Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Distinctively Chinese’ category

  1. 101 questions and answers about how to learn Chinese

    This is the biggest collections of questions and answer about how to learn Chinese anywhere. The questions are sorted into categories, and each question is answered briefly before links to further information is provided. If you have a question about how to learn Chinese, you’re very likely to find the answer here! If your question hasn’t been answered, please consider leaving a comment!

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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. Free and easy audio flashcards for Chinese dictation practice with Anki

    Audio flashcards can be great for improving basic listening ability or preparing for 听写/聽寫 or dictation. It used to be time-consuming and difficult to do, but with Anki and good text-to-speech engines, it’s now both easy and free!

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  6. Review: Language Empowerment: Demystify Chinese culture and fire up your Mandarin + interview with the author

    Language Empowerment is a neat little book that manages to pack a lot of information and inspiration into relatively few pages. I highly recommend it for people who have just started learning Chinese or who are interested in doing so. This book covers many topics that you need to know about, but which few textbooks or teachers mention! It is also easy to access and enjoyable to read.

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  7. 36 samples of Chinese handwriting from students and native speakers

    This article features 36 samples of Chinese handwriting. The same text was written by native speakers and students with varying backgrounds and time spent learning Chinese.

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  8. How to improve your Chinese handwriting

    Learning to write Chinese by hand is a complex task. This article gives an overview of what it means to write by hand, answering questions like: “Do I need to learn to write by hand?”, “What skills does handwriting in Chinese require?” and” How do I improve my handwriting?”

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  9. The Hacking Chinese guide to Mandarin tones

    Learning tones is one of the major challenges of learning Mandarin and other Chinese dialects. This guide describes what tones are, why they are important and how to learn them. The article collects information and advice from more than twenty articles about learning tones, along with resources and references for further reading.

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  10. Focusing on Mandarin tones without being distracted by Pinyin

    It’s a well-known problem that if Chinese characters and Pinyin appear together, most students will look only at the Pinyin. However, rather than removing all scaffolding, keeping information about tones can be very useful. This article details two methods of doing this, either through colour or through using tone marks only.

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