Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Reviews’ category

  1. 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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  2. Review: Language Empowerment: Demystify Chinese culture and fire up your Mandarin + interview with the author

    Language Empowerment is a neat little book that manages to pack a lot of information and inspiration into relatively few pages. I highly recommend it for people who have just started learning Chinese or who are interested in doing so. This book covers many topics that you need to know about, but which few textbooks or teachers mention! It is also easy to access and enjoyable to read.

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  3. A language learner’s guide to wuxia novels

    Wuxia can be used as a key to both Chinese language and culture. This article is meant to be a guide to second language learners. If you want to read wuxia in Chinese, where do you start? How do you approach these novels? How do I find one which isn’t too hard? You will find the answers here!

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  4. 25 books I’ve read in Chinese, with reviews and difficulty ratings

    25 books I read in Chinese last year

    I set the goal of reading 25 books in one year. This article is about the 25 books I read and is meant to serve as encouragement and inspiration. You might also find a book or two you want to read yourself! At the end of the article, I discuss my reading habits in general as well.

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  5. Review: The Phonology of Standard Chinese

    Duanmu San’s “The Phonology of Standard Chinese” is by far the best introduction to Mandarin phonology that I’m aware of. It’s mostly useful for people who like phonology or are already at an advanced level and want to add a theoretical edge. This book contains tons of interesting material, all well-presented and well-argued.

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  6. Review: Chinese Synonyms Usage Dictionary

    This is a review of a very useful synonym dictionary, complete with detailed descriptions and comparisons of commonly confused words. It’s useful both as a dictionary and for studying vocabulary. I recommend the book for anyone from intermediate level and up, but some parts are useful for everyone.

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