Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles tagged with ‘Characters’

  1. Sensible character challenge, January 2015: Wrapping up

    It’s time to wrap up last month’s character challenge. How did it go? What did you learn? In this short post, I share some thoughts of my own and hope you’re willing to do the same. I also announce prize winners as promised!

    Read →

  2. My best advice on learning Chinese characters

    This article contains an overview of how to learn Chinese characters, including understanding how they work, advice on how to learn how to write them and, finally, how to review in an efficient way.

    Read →

  3. 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 →

  4. 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 →

  5. Sensible Chinese character learning revisited

    In a way, learning Chinese characters is very much like learning vocabulary in any foreign language and much of the efficient methods developed there works well for Chinese as well. However, characters are also fundamentally different from words in English and this influences how we should learn them as well. This article is a recap of how to learn Chinese characters in a sensible way. It is also a prologue for the upcoming character learning challenge.

    Read →

  6. How to learn Chinese characters as a beginner

    Writing Chinese characters for the first time can be very hard, mostly because it’s so different from writing letters. It feels more like drawing a picture than writing! This article is aimed at beginners and provides some essential tips, tricks and hacks for writing your first Chinese characters, making sure you avoid the worst mistakes.

    Read →

  7. Boosting your character learning with Skritter

    There are hundreds of apps out there that all claim to be indispensable resources for learning Chinese, but very few of them actually live up to it. Skritter certainly does. Skritter is an important part of the most efficient way of learning to write characters and you should really give it a try.

    Read →

  8. Horizontal vocabulary learning

    The normal thing to do when we learning characters or words is to focus on deepening our knowledge, researching components and understanding more about what we’re trying to learn. Some problems can’t be alleviated this way, however, instead they call for horizontal vocabulary learning, i.e. to putting the character or word into context and to compare it with similar characters or words. Only then can we grasp the bigger picture.

    Read →

  9. Don’t use mnemonics for everything

    Mnemonics are really cool, but you shouldn’t overuse them. Chinese characters are very complex and the amount of information you might want to remember about them is large. Creating mnemonics for everything is very time consuming and difficult. Instead of doing this, create mnemonics only for things you actually find hard to remember.

    Read →

  10. How to create mnemonics for general or abstract character components

    Anyone who has tried mnemonics for learning Chinese characters knows that some components are easier to link together than others. This article discusses in detail how to deal with abstract or general character components and how to handle components with the same or overlapping meaning, an essential skill if you’re serious about character learning.

    Read →