Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles tagged with ‘Zhongwen.com’

  1. Panning: Keeping similar Chinese characters and words separate


    The real challenge when learning Chinese characters and words isn’t to remember them, it’s to keep them separate from each other. This article concludes my series about zooming and panning to integrate your knowledge better.

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  2. Zooming out: The resources you need to put Chinese in context


    In order to learn efficiently, it’s important that you integrate your knowledge. This means being able to break down Chinese in order to understand it, as well as looking at context and sorting out confusing cases. In this second article, I introduce tools for zooming out and putting things in context.

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  3. Phonetic components, part 2: Hacking Chinese characters

    This is the second and final article about using phonetic components to hack Chinese characters and make it considerably easier to handle similarly looking characters. This article describes both the principles and gives plenty of examples that might resolve some of your current problems for you.

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  4. 21 essential dictionaries and corpora for learning Chinese

    There are many online resources for looking up Chinese characters and words, so many that it might be very hard for new learners to find what they need. This article introduces 21 dictionaries and corpora for Chinese learners, including what they should be used for in addition to some pros and cons.

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  5. Creating a powerful toolkit: Individual characters

    Learning to read and write Chinese requires intimate knowledge not only of words, but also of individual characters. Without this knowledge, the building blocks of each word become meaningless, and, as we all know, learning something meaningful is always easier. Knowing individual characters is also essential if we want to be able to guess the meaning of new words, learn new words quickly or use mnemonics!

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  6. Creating a powerful toolkit: Character components

    If you plan to learn to read or write Chinese, you will need to learn parts of characters (components) and parts of words (characters). There are an untold number of combinations of these, and if you only study these it will be impossible. This would be a little bit like learning maths by studying thousands of examples, but never actually looking at the underlying equations.

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