Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Speaking’ category

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

    My pronunciation course is now open for enrollment again! It was first launched in January, and after surveying students and making a few updates, I’m excited to open the doors again. The course is open for registration until midnight on Tuesday, September 28th.

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  2. 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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  3. 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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  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. 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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  6. 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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  7. Chinese language logging, part 1: Why and how to track your progress

    How much time are you investing into learning Chinese? Or is it maybe better to talk about it using a unit other than time, such as how many books you’ve read? Are you reading more than you’re writing? Or is listening, speaking, reading and writing maybe the wrong labels to use?

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  8. What’s the difference between Chinese pronunciation and Pinyin? Does it matter?

    It’s not uncommon for both students and teachers to treat Chinese pronunciation and Pinyin as the same thing, but they are not, and thinking that they are can lead to certain problems.

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  9. Learning the second tone in Mandarin Chinese

    Many students of Chinese struggle with the third tone, but almost as many also have problems with the second tone. So how should the second tone be pronounced, and what are the most common learner errors?

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  10. Chinese speaking challenge, April 2021

    Chinese speaking ability

    It’s time for a speaking challenge! It starts on April 10th, so enrol, set your goal and improve your speaking ability 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 speaking ability in Chinese.

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