Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Recent articles

  1. Chinese vocabulary challenge, July 2019

    It’s time for a vocabulary challenge! It starts on July 10th, so enrol, set your goal and learn as many characters and words as you can before the end of the month. This article contains more information about the challenge, some important things to keep in mind as well as some advice about learning Chinese characters and words.

    Read →

  2. Review: Mandarin Companion: Easy to read novels in Chinese

    Graded readers are an important step on your journey to becoming literate in Chinese. In this article, I review all books in the Mandarin Companion series, including both level 1 (300 characters) and level 2 (450 characters), as well as the new Breakthrough level (150 characters). These books are useful for both beginners (extra reading) and intermediate learners (extensive reading). In all, there’s roughly 100,000 characters worth of stories here, providing an effective and enjoyable way to learn to read Chinese.

    Read →

  3. 101 questions and answers about how to learn Chinese

    This is the biggest collections of questions and answer about how to learn Chinese anywhere. The questions are sorted into categories, and each question is answered briefly before links to further information is provided. If you have a question about how to learn Chinese, you’re very likely to find the answer here! If your question hasn’t been answered, please consider leaving a comment!

    Read →

  4. Chinese listening challenge, June 2019

    Hacking Chinese Listening Challenge

    It’s time for a listening challenge! It starts on June 10th, so enrol, set your goal and listen as much as you can before the end of the month. This article contains more information about the challenge, some important things to keep in mind as well as suggestions for what to listen to.

    Read →

  5. The most common Chinese words, characters and components for language learners and teachers

    When learning Chinese, it’s important not only to care about how you learn and how much time you spend, but also what you learn. By focusing on the most common words, characters and components, you make sure you get the most out of your studying. But which are the most common words, characters and components? This article collects frequency resources for language learners and teachers!

    Read →

  6. 7 things you were taught in Chinese class that are actually wrong

    Some things your Chinese teacher tells you or you read in your textbook are well-meant simplifications. This is okay, because the whole picture might be overly complicated and not very helpful. Some other things your Chinese teacher tells you or you read in your textbook are just wrong, though. This article lists seven examples of things that are often taught in Chinese class, but are actually incorrect.

    Read →

  7. Chinese translation challenge, May 2019

    It’s time for a translation challenge! It starts on May 10th, so enrol, set your goal and improve your Chinese by translating to/from Chinese as much as you can before the end of the month. This article contains more information about the challenge, some important things to keep in mind as well as some advice about using translation as a method for learning Chinese.

    Read →

  8. How to play adventure text games with a Chinese teacher

    Interactive text games work well for individual learners, but they also work well in classrooms with groups of students. This article gives you everything you need as a teacher to play Escape in your classroom, and everything you need as a student to try this out with your teacher.

    Read →

  9. How good is voice recognition for learning Chinese pronunciation?

    Speech recognition technology has developed rapidly and can now be relied on to correctly identify standardised and clear pronunciation in Mandarin. But can it be used to check your Mandarin pronunciation? Not necessarily. This article looks at how well speech recognition software deals with non-native and low-quality audio, focusing on the question if speech recognition is too lenient for pronunciation practice.

    Read →

  10. The cheapest and most convenient way to improve your spoken Chinese

    Speaking Chinese fluently requires a lot of practice. The best option is to talk with native speakers, preferably mixed with teachers who can help you improve and are better at adjusting their language to your level. But what if you don’t have a teacher and no native speakers are available? This article discusses why speaking to yourself can be a viable way of improving your speaking ability, including how to do it.

    Read →