives, because that’s the only way we can spend the time we need to really get to know the language.

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