Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Vocabulary’ 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. The benefits of using Wikipedia to look up words when learning Chinese

    Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a dictionary, but did you know that it can be better than a dictionary for looking up words when learning Chinese?

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  6. The new HSK 3.0 (2021): What you need to know

    On July 1st, 2021, a new Chinese proficiency standard takes effect. This will have big consequences for the HSK, the most widely used proficiency test for non-native speakers. What are these changes and what do they mean for you as a student?

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  7. 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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  8. Chinese vocabulary challenge, June 2021

    It’s time for a vocabulary challenge! It starts on June 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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  9. 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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  10. My best advice on how to learn Chinese characters

    This is an overview of how to learn Chinese characters, including understanding how they work, how to learn to read and write them, as well as how to remember the characters you have learnt. Tools and resources related to characters are also covered!

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