Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Reading’ category

  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. The 7 best Chinese reading resources for beginners

    The best way to learn to read in Chinese is to read texts you can understand without constantly using a dictionary. As a beginner, such texts aren’t easy to find, but let’s have a look at the best reading resources I know for beginners.

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  5. 6 challenges students face when learning to read Chinese and how to overcome them

    Learning to read Chinese comes with several challenges, some of them unique to Chinese. What are these challenges, what do they mean for you as a student and how can you overcome them?

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  6. Chinese reading challenge, March 2022

    It’s time for a reading challenge! It starts on March 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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  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. The building blocks of Chinese, part 2: Basic characters, components and radicals

    Most Chinese characters are compounds consisting of two or more components, but some components are in themselves compounds that can be further broken down. But how do you know where to stop? And how do you learn and remember the most basic building blocks?

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  10. The building blocks of Chinese, part 1: Chinese characters and words in a nutshell

    Learning to read and write Chinese is a daunting task, but the challenge becomes more manageable if you focus on learning the building blocks, learning how components form characters and how characters form words. This article is the first part in a series helping adult students make sens of Chinese characters.

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