Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles published in March 2019

  1. Training your Chinese teacher, part 2: Speaking ability

    Finding a good Chinese teacher is not easy, but there are many things you can do to get more out of the time you spend with your teacher. In the second article in this series, I discuss focusing on speaking ability with a teacher, including what to look for in a good teacher, common problems and how to tackle them, along with some suggestions for more advanced learners.

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  2. The beginner’s guide to Chinese translation

    Translation from you native language to Chinese is not easy. The most serious problem for many beginners is that they stay too close to the original, which leads to incorrect word order in Chinese. This article presents a method for beginners and lower intermediate students, designed to avoid this problem and improve your translations.

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  3. Tone errors in Mandarin that actually can cause misunderstandings

    Accidentally saying “chest hair” in Chinese when you mean “panda” is amusing, but it rarely causes confusion. Let’s look at some tone mistakes that actually do cause confusion!

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  4. Why using a good dictionary can be bad for your Chinese reading ability

    The advent of smart phones and digital dictionaries has brought great benefits to Chinese learners, who no longer need to waste much time flipping through pages, looking for the right entry. However, always having quick access to the right answer can actually stop you from learning some of the strategies you need to become a successful reader in Chinese.

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