Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Attitude and mentality’ category

  1. 20 tips and tricks to improve your Chinese writing ability

    Writing is one of the four basic language skills, and one that learners of Chinese struggle with a lot. Good writing is based on lots of reading, but beyond that, there are plenty of other things you can do to improve your writing ability in Chinese beyond the characters themselves. Here are twenty tips and tricks!

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  2. The most serious mistake students make when learning Mandarin pronunciation

    Learning to hear and say the sounds of Mandarin can be tricky, but it’s made much more difficult by the way many students go about it. By focusing on reading over listening, they are making themselves a big disservice!

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  3. How to not fail with your New Year resolution to learn Chinese

    A new year, a new beginning, the perfect time to commit to levelling up your Chinese and achieve greatness! Or is it?

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  4. 7 things Chinese students should do during the winter vacation

    What should Chinese students do on the winter vacation? Apart from recharging batteries, there are a number of things you should consider if you want optimal long-term results!

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  5. How to get honest feedback to boost your Chinese speaking and writing

    Feedback is important because it can show you how to not use the language and highlight things you hadn’t noticed before. But getting honest feedback when learning Chinese is not as easy as it seems. This article starts by looking at why feedback is necessary, and continues by discussing how to get honest feedback.

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  6. Chinese is fascinating and exciting, not weird and stupid

    Languages are neither negative or positive in themselves; it’s all in the eye of the beholder. But does it matter what you think about Chinese language and culture? Is it harder to learn Mandarin if you think the language is weird and stupid? This article looks closer at this question, and argues that deliberately adopting a positive approach will lead to better and more enjoyable learning.

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  7. 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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  8. How to get past the intermediate Chinese learning plateau

    After having learnt Chinese for some time, many students feel that they are no longer making much progress. They’ve reached a learning plateau. This article investigates this plateau, what it actually means and what we can do to get past it.

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  9. Can too much guidance make you learn less Chinese?

    Guidance and support can make learning Chinese easier, but could too much of it make it harder? This article discusses the downsides of receiving too much help and the benefits of engaging more with the Chinese language on your own, without having everything explained to you.

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  10. The nine principles of learning (and the mistakes from failing to follow them)

    In 2014, Scott Young spent 100 days learning Chinese, after which he was able to speak freely on a wide range of topics, as well as pass HSK 4. Since then, he’s continued exploring effective learning and has now published a book called Ultralearning. He hasn’t abandoned Chinese, though, and in this article, he discusses nine important principles for effective learning and how they relate to studying Chinese.

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