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Japanese and Chinese Self Teaching URGENT! Watch

    • Thread Starter

    Hello I am planning on self teaching and sitting the The Japanese-Language Proficiency Test N5 and Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì (HSK) Level 2 and 3. I was wondering what is the best way to learn and pass these exams! If you could give me some reccomendations on supplies, textbooks ect

    Personally, I would make sure that you get hold of something that tells you what you need to know for each exam to inform you on grammar and vocab. This looks like a good site for the JLPT, I've used it a few times to check the state of my vocab! For Chinese grammar, I've only just starting self-teaching myself, but this looks not bad to me, it's what I'm starting with.

    For both Japanese and Chinese, learning characters will be your big time-consumer. For both, I recommend learning the radicals first as they give you a real handle on characters' meaning and allow you to potentially guess unknown words.

    For learning the vocab, I recommend an Spaced Repetition System - something like Anki, where you can download flashcards and practice them on your computer or on your phone. I used the Anki phone app while revising for my Japanese A-level and it was absolutely invaluable.

    Good luck, I'm sure lots of other people on here will have better recommendations! But feel free to ask any questions - Japanese moreso than Chinese!


    I have done Mandarin Chinese for one year now - My recommendation is to put most of your efforts into writing and speaking. The pronunciation is very difficult for westerners. Recognition of the characters comes very easily as long as you read every day but copying out the characters is a must.

    Find a Confucius institute near you if possible, or a native speaker of the language.

    Here is quite a good site for basic Chinese to fairly advanced [roughly HSK3 starting off.]

    This one is also good


    Also try to listen everyday, that will help with pronunciation Youtube has a lot of easy dialogues on it though you will need to poke around quite a bit.

    Good luck!
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      There are HSK vocab lists, HSK2 is 300 words and HSK3 is 600, so you can print that off and highlight the ones you need to know, then focus on those. They're really not very hard ...

      You can find vocab lists and past exams here: http://confucius.emory.edu/hsk_and_r...k_samples.html

      For building vocabulary I like reading, personally. Some people prefer audio, it depends how you learn best. But I have some graded readers and work my way through those, translating the words I don't know. Just finished two 750 word books, and now starting a collection of short stories with 1,000 words. Can be quite boring sometimes when you're spending all your time translating, but once you learn more words and can see your improvement it's more fun. I think you can find graded readings as low as 300 words, 500 is definitely possible to find. I just get them from amazon ...

      Hi, I am a native mandarin speaker just graduated from university in the UK. You can ask me any question about mandarin if you want.
      With all the best wishes for your language test.
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