Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles in the ‘Writing’ category Page 6

  1. Chat your way to better Chinese

    Chatting is an excellent way of learning a language. Some people think chatting online is a waste of time, but in this article I list and explain a dozen reasons why this is wrong. In fact, chatting offer many advantages that are very hard to find elsewhere.

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  2. Kickstart your Chinese character learning with the 100 most common radicals

    This is a list of the 100 most common radicals among the 2000 most common characters, meaning that it’s excellent for beginners who want to boost their understanding of Chinese characters. The list contains simplified, traditional, variants, meaning, pronunciation, examples, helpful comments and colloquial names.

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  3. Language is communication, not only an abstract subject to study

    I won’t join the group of language bloggers who claim that classroom learning is meaningless, but I do believe there are good reasons to create links to the real world. Not only is this a motivational booster, it’s also an excellent way of identifying problems you might have with your Chinese.

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  4. Using Lang-8 to improve your Chinese

    Learning a foreign language, most people lack proper feedback from native speakers. Even if we have friends and teachers, always having to ask for help isn’t very good. In this article, I explain how Lang-8 solves this problem for you. Useful for any language, not just Chinese!

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  5. When perfectionism becomes an obstacle to progress

    Perfectionism is usually regarded as something positive, perhaps even necessary. Scoring 100% on an exam is good, isn’t it? No, it’s not. In this article, I explain why perfectionism is bad when learning a language. Aiming for 90% is far better than aiming for 100%. This is being smart, not lazy.

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  6. Making progress in Chinese in spite of praise

    Praise is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s encouraging and makes it more rewarding to study. On the other hand, however, if you use other people’s praise as a true indication of your own ability, you’re in deep trouble. Feel encouraged, but it’s essential that you don’t trust native speakers when they tell you your Chinese is great!

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  7. Learning simplified and traditional Chinese

    Learning traditional characters if you know simplified or vice versa is a lot easier than beginners tend to think. Generally, you don’t need to worry, because at an advanced level, learning both is quite easy. This article is about simplified/traditional and how to learn both.

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  8. Learn by exaggerating: Slow, then fast; big, then small

    If you want to speak or write quickly, you should start out by doing it slowly. Mimicking native speed early will just lead to sloppy language and bad communication. Expose your errors so that you have a chance to correct them.

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  9. Benchmarking progress in Chinese to stay motivated

    When we set out to learn Chinese, everything we learn is new and we can feel that we improve for each day that goes by, for each time we are exposed to the language. We know this because, in relative terms, we’re learning so much. As we progress, this feeling weakens. In this article, I discuss benchmarking and how it can help us stay motivated.

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  10. Learning Chinese through social media

    People spend lots of time every day using social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Communicating with native speakers in a relaxed way is a very good way of learning a language, especially if it doesn’t feel like studying. Apart from the global social media, China also has its own variants that can be very useful for language learners.

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