Chinese is essentially just like any other language, except that there's no tense, gender, conjugation, grammar, or logic, and all the words sound the same.Jonathan Walton (in John Cowan's Essentialist Explanations)
Since the turn of the century, and especially since the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Western interest in the Chinese language has significantly increased. The European Union has become one of the biggest markets for Chinese language courses, for example, those organised by the Confucius Institutes. (See China to improve standards of teaching Chinese as a foreign language, 04.08.2009; Chinese: a new Esperanto for the minority languages of Europe?, 15.07.2014; Chinesisch in der EU auf dem Vormarsch, 29.08.2014; Cultural exchanges between China, EU successful: EU commissioner, 23.06.2015; Master program on Chinese studies launched in Belgian university, 07.03.2015; Demand for Chinese language soars, 12.10.2015.)
This part of the Language Learning website focuses on Standard Chinese, which is often mistakenly called Mandarin.
6 Reasons Why You Should Learn Mandarin! (YouTube, 6 minutes).
General Information about the Chinese Languages
(There is no mistake in the above heading: Chinese is not a language but a language family.)
- Paul / Langfocus: Chinese - The Sinitic Languages (YouTube, 15 minutes, 09.02.2017). This video describes the history of the Chinese languages. It points out that Mandarin (a group of dialects) should not be confused with Standard Chinese, but still sometimes uses the terms interchangeably. The video also discusses the writing system, pronunciation (including tones in Standard Chinese, Cantonese and Shanghainese) and word order (in Mandarin, Cantonese and Shanghainese).
- John DeFrancis:
The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy.
University of Hawaii Press, 1984 (342 pages).
The American linguist and sinologist John DeFrancis (1911 – 2009) wrote a series of Chinese language textbooks, edited Chinese-English dictionaries, and continued publishing after his reteriment in 1976. Although his book The Chinese Language is now over thirty years old, it is still highly recommended. It debunks a number of myths about Chinese (e.g. that it is a single language) and its writing system. There is even a Wikipedia article about it. Another book worth reading is Visible Speech: The Diverse Oneness of Writing Systems (University of Hawaii Press, 1989), but this book does not focus on Chinese.
- Daniel Kane:
The Chinese Language: Its History and Current Usage.
Tuttle Publishing, 2006 (192 pages).
The Australian sinologist Daniel Kane wrote this book primarily for people who are thinking of learning Chinese. It contains examples of Chinese (both characters and pinyin) to illustrate certain aspects of the language. It is also useful for people who have already started learning Chinese.
- Jerry Norman:
Chinese. Cambridge Language Surveys.
Cambridge University Press, 1988.
This book is primarily aimed at linguists.
- Ping Chen:
Modern Chinese: History and Sociolinguistics.
Cambridge University Press, 1999.
This book is primarily aimed at linguists.
Websites and Blogs
- Olle Linge:
A list of articles with practical suggestions for learning Standard Chinese.
- Patrick Hassel Zein's Linguistic Index.
- Chinese (Mandarin) on Wikibooks is a free texbook on Standard Chinese.
- DigMandarin: a website that went online in 2013 and that provides articles, video lessons and a forum.
- AllMandarin: website of a Chinese company that offers one-on-one online lessons. In addition to general Chinese courses, they also offer courses for business Chinese, “survival Chinese”, Chinese for children, Chinese for teens and HSK test preparation (all six HSK levels).
- Chi-nesisch: Chinesisch lernen mit ganzen Sätzen: German website that provides an online Chinese language course for beginners.
- Gabriel Wyner:
Mandarin Chinese Pronunciation, Video 1: Tones and the Pinyin Spelling System,
Mandarin Chinese Pronunciation, Video 2: Mandarin's Consonants,
Mandarin Chinese Pronunciation, Video 3: Mandarin's Vowels and
Mandarin Chinese Pronunciation, Video 4: Some quirks of Mandarin's Pinyin spelling system.
This is a series of four videos that introduce the sounds and tones of Standard Chinese, and explain the Hanyu Pinyin system.
- ChineseClass101.com: Chinese Pronunciation: playlist with three short videos about Chinese pronunciation. The last video covers “top 5 mistakes to avoid”, especially for native speakers of English. The three videos are part of a longer series that is not available in its entirety on YouTube.
- Rayner, Ted: Tips for improving your Mandarin pronunciation (5 minutes, YouTube). (Ted teaches Chinese in Wuhan.)
- A guide to Pinyin traps and pitfalls: Learn Mandarin pronunciation, Hacking Chinese, October 2012.
- AllSet Learning: Chinese Pronunciation Wiki (available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) licence).
- How to learn Chinese tones WITHOUT tone marks (YouTube, 9 minutes, 12.06.2015). The acutal tips start at 3 minutes into the video.
- Chris: How to remember the tones in Chinese, forever (YouTube, 8 minutes, 09.08.2015).
- Should I Worry About My Accent When Speaking Chinese?, ChineseFor.Us blog, 19.09.2017.
- Gorodish, Serge: Mnemonics for Pronouncing Chinese Characters (the Marilyn Method), Country of the Blind, January 2012.
- Cremerius, Ruth: Aussprache und Schrift des Chinesischen. Eine Einführung. Buske, 2012. ISBN 978-3-87548-426-7. Book with CD; the audio recordings on the CD were spoken by native speakers of Chinese.
