Best resources to learn Mandarin Chinese
Learning Mandarin Chinese is a long journey, one that doesn’t just use one resource but many. Think about podcasts, movies, TV series, and of course textbooks. There are also some resources tailor-made for Mandarin learners, such as graded readers or character & pinyin tools. We’ll take you through our list of recommendations.
Scroll down for general resources, or click on the headers to find GoEast’s resources:
Whether it’s sporting or learning a language, it’s good to do it with people that motivate you (and maybe you motivate them). This, however, may be difficult to find in your ‘offline’ surroundings, but online there are plenty of communities you can join. Here we have a more in-depth article about Chinese language learning Discord servers. Of course, we recommend GoEast’s community with events and homework help from teachers.
If you’re an intermediate or advanced-level student, you probably know a lot of Mandarin words but may have forgotten them. It’s great to use a synonym finder to spice up your sentence. There are two good ones that you can consult, Jukuu and Tatoeba. We like Tatoeba the best, the sentences are translated and also a bit easier (so that the meaning of the word you’re looking for is obvious). A third one is 5156edu.
We’re actually not a huge fan of translating from English to Mandarin, BUT sometimes it’s useful to type in English what you want and then see how Chinese
Just make sure you use this as learning material, not as some quick fix instead of some actual cognition. Google Translate will make some mistakes, but it’s pretty good.
If you use Google Spreadsheets to make vocab lists, you can use auto-translation, both for Chinese to English, as well as characters to English.
For Chinese to English, use a formula such as =GOOGLETRANSLATE(A1,”zh-CN”,”en”)
For characters to Pinyin, install the Google Spreadsheet addon ‘Mandarin Cantonese Tools‘ and use the formula =PINYIN(A1)
Especially if you move to an intermediate or advanced level of Chinese language, you’ll have to move further away from classroom materials and consume more real-life learning resources. This is also fantastic, because they’re likely more stimulating. So have a look at books, movies, podcasts, songs and games.
You can also use AI to assist you learn Chinese. See here for our article on learning Chinese with ChatGPT.
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