Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin


How-to advice for intermediate Chinese learnersSituation: You can understand and produce language about personal or familiar topics and you can communicate with natives about most topics on a basic level, albeit haltingly. You can handle language which is directed to you and adjusted to your level. This is roughly equal to CEFR B1. On this page, the focus is on intermediate Chinese and how to best continue learning in an efficient way.

Goal: Be able to understand general, non-specialist content produced by native speakers for native speakers. Be able to communicate with native speakers about similar topics, albeit not necessarily completely correctly.

Here are some typical questions belonging to the intermediate level:

  • I feel that I can communicate in Chinese, how do I keep improving?
  • How do I deepen my knowledge and broaden my vocabulary?
  • How do I take the step from intermediate to advanced?

If you’re new to Hacking Chinese, I’d like to recommend my free crash course in how to learn Mandarin. It will give you a summary and introduction of the most important things to keep in mind. You can sign up here:

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Now, let’s move on to intermediate Chinese. It’s relatively easy to write suggestions for beginners, simply because their situations tend to be similar. Reaching the intermediates level, however, students have already trod wildly different paths and general recommendations become very hard to produce. Thus, if you feel that you’re having problems with a specific area, I suggest checking the pages about listening, speaking, reading and writing.

You can also browse articles relevant for intermediate learners: