Here are my most highly recommended resources for learning Mandarin Chinese.
I frequently refer to them in many of the articles I write on this site because I know they’re fantastic and they’ve been crucial to my own learning.
Full transparency: From time to time I use affiliate links for paid products on this site which means I get a small commission for referrals. It doesn’t affect the price of anything but doing so has helped me continue to maintain and improve this site over the last 5 years as a helpful resource for language learners.
Learn Mandarin With Podcasts
ChineseClass101: This is an excellent Mandarin Chinese course in the form of audio podcasts and downloadable lessons.
As well as podcast-style lessons, you’ll find videos, a vocabulary database and dictionary, grammar explanations and various other useful features.
Best Online Chinese Audio Course
Rocket Chinese: This is one of my favorite online courses which has some of the highest quality Mandarin dialogue material available.
Rocket Chinese doesn’t follow a ‘cookie cutter’ approach like other well-known programs such as Rosetta Stone or Pimsleur, and it has a tonne of excellent audio content for all levels ranging from beginner to advanced.
Here’s a video I made recently showing the new edition’s features:
Learn Mandarin Chinese Using Video
MandarinHQ: An amazing and extensive collection of high quality video lessons for Mandarin Chinese by Angel Huang.
I love the lesson delivery style which is succinct, clear and very easy to follow.
Yoyo Chinese: This great resource was put together by Yangyang Cheng, a famous YouTube personality known for her unique approach to teaching Mandarin Chinese.
Very popular and highly recommended.
Yabla Chinese: This is an excellent site for using video to learn Mandarin where you can control the speed of playback and select words from the subtitles for definitions.
Yabla has recently had some major improvements and new video content added making it well worth a try.
FluentU Chinese: This is a fantastic tool for learning Chinese using subtitled video.
It has many of the same features as Yabla but a wider array of video content to choose from.
Learn To Speak Mandarin With Music
Rapid Mandarin: This is the most unique and effective Chinese phrasebook alternative I’ve ever seen and one I frequently recommend on this site.
Based on solid research into memory and ‘stuck song syndrome’, Rapid Mandarin teaches you the language over the top of highly repetitive tunes that cause the phrases to ‘get stuck’ in your head.
It’s surprisingly effective and is so enjoyable that it doesn’t feel like study at all.
Chinese Fluency Courses And Guides
Glossika Mandarin: This is another very unique product that improves your fluency through a highly repetitive ‘listen and repeat’ approach.
It is, in my opinion, one of the the most useful tools I’ve seen for training Chinese listening comprehension (read my Glossika review). Definitely not a conventional course but you’ll be amazed at how effective it is at improving your fluency if you use it daily.
Available in both mainland and Taiwanese Mandarin.
Why Chinese Is Easy: A great guide put together by Benny Lewis, author of Fluent In 3 Months, for overcoming the most common hurdles in Mandarin.
If you’re just starting out with French and facing difficulties getting your head around features of the language, this will help you.
Inexpensive Mandarin Lessons Via Skype
italki: Not too long ago it was really difficult or impossible to practice Mandarin without actually traveling to China or Taiwan.
Thankfully, tools like italki have made it possible to connect with native speakers from all over the world to practice or to take personalized lessons over Skype.
The great news is, Chinese lessons over Skype through italki are incredibly cheap compared to most teachers in person. All the frustration of payments and scheduling is handled brilliantly by italki too which makes it very easy and stress free to arrange sessions.
Other Great Tools To Help Your Chinese
Memrise: This is an outstanding online vocabulary training tool that lets you select Mandarin ‘courses’ to study (or create one yourself). Many of the courses also include audio.
AnkiSRS: A highly versatile flashcard app.
Forvo: If there’s ever a Chinese word or expression that you’ve seen written but don’t know how to pronounce, you can search for it here (or request it) and hear a native speaker pronounce it for you.
Check Out These Relevant Posts:
- The Most Balanced Rosetta Stone Review You’ll Ever Read
- Honest Pimsleur Review
- Frank Review Of Rocket Languages