Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Key study hacks’ category

  1. Timeboxing Chinese: Get more done in less time

    If you don’t invest the necessary time into learning Chinese, it doesn’t matter how good your method is. Timeboxing is a wonderful way to get more done in less time.

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  2. How to learn Chinese characters as a beginner

    Whole books have been written about how the Chinese writing system works, and understanding how Chinese characters really work is a lifelong project, but what do you do as a beginner when asked to memorise a list of characters and words? Here are eight easy-to-follow strategies!

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  3. Chinese language question triage: When to ask whom about what

    When learning Chinese, questions about the language pop up all the time, but what’s the best way to answer them?

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  4. How to learn from your mistakes and errors when learning Chinese

    Making mistakes is a natural part of learning Chinese, but how can you make sure you learn as much as possible from the mistakes you make? The answer can be anything from “ignore it” to “stop everything you’re doing and get to the bottom of it”, and it all depends on what kind of mistake you’ve made!

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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. The building blocks of Chinese, part 3: Compound characters

    A vast majority of Chinese characters are compounds, and understanding how the components fit together and which function they have, will make learning and remembering characters a lot easier. This article explains the most important types of compounds you’ll encounter and how you can use that knowledge to learn characters more easily.

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  9. A smart method to discover problems with Mandarin sounds and tones

    It’s often hard to assess one’s own pronunciation when learning Mandarin. People around you might understand what you are saying, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your tones are good. Simply asking people if your pronunciation is good won’t work either, because they will often tell you that your pronunciation is good even if it’s not. So how can you find out how good your pronunciation really is?

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  10. Diversify how you study Chinese to learn more

    How is it possible to spend 80 hours a week learning Chinese? And what can you learn from that, even if you find it hard to find any time to study whatsoever, with work and family taking up most of your time? This article aims at widening the scope of what it means to learn Chinese, and shows you ways you can learn that you probably haven’t thought of before!

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