Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Recommended resources’ category

  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. Skritter review: Boosting your Chinese character learning (2021 edition)

    Skritter is a modern tool for learning ancient characters. It combines research-based methods such as active recall and spaced repetition with great Chinese-specific tools and content. While it’s not a free resources, it has enough edges over more generic, free programs to be worth it, at least in my opinion.

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  4. Chinese language logging, part 3: Tools and resources for keeping track of your learning

    Logging you language learning can be very useful, and there are many tools and resources out there to help you, but which are the best and how do you use them?Logging you language learning can be very useful, and there are many tools and resources out there to help you, but which are the best and how do you use them?

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  5. Chinese language learning in the twenty-first century: Towards a digital ecosystem?

    Digital resources have made learning Chinese considerably easier than it used to be, but another problem has appeared: How can we make sense of and navigate the vast number of resources and find what’s best for us?

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  6. The 10 best free Chinese reading resources for beginner, intermediate and advanced learners

    Reading is the best way to expand vocabulary and learn new things in Chinese. What are the best free resources out there for beginner, intermediate and advanced learners? This article collects and introduces the ten best free reading resources in each category!

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  7. Learning science in Chinese with 李永乐老师

    李永乐老师 is a science teacher who has published many hundreds of video lessons online, for free. While the fast speech and speedy handwriting are a bit daunting at first, this is an excellent way of learning about science in Chinese. This article introduces 李永乐老师’s videos, along with a number of tips and tricks for how to make them approachable for students who want to be able to deal with science in Chinese.

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  8. Review: Learning Chinese by video immersion with FluentU (2020 edition)

    FluentU offers authentic as well as learner-oriented videos for learning Chinese. A neat interface allows you to use an excellent pop-up dictionary and other useful features to watch and learn from videos. This is an in-depth review of FluentU Chinese.

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  9. 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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  10. 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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