Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Vocabulary’ category

  1. Kickstart your learning with the Skritter Character Course

    What’s the best way to learn Chinese characters as a beginner? The Skritter character course is my best attempt at answering that question.

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  2. Hacking Chinese Podcast two-year anniversary Q&A

    This is a Q&A to mark the second anniversary of the Hacking Chinese Podcast! How do you stop translating in your head? Is it worthwhile to study a Pinyin chart? And how do you learn traditional characters after learning simplified?

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  3. How to learn Chinese characters as a beginner

    Whole books have been written about how the Chinese writing system works, and understanding how Chinese characters really work is a lifelong project, but what do you do as a beginner when asked to memorise a list of characters and words? Here are eight easy-to-follow strategies!

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  4. Do you have to learn to write Chinese characters by hand?

    Chinese characters are beautiful, but they take a long time to learn, especially if you want to be able to write by hand. But do you actually need handwriting? When might you be required to write by hand? And are there any other benefits with handwriting that might make it all worthwhile?

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  5. Chinese vocabulary challenge, December 2022

    It’s time for a vocabulary challenge! It starts on December 10th, so enrol, set your goal and learn as many characters and words as you can before the end of the month. This challenge is sponsored by Skritter, so there are also prizes on the line! This article contains more information about the challenge, some important things to keep in mind as well as some advice about learning Chinese characters and words.

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  6. Why you should use more than one Chinese textbook

    A textbook can only provide a sliver of the content and activities you need to learn Chinese, but rather than throwing your textbook away, try using several of them in parallel.

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  7. Are authentic texts good for learning Chinese or is graded content better?

    Authentic texts not written specifically for second language learners are rich, varied, interesting and engaging, but they can also be terribly difficult and confusing. Should you use such texts for learning Chinese, or are you better off using content tailored to language learners?

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  8. What to read to improve your Chinese and why

    Reading in Chinese has many benefits, but why you read should also inform your choice of what to read.

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  9. Time quality: Studying the right thing at the right time

    Many students think that learning a language is limited to going to class, working your way through difficult texts or having conversations with native speakers. These all contribute to your learning, but learning is not limited to things you can schedule in your calendar. If you think of it like that, you’ll miss so many learning opportunities!

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  10. How to start learning Chinese again after a break

    Are you picking up Chinese again after a break, and struggle to find the words and characters? Does spoken Mandarin sound vaguely familiar but incomprehensible? Then this guide will help you get back on track!

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