Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

Articles tagged with ‘Pleco’

  1. All the resources you need to learn and teach Chinese stroke order

    Stroke order for Chinese characters is something most beginners struggle with to begin with, but it’s also a problem that quickly fades away over time. This article collects all the resources you need to understand stroke order, look it up when you need to, and provides you with the practice you need.

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  2. When spaced repetition fails, and what to do about it

    Spaced repetition software can boost your vocabulary learning significantly. The idea is to schedule each review as late as possible, but not so late that you forget the answer. This sounds good in principle, but when it comes to learning languages, just barely being able to come up with the right word is not enough!

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  3. Dealing with Chinese characters you keep mixing up

    The more Chinese characters you learn, the harder it becomes to keep similar characters distinct. If you’re not careful, a pair or group of characters can generate a lot of extra work and frustration. The solution is to trace your errors and figure out why you get the characters wrong and, then deal with them decisively!

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  4. Does using colour to represent Mandarin tones make them easier to learn?

    Some learning materials, apps and tools allow you to add colours to show Mandarin tones, but is this really helpful? This article discusses the ins and outs of using colour to learn and remember tones, along with some practical considerations.

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  5. How to look up Chinese characters you don’t know

    Looking up an unknown character in Chinese is much trickier than looking up unknown words in most other languages. This article discusses various ways of looking up Chinese characters, including paper dictionaries, handwriting input, OCR and more.

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  6. Why using a good dictionary can be bad for your Chinese reading ability

    The advent of smart phones and digital dictionaries has brought great benefits to Chinese learners, who no longer need to waste much time flipping through pages, looking for the right entry. However, always having quick access to the right answer can actually stop you from learning some of the strategies you need to become a successful reader in Chinese.

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  7. Looking up how to use words in Chinese the right way

    Looking up how to express something in Chinese is not as easy as it looks. Assuming that a word, especially a verb, can be used the same way in Chinese as in your native language usually results in incorrect or awkward sentences. Stop assuming and look things up properly instead!

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  8. Zooming out: The resources you need to put Chinese in context

    In order to learn efficiently, it’s important that you integrate your knowledge. This means being able to break down Chinese in order to understand it, as well as looking at context and sorting out confusing cases. In this second article, I introduce tools for zooming out and putting things in context.

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  9. Chinese learning tools and resources worth paying for

    This article introduced the few tools and resources I think you should consider paying for when learning Chinese. The first list contains things you really should pay for, the second of things I recommend paying for, but which aren’t strictly necessary. Do you agree? Which things do you think worth paying for?

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  10. Why you should read Chinese on your phone

    Reading Chinese in this digital age is a lot easier than it used to, but it’s actually even easier than many students think. The benefits of reading on your phone are important, including instant access to vocabulary, smaller chunks of text, portability and a sense of getting somewhere when you read. If you haven’t read a Chinese text on your phone yet, you really should give it a try.

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