Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Attitude and mentality’ category

  1. How to learn from your mistakes and errors when learning Chinese

    Making mistakes is a natural part of learning Chinese, but how can you make sure you learn as much as possible from the mistakes you make? The answer can be anything from “ignore it” to “stop everything you’re doing and get to the bottom of it”, and it all depends on what kind of mistake you’ve made!

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  2. On accuracy, communication and comprehensibility when learning Chinese

    Some think that as long as people understand you, accuracy doesn’t matter much, but others think that errors should be avoided at all costs. How serious are errors when trying to communicate in Chinese?

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  3. Are authentic texts good for learning Chinese or is graded content better?

    Authentic texts not written specifically for second language learners are rich, varied, interesting and engaging, but they can also be terribly difficult and confusing. Should you use such texts for learning Chinese, or are you better off using content tailored to language learners?

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  4. What to read to improve your Chinese and why

    Reading in Chinese has many benefits, but why you read should also inform your choice of what to read.

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  5. How to learn Chinese pronunciation as a beginner

    Pronunciation is an important, yet often neglected part of learning Chinese. The earlier you get the sounds and tones down, the better, but how should you approach learning these things as a beginner?

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  6. How to start learning Chinese again after a break

    Are you picking up Chinese again after a break, and struggle to find the words and characters? Does spoken Mandarin sound vaguely familiar but incomprehensible? Then this guide will help you get back on track!

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  7. How to survive and thrive in a difficult Chinese course

    How do you survive a Chinese course that’s too hard for you, regardless if you ended up there on purpose or because of circumstances? What are the key strategies to ensure you stay afloat and learn as much as possible?

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  8. Is taking a Chinese course that’s too hard good for your learning?

    Chinese has a reputation for being hard to learn and it can be even harder if you take a course that is above your level. But why would you do that? What are the potential pros and cons of deliberately seeking out a learning environment where just keeping your head above water will be hard?

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  9. Why spaced repetition software is uniquely well suited to learning Chinese characters

    While spaced repetition software can be very useful, it also has some serious drawbacks. Fortunately, most of them don’t apply to learning to write Chinese characters!

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  10. 6 challenges students face when learning to read Chinese and how to overcome them

    Learning to read Chinese comes with several challenges, some of them unique to Chinese. What are these challenges, what do they mean for you as a student and how can you overcome them?

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