Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Learning in class’ category Page 2

  1. Training your Chinese teacher, part 3: Listening ability

    Listening ability is generally overlooked in language teaching. At first glance, it might seem that having a teacher is not as useful for improving listening as it is for improving speaking, but is that really the case? This article covers both what you should and what you shouldn’t do with your teacher if improving listening ability is your goal!

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  2. Two types of pronunciation problems and what to do about them

    Many assume that when someone gets pronunciation wrong, they haven’t learnt how to produce that sound correctly yet. This is not always the case, though, because there is another reason that is perhaps even more likely to be the cause of the problem! What are the two types of problems and what can we do about them?

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  3. New course: Unlocking Chinese – The Ultimate Guide for Beginners

    Do you want to make sure your Chinese learning gets off to a good start? Or have you already started, but feel a bit confused and need guidance? Then my new course, Unlocking Chinese: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners, is for you!

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  4. Review: Mandarin Companion: Easy to read novels in Chinese

    Graded readers are an important step on your journey to becoming literate in Chinese. In this article, I review all books in the Mandarin Companion series, including both level 1 (300 characters) and level 2 (450 characters), as well as the new Breakthrough level (150 characters). These books are useful for both beginners (extra reading) and intermediate learners (extensive reading). In all, there’s roughly 100,000 characters worth of stories here, providing an effective and enjoyable way to learn to read Chinese.

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  5. 101 questions and answers about how to learn Chinese

    This is the biggest collections of questions and answer about how to learn Chinese anywhere. The questions are sorted into categories, and each question is answered briefly before links to further information is provided. If you have a question about how to learn Chinese, you’re very likely to find the answer here! If your question hasn’t been answered, please consider leaving a comment!

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  6. 7 things you were taught in Chinese class that are actually wrong

    Some things your Chinese teacher tells you or you read in your textbook are well-meant simplifications. This is okay, because the whole picture might be overly complicated and not very helpful. Some other things your Chinese teacher tells you or you read in your textbook are just wrong, though. This article lists seven examples of things that are often taught in Chinese class, but are actually incorrect.

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  7. Training your Chinese teacher, part 2: Speaking ability

    Finding a good Chinese teacher is not easy, but there are many things you can do to get more out of the time you spend with your teacher. In the second article in this series, I discuss focusing on speaking ability with a teacher, including what to look for in a good teacher, common problems and how to tackle them, along with some suggestions for more advanced learners.

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  8. The beginner’s guide to Chinese translation

    Translation from you native language to Chinese is not easy. The most serious problem for many beginners is that they stay too close to the original, which leads to incorrect word order in Chinese. This article presents a method for beginners and lower intermediate students, designed to avoid this problem and improve your translations.

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  9. Free and easy audio flashcards for Chinese dictation practice with Anki

    Audio flashcards can be great for improving basic listening ability or preparing for 听写/聽寫 or dictation. It used to be time-consuming and difficult to do, but with Anki and good text-to-speech engines, it’s now both easy and free!

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  10. Training your Chinese teacher, part 1: Introduction

    Finding a good Chinese teacher is not easy, but there are many things you can do to get more out of the time you spend with your teacher. In this article, I discuss being taught Chinese in general, including things you should do as a student, as well as things you might want to train your Chinese teacher to do, if they aren’t already doing them. This article is the first in a series focusing on how to train your Chinese teacher.

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