Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Writing’ category

  1. 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!

    Read →

  2. Why you should start blogging in Chinese today

    Why you should start blogging in Chinese today

    Blogging in Chinese is a great way of improving your writing ability. It gives you structure and accountability, and people can help you by giving feedback.

    Read →

  3. Can you use English learning materials to study Chinese?


    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.

    Read →

  4. Hone your Chinese writing ability by writing summaries


    Writing summaries is an excellent combination of reading and writing practice. It’s one of the most powerful learning activities I know when it comes to improving writing ability. In this article, I discuss how to improve writing ability in general, but with a clear focus on why and how writing summaries should be part of your study routine.

    Read →

  5. A minimum-effort approach to writing Chinese characters by hand


    Learning characters in the first place takes time, but you also need to maintain that knowledge. This article presents an efficient way to remember how to write Chinese characters in the long term.

    Read →

  6. How knowing your best performance in Chinese can help you improve

    When learning Chinese, it’s important to know how good your best performance is, because this determines the way you study. If your best performance is good enough, you mostly need high-volume practice, more of the same will get you there. But if your best performance isn’t good enough, you need to change tactics and go for high-quality practice instead.

    Read →

  7. 5 tips to help you improve your Chinese writing ability

    How do you write a good text in Chinese? How do you translate to Chinese from your native language? This article contains five useful tips for learners who want to improve their translation and/or writing skills in Chinese. The tips are based on my own experience both as a student and teacher.

    Read →

  8. Learning to write Chinese characters through communication


    How much of your character learning is done through communication? It should be a significant part, but I think this is very rare, both inside and outside classrooms. This article is about using communication to make character writing more fun, meaningful and effective.

    Read →

  9. 7 ways of learning to write Chinese characters

    There are many ways of practising writing Chinese characters and they all have their pros and cons. In this article, I discuss seven different ways of practising and what advantages and disadvantages they have for you as a learner.

    Read →

  10. Handwriting Chinese characters: The minimum requirements

    This is a guide to handwriting Chinese characters. It’s not about writing beautifully, but writing correctly, including things like stroke placement, length and direction. There are numerous examples of handwritten characters (real examples, not typed characters) along with practical exercises to see if you have grasped the core ideas. The article goes somewhat beyond the bare minimum for beginners, but is certainly a must for anyone who cares about handwriting Chinese characters.

    Read →