Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Recent articles

  1. Chinese vocabulary challenge, April 2020

    It’s time for a vocabulary challenge! It starts on April 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.

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  2. Skritter review: Boosting your Chinese character learning (2020 edition)

    Skritter is a modern tool for learning ancient characters. It combines research-based methods, such as active recall and spaced repetition, with great Chinese-specific tools and content. Skritter is the best character-learning app available, and in this review, we look at why and how you can use Skritter to get the most out of your character learning!

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  3. Hacking Chinese courses open with 50% study-at-home discount

    To help people who are stuck at home keep active and productive, I have opened two courses, one for beginners and one for all students. To make them more accessible, I also offer a 50% study-at-home discount.

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  4. How to figure out how good your Chinese is

    Figuring out how good your Chinese is can help you focus on the right areas and evaluate your learning methods. But language assessment is hard! This article describes how and why you should assess how good your Chinese is, and gives you tools and resources to do so.

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  5. The simple trick I used to double the amount of Chinese I listen to

    Learning to understand spoken Chinese requires an awful lot of practice; you need to listen much more than most people do. In this article, I introduce and explain a simple trick that allowed me to listen much more than I did before!

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  6. Chinese reading challenge, March 2020

    It’s time for a reading challenge! It starts on March 10th, so enrol, set your goal and read 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 reading ability in Chinese.

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  7. 5 levels of understanding Chinese characters: Superficial forms to deep structure

    How much do you need to care about the actual composition and meaning of a Chinese character when learning it? In general, better understanding means it’s easier to learn, but is there a limit to how closely you should stick to actual etymology? This article explores the spectrum from using superficial images to real etymology from the perspective of a language learner.

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  8. The forking path: A human approach to learning Chinese

    Top-down, project management style learning often fails for a number of reasons, but there are alternative, softer approaches to learning Chinese. In this article, I introduce one such approach that focuses on small, everyday choices rather than distant goals.

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  9. Does using colour to represent Mandarin tones make them easier to learn?

    Some learning materials, apps and tools allow you to add colours to show Mandarin tones, but is this really helpful? This article discusses the ins and outs of using colour to learn and remember tones, along with some practical considerations.

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  10. Chinese writing challenge, February 2020

    It’s time for a Chinese writing challenge! It starts on February 10th (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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