Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Learning outside 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. 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. 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. Chinese reading challenge, November 2022

    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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. Chinese vocabulary challenge, December 2022

    It’s time for a vocabulary challenge! It starts on December 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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  10. 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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