Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Speaking’ category

  1. A guide to Pinyin traps and pitfalls: Learning Mandarin pronunciation

    When learning to pronounce Mandarin, you need to learn both the sounds and how they are written, usually with Pinyin. Did you know that many student errors actually come from a poor understanding of Pinyin, rather than the sounds themselves being difficult? Welcome to my guide to Pinyin traps and pitfalls.

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  2. Hacking Chinese Pronunciation: Speaking with Confidence is now open!

    Hacking Chinese Pronunciation: Speaking with Confidence is now open for enrollment again! Take this opportunity to boost your pronunciation and improve your ability to communicate in Mandarin. The courses closes again on midnight Tuesday, January 18th.

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  3. How to improve fluency in Chinese by playing word games

    What if I told you that there is a game that helps you speak Chinese more fluently, is great for improving communicative ability and works well regardless of your current level? What if I said that the game is also fun and free to play?

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  4. 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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  5. Using voice messaging as a stepping stone to Chinese conversations

    Being able to have a conversation is a goal for most students of Chinese, be it with loved ones, for professional purposes or for travel, but what if you think conversations are too scary, too difficult or just impractical? Try using voice messaging as a stepping stone to better conversations in Chinese!

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  6. A smart method to discover problems with Mandarin sounds and tones

    It’s often hard to assess one’s own pronunciation when learning Mandarin. People around you might understand what you are saying, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your tones are good. Simply asking people if your pronunciation is good won’t work either, because they will often tell you that your pronunciation is good even if it’s not. So how can you find out how good your pronunciation really is?

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  7. Chinese pronunciation challenge, August 2021

    It’s time for a pronunciation challenge! It starts on August 10th, so enrol, set your goal and see how much you can improve your pronunciation before the end of the month. This article contains more information and inspiration about the challenge and pronunciation, including prizes on offer for active participants!

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  8. 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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  9. The importance of tones is inversely proportional to the predictability of what you say

    Tones in Mandarin carry roughly as much information as vowels do, but still some people insist that tones are not very important, or even that native speakers don’t really use tones. Why is that and what can we learn from digging deeper into this misconception?

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  10. Lost in transcription: Saylaw, Ice Island and Aristotle

    Names of people and places can be quite different in different languages, sometimes so different that it causes headaches for second language learners. Do you know the world’s best footballer, Saylaw? What about Yàlǐshìduōdé? Or are you lost in transcription too?

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