It’s time for a Chinese writing challenge! This is a great opportunity if you want to improve your written Chinese. If you’re like most of us, you probably don’t spend as much time on this as you should.
Writing here refers to composition, i.e. how to write texts in Chinese rather than how to write individual characters, but feel free to write by hand if you want. There will be a separate challenge focusing on characters and vocabulary later!
Hacking Chinese writing challenge, February 10-28
This how you sign up and join the challenge:
- Sign up (using your e-mail, Facebook or Twitter)
- View current and upcoming challenges on the front page
- Find the writing challenge and click “Enroll!”
- Set a reasonable goal (see below)
- Start writing!
- Report your progress on your computer or mobile device
- Check the graph to see if you’re on track to reaching your goal
- Check the leader board to see how you compare to others (if you want)
- Share progress, tips and resources with fellow students
Please note: The challenge starts on the 10th, so even if you join now, you won’t be able to report progress until then. I post this article today so you have a few days to prepare!
What should you write? How should you write?
Both what you write and how you write depends a bit on your level and your goals for learning Chinese. I have summarised my best advice about improving writing ability here:
Your Chinese writing challenge: Set a reasonable goal
Set a goal which is as high as possible without feeling unreachable. For the duration of the challenge, I think it’s reasonable for part-time students to spend half an hour, three times per week, which will mean 4-5 hours over the entire challenge. Full-time students can aim for at least twice that.
Preliminary challenge schedule for 2023
Here is a preliminary list of challenges for 2023, but I’m always open for ideas. Based on user participation, surveys as well as my own opinion, reading and listening challenges are particularly helpful for a large number of people, followed by those focusing on vocabulary. These will recur more often throughout the year, with other, more specific challenges spread out in-between.
Challenges last for roughly three weeks. They always start on the 10th each month and last until the end of that month. Three weeks is enough to get a significant amount of studying done, but not so long that people lose focus. This also leaves ten days of breathing space between challenges.
- January: Listening
- February: Writing
- March: Reading
- April: Speaking
- May: Listening
- June: Vocabulary
- July: Reading
- August: Translation
- September: Listening
- October: Pronunciation
- November: Reading
- December: Vocabulary
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!