Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Intermediate’ category

  1. 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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  2. Chinese reading challenge, November 2020

    It’s time for a reading challenge! It starts on November 10th, so enrol, set your goal and read as much as you can before the end of the month. This article contains more information about the challenge, some important things to keep in mind as well as some advice about improving reading ability in Chinese.

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  3. 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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  4. Why learning Chinese pronunciation by using English words is a really bad idea

    Learning Mandarin pronunciation is not easy, so some people use English words to approximate Chinese pronunciation. This is a really bad idea.

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  5. 7 mistakes I made when writing Chinese characters and what I learnt from them

    Learning Chinese characters is an ongoing challenge that never really goes away. Even after studying Chinese for more than a decade, I make mistakes and forget characters. In this article, I analyse seven mistakes I’ve made recently and share what I learnt from these mistakes.

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  6. Chinese vocabulary challenge, October 2020

    It’s time for a vocabulary challenge! It starts on October 10th, so enrol, set your goal and learn as many characters and words as you can before the end of the month. This challenge is sponsored by Skritter, so there are also prizes on the line! This article contains more information about the challenge, some important things to keep in mind as well as some advice about learning Chinese characters and words.

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  7. 7 ideas for smooth and effortless Chinese listening practice

    Listening in Chinese is hard, but simply listening more helps. That is not always very easy, though, because it’s hard to both find the time to listen and to actually get started. This article discusses ideas for how to make listening practice in Chinese smoother and more effortless.

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  8. Should you learn the names of the strokes in Chinese characters?

    Some teachers insist on teaching the names of the strokes that make up Chinese characters, but is learning them worthwhile? In general, the answer is no, but there are certain cases where learning the names of strokes makes sense!

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  9. How to not teach Chinese characters to beginners: A 12-step approach

    This is a guide for how to not teach Chinese characters, based on more than a decade of observing terrible teaching and worst practices. Which of these have you seen?

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  10. Why not going to China now could actually be good for your Chinese

    Do you have to go abroad to learn Chinese? Will you learn Chinese simply by living abroad? And if you go, does it matter when you go if you can only stay for a short time? This article argues that it does matter when you go, and that you’re better off not going immediately as a pure beginner.

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