Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles published in November 2013

  1. Learning to read aloud in Chinese

    Reading aloud in Chinese is hard, but it’s not impossible. It requires a lot of different skills, but it also seems like reading aloud is a skill in itself that needs to be practised specifically if we want to improve our reading ability. In this article, I discuss an experiment I did to see if I could increase my own ability to read aloud in Chinese.

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  2. How to learn Chinese characters as a beginner

    Writing Chinese characters for the first time can be very hard, mostly because it’s so different from writing letters. It feels more like drawing a picture than writing! This article is aimed at beginners and provides some essential tips, tricks and hacks for writing your first Chinese characters, making sure you avoid the worst mistakes.

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  3. Improving your spoken and written Chinese by focusing on the process

    Focusing on the process rather than the result has obvious benefits when trying to learn a foreign language. Does it really matter what number your teacher puts on the final version of your essay? No, what matters is what you learnt and what you will be able to improve until next time. Process writing is common enough, but this article extends the concept to speaking as well, which is a much neglected technique in language learning.

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  4. Asking the experts: How to bridge the gap to real Chinese

    Many students of Chinese think that it’s hard to bridge the gap from textbook Chinese to the Chinese used by native speakers in the real world. This article contains useful insights and hands-on advice from more than 20 language learners and teachers. The overall message is encouraging: the gap can certainly be bridged, you just need the right attitude and the right method!

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