250+ resources for learning Chinese

hcr-screenThree months have passed since I launched Hacking Chinese Resources, a new section on the website collecting resources for learning Chinese, sorted and tagged for easy access (click here to read the post that officially launched the section). With the help of some volunteers and continue help on the development side by Stefan Wienert, the number of resources has kept increasing and we now have over 250 resources.

I need your help both expanding the collection as well as rating and commenting on the current resources!

I think some readers might not be aware that Hacking Chinese Resources exists, so I want to highlight some reasons why you should check it out. Even if you have been there before, the large number of new resources make it well worth visiting again; I can promise you there are useful things you don’t know about. The easiest way to keep track of new updates is to subscribe to the dedicated Twitter feed (@ChineseLinks) or the RSS feed.

weblogobanner21-short7-resources

Hacking Chinese Resources

Before I talk a little bit about why I think a resource site like this is really needed and how to use it, I want to give you a quick overview of what has been uploaded since the site was launched. Of course, the numbers below add up to more than 250, but that’s because some resources are tagged with more than one tag.

Tagged according to proficiency level

  1. Beginner (155 resources)
  2. Intermediate (190 resources)
  3. Advanced (195 resources)

Tagged according to topic

  1. Listening (64 resources)
  2. Speaking (26 resources)
  3. Reading (67 resources)
  4. Writing (19 resources)
  5. Vocabulary (91 resources)
  6. Grammar (10 resources)
  7. Chinese in context* (4 resources)
  8. Living in Chinese (6 resources)
  9. Language learning (10 resources)
  10. General** (27 resources)

* Pragmatics, how to use Chinese in context
** Used for resources that should be tagged with more than three tags

Tagged according to type

  1. Information and advice (63 resources)
  2. Resource collections (60 resources)
  3. Resource highlights (51 resources)
  4. Tools and apps (77 resources)
  5. Social learning (16 resources)
  6. Courses (7 resources)

What is Hacking Chinese Resources for?

The motivation to create this section of Hacking Chinese sprung from a genuine need. Even though there are many sites where you can share learning resources, they are all mostly focused on the short term, usually in the form of discussion forums, social news sites or feed aggregators. I will continue using such sites myself and my aim is not to supplant them.

Hacking Chinese Resources has similar functions, but that’s not the main point. Instead, a carefully thought-out tag structure, filters and a search function are intended to create a permanent archive of useful resources that are easy to find whenever they are needed. This is the real goal of the new section.

How do I use Hacking Chinese Resources?

It’s very easy. Check this video (it will automatically skip the introduction, feel free to start from the beginning if you want to hear my preamble):

If you have a specific goal for visiting the site, such as wanting to find listening material suitable to your level, a tool that creates stroke-order exercise sheets or apps to help you learn characters, you simply select which tags to display. In essence, you’re answering these questions (but feel free to skip some if you don’t think it’s relevant):

  1. What’s your proficiency level? (e.g. beginner, intermediate, advance)
  2. What topic are you interested in? (e.g. listening, speaking, vocabulary)
  3. What type of resource do you want to find? (e.g. advice, collections, tools)

This should allow you to find whatever resource you’re looking for! If not, searching might work.

I need your help!

I need your help with three things. For the first two, you need an account, which you can get by requesting one here.

  • Post your own favourite resources for learning Chinese
  • Vote for or comment on already existing resources
  • Spread the word to your classmates, friends and teacher

I think Hacking Chinese Resources has come off to a great start, but I need your help to keep it moving forward!

Launching Hacking Chinese Resources

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a place where you could find Chinese learning resources, blogs, tools and apps, all suitable to your level and preferences? I think that sounds great, so I today I’m proud to announce the launch of a new section of the site, simply called Hacking Chinese Resources.

weblogobanner21-short7-resources

The idea is very straightforward: You select what kind of resources you’re interested in and the site will generate a list of most popular resources that match your criteria. Below, I have provided a brief demo:

Chinese learning resources at your fingertips

Here are the ways in which you define what type of resource you’re looking for (you don’t have to care about all of them):

  1. What’s your proficiency level? (e.g. beginner, intermediate, advance)
  2. What topic are you interested in? (e.g. listening, speaking, vocabulary)
  3. What type of resource do you want to find? (see below)

The site is very broad in scope and includes five main types of resources:

  1. Information and advice (Hacking Chinese would show up here)
  2. Resource collections (where you can find collections of videos, articles, etc.)
  3. Resource highlights (particular videos, articles, etc. that are very good)
  4. Tools and apps (games, dictionaries and other apps and tools)
  5. Social learning (forums, language exchange, chatting and similar)

Here are some examples of how Hacking Chinese Resources can be used:

  1. You are a beginner who wants to learn vocabulary and want to find tools and apps that can help you achieve this. There are currently 15 resources matching your request.
  2. You are an intermediate learner who wants to find listening material suitable for you level. You can check either resource collections or resource highlights. The first tag is for sites that collect lots of material and the second is for individual files, clips, videos and so on.
  3. You are an advanced learner who wants to improve your speaking ability (pronunciation, perhaps), but you’re not sure how to go about it. The information and advice category is for you!
  4. You want to find Pinyin-related resources. You simply search forPinyin and find 16 resources that matches your query.

If you want to get updates on Twitter, I have set up a new account that posts new update regularly: @ChineseLinks.

Think this sounds cool? Want to participate?

Hacking Chinese Resources is run on an invite-only basis at the moment, so even if everybody can use the site like I have described above, you need to be invited if you want to post resources, discuss or vote. The reason is that I want to expand this section gradually and deal with potential problems as they appear. If you want to join the fun, please leave a comment to this post and tell me why you want to be invited (don’t forget to fill in your e-mail address).

hcrWhy Hacking Chinese Resources?

The motivation to create this section of Hacking Chinese sprung from a genuine need. Even though there are many sites where you can share learning resources, they are all mostly focused on the short term, usually in the form of discussion forums, social news sites or feed aggregators. I will continue using these sites myself and my aim is not to supplant them. Indeed, you can find all of them listed as resources already.

Even though Hacking Chinese Resources have similar functions, that’s not the main point. Instead, a carefully thought-out tag structure, filters and a search function are intended to create a permanent archive of useful resources that are easy to find whenever they are needed.

Still under development

Hacking Chinese Resources is still under development, but most things should work relatively well. If you have comments or feedback of any kind, you can just leave a comment here or contact me in any other way.Also, I don’t know about all cool resources out there, I need your help! If you want to participate in this project, contact me in some way and tell me why you want to join. I also need your e-mail address. If you want to read more about the tag structure, please check this document.

The future

Hacking Chinese Resources is still under development. There are lots of problems we know about that we want to fix in the near future, but please report any bugs or other things you would like to see on the site. When I say “we”, I mean myself and Stefan Wienert, who has helped me with the coding and is also hosting the new section (read more about the design process on his blog). I’m also grateful to Julien Leyre, who offered invaluable feedback on the tag structure, as well as to all the people on the Hacking Chinese feedback list who helped me with the site before today’s release.

I hope Hacking Chinese Resources can be a valuable asset to students and teachers of Chinese all over the world. In order to make that come true, I need your help. If you don’t want to participate yourself, then at least help me spread the word by sharing this article or Hacking Chinese Resources on social media or telling your friends about it!