Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Immersion and integration’ category

  1. Listen before you read: Improve your listening ability

    Listen before you read

    Listening ability is often overlooked when learning Chinese. Make sure you get the most out of the listening resources you do have and improve your Chinese listening ability.

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  2. Using voice messaging to practise Chinese speaking and listening

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    Voice messaging can be a powerful way to practise Chinese speaking and listening ability. It has several advantages for language learners, including the ability to record and listen more than once, as well as reducing the pressure that some learners feel when talking to native speakers the first few times.

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  3. The Hacking Chinese tone training course

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    Learning to hear the difference between tones is difficult for many learners. Research shows that speaker variability and a systematic and predictable approach are key to overcoming the problem. With this article, I launch a tone training course, which is meant to provide you with just that. For free!

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  4. Why you should read Chinese on your phone

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    Reading Chinese in this digital age is a lot easier than it used to, but it’s actually even easier than many students think. The benefits of reading on your phone are important, including instant access to vocabulary, smaller chunks of text, portability and a sense of getting somewhere when you read. If you haven’t read a Chinese text on your phone yet, you really should give it a try.

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  5. Chinese listening practice with 锵锵三人行

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    锵锵三人行 is one of the few Chinese TV programs I actually like. It’s also one of the best ones for language learners too, mostly because of it’s heavy focus on talking, availability of transcripts and variety of both guests and topics. This should be a key component of any immersion effort, but you probably need to be upper intermediate or above to benefit.

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  6. Learning Chinese through audio books

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    Listening to audio books in a very good way to improve your listening ability beyond the basics. This article contains advice about how to choose a suitable novel, where to find it and how to listen to it.

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  7. Bite-sized learning isn’t enough to learn Chinese

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    Bite-sized learning is great, but it’s not enough if you want to build real competence in Chinese listening and reading. To expose yourself to enough text and audio, you need long-form content that you can keep using even when you’re energy levels aren’t at 100%.

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  8. Review: FluentU Chinese

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    FluentU offers you authentic as well as learner-oriented videos for learning Chinese. A neat interface allows you to use an excellent pop-up dictionary and other useful features to watch and learn from videos. In this in-depth review, I highlight both pros and cons, but my overall impression is very favourable.

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  9. Why you should learn Chinese in Chinese

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    It’s helpful to use your native language to learn Chinese, but one of the first things you should do is to convert anything you use often in the learning process into Chinese. This includes common classroom expressions or other phrases used when learning. Advanced students will find challenges in Chinese-only learning materials and dictionaries.

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  10. Review: Mandarin Companion graded readers (Level 1)

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    Graded readers are an important step on your journey to becoming literate in Chinese. In this article, I review five books in the Mandarin Companion series, level 1, which uses only 300 unique characters. These books are useful for both beginners (extra reading) and intermediate learners (extensive reading).

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