Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Learning outside class’ category

  1. Chinese listening practice with 锵锵三人行

    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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  2. Learning Chinese through audio books

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

    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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  4. Review: FluentU Chinese

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

    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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  6. Learning Chinese by playing Mahjong 麻將 (májiàng)

    Playing games is a wonderful way of learning Chinese and 麻將 (májiàng) is one of the simplest games around. Apart from the numbers 1-9, you only need a handful of extra words to play. The game is extremely popular and as such, it can open up many doors, both cultural and social.

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  7. Will a Chinese-only rule improve your learning?

    Are “Chinese only” rules good for learning? Most people agree that immersion is a good thing and that the more you practice, the faster you learn the language, but this isn’t necessarily the same as saying that using Chinese 100% of the time is good for you. This article brings up pros and cons about Chinese-only rules and then draws a conclusion.

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  8. The new paperless revolution in Chinese reading

    In this (guest) article, David Moser writes about the importance of going digital in your Chinese reading practice. With the right tools and the right approach, learning to read Chinese becomes much easier. While it still requires time and dedication, it’s no longer as hard as it used to be. Don’t miss out on the paperless revolution in Chinese reading!

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  9. Hacking Chinese Pronunciation course now open for registration

    The Hacking Chinese pronunciation course is back in a new, heavily upgraded version! It contains a systematic assessment of your pronunciation, including detailed error analysis and in-depth explanations of priority problems, all done manually by me for your benefit. The number of slots for this course is limited!

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  10. Learning how to ask for and receive directions in Chinese

    Asking for and receiving directions in Chinese might look very easy, it’s usually in the first part of a textbook series after all, but most students go through that chapter without actually learning the content. In this article, I discuss how to really learn this skill.

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