Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles published in October 2011

  1. Time boxing Chinese: Get more done in less time

    Time boxing Chinese

    Time boxing is a very powerful way of getting things done, not only useful for language learning purposes, but also for almost anything you feel that you should be doing but keep on postponing. It is particularly useful to do open-ended tasks such as reviewing lots of vocabulary. in this article I describe what time boxing is and how you can use it to learn Chinese.

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  2. The Chinese-Chinese dictionary survival guide

    This article is about using Chinese-Chinese dictionaries, both from a personal point of view and in a more general sense. The goal is to provide tips and tricks for using Chinese-Chinese dictionaries, traps to avoid and other things that will be helpful for learners who intend to move from English-Chinese to Chinese-Chinese.

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  3. Enjoying the journey while focusing on the destination

    Everybody has different reasons for studying Chinese, but whatever the final goal is, it is important to make the journey interesting as well. Enjoying studying isn’t simply a cliché, it’s quite necessary if you want to invest the time needed to master a language. This article discusses the journey, the destination and the relationship between them. To put it briefly: don’t forget to look at the view.

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  4. Benchmarking progress in Chinese to stay motivated

    When we set out to learn Chinese, everything we learn is new and we can feel that we improve for each day that goes by, for each time we are exposed to the language. We know this because, in relative terms, we’re learning so much. As we progress, this feeling weakens. In this article, I discuss benchmarking and how it can help us stay motivated.

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  5. Is taking a Chinese course that’s too hard good for your learning?

    Chinese has a reputation for being hard to learn and it can be even harder if you take a course that is above your level. But why would you do that? What are the potential pros and cons of deliberately seeking out a learning environment where just keeping your head above water will be hard?

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