Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles tagged with ‘Vocabulary’

  1. The get-back-up-to-speed summer challenge

    This is a challenge to encourage readers (and myself) to get more out of the remaining weeks of the summer. I have huge Anki and skritter queues and I plan to fight the down to zero before September 1st. You might need to study more vocabulary or you might have other things you want to complete this summer. Will you join the challenge?

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  2. Towards a more sensible way of learning to write Chinese

    This is a challenge designed to help students break the bad habit of simply repeating characters over and over until they stick and instead rely on more clever and efficient methods. It’s about learning for the long term and learning to really understand the characters. Will you join the challenge?

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  3. You can’t learn Chinese characters by rote

    My conclusion after years of learning characters is that rote learning is useless. Spaced repetition software is good, but it’s still not enough. If adult foreigners are going to learn to write Chinese by hand, we really need another method. We need mnemonics, we need active processing, we need to quit rote learning and stop using SRS mechanically.

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  4. Learning Chinese in the shower with me

    This article is about using time and space in your shower to learn more Chinese. This might seem extreme, but it’s just another method of diversifying your learning. Why spend high quality time in front of your computer or in the library learning things you could equally well learn in your shower?

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  5. Learning Chinese with StarCraft 2

    If you enjoy playing computer games, why don’t enjoy them in Chinese? I’ve played a lot of StarCraft 2 in Chinese and even if I don’t play any longer, I still watch several matches online each week, with live commentary in Chinese. I have learnt and still learn tons of Chinese from this and enjoy every minute. As the title implies, this article is about playing or watching StarCraft in Chinese and improve your Chinese at the same time.

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  6. Kickstart your character learning with the 100 most common radicals

    This is a list of the 100 most common radicals among the 2000 most common characters, meaning that it’s excellent for beginners who want to boost their understanding of Chinese characters. The list contains simplified, traditional, variants, meaning, pronunciation, examples, helpful comments and colloquial names.

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  7. Why learning Chinese through music is underrated

    Learning Chinese through music is underrated. Music is a very efficiently way of improving your Chinese in an enjoyable way that won’t interfere much with other things you’re doing (simply decrease your exposure to music in English and replace it with Chinese). This article contains five songs I like, but there will be much more in future articles.

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  8. Listening strategies: Improving listening speed

    A lack of listening speed is what stops you from understanding spoken Chinese even though you know most of the words and sentence patterns being used. I think the problem is generally overlooked and in this article I explain what listening speed is, why you need it to understand Chinese. I also talk about how to practise listening speed.

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  9. Answer buttons and how to use SRS

    Spaced repetition is very powerful compared to massed repetition, which is why software utilising the spacing effect is growing ever more popular. In this article, I discuss how to review vocabulary using SRS, including how to use the various answer buttons and some other functions commonly available.

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  10. Using search engines to study Chinese

    Studying on your own comes with certain problems I think all language learners have encountered many times. If you encounter a concept you don’t know how to say in the target language, you have to look it up. The first natural thing would be to look in a dictionary or a corpus, but some kinds of questions can’t be answered in this way. Asking a search engine is a very powerful but often neglected tool that I use on a daily basis.

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