Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles published in September 2011

  1. Learning Chinese the holistic way: Integrating knowledge

    Holistic learning is about integrating what you learn into a web of things you already know and thus making it much easier to learn and remember. This is in contrast with traditional education methods which often emphasise isolated facts and don’t make proper use of what learners already know.

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  2. Achieving the impossible by being inspired

    Teaching and inspiring are two closely related things. If you can see all superiors as sources of inspiration and knowledge, you will advance faster than if you view them as rivals or opponents. Similarly, realise that you have your own strong sides that inspire other people. Don’t hesitate to teach others if they want to be taught. Inspiration is cyclic in its nature and should flow freely in all directions.

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  3. Don’t be a tourist if you want to learn Chinese language and culture

    A tourist is someone who, when going abroad, takes a small piece of his country with him and stays therein. Learning Chinese as a tourist is very hard and quite inefficient. Being a tourist is not about the stated purpose of your stay, it’s about your attitude, which is why there are people who have lived in China for ages without actually learning Chinese. Stop being a tourist, step outside your comfort zone and learn Chinese!

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  4. Learning the third tone in Chinese

    The third tone in Mandarin is an essentially low tone. The only time it’s pronounced with a high element is in front of another third tone (when it turns into a second tone) and sometimes when stressed.

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