Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Chinese listening challenge, February 2018

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!

As I announced in January, we are going to use a different model for challenges this year. To summarise, there will be two challenges each month, and each will run for two weeks. The first will be an open challenge, the second a focused challenge. The open challenge ended yesterday, and the focused challenge starts now!

Chinese listening challenge, February 15th to 28th, 2018

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. Announce your goal in a comment to this article
  6. Report your progress on your computer or mobile device
  7. Check the graph to see if you’re on track to reaching your goal
  8. Check the leader board to see how you compare to others
  9. Share progress, tips and resources with fellow students

Please note:  The challenge starts on February 15th, 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 5 hours or so. If you know what you’re doing, you can easily aim for two or three times that much. That’s “only” one hour per day, which is not even a lot if you’re studying full time!


Preliminary challenge schedule for 2018

There will be one open and one focused challenge each month this year. The open challenge always starts the first each month, and the focused challenge starts on the 15th, running to the end of the month. Here’s a list of preliminary target skills for the focused challenges:

  1. February: Listening
  2. March: Vocabulary
  3. April: Reading
  4. May: Writing
  5. June: Pronunciation
  6. July: Listening
  7. August: Vocabulary
  8. September: Reading
  9. October: Speaking
  10. November: Handwriting
  11. December: Translation

Sign up for a free crash course in how to learn Mandarin. You can also opt-in to my weekly newsletter if you want. For more about how your personal data is handled, please review the privacy policy.


  1. Teo says:

    My goal is to listen to 5 hours by the end of February!

  2. Jason says:

    What do you mean by “just focus on the audio” for Chinese Pod?

    You don’t mean listen exclusively to the dialogue right? I’ve found the explanations in Mandarin in the intermediate/upper intermediate lessons to be quite good for getting additional listening and clarification in.

    Thanks for your amazing work!

    1. Olle Linge says:

      No, I meant for the lower levels where they speak and explain a lot in English. The talking in the studio in upper-intermediate and advanced lessons is great, in fact much better and more useful than the actual lesson content. 🙂

  3. Samir says:

    Thanks for the recommendation. I haven’t used Google Sheets before, but I’ll look into them!

Leave a comment

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.