Here are the resources I consider essential to learn how to speak Chinese.
WHERE TO START LEARNING CHINESE
I recommend starting out with one of my top language guides:
Why Chinese is Easy – This is my go-to guide for inspiring Chinese learners. It's packed to bursting with hacks for learning Chinese faster and speaking Chinese sooner.
MORE FAVOURITE COURSES & APPS TO GIVE YOUR CHINESE A BOOST
ChineseClass101 – This is my favourite Chinese audio course. This course is much better value than more famous audio courses, and in my opinion it’s way better!
Master Mandarin – This in-depth guide by John Fotheringham is a comprehensive look at Mandarin, with a big focus on reading and writing Chinese, and with enough resources to take you up to mastery level.
HelloTalk – is a smartphone app that connects you with native Mandarin speakers for free. You can use it to send text messages and audio clips. After you sign up, message the team with the code “Fi3M” to get the premium features free for three months!
LEARN HOW TO READ AND WRITE IN CHINESE
Pleco – A must-have mobile dictionary. It uses optimal character recognition (OCR) to read and translate any Chinese text you scan with your phone. Essential if you're visiting or living in China.
Skritter – An app that teaches you to write Chinese characters. You can use it to improve your traditional or simplified Chinese in a gorgeous interface. All characters are presented in a spaced repetition system.
CHINESE SPEAKING TOOLS: PRACTICE WITH NATIVE SPEAKERS
Speak from day one is my approach to any new language. I have one tool I recommend for this:
Italki – connects you with native Mandarin speakers for spoken practice on Skype. You can pay Chinese tutors for (affordable) one-to-one video lessons, or find a free language exchange partner! This link takes you right to the Chinese tutors on the site.
CHINESE LISTENING AND PRONUNCIATION RESOURCES
Mimic Method Mandarin – Accent training with Idahosa Ness that’s designed to help you sound more like a native Chinese speaker.
Fluentu Chinese – Mandarin videos with English and Chinese subtitles. My favourite feature is the hover dictionary!
CHINESE LEARNING WEBSITES YOU MUST BOOKMARK TODAY
You’ll return to these resources again and again in your Chinese study sessions.
Forvo – find out how any Chinese word is pronounced. Just type the word you’re looking for into the search bar in Chinese!
Line Dictionary – Very simply the best dictionary for sample sentences in Chinese.
START SPEAKING CHINESE NOW
Need help getting started? I designed this course to guide you through your first week:
Conversation Countdown – Have your first conversation in Mandarin in just seven days. This is one of our most popular courses, and with good reason, because you’ll get results fast.