This website uses cookies to collect information about how you interact with it, in order to improve and customize your browsing experience.

See our privacy policy Accept



Because the world has become increasingly globalized, learning new languages is no longer an option to gain more job opportunities. It is a must! And if you study Mandarin Chinese, you’ll enjoy even more benefits.

With roughly 1.2 billion native and non-native speakers scattered throughout the world, Mandarin Chinese remains the second most-spoken language globally. As a result, its culture and businesses have spread to every part of the planet. Chances are that you’ll probably find Chinese towns, markets and products everywhere. For foreign language learners, this is excellent news. It means that, by mastering this language, you’ll be able to work in and gain a better understanding of one of the richest countries in the world, China!

Now, as Mandarin Chinese is vastly different from English, the main obstacle you might face is how and where to start. But, there’s no need to stress. At Language Trainers we know all about the best Mandarin Chinese Learning Resources, and we’re ready to give you a hand. 我们走吧!

The Ultimate Resource List To Study Mandarin Chinese

These days, you’ll find a huge library of Mandarin Chinese learning tools online. And if you want to master this language, you’ll need to pick the most suitable resources for your own needs and goals.

As this tends to take so much time, we came up with a solution. Aside from compiling the best resources to study Mandarin Chinese, we also divided these tools into a neatly organized set of categories that cover different studying methods, from playing with apps to hearing podcasts or enrolling in courses.

But that’s not the end of the story. We also shared the key to rapidly becoming a native Mandarin Chinese speaker which you can find below.

Best Apps To Learn Mandarin Chinese

After completing a busy schedule, most people want to rest and have little time for or interest in studying. They would rather distract themselves with something entertaining. Luckily for you, there are hundreds of apps that can teach you Mandarin Chinese through fun and engaging games. What’s best, while these tools might not be as not as complete as actual courses, they can still take your Mandarin Chinese skills to another level.



User-friendly and highly visually appealing, Primsleur offers 30-minute audio lessons that will get you practicing your speaking and listening skills as soon as you choose your language. How so? Well, thanks to its audio-recognition software, this app will test your Mandarin Chinese conversational skills by asking you to repeat dialogues and answer prompts.



With over 8 million downloads, this app is well known for two reasons. On the one hand, it has a well-structured curriculum that focuses on developing real-world conversation abilities. On the other hand, it also covers every single skill, from speech recognition software-based games that test your Mandarin Chinese tone use to handwriting activities to practice your radicals writing skills.



What sets Ninchanese apart from other apps is one main characteristic… storytelling. Rather than a set of loosely-connected activities, Ninchanese offers a story-based Mandarin Chinese learning gaming platform, where you’ll advance into different worlds (a.k.a. language levels) and meet different characters who’ll guide and test your listening, speaking and grammar skills in oriental fashion.



Have you ever heard of the HSK? It’s the most widely-recognized Mandarin Chinese proficiency test for non-native speakers. And, if you’re planning to take it, you need to download this app. Boasting a whopping 4.8 rating in Google Apps, HSKOnline features HSK mock tests, exam questions and writing activities.

Best Dictionaries/Translators To Learn Mandarin Chinese

Why use dictionaries in the age of internet search? The answer is rather simple. Typing a word in Google’s search toolbar will give you access to a quick and brief definition. Looking for that word in the dictionary, in contrast, will allow you to access a complete and thorough explanation of what that word means, how to use it in different contexts and its main characteristics. So, if you want a quick definition use Google. But if you want to enhance your Mandarin Chinese knowledge, you should check out these dictionaries/translators.



One of the most complete Mandarin Chinese dictionaries, Wenlin provides a very thorough explanation of words relating to the Chinese language, history, customs and politics. What’s best, it also allows you to translate a whole document. Just go through the text with your cursor, and Wenlin will show the translation at the bottom.



With a simple and intuitive interface, Pleco ranks among the most popular English-Mandarin Chinese dictionaries due to its multiple ways of translating words. For instance, if you don’t know the meaning of a character, you can write it on the screen, and Pleco will display the translation. Or if you don’t know how to say something in Mandarin Chinese, you can pronounce the word in English, and Pleco will read it out loud.



What makes this dictionary special? Well, aside from thorough definitions and accurate translations, MDBG has very useful extra features for language learners, like quizzes, flashcards and an optional vocabulary web feed.



Unlike all the other options, LineDict boasts a huge library of examples, including how the word appears in dialogues. Thus, in addition to offering a definition, it also allows you to study how words are used in different contexts.

Best Textbooks to Learn Mandarin Chinese

Some people believe that language learning textbooks rely on dull, boring grammar activities. But that’s not true. It is actually a huge misconception. Like language learning techniques, textbooks have evolved over the years. As a result, nowadays, you’ll find plenty of very accessible Mandarin Chinese books, which boast highly amusing pieces of discourseand entertaining activities. Below, you’ll find our favorite picks.


