Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Intermediate’ category

  1. Learn Chinese faster by leaving your comfort zone

    If learning feels like unicycling down this slope, you're doing it right!

    If you want to learn Chinese faster, you have to make sure you leave your comfort zone and challenge yourself as much and as often as you can. There are many things of doing this, including immersing yourself in language above your current level or putting yourself in situations that demand a higher level of performance. Leave your comfort zone!

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  2. Using voice messaging to practise Chinese speaking and listening

    voice messaging

    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. Can you use English learning materials to study Chinese?

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    There’s a very large number of books available for Chinese people learning English, but even if it’s tempting to think that we can use these to learn Chinese, doing so comes with several problems. ESL books have their use, but not as many as you might think.

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  4. Learning tones in Mandarin is not optional

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    Learning tones in Mandarin is not optional. The longer you wait before paying attention to tones, the more you will have to relearn later. If you don’t know the tone, you don’t know the word. It takes time to learn to hear tones and treat them as integral parts of syllables, but the sooner you start, the better.

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  5. Are there any shortcuts for learning Chinese?

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    When asked the question if there are any shortcuts when learning Chinese, some people answer “no”, others “yes”. This is probably because they’re talking about different things. No, there is no method that will enable you to master Chinese without spending an awful lot of time studying. Yes, there are many things you can do to make learning more efficient.

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  6. 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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  7. How to learn to hear the tones in Mandarin

    tones

    Learning to hear the difference between tones in Mandarin can be difficult for adult learners. In this article, I introduce two effective ways of overcoming this problem, as well as my own research project, which is meant to help students and will be available soon.

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  8. How to verify that you use the right Chinese font

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    For second language learners, using the wrong font can make learning characters very confusing. In this article, I will help you verify that you have the right fonts installed and discuss what happens if you don’t. This is a follow-up to an earlier article about Chinese fonts for students.

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  9. Chinese character variants and fonts for language learners

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    Chinese character variants and regional font standards can be really confusing for language learners. As if simplified/traditional wasn’t enough, characters can look different depending on the font used or where the text was printed! This article will help you understand what’s going on.

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  10. Learning to pronounce Mandarin with Pinyin, Zhuyin and IPA: Part 3

    phonetics600

    As adults, understanding is important when learning pronunciation. One way to achieve this is through the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), which will allow you to see the sounds your ears might fail to hear. Learning IPA also means learning basic phonetics, and that will do you good in the long run!

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