Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Organising and planning’ category

  1. Adjust your listening practice to your current state of mind

    Listening to enough Chinese is difficult because it’s hard to find and manage the right amount of audio. One of the key points to success is to make sure you have enough easy audio available. This article discusses the importance of adjusting your audio to your current state of mind.

    Read →

  2. Is Chinese difficult to learn?

    Is it difficult to learn Chinese? It depends on what you mean by “difficult”. In this article, I discuss two types of difficulty, both in general and as related to learning Chinese. I think learning Chinese is difficult, but not in the way most people think.

    Read →

  3. Launching Hacking Chinese Challenges

    Welcome to a new section of the website: Hacking Chinese Challenges! I will run monthly challenges in different areas of language learning where we strive to reach our goals and/or beat each other. I will also share related resources and advice. The first challenge starts on Friday, but you can join right now!

    Read →

  4. How long have you studied Chinese? 290 years or 58 992 hours!

    This article is built on a survey of readers’ study time and shows clearly that counting study time in years is completely bunk. It also shows that most people greatly overestimate how much they actually study.

    Read →

  5. Study more Chinese: Time boxing vs. micro goals

    Time boxing and micro goals are both excellent strategies for getting things done, but which one is most suitable for learning Chinese? In this article, I discuss the pros and cons with the two methods and how that relates to learning Chinese. The short answer is that I use both a lot, but in different situations.

    Read →

  6. How long have you studied Chinese?

    How long have you studied Chinese? Two years? Three thousand hours? Even though most people don’t expect an answer in hours, there are several reasons we should really count our learning time in hours. It’s the time we spend learning Chinese that matters, not when we moved to China or started learning Chinese.

    Read →

  7. Focusing on radicals, character components and building blocks

    How much should you focus on learning building blocks? If you don’t focus enough, you will remain in the tourist phrase book. If you focus too much on building blocks, you will end up living in brick yard rather than a house.

    Read →

  8. How to reach a decent level of Chinese in 100 days

    Scott Young has written a lot about how to learn more efficiently and this year he has turned his focus entirely on languages. He spent three months in China and managed to reach a very decent level of Chinese in that time, including passing HSK4. In this article, he shares his experience and the strategies he used. The article also contains two video interviews, one with John Pasden (Sinosplice) and one with me.

    Read →

  9. The Grand Listening Cycle: Improve your Chinese listening ability

    Learning to understand spoken Chinese is mostly a matter of practice and I’ve found that having fixed and regular routines helps a lot. This article introduces the grand listening cycle, which contains almost everything you want when it comes to listening ability. It’s a method I’ve used extensively to improve my own listening comprehension and it has helped me immensely.

    Read →

  10. Sensible Chinese character learning challenge 2014

    The 2014 sensible Chinese character learning challenge starts soon! This article introduces the challenge and how you join us. Apart from learning a lot of characters and improving the way you learn characters, you also get a discount and free extensions on Skritter, as well as a chance of winning character posters from Hanzi WallChart!

    Read →