Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles tagged with ‘Benchmarking’

  1. Improving pronunciation beyond the basics


    Learning pronunciation beyond the basics is about knowing where you want to be and where you are now. Then you identify which problems keep you from reaching your goal, and solve them one by one in order of importance. This starts with high-quality practice where you learn to pronounce something correctly, then moves to high-quantity practice where you gradually decrease the effort needed to get it right. After a while, no effort will be required and you will have successfully improved your pronunciation!

    Read →

  2. 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 →

  3. Using Audacity to learn Chinese (speaking and listening)

    Audacity is a marvellous piece of software that allows you to record audio (yourself, other people or whatever is playing on your computer), mimic native speakers, edit and enhance the audio, as well as automatically manipulate multiple files, such as lecture or lesson recordings. In short, Audacity is a really good program for learning languages. This article introduces the software both through a video example and explaining text.

    Read →

  4. Measurable progress is a double-edged sword

    Spaced repetition software offers a great way of measuring progress, every step forward is recorded and clearly visible. However, this is also a trap, because even though SRS is useful, it’s just a tool, not a comprehensive strategy. Measurable progress is a great help, but only if you use it correctly.

    Read →

  5. Chat your way to better Chinese

    Chatting is an excellent way of learning a language. Some people think chatting online is a waste of time, but in this article I list and explain a dozen reasons why this is wrong. In fact, chatting offer many advantages that are very hard to find elsewhere.

    Read →

  6. Approaches to reading in Chinese

    Reading is one of the best ways of picking up new vocabulary once we reached an intermediate or advanced level, but it’s also necessary to read a lot to be able to write Chinese properly. Reading also enables us to understand word usage and brings us closer to the culture behind the language. This article is focused on reading in Chinese, including reading method, book selection, benchmarking, vocabulary and more.

    Read →

  7. Recording yourself to improve speaking ability

    Recording one’s own voice is useful and should be a natural part of both learning and teaching. When we hear our own voice, we can often hear mistakes we’re making that we don’t normally hear. We become aware of the way we speak in a new way. Correcting oneself is also much cheaper and more convenient than hiring a tutor.

    Read →

  8. Benchmarking progress to stay motivated

    When we set out to learn Chinese, everything we learn is new and we can feel that we improve for each day that goes by, for each time we are exposed to the language. We know this because, in relative terms, we’re learning so much. As we progress, this feeling weakens. In this article, I discuss benchmarking and how it can help us stay motivated.

    Read →