Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles published in June 2021

  1. The new HSK 3.0: What you need to know

    On July 1st, 2021, a new Chinese proficiency standard takes effect. This will have big consequences for the HSK, the most widely used proficiency test for non-native speakers. What are these changes and what do they mean for you as a student?

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  2. Learning to understand regionally accented Mandarin

    As soon as you leave the classroom, you will notice that people don’t speak Chinese the way your teacher and textbook do. Why is that, and what can you do to learn to understand regionally accented Mandarin?

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  3. The importance of tones is inversely proportional to the predictability of what you say

    Tones in Mandarin carry roughly as much information as vowels do, but still some people insist that tones are not very important, or even that native speakers don’t really use tones. Why is that and what can we learn from digging deeper into this misconception?

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  4. Lost in transcription: Saylaw, Ice Island and Aristotle

    Names of people and places can be quite different in different languages, sometimes so different that it causes headaches for second language learners. Do you know the world’s best footballer, Saylaw? What about Yàlǐshìduōdé? Or are you lost in transcription too?

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