Learning Mandarin With (Lots of) Reading and Spaced Repetition

All Mandarin learners know the hardest part about the language is the need to memorize thousands of unique Chinese characters to achieve elementary level literacy. Spaced repetition has long been a popular strategy for utilized by students learning Chinese to review new vocabulary. Recently, one of the leading Chinese learning blogs Hacking Chinese wrote an … Read more

Chinese Phonetics – Pinyin 拼音 and Zhuyin 注音

Unlike English, French, or Spanish, Chinese is not a phonetic language.  However, two popular phonological systems are often used to help beginners (and native children) learn the Mandarin sounds – Hanyu pinyin 拼音 and zhuyin 注音.  In the early 20th century, literacy level was less than 45% for men and less than 10% for women.  To improve literacy among … Read more

Teaching Your Kids to Read and Write Mandarin at Home (for Chinese-Speakers)

If you are a Chinese-speaking parent living in a non-Chinese-speaking country, chances are your children have a much more advanced in speaking/listening Chinese than they are in reading/writing Chinese.  Part of the reason is that speaking/listening occur more naturally (especially if both parents are fluent Chinese speakers and Chinese is the primary language spoken at home) while reading/writing … Read more