Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Recent articles Page 2

  1. 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.

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  2. 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.

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  3. 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.

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  4. 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.

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  5. Using speech recognition to improve Chinese pronunciation, part 1

    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. There are two problems that need to be investigated to answer that question. This article looks at the first: If speech recognition is unable to identify what you say, does that mean that your pronunciation is bad, or could it be the speech recognition that isn’t good enough?

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  6. Chinese reading challenge, April 2019

    It’s time for a reading challenge! It starts on April 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. Training your Chinese teacher, part 2: Speaking ability

    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 the second article in this series, I discuss focusing on speaking ability with a teacher, including what to look for in a good teacher, common problems and how to tackle them, along with some suggestions for more advanced learners.

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  8. The beginner’s guide to Chinese translation

    Translation from you native language to Chinese is not easy. The most serious problem for many beginners is that they stay too close to the original, which leads to incorrect word order in Chinese. This article presents a method for beginners and lower intermediate students, designed to avoid this problem and improve your translations.

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  9. 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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  10. 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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