Integrated Chinese

Mandarin Chinese textbooks often limit your learning in terms of tone, pronunciation, speaking and listening. However, this is not the case with this book. With the help of a CD that includes examples of how to masterfully pronounce tones and radicals (Chinese characters), Integrated Chinese will allow you to develop every single skill in this language.


Fundamentals of Chinese Characters

Let’s be honest. Learning radicals can strike fear even into the most confident students. Luckily for you, Fundamentals of Chinese Characters is here to give you a hand. This book breaks down every single Mandarin Chinese character into the most basic elements and gives you an in-depth look into these symbols’ history and evolution.


Chinese For Dummies

Now, if you want a quick guide on how to maintain a conversation with other Mandarin Chinese speakers, we highly recommend this book. From ordering food at a restaurant to introducing yourself, Chinese for Dummies covers the ins and outs of Mandarin Chinese talk through the use of basic grammar and vocabulary activities.


New Practical Chinese Reader

And if instead, you’re looking for a more comprehensive and well-structured textbook, New Practical Chinese comes in six volumes and trains every single skill of beginner and intermediate students.

Best YouTube Channels To Learn Mandarin Chinese

But perhaps, you’re in need of an instructor. Maybe, your learning method demands someone with an electrifying personality who can easily motivate you and rapidly rewire your brain into Mandarin Chinese with fun facts about the locals’ culture and language. If so, look no further in the list. Below, you’ll find the best YouTube channels to master your Chinese and gain a deeper understanding of this oriental lifestyle.


Mandarin HQ

This Channel is a must for tourists. With a focus on real-life Mandarin Chinese language use, each video features conversational vocabulary that will help you interact with locals, including street interviews and learning slang. In addition, by exploring topics, such as regional accents, you’ll also delve deeper into locals’ culture and customs.



But perhaps, you’re looking for a classroom type of experience. If so, this is the channel you need. Thanks to their complete courses of Mandarin Chinese and the guidance of a highly qualified native-speaking tutor, you’ll be able to learn this beautiful language as if you were in a Chinese class!


Off the Great Wall

Are you looking to become knowledgeable in Chinese traditions? Then this channel was tailor-made for you! Unlike the other two options, it doesn’t focus on teaching Mandarin Chinese. Instead, it talks about locals’ lifestyle through short videos on fun facts, mini-drama series, myths and tales.

Best Podcasts To Learn Mandarin Chinese

The problem with learning with YouTube channels is that you have to stare at your mobile phone or computer screen for countless hours, like a zombie. But there’s one tool that can solve this: Podcasts. With this resource, you’ll be able to take your highly entertaining instructors and lessons on Mandarin Chinese everywhere you go! Just choose your favorite podcasts, plug in your earphones and get ready to take a walk in the park while learning Chinese.

  • iMandarinPod: These podcasts are the perfect Mandarin Chinese learning tools for those looking to learn about Mandarin Chinese and native speakers’ culture. Using an enormous variety of topics suited to students of different levels, this podcast will teach you everything you need to know about Chinese traditions, history, news and everyday language use.
  • ChineseClass101: Although ChineseClass101 features a more traditional approach to teaching the language, it is nevertheless highly entertaining and complete. Boasting dozens of courses, this podcast covers every single skill and provides in-depth explanations of language topics, like interaction patterns, reading, grammar, idiomatic expressions and others.

Best Blogs / Sites To Learn Mandarin Chinese

Some students are avid readers but don’t necessarily like to read books. They would rather read things on the internet. And since we made this list for students with diverse interests and individual learning differences, we couldn’t miss including the best blogs or sites to learn Mandarin Chinese. Just take your time to explore them, as they offer very different content.

  • Hacking Chinese: Mandarin Chinese is such a different language that is not enough with knowing what to learn, it is also about “how to learn”. That is, what can you do to easily and rapidly develop Mandarin Chinese fluency? Well, on this website, you’ll find plenty of tips, tricks, facts and strategies to become a proficient Mandarin Chinese speaker in little time.
  • DigMandarin: But if you’re looking for a more linguistically educational site, you should definitely check this site. In contrast to Hacking Chinese, DigMandarin hosts full lessons and structured courses on different topics from Mandarin Chinese, such as pronunciation, how to write characters and the HSK test.

Best Online Exams To Learn Mandarin Chinese

How can something that puts students under so much stress be helpful? Well, exams might cause a bit of mental chaos every now and then, but you definitely need them to advance in your Mandarin Chinese learning journey. Think about it like this. Exams are not just a bunch of activities made to number your level of skills. Instead, they are carefully organized to measure your abilities, highlight your limitations and enhance your cognitive capacities. If that wasn’t enough, passing these exams also gives you access to internationally-recognized certifications. In the case of Mandarin Chinese, you’ll only have to take one

  • Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK): This is the only internationally standardized exam to assess Mandarin Chinese language proficiency of non-native speakers. It has six levels, from beginner to advance, and tests all the skills. Moreover, while you have to pay for it, HSK is the only certification that will allow you to study and work in China as a foreigner.

