Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Recent Page 48

  1. Memorising dictionaries to boost Chinese reading ability

    Memorising a dictionary is of course not an optimal way of learning vocabulary, but I do think it’s good to use frequency lists (such as dictionaries listing the most common characters) to plug holes in your foundation and make it stronger.

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  2. Escaping the convenience trap to learn more Chinese

    The path of least resintance

    We like to spend time doing what we’re already good at, which might be a good thing if we’re aiming for excellence in a very narrow field. However, learning a language is not so narrow and requires us ta learn a variety of skills. In this article, I explore the tendency to focus on what we’re already good at and some of it’s negative consequences. I also propose some hands-on tips to escape the convenience trap.

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  3. Make sure listening practice isn’t a practical problem

    Listening ability is mostly a matter of listening a lot, which is not as easily done as it sounds. There are many problems, but in this article I focus on the practical parts that play a bigger role than most people realise. In short, if you find yourself in a situation where you would be able to and want to listen, but can’t, you’ve made a mistake and need to change. This article is about how avoid practical obstacles to improving listening ability.

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  4. Review: Chinese Synonyms Usage Dictionary

    This is a review of a very useful synonym dictionary, complete with detailed descriptions and comparisons of commonly confused words. It’s useful both as a dictionary and for studying vocabulary. I recommend the book for anyone from intermediate level and up, but some parts are useful for everyone.

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  5. Spaced repetition isn’t rote learning

    Spaced repetition might on the surface look like it’s rote learning, but I argue that it isn’t. Firstly, spaced repetition isn’t about learning as such. You’re supposed to use smarter methods to learn the words first and then simply review to keep the knowledge fresh. Secondly, spaced repetition won’t degenerate to rote learning if you are alert and avoid cramming of any kind.

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  6. You won’t learn Chinese simply by living abroad

    Some people seem to believe that living in a country is enough to learn the language spoken there. This is wrong, and it’s especially wrong if the language is Chinese. Becoming fluent in Chinese is the result of blood, sweat and tears, nothing less. Living abroad certainly helps, but it’s an opportunity most often wasted by students.

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  7. Goals and motivation for learning Chinese, part 4 – Micro goals

    This is the fourth article in my series on goals and motivation. This time the topic is micro goals and how to use them to enhance your studying. In essence, you will need to have goals on many different levels to make sure that you are moving in the right direction. Links to previous articles are presented at the beginning.

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  8. Goals and motivation for learning Chinese, part 3 – Short-term goals

    This is the third article in my series on goals and motivation. This time the topic is short-term goals and how to use them to enhance your studying. In essence, you will need to have goals on many different levels to make sure that you are moving in the right direction. Links to previous articles are presented at the beginning.

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  9. Goals and motivation for learning Chinese, part 2 – Long-term goals

    This is the second article in my series on goals and motivation. This time the topic is long-term goals and how to use them to enhance your studying. In essence, you will need to have goals on many different levels to make sure that you are moving in the right direction. Links to previous articles are presented at the beginning.

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  10. Goals and motivation for learning Chinese, part 1 – Introduction

    I think everybody knows that motivation is something you need to succeed at any task. I’m naturally going to assume that you are motivated to learn Chinese (otherwise, why are you reading this?), but that’s not going to be enough. Do you know why you want to learn Chinese? Are you the ambitious entrepreneur? The curious student? The involuntary learner? The Chinese culture aficionado? The linguistics nerd?

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