Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Immersion and integration’ category

  1. 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!

    Read →

  2. The 7 best Chinese reading resources for beginners

    The best way to learn to read in Chinese is to read texts you can understand without constantly using a dictionary. As a beginner, such texts aren’t easy to find, but let’s have a look at the best reading resources I know for beginners.

    Read →

  3. 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?

    Read →

  4. Should you enrol in a Chinese course or are you better off learning on your own?

    Some people think enrolling in a course is the best way to learn Chinese, but others say that courses are useless, and swear by the effectiveness of self-studying. So should you enrol in a Chinese course or are you better off learning on your own?

    Read →

  5. Using voice messaging as a stepping stone to Chinese conversations

    Being able to have a conversation is a goal for most students of Chinese, be it with loved ones, for professional purposes or for travel, but what if you think conversations are too scary, too difficult or just impractical? Try using voice messaging as a stepping stone to better conversations in Chinese!

    Read →

  6. Learning to understand regionally accented Mandarin

    As soon as you leave the classroom, you will notice that people don’t speak Chinese the way your teacher and textbook do. Why is that, and what can you do to learn to understand regionally accented Mandarin?

    Read →

  7. Lost in transcription: Saylaw, Ice Island and Aristotle

    Names of people and places can be quite different in different languages, sometimes so different that it causes headaches for second language learners. Do you know the world’s best footballer, Saylaw? What about Yàlǐshìduōdé? Or are you lost in transcription too?

    Read →

  8. Chinese language logging, part 2: A healthy, balanced diet of Mandarin

    How do you balance your learning to make sure you get a healthy diet of Mandarin? Logging how much you listen, speak, read and write is easy, but are there better ways of doing it?

    Read →

  9. What’s the difference between Chinese pronunciation and Pinyin? Does it matter?

    It’s not uncommon for both students and teachers to treat Chinese pronunciation and Pinyin as the same thing, but they are not, and thinking that they are can lead to certain problems.

    Read →

  10. The 10 best free Chinese reading resources for beginner, intermediate and advanced learners

    Reading is the best way to expand vocabulary and learn new things in Chinese. What are the best free resources out there for beginner, intermediate and advanced learners? This article collects and introduces the ten best free reading resources in each category!

    Read →