Everything You Need To Learn Mandarin Chinese
Mandarin (普通话, Putonghua) also known simply as Chinese, is the standard language in Mainland China, Taiwan, and Singapore. Mandarin belongs to the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. With over 1 billion speakers worldwide, it is one of the most spoken languages in the world.
The Chinese writing system has two varieties, traditional and simplified. Traditional is used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and various Chinese communities throughout Southeast Asia. Simplified characters are used in Mainland China as well as Singapore.
Due to China’s influence throughout the world, learning Mandarin is becoming increasingly important. And the great news is, learning resources are abundant. You’ll find a variety of useful materials below, all designed to help you learn Mandarin.
Mandarin Chinese Language Learning Books
One of the advantages of using traditional Chinese study/course books is that they provide a comprehensive overview of the language. You’ll get a good grasp of grammar, how to structure sentences, and generally build a solid foundation.
Of equal importance is getting yourself a concise English-Chinese dictionary. You’ll need a comprehensive reference book that gives you the meanings of words along with examples of how they’re used in different contexts.
If being able to communicate quickly is your thing, then consider adding a Mandarin Chinese phrasebook to your learning arsenal. This way you’ll have a handy reference guide that contains all the vocabulary and phrases you need to get by on an everyday basis.
As Chinese uses a complex writing system, you’ll need to spend a great deal of time learning the characters, if you intend to learn how to read the language. A book that focuses on teaching you common Mandarin Chinese characters will be of great help in this area.
Mandarin Chinese Children’s Books
One great way for beginners to familiarize themselves with the language is by reading children’s stories in Mandarin Chinese. These books are designed for children, so they use basic, common words and sentence structures that are much easier to understand.
Chinese kids’ books are often also filled with useful illustrations that make learning the language more enjoyable and memorable. You’ll give your vocabulary a boost, improve your Chinese reading comprehension considerably, and gain much needed confidence to continue with your studies.
Mandarin Chinese Fiction
You’ll know when it’s time to move on to more advanced material, and that’s where Chinese books written for older readers comes in. Fiction in Chinese can range from novels to short stories, so there’s something for every level here.
While almost every book on this list will be challenging at first, especially during the early stages of your studies, reading them is totally worth it for the huge Chinese vocabulary boost you’ll get. The stories are usually more relevant and relatable to you as an adult reader, too, so you’re more likely to enjoy them.
Mandarin Chinese Movies & TV Shows
Listening to and seeing spoken Chinese is going to play a huge part in getting you to fluency. That’s why, where possible, you should add a few movies with Mandarin Chinese dubbing to your collection.
Why? Well, watching movies is a great way to immerse yourself in the language, especially if you live outside of a Chinese-speaking country and don’t have access to native speakers. It’s also a lot of fun. You’ll get a sense of how Chinese people speak naturally, so you’ll be able to practice your pronunciation.
Additionally, you’ll pick up on cultural nuances that you might not encounter in other areas of your learning, such as Chinese humor, jokes, idioms, slang etc.
Mandarin Chinese Digital Courses
If you’re not interested in learning from old-school books, then why not get a Mandarin Chinese e-course that takes a different approach? These types of courses are delivered using audio and/or video lessons, and they’re usually more interactive than traditional books.
A Mandarin Chinese audio/video course puts more emphasis on getting you to listen and speak Mandarin in real-life situations, so you’re not just learning for the sake of it. You’ll quickly progress with your speaking skills, plus your listening ability will also improve dramatically.
You have your pick of Chinese digital courses:
Udemy’s Mandarin Chinese course offers an impressive 25.5 hours of video lessons and dozens of downloadable worksheets, all at a very affordable price. Plus you get lifetime access to the course and all updates, and you can use it on any device.
MANDARIN CHINESE UDEMY COURSES
MANDARIN CHINESE AUDIO COURSES
The Rocket Chinese course is a comprehensive Mandarin audio course that offers a staggering 118+ hours of Chinese lessons, plus a variety of other learning resources to complement the audio course.
The Learn Mandarin with Paul Noble course is audio-only, and comes packed with 13 hours of lessons, plus an accompanying booklet to aid you on the course.
Learn Chinese with Rocket Chinese Level 1: 120 Hours of Online Lessons
Learn Mandarin Chinese with Paul Noble – Complete Course: Mandarin Chinese Made Easy
Mandarin Chinese Flash Cards
Another great way to improve your Mandarin Chinese vocabulary is by using Chinese flash cards. These make it super-easy to learn new words and phrases, and they can be a fun addition to your language learning routine.
Memorizing Chinese characters can be extremely difficult, especially for English speakers and those who are only familiar with the Latin alphabet. With Mandarin Chinese flash cards, you’ll take a lot of the pain out of it.
Mandarin Chinese Products
Learning Chinese isn’t confined to just studying, either. You can also improve your language skills with interactive Chinese-language toys and Chinese vocabulary posters. This makes the process of learning more varied and exciting.
Free Mandarin Chinese Worksheets
Finding downloadable Mandarin worksheets online can be hard. We know the importance of getting plenty of writing practice, and that’s why we’ve created some worksheets for you.
This Mandarin Chinese writing prompts PDF is free for you to download and print at home. These exercises are great for writing practice, and they’re a lot of fun too!