Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Learning in class’ category

  1. Kickstart your learning with the Skritter Character Course

    What’s the best way to learn Chinese characters as a beginner? The Skritter character course is my best attempt at answering that question.

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  2. 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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  3. 7 ways to write Mandarin tones

    There are many ways of writing down the tones of Mandarin beyond the standard tone marks. Which are they and what pros and cons do they have for learners?

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  4. 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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  5. How to become fluent in Chinese

    Being fluent in Chinese is more about being good at applying what you know, rather than knowing everything. Many students focus too much on learning new things, and neglect mastering what they’ve already learnt.

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  6. 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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  7. Do you have to learn to write Chinese characters by hand?

    Chinese characters are beautiful, but they take a long time to learn, especially if you want to be able to write by hand. But do you actually need handwriting? When might you be required to write by hand? And are there any other benefits with handwriting that might make it all worthwhile?

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  8. Why you should use more than one Chinese textbook

    A textbook can only provide a sliver of the content and activities you need to learn Chinese, but rather than throwing your textbook away, try using several of them in parallel.

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  9. Analyse and balance your Chinese learning with Paul Nation’s four strands

    When learning Chinese, it’s hard to make sure you’re doing the right things. Paul Nation’s four strands allow you analyse and balance your learning!

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  10. On accuracy, communication and comprehensibility when learning Chinese

    Some think that as long as people understand you, accuracy doesn’t matter much, but others think that errors should be avoided at all costs. How serious are errors when trying to communicate in Chinese?

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