Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles tagged with ‘Chinese characters’

  1. How to talk about Chinese characters in Chinese

    Colloquial names of radicals

    There are two problems when talking about Chinese characters in Chinese: How do you identify a written character using only spoken language? Once identified, how do you describe how that character is written, again using only spoken language? For new learners, it might not be clear why these are problems. Talking about words in English […]

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  2. 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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  3. Same components, different characters

    character-configuration

    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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  4. 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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  5. How to verify that you use the right Chinese font

    screenshot113

    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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  6. Chinese character variants and fonts for language learners

    screenshot104

    Chinese character variants and regional font standards can be really confusing for language learners. As if simplified/traditional wasn’t enough, characters can look different depending on the font used or where the text was printed! This article will help you understand what’s going on.

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  7. The real challenge with learning Chinese characters

    invgraph3

    The real challenge when learning Chinese characters is not to commit a large number of them to memory, it’s to relate them to each other, including how they are used, how they are different and how they are similar. Creating such an interconnected web is a lifelong project.

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  8. Learning Chinese characters through pictures

    chi

    This article is about using pictures to learn Chinese characters. In order to learn characters efficiently, it’s important to understand how they work and what the building blocks are so that these can be used in other characters. Any pictures you use to remember should be based on this. Avoid using pictures that obscure the real meaning.

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  9. Chinese character challenge, September 10th to 30th

    Tang Dynasty copy of 新婦地黃湯帖 by 王獻之

    Let’s learn characters together! If you need to expand your knowledge of characters, fight you ever-increasing review queue or just learn more of them, this challenge is for you. Enrol, set a goal and learn as much as you can before the end of the month! Active participants can win prizes from Skritter.

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

    waysofwriting

    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.

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