One thing that almost everyone will agree with is that learning a new language is not an easy task.
The same goes for learning Chinese.
First, you have to think of paying for expensive language classes, and then you’ll have to attend classes in person.
There is also the difficulty of getting a native teacher who would be available to teach you, not to mention the cost associated with it.
There are just too many things to put into consideration.
But don’t get discouraged, learning Chinese is a lot easier today than ever before. There are creative tools and services you can use to learn Chinese within a short time.
With thousands of Chinese learning tools and services out there, you could be confused about the ones that are worth using.
But don’t worry, we’ve done all the hard work for you. We’ve put together some of the best Chinese learning services and tools so that you can focus more on the learning aspect.
If you want to learn how to speak Chinese just like Mark Zuckerberg and Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino, then you should take a look at these Chinese learning services below.
To make it even better for you if you’re concerned about cost, we’ve marked the free ones.
Here are some handy Chinese learning tools/services
ChinesePod is one of the oldest Chinese learning services. They started as a podcast, and overtime, they have grown into a very large social learning environment. ChinesePod began in 2005, and they currently have over 4500 skilfully crafted and enjoyable Chinese lessons.
Although they are a subscription-based learning service, they also have a free app where you can subscribe to their podcast and listen to newbie-friendly Chinese lessons for free.
They have everything you need to learn Chinese. They have a dictionary which has some lessons and examples, they have audio and video lessons, they also have a ‘say it right’ series, as well as PinYin and flashcards. Most importantly, they have a well-structured system based on your level of knowledge. It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie, or you’re at the elementary stage, or intermediate stage, or you’re a more advanced learner, ChinesePod got you covered.
- YouTube or Youku (Free)
Youku is the Chinese version of YouTube. If you do not have the funds to spend on paid services or tools, YouTube and Youku can be a lifesaver for you when it comes to learning Chinese.
There are lots of amazing and free Chinese learning channels and videos with subtitles that have lots of simple lessons that you can use to up your Chinese learning game. You’ll also find a lot of great Chinese learning videos on Youku.
Here are some awesome Chinese learning YouTube channels you should consider visiting.
- Learn Chinese with Litao
Learn Chinese with Litao is a channel that teaches Chinese in a professional way. Your Chinese learning process will be made easier with logical, captivating, and unforgettable videos. Visit his channel Learn Chinese with Litao
- Fluent in Mandarin
Fluent in Mandarin was created by Chris, a British citizen who also learned Chinese. His channel has over 30,000 subscribers and over 150 videos. Chris has the goal of making Chinese easier to understand by sharing his experience as well as some techniques, resources, and tips he used. Visit his channel Fluent in Mandarin.
- YoYo Chinese
YoYo Chinese is over ten years old, hosted by Yangyang, a former entertainment TV host. She teaches Chinese from the perspective of an English speaker. Her videos are engaging with lots of passion. She also has a unique teaching style.
- Rosetta Stone (Visual Tool)
This is one of the best apps for immersive learning. While learning Chinese, you’re also able to associate every word with a visual object. Rosetta Stone also features a speech recognition technology known as TruAccent to check your pronunciation. It also has some downloadable lessons you can always go through even if you are offline.
Zizzle offers a unique, advanced, fun, and stylish way of learning Chinese characters. If you are like most people that have difficulty in learning Chinese characters, you’ll find Zizzle really amazing. They allow you to learn Chinese characters through the use of humorous stories with funny heroes and engaging visuals. They have over 1000 visual stories.
Moreover, Zizzle also has some great perks that a top mobile app should have. They have spaced repetition, audio support, and an intelligent quiz system.
A study undertaken by the University of Munich to measure the efficacy of the Chinese learning approach used by Zizzle revealed that the performance of students who used Zizzle increased by over 79%.
- Pleco Chinese Dictionary (FREE)
This is one of the best, if not the best, and most comprehensive Chinese dictionary for learning the Chinese language.
Some of its features include; integrated Chinese-English dictionary, flashcard system, audio pronunciation from male/female native speakers, document reader, handwriting input, and many more.
If you cannot find any Chinese characters on Pleco, you probably may not be able to find it anywhere else, and there’s also the probability that such character may not even exist.
If you are a beginner and you’re looking for the ultimate Chinese learning service you can use to kick start your journey, then HelloChinese can come in really handy.
HelloChinese is specifically tailored to the needs of beginners. It has some fun and engaging lessons to help beginners.
Some features include
- Pinyin courses for newbies
- Game-based lessons
- Chinese speech recognition
- Daily training exercise
- Ability to write (Hanzi), and many more.
Even if you have zero knowledge about the Chinese language, HelloChinese can help you to learn fast to a conversational level.
- Chinese Forums (FREE)
If you want a place where you can speak with native speakers and other Chinese language experts for free, then Chinese forums would be a great cost-effective option. There are lots of active users willing and ready to answer any questions that you may have.
One of the best ways to learn Chinese is through tutors who are native speakers, while this option might be very expensive, you can get them for free at Chinese forums.
If you are looking for a good service you can use to boost your confidence in speaking Chinese, TalkingLearn will definitely work for you. It employs the use of advanced voice recognition software to assess your pronunciation intelligently. It also rates your intonation.
Skritter is a Chinese learning app that allows you to practice Chinese by writing it on your phone actively. By writing Chinese words constantly, you’ll be able to recall all that you have learned. The app also has a lot of textbooks and vocabulary entries you can use to improve your proficiency in the Chinese language.
With proper use of the services and tools mentioned above, you should be speaking Chinese in no time. All you need is the passion for making your whole Chinese learning adventure an enjoyable one.
No doubt, there are thousands of Chinese learning services and tools out there, we’ve trimmed the shelve for you by identifying the best ones that are also very easy to use.
If you’ve been dreaming of learning how to speak Chinese and you do not even know how to go about it, well, here is your shot.
About the Writer
This article was written by Ana Mayer, a project manager with 3+ years of experience. While projects can do without her participation (which means almost never), she likes to read and create expert academic materials for the Online Writers Rating, Best Writers Online review website. Such work gives her the opportunity to write articles on the most relevant topics of today.