Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Intermediate’ category

  1. Learning Chinese as an introverted student

    Introverts are not necessarily worse language learners than extroverts, but not taking or creating opportunities to speak Mandarin will slow you down. In this article, I share some methods I’ve used to compensate for this as an introvert learner.

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  2. Learning to unicycle, learning anatomy and learning Chinese

    Is learning Chinese more like learning to unicycle or like learning anatomy? It strongly depends on what we’re talking about more precisely. Some aspects of language learning are skills akin to unicycling, others are more about knowing and understanding.

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  3. Can you learn Chinese faster by making it harder?

    Throwing yourself into very challenging situations can be great for language learning, but so can focusing on large volumes of easier content too. So when should you use which approach? This article discusses if you can learn faster by making it harder.

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  4. Five text games for Chinese learners

    This article is about five text games for Chinese learners. It both introduces the games and asks for feedback about how they can become even more engaging and fun. Each game contains on average roughly 10,000 characters, which makes them on par with a typical graded reader.

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  5. Should you focus on learning Chinese words or phrases?

    When learning Chinese, should you focus mainly on learning words or phrases? This question is not easy to answer and depends on a number of factors. This article breaks it down and discusses the pros and cons of each.

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  6. Vocabulary lists that help you learn Chinese and how to use them

    This article looks at various types of vocabulary lists and discusses how they should (or shouldn’t) be used for learning Chinese. Different lists have different uses, so make sure you have the right one and that you use it properly!

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  7. Should you learn Chinese vocabulary from lists?

    Many students rely heavily on lists to learn new characters and words in Chinese. This can be good, but there are also a number of problems you should be aware of. This article looks at some pros and cons with using vocabulary lists to learn Chinese.

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  8. Chinese reading speed revisited

    It’s not easy to Improve reading speed in Chinese, but it is necessary for many proficiency exams. This article takes a new look at the problem facing students, and goes back to the basics, suggesting that most advice for reading faster is mostly useless for Chinese learners.

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  9. Training and testing your ability to hear Mandarin sounds

    Learning to hear the sounds in a new language is a very important step, both to understand it and to pronounce it yourself. This article gives you methods and tools for training and testing your ability to hear the sounds of Mandarin.

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  10. Get to know your own Chinese voice

    Recording yourself provides a convenient, enlightening and cheap way to improve your spoken Chinese, and what better to record than a diary? This article explores why you should record more and offers some suggestions for what to record.

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