Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Beginner’ category

  1. 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!

    Read →

  2. 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!

    Read →

  3. 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.

    Read →

  4. 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.

    Read →

  5. 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.

    Read →

  6. 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.

    Read →

  7. 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.

    Read →

  8. Escape: A text adventure game for Chinese learners


    Escape is a text game for Chinese learners. It works like a graded reader with level-adjusted content, except that it’s also interactive! You have been captured and need to escape. To do this, you need to understand what happens and make the right choices based on what you read.

    Read →

  9. Are you practising Chinese the right way?


    The most efficient way of learning something is not necessarily the most straightforward one. However, the farther your way of practising is removed from the target activity, the more you need to make sure that you’re actually learning the right things.

    Read →

  10. Don’t forget to consolidate the Chinese you have already studied

    consolidate your knowledge

    Learning new things is important, but sometimes it’s more important to focus on things you have already studied. This article is about how to consolidate the Chinese you have already conquered.

    Read →