Best Social Media To Learn Mandarin Chinese

Nowadays, the news constantly talks about social media’s negative effects on students, like making them lazy and impoverishing their language. But there are ways to avoid this situation without having to abandon your digital life. To begin with, you can use social media sites to your advantage, that is, turning TikTok, Facebook and Instagram into tools for language learning. And the first step is taking a look and following these Chinese learning groups and influencers.



This list wouldn’t be complete without one further category, the alternative teaching methods. And you’ll be pleased to know that they won’t demand downloading apps, buying books, enrolling in courses or watching YouTube. Instead, they rely on things that you do every single day or similar ones. What things are we referring to? Let’s find out below.


Talking to Mandarin Chinese native speakers:

Becoming proficient in another language entails much more than knowing some words and phrases, it is also about gaining a deeper understanding of another culture, especially when it comes to Asian ones. Aside from a very different language, they also have unique traits and interaction patterns, which play a huge role in communication. And chatting with native speakers will allow you to know more about this non-verbal behavior, like when to bow or how long handshakes should last.


Watch Mandarin Chinese shows, series or videos:

Since many people can’t get in touch with locals, we need to find other ways to engage with the Chinese lifestyle. One of our favorites is watching local TV series. For instance, 后宫·甄嬛传 (Empresses in the Palace) will give an insight into Chinese history, while 夜空中最闪亮的星 (The Brightest Start in the Sky) will allow you to explore Chinese relationships and pop culture. In addition, they will test your listening skills and give you the chance to enhance different abilities, like using subtitles to practice your reading skills.


Reading Mandarin Chinese comics, newspapers and books

And if for some reason, you don’t want or don’t like to watch too much TV, you can also read Mandarin Chinese content in comics, newspapers and books. The best thing about this option is that reading material can be suitable for students of different levels. For instance, if you’re a beginner, you can read children’s stories, such as 树真好 (A Tree is Nice), which consist of very simple vocabulary and grammar.

Tips To Get the Most of Your Mandarin Chinese Learning Journey

Let’s make a short pause and rewind. Above, you learned that there are thousands of Mandarin Chinese learning tools. And, fortunately for you, we compiled the best ones in a single list. But not just any kind of list. We made sure to arrange these tools into sensible categories to help you find the most suitable ones for your own learning style.

By now, chances are that feel ready to start your journey. But you might want to read these tips first, since they’ll give you a good idea of how to successfully learn languages, particularly Mandarin Chinese.

  • Languages are not impossible to learn: If you’ve ever read anything in Chinese, you probably noticed that it looks different from English in every single aspect. But don’t let this give you the wrong idea. Like English, Mandarin Chinese has a limited set of words, sounds and grammatical combinations. So, it might look different, but in reality, it is similar to all other languages in the world and, for this reason, far from impossible to learn.
  • Always set goals: Before starting your journey, think about your objectives, that is, why are you learning Mandarin Chinese, what you need this language for and what vocabulary and sounds will help you achieve your goals. It will allow you to focus on particular language rather than wasting valuable time learning unnecessary things.
  • Track your progress: Even if you don’t like taking exams, you should always find a way to measure your Mandarin Chinese competencies every now and then. If not, you might run the risk of stopping your progress by making the same mistakes over and over again.
  • Mistakes matter: Many students avoid talking in class, because they're afraid of making mistakes and experiencing embarrassing situations. But mistakes are not something to feel ashamed of. They’re another tool for learning! Why? Because by making mistakes, we know our limitations and what should we focus on to get better at something, in this case, Mandarin Chinese.
  • Engage with the culture of Chinese people: Fluency comes with a price. You’ll have to immerse yourself into the culture of native speakers. What do we mean by immersing? In a nutshell, we are talking about being exposed to Mandarin Chinese as much as you can, like watching, reading, listening and speaking in this language.
  • Be patient and persistent: You might be wondering why are we talking about this. Everybody knows that working diligently and consistently for something will yield benefits. But when things don’t go as planned, many students forget about this. That shouldn't stop them or you. Mandarin Chinese might pose a number of problems but with patience and persistence, you’ll be able to overcome any setback.

How to Boost Your Mandarin Chinese Learning Experience?

All the resources in the list will definitely come in handy to give you a solid foundation in the language. And some might give you the chance to advance to higher levels of knowledge. But if you want to attain fluency faster than any other learner, you’ll need a bit more help. You’ll need to hire one of our native-speaking tutors.

“Why?” you may ask. Because studying with our tutors brings about numerous advantages. Just to give you an idea, in addition to being exposed to the linguistic abilities and cultural knowledge of locals, you’ll also access a specialized program suited to your particular needs and goals!

What’s best, we offer different teaching formats. That is, you can study in the comfort of your home, your office or, if you wish, you can ask for online tutoring through Meet, Skype or Zoom!

Just send us a quick inquiry, and we’ll get in touch with you to find your new teacher. Are you ready to become bilingual? 再见!