Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Reading’ category

  1. Hacking Chinese Podcast two-year anniversary Q&A

    This is a Q&A to mark the second anniversary of the Hacking Chinese Podcast! How do you stop translating in your head? Is it worthwhile to study a Pinyin chart? And how do you learn traditional characters after learning simplified?

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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. Are authentic texts good for learning Chinese or is graded content better?

    Authentic texts not written specifically for second language learners are rich, varied, interesting and engaging, but they can also be terribly difficult and confusing. Should you use such texts for learning Chinese, or are you better off using content tailored to language learners?

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  5. What to read to improve your Chinese and why

    Reading in Chinese has many benefits, but why you read should also inform your choice of what to read.

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  6. How to start learning Chinese again after a break

    Are you picking up Chinese again after a break, and struggle to find the words and characters? Does spoken Mandarin sound vaguely familiar but incomprehensible? Then this guide will help you get back on track!

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  7. Learning Classical Chinese is for everyone (no, seriously!)

    Classical Chinese is something all learners will encounter, whether it’s because it’s part of a course you take, because you’ve started learning formal, written Chinese or simply because you want to read the Art of War, the Analects or Tang poetry. How can you learn Classical Chinese and what resources should you use?

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  8. 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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  9. The building blocks of Chinese, part 5: Making sense of Chinese words

    How many characters do you need to know to be able to read Chinese? The truth is that characters only provide a foundation, so regardless of how many you know, you won’t be able to read much unless you also know many words.

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  10. Why spaced repetition software is uniquely well suited to learning Chinese characters

    While spaced repetition software can be very useful, it also has some serious drawbacks. Fortunately, most of them don’t apply to learning to write Chinese characters!

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