Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Immersion and integration’ category

  1. 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?

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  2. 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?

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  3. 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?

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  4. 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.

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  5. 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!

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  6. Learning science in Chinese with 李永乐老师

    李永乐老师 is a science teacher who has published many hundreds of video lessons online, for free. While the fast speech and speedy handwriting are a bit daunting at first, this is an excellent way of learning about science in Chinese. This article introduces 李永乐老师’s videos, along with a number of tips and tricks for how to make them approachable for students who want to be able to deal with science in Chinese.

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  7. 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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  8. An introduction to extensive reading for Chinese learners

    Too many students of Chinese spend most of their time reading a small number of difficult texts, whereas they would actually be much better off reading a larger number of easier content. Are you focusing on extensive reading enough?

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  9. Review: Learning Chinese by video immersion with FluentU (2020 edition)

    FluentU offers authentic as well as learner-oriented videos for learning Chinese. A neat interface allows you to use an excellent pop-up dictionary and other useful features to watch and learn from videos. This is an in-depth review of FluentU Chinese.

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  10. 7 ideas for smooth and effortless Chinese listening practice

    Listening in Chinese can be hard, but solution is simple: listen more. That is not always easy to do, though, because it’s hard to both find the time to listen and to actually get started. Here are seven ideas for smooth and effortless Chinese listening practice.

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