Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Vocabulary’ category

  1. The benefits of using 语文/國文 textbooks to learn Chinese

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    Using textbooks meant for native speakers is a great way of improving your reading and writing, as well as learning about literature and culture in general. 语文/國文 textbooks are difficult, but also very rewarding!

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  2. How to talk about Chinese characters in Chinese

    Colloquial names of radicals

    As a learner of Chinese, it’s useful to be able to talk about Chinese characters in Chinese. The right way is not to learn the names of the strokes, but learn how native speakers talk about characters.

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  3. The best Twitter feeds for learning Chinese in 2016

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    Learning Chinese through Twitter is great because it gives you bite-sized chunks. This post presents the best Twitter feeds for learning Chinese in 2016.

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  4. How going shopping can help you learn Chinese

    How going shopping can help you learn Chinese

    Shopping can be a great way of learning a language. By having similar conversations many times in different shops, you can gradually improve your speaking ability.

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  5. Should you learn the pronunciation of radicals?

    Pronunciation of radicals

    Learning character components in general is good, but should you learn the pronunciation of radicals? The answer can be both “yes” and “no” depending on what you mean!

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  6. Same components, different characters

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    Some Chinese characters consist of the same components in different places, creating completely different characters. This article discusses this phenomenon and its implications for language learners.

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  7. Learn Chinese character meaning and pronunciation together

    Phonetic components in Chinese characters

    A large majority of all Chinese characters look the way they do because of how they are pronounced. You can use this to your benefit if you learn Chinese character meaning and pronunciation together.

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  8. 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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  9. Learning tones in Mandarin is not optional

    tonechart-t3dipdash

    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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  10. 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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