Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles published in February 2012

  1. Use the benefits of teaching to boost your own Chinese learning

    Teaching is a very powerful way of learning. Explaining complicated topics with simple language helps you grasp them and remember them. If you don’t have someone to teach, you can imagine that you have and teach yourself. Making simple explanations explicit works almost as well as real teaching.

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  2. Understanding regionally accented Mandarin

    Learning to understand regionally accented Mandarin is essential. Very few people speak perfectly standard Mandarin and it’s your responsibility to understand what they’re saying, not theirs to speak so you understand. This article delves deeper into the whys and hows of learning regionally accented Mandarin.

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  3. When perfectionism becomes an obstacle to progress

    Perfectionism is usually regarded as something positive, perhaps even necessary. Scoring 100% on an exam is good, isn’t it? No, it’s not. In this article, I explain why perfectionism is bad when learning a language. Aiming for 90% is far better than aiming for 100%. This is being smart, not lazy.

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  4. Making progress in Chinese in spite of praise

    Praise is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s encouraging and makes it more rewarding to study. On the other hand, however, if you use other people’s praise as a true indication of your own ability, you’re in deep trouble. Feel encouraged, but it’s essential that you don’t trust native speakers when they tell you your Chinese is great!

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