Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Vocabulary’ category

  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. Is it necessary to learn the stroke order of Chinese characters?

    Stroke order and direction can feel like something difficult and unnecessary for beginner Chinese students, but it is important that you get the order right from the start. Most teachers and textbooks will tell you that; this article explains why!

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  5. Playing Codenames to learn Chinese

    Codenames is one of my favourite games, and it also happens to be an excellent game for language learning! In this article, I suggest ways of playing it in Chines, along with a tool that generates grids of code words for direct use in the classroom or elsewhere!

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  6. Spaced repetition is not limited to flashcards

    Spaced repetition is important for learning anything, but especially vocabulary in a foreign language like Chinese. However, there’s much more to spaced repetition than vocabulary flashcard apps! Even if you dislike such apps, make sure you incorporate spaced repetition in some other way.

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  7. An introduction to extensive reading for Chinese learners

    Extensive reading is when you read more text at a higher level of comprehension (around 98%), which should be contrasted by intensive reading when you need assistance to understand the text. Most courses focus only on intensive reading, but you should actually spend most of your time on extensive reading.

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  8. Expanding your Chinese with 一步一个脚印

    一步一个脚印 is a blog about translating and interpreting Chinese, providing high quality posts about vocabulary and expressions in Chinese and English, as well as interpretation and translation exercises.

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  9. Overcoming the problem of having too many Chinese words to learn

    Learning words is very important, but how should you deal with the fact that there are so many of them to learn? This article discusses the problem of having too many words to learn and suggests some solutions to get around the problem.

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

    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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