Language learning word games / language exchange tips

I thought I would share something I’ve started doing recently that I find a really fun way to practice Chinese and review vocabulary with language exchange / partners / friends.

I really love playing the game “Articulate” - I don’t know how popular this is in other countries but to explain the concept, you have time on the clock (we used 5 minutes) and you have to explain as many words as possible without using the words themselves. For example, the word to guess = “carrot” → you describe it as an orange vegetable, but can’t say carrot or anything that sounds like it.

When we play I use Chinese for 5 min, my boyfriend uses the real Articulate cards in English for 5 min. I’ve been using the LTL vocab as well as my hack chinese vocabulary lists. I find it so fun! It’s also really interesting because sometimes i realise that there are differences in what i thought the word meant and what it actually means - e.g. recently I was describing 技能, thinking it meant general technology (like 技術), but through the game I realised it is better described as technical ability/skill.

Happy to hear if anyone has any similar games / fun ways of learning :slight_smile:


Love that idea! Will try it next time I’m with some of my “language friends” (don’t have so many in England)… :laughing:


Very Interesting and thats fantastic practice. How do you score the game? Your boyfriend needs to guess them right for you to be able to go on right?

I wonder if we could do this as a game for a free speaking class. The issue would be to get the vocab right for people’s levels

Yep you score how many you do in the time frame - you can “pass” one time only, although we haven’t been that strict on that. Currently, in 5 minutes, my top score is 8 (e.g. he guessed 8 words I described to him), his is 17 (I guessed 17 words he described to me). I’ve decided that’s because I am a better guesser :smiley: :wink: - but no, he is pretty fluent at English

After the 5 min we go through the ones that were difficult to guess and explain to eachother what would have been a better way to say it. It’s really fun both ways, yesterday I had to explain what a Scottish bagpipe was in English :smile_cat:

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At my level: I use my hard word list of Hackchinese. I simply try to make a sentence. Any sentence. And I ask a Chinese conversation partner to make a sentence with my word list. Then we make variants and better or longer sentences. Similar in German. My Chinese language partner likes to use non-standard vocab and constructions from newspapers.:wink: