Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles tagged with ‘Tones’

  1. Obligatory and optional tone change rules in Mandarin

    From a student perspective, there are two types of tone changes in Mandarin: obligatory and optional. The first kind you really have to know about, the second is mostly the natural result of speaking more quickly.

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  2. Mimicking native speakers as a way of learning Chinese

    Using Audacity to mimic native speakers

    Mimicking native speakers very closely is one of my favourite ways of learning a number of things, but mainly pronunciation and intonation. It’s also a good way of learning vocabulary and grammar. This article contains step-by-step instructions for how to mimic your way to the next level!

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  3. 7 kinds of tone problems and what to do about them

    Tones are tricky to learn and students often encounter many different kinds of problems. Since the solution to them are very different, it’s important to understand what the problem actually is before you try to do something about it!

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  4. Learning tones in Mandarin is not optional

    Learning tones in Mandarin is not optional. The longer you wait before paying attention to tones, the more you will have to relearn later. If you don’t know the tone, you don’t know the word. It takes time to learn to hear tones and treat them as integral parts of syllables, but the sooner you start, the better.

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  5. The Hacking Chinese tone training course

    Learning to hear the difference between tones is difficult for many learners. Research shows that speaker variability and a systematic and predictable approach are key to overcoming the problem. With this article, I launch a tone training course, which is meant to provide you with just that. For free!

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  6. How to learn to hear the tones in Mandarin

    Learning to hear the difference between tones in Mandarin can be difficult for adult learners. In this article, I introduce two effective ways of overcoming this problem, as well as my own research project, which is meant to help students and will be available soon.

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  7. How learning some basic theory can improve your pronunciation

    Achieving native-like pronunciation in a foreign language as an adult learner isn’t easy. The strategy to get there needs to incorporate large amounts of practice, mimicking and feedback, but I’m convinced that we can also benefit from a small portion of theoretical knowledge. Pronunciation theory can, among other things, help us notice details we did know about before.

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  8. 24 great resources for improving your Mandarin pronunciation

    In this article, I list 24 great resources for learning pronunciation. Naturally, some of them are limited to Mandarin Chinese, but many are more general in nature and works for other Chinese dialects or even other languages. Resources are sorted into Basic sound references, Pronunciation explained, Advice on learning pronunciation and Useful software and applications.

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  9. Hacking Chinese Pronunciation course now open for registration

    The Hacking Chinese pronunciation course is back in a new, heavily upgraded version! It contains a systematic assessment of your pronunciation, including detailed error analysis and in-depth explanations of priority problems, all done manually by me for your benefit. The number of slots for this course is limited!

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  10. How to find out how good your Chinese pronunciation really is

    Evaluating pronunciation needn’t be hard, but many methods commonly used by teachers are deeply flawed, resulting in inaccurate error analysis. If we want to improve, we need to be clear about what we need to improve first. This article looks at some problems with commonly used methods to evaluate pronunciation and suggests some alternatives.

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