Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles published in November 2011

  1. Playing word games in Chinese to practise fluency

    Playing small and entertaining games is an excellent method to practise speaking. This word game allows you to do more than that, though, because it includes a way of practising fluency directly. The game is suitable for all levels (including native speakers) and is also an excellent tool if you think it’s hard to “just start talking”.

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  2. Reading manga in Chinese for more than just pleasure

    This article is about reading manga (comics) in order to improve your Chinese. Manga serves two important functions apart from being enjoyable in itself. Firstly, it gives us access to language we would otherwise hardly ever see in written form. Secondly, it lowers the threshold for reading books in Chinese. Reading manga just for fun is fine, but if you think about it, you’ll see that it can be very useful as well!

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  3. Triggering quantum leaps in Chinese listening ability

    Listening ability is mostly a matter of practise, but the level of difficulty of the input also matters. My theory is that most people listen to Chinese that is too easy for them and would benefit from challenging themselves more, even if they spend the same amount of time practising listening ability.

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  4. About opening doors and the paths beyond

    Hacking Chinese is about opening doors and showing the paths beyond, but what does that mean? Why is it useful to read other people’s advice? In this article I argue that it’s essential to familiarise oneself with many different methods, not to find the correct way of doing something, but to find better ways and provide contrast to one’s own learning process.

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