Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles tagged with ‘Characters’ Page 2

  1. How to create mnemonics for general or abstract character components

    Anyone who has tried mnemonics for learning Chinese characters knows that some components are easier to link together than others. This article discusses in detail how to deal with abstract or general character components and how to handle components with the same or overlapping meaning, an essential skill if you’re serious about character learning.

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  2. Sensible character learning: Progress, reminders and reflections

    The sensible character challenge has now been running for two weeks and it’s time to see how things have been going so far. This post is a progress report that contains some reflections on the challenge itself, as well as some practical advice on how to solve common problems. It also invites participants to share their experience and progress so far.

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  3. Towards a more sensible way of learning to write Chinese

    This character learning challenge strives to teach students to learn Chinese characters in a way that makes sense in the long term. While the challenge is over, the principles are still applicable!

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  4. You can’t learn Chinese characters by rote

    My conclusion after years of learning characters is that rote learning is useless. Spaced repetition software is good, but it’s still not enough. If adult foreigners are going to learn to write Chinese by hand, we really need another method. We need mnemonics, we need active processing, we need to quit rote learning and stop using SRS mechanically.

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  5. 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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  6. Learning Chinese words really fast

    After spending three articles building up our toolkit to learn Chinese more efficiently, the time is now ripe to actually use all these to something genuinely useful. It’s time to make those long-term investments pay off. This article explains how to learn new words really fast.

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  7. Creating a powerful toolkit: Characters and words

    This is the second article in my series on creating a toolkit to enable efficient learning of words and this time the topic is individual characters. This article explains why individual characters are important to learn and there are links to other articles describing how to learn characters efficiently.

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  8. Creating a powerful toolkit: Individual Chinese characters

    Learning to read and write Chinese requires intimate knowledge not only of words, but also of individual characters. Without this knowledge, the building blocks of each word become meaningless, and, as we all know, learning something meaningful is always easier. Knowing individual characters is also essential if we want to be able to guess the meaning of new words, learn new words quickly or use mnemonics!

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