Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Essential articles’ category

  1. Take responsibility for your Chinese learning now

    You should be responsible for your own learning, and if you outsource that to someone else, the results might be disastrous. This might sound obvious, but I think the problem is widely overlooked, especially by students enrolled in language courses.

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  2. 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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  3. Time quality: Studying the right thing at the right time

    Many students think that learning a language is limited to going to class, working your way through difficult texts or having conversations with native speakers. These all contribute to your learning, but learning is not limited to things you can schedule in your calendar. If you think of it like that, you’ll miss so many learning opportunities!

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  4. The building blocks of Chinese, part 6: Learning and remembering compound words

    Compound words in Chinese can look confusing at first, but once you see the patterns, learning and remembering them becomes much easier.

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  5. The building blocks of Chinese, part 4: Learning and remembering compound characters

    The key to learning Chinese compound characters is to learn the building blocks and how they fit together, including both the function of each component and the structure of the compound. Add some clever memory techniques and you’ll be able to dramatically increase the speed and efficiency of your learning!

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  6. The building blocks of Chinese, part 2: Basic characters, components and radicals

    Most Chinese characters are compounds consisting of two or more components, but some components are in themselves compounds that can be further broken down. But how do you know where to stop? And how do you learn and remember the most basic building blocks?

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  7. The building blocks of Chinese, part 1: Chinese characters and words in a nutshell

    Learning to read and write Chinese is a daunting task, but the challenge becomes more manageable if you focus on learning the building blocks, learning how components form characters and how characters form words. This article is the first part in a series helping adult students make sens of Chinese characters.

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  8. My best advice on how to learn Chinese characters

    This is an overview of how to learn Chinese characters, including understanding how they work, how to learn to read and write them, as well as how to remember the characters you have learnt. Tools and resources related to characters are also covered!

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  9. 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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  10. 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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