Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Recent articles

  1. Tone errors in Mandarin that actually can cause misunderstandings

    Making certain tone mistakes in Mandarin can lead to amusing situations, such as saying that the chest hair is adorable instead of the pandas you actually meant. However, these types of mistakes seldom lead to actual confusion. There are other tone mistakes that do; if you get them wrong, it can seriously impact your ability to communicate in Chinese!

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  2. Chinese writing challenge, March 2019

    It’s time for a Chinese writing challenge! It starts on March 11th (Monday), so enrol, set your goal and write 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 improving writing ability in Chinese.

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  3. 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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  4. Free and easy audio flashcards for Chinese dictation practice with Anki

    Audio flashcards can be great for improving basic listening ability or preparing for 听写/聽寫 or dictation. It used to be time-consuming and difficult to do, but with Anki and good text-to-speech engines, it’s now both easy and free!

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  5. Reading is a lot like spaced repetition, only better

    Learning vocabulary through reading and by using spaced repetition software are both common strategies employed by students learning Chinese, but which one is the most efficient? In this guest article, Kevin Bullaughey from WordSwing compares the two methods in terms of exposure and coverage.

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  6. Training your Chinese teacher, part 1: Introduction

    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 this article, I discuss being taught Chinese in general, including things you should do as a student, as well as things you might want to train your Chinese teacher to do, if they aren’t already doing them. This article is the first in a series focusing on how to train your Chinese teacher.

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  7. Chinese New Year and New Semester Course Discount

    Hacking Chinese logo

    To mark the Chinese New Year and the start of a new semester, I offer a time-limited discount for my video/audio/text course, valid until the end of this week (February 10th).

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  8. Chinese listening challenge, February 2019

    Hacking Chinese Listening Challenge

    It’s time for a listening challenge! It starts on February 1st, so enrol, set your goal and listen as much as you can before the end of February. This article contains more information about the challenge, some important things to keep in mind as well as suggestions for what to listen to.

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  9. Review: Language Empowerment: Demystify Chinese culture and fire up your Mandarin + interview with the author

    Language Empowerment is a neat little book that manages to pack a lot of information and inspiration into relatively few pages. I highly recommend it for people who have just started learning Chinese or who are interested in doing so. This book covers many topics that you need to know about, but which few textbooks or teachers mention! It is also easy to access and enjoyable to read.

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  10. Best of Hacking Chinese 2018

    This post summarises the best articles on Hacking Chinese from 2018. It’s an excellent way to make sure you haven’t missed the most interesting content from the past year! The ranking is based on a combination of visitor statistics and editor’s opinion.

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