Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Chinese listening challenge, August 2017

listening-challengeHacking Chinese Challenges are about building language skills through daily practice and friendly competition. By focusing on one specific area of learning over a limited period of time, you will be able to learn more!

Chinese listening challenge, August 2017

Join by following these steps:

  1. Sign-up (using your e-mail, Facebook or Twitter)
  2. View current and upcoming challenges on the front page
  3. Join the listening challenge
  4. Set a reasonable goal (see below)
  5. Report your progress on your computer or mobile device
  6. Check the graph to see if you’re on track to reaching your goal
  7. Check the leader board to see how you compare to others
  8. Share progress, tips and resources with fellow students

Please note:  The challenge starts on August 1st, so if you join before then, you won’t be able to report progress the challenge starts.

What should you listen to?

Start by looking here:

  1. The 10 best free listening resource collections for learning Chinese I wrote this article in connection with the previous challenge. It’s a collection of podcasts, radio shows and much more. Note that I have excluded any paid resources in this post.
  2. Hacking Chinese Resources The resource section of Hacking Chinese currently contains 86 resources tagged with “listening”. Many of them are resource collections, where you can find hundreds or even thousands of clips. First select your proficiency level and then listening.

If you have other resources that aren’t shared here already, please leave a comment or contact me in any other way. If you want an invite for Hacking Chinese Resources so you can post your resources directly, just let me know. Just to be on the safe side, here are the basic recommendations I offered last time, sorted by proficiency level:




Setting a reasonable goal

Knowing what works for each individual learner is impossible, but you should try to set a goal which is as high as possible without feeling unreachable. If this is your first challenge or if you’re not sure what you’re capable of, go for 10 hours or so. If you know what you’re doing, you can easily aim for two or three times that much. The winner in one previous challenge listened for 66 hours!


Preliminary challenge schedule for 2017

As mentioned before, I will change things a bit for the challenges in 2017. The biggest change is that there will be half as many challenges, running for one entire month each. The following is a preliminary schedule, based on the things I think most learners should spend more time doing:

  1. February – Listening
  2. April – Reading
  3. June – Writing
  4. August – Listening (the current challenge)
  5. October – Reading
  6. December – Speaking

Stuck at home? Want to learn Chinese or improve your learning? The code "jia1you2" will give you 50% off all courses! Learn more about courses for beginners and more advanced students here.

Tips and tricks for how to learn Chinese directly in your inbox

I've been learning and teaching Chinese for more than a decade. My goal is to help you find a way of learning that works for you. Sign up to my newsletter for a 7-day crash course in how to learn, as well as weekly ideas for how to improve your learning!


  1. Henri says:

    What I’ve been doing while at the intermediate level is that I’ve cut and uploaded from several resources (textbook CDs, ChinesePod, etc.) all the sentences individually to Anki. That way I can have more focus on what is being said, even while the context isn’t always very clear, and keep repeating that R button until I can totally follow the whole sentence. It also incorporates SRS nicely thought it’s not probably that necessary with listening.

  2. Jim says:

    The speakers in ChinesePod are not the best, should use native speakers from mainland China, I unsubscribed because of this !

    1. Olle Linge says:

      ChinesePod has thousands of lessons with dozens of different speakers. Why would you unsubscribe because there is a range of different accents? I perceive this as a strength, not a weakness!

Leave a Reply to Henri Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.