Some sounds in Standard Chinese do not exist in many Western languages and often cause difficulties. Below are a few links to videos that cover such sounds.
- How to learn Chinese Pinyin j , q, x (4:43; Jenny Wang).
How to pronounce “x, q, j” in Chinese (9:30; Litao Chinese).
This video is part of a course with 11 videos: Learn Mandarin Chinese Pronunciation: Pinyin Course.
Some of the resources liste above already cover tones, but below are a few that specifically focus on this stumbling block.
- Demystifying Chinese Tones: The Complete Guide To Chinese Pronunciation, I Will Teach You a Language (no date, 2015).
- Chinese-iLAB.com: Chinese Four Tones Memory Game.
YouTube Channels and Websites for Learning Chinese
- Inalco: Kit de contact en langue chinoise: a seven-week online course hosted on the French MOOC platform FUN. The course content was created by the well-known French sinologist Joël Bellassen and Jue Wang-Szilas. The course is in French and ran from 2 November till 16 December 2016.
Yoyo Chinese is a
channel with videos for the website
by Yangyang Cheng. The YouTube channel contains short video lessons that
cover pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary,
characters and culture.
There is also a playlist called
on the street that contains short conversations with native speakers in China.
If you are a beginner having problems with pinyin and pronunciation, have a look at the Yoyo Chinese Pinyin Chart (including the free resources at the bottom).
is a channel with videos for
ChinesePod, a popular and well-known
site for learning Chinese.
On the website, you can buy several learning packages, but the
sample course and the YouTube videos are free.
See also Benny Lewis's article Review of Chinesepod & chat with co-host Jenny (18.04.2012).
- Fiona Tian has a channel with videos that accompany the lesson on the site MandarinMadeEZ. Fiona is half Taiwanese, but her lessons provide both simplified and traditional characters. In 2014, Fiona Tian joined ChinesePod (see above).
- HowToChinese.com is the channel of 幸小贝 (Xìng Xiǎobèi), who offers online lessons (including Skype lessons) and has published a book HowToChinese.com: A Practical Mandarin Chinese Course (i3DS, 2011, ISBN 978-1896369501).
- Learn Chinese Now is a channel by Ben Hedges. Ben's channel has playlists covering, for example, the basics of Mandarin, 4-character sayings (chengyu) and advanced vocabulary.
- ChineseClass101.com contains videos for the site ChineseClass101.com, which offers lessons for beginners, intemediate and advanced learners. If you are looking for listening practice, have a look at the playlists for absolute beginners, beginners, intermediate learners and advanced learners.
- PeggyTeachesChinese is a channel by Peggy Lee, a native from Taiwan. Her videos are often humorous (for example, Matrix Mart); subtitles are provided in traditional Chinese characters and in English.
- Fluent in Mandarin.com is a channel by Chris Parker, an Englishman who studied at the University of Cambridge and now lives in Beijing. He also offers a course package on the website www.fluentinmandarin.com.
- Slow & Clear Chinese is a channel that started in 2016. The playlist Immersive Chinese Series is for absolute beginners. The playlist Slow & Clear Listening Practice contains stories that are first spoken very slowly (with Chinese characters and pinyin shown in the video) and then repeated at a somewhat faster pace.
- Mandarin Corner is a website with free resources for Chinese conversation and HSK at the intermediate level. The site offers PDF files, MP3 files, flashcards and videos. Registration is required but is free of charge. Mandarin Corner's YouTube channel contains many useful videos, for example in the playlists HSK 4 Vocabulary (20 videos that use each word for HSK 4 in an example sentence, with pinyin transcription and an English translation), Intermediate Chinese with Regular English Translations (these videos are entirly in Chinese, typically with subtitles in Chinese characters and pinyin, with an English translation) and Survival Chinese (for serious beginners).
学习汉语 Chinese language
is a channel by the
a non-profit public educational organization affiliated with the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China. The following playlists are especially useful:
- 汉语学习初级水平课程在线视频: these are video recordings of classes for “beginners”. Note that these beginners are not absolute beginners, and the classes they attend are entirely in Chinese.
- 汉语学习中级水平课程在线视频: this is a shorter playlist with video recordings of classes at an intermediate level.
- 听歌学汉语: this playlist uses popular songs to teach Chinese.
- 看电影学汉语: this short playlists uses film scenes (not entire films) to teach Chinese.
《快乐汉语》 Happy Chinese
is a language learning TV series
produced by Chinese Central Television (CCTV).
The series is about an American girl living with a Chinese family in
Beijing. The dialogue is subtitled in Chinese characters and English.
Each episode of the 116 is 15 minutes long. Every 4 to 5 minutes,
the video reviews some expressions and vocabulary used by the characters.
See also the
site on WordPress.
At some point, the series even had a fan site with extra materials, especially subtitles.
- 成长汉语 / Growing up with Chinese is a language learning TV series for teenagers produced by Chinese Central Television (CCTV). The host is Charlotte MacInnis, who is known in China as Mu Aihua; she introduces the new vocabulary and grammar features, and explains cultural aspects that differ between China and the West (especially the USA). The Chinese dialogues in the videos are either subtitled only in English or in both Chinese characters and English (depending on whether the linguistic content is new or not). The only downside is that it is hard to find a channel or a playlist where all the episodes are listed in chronological order. One of the other channels where you can find the videos is 汉语学习网 (see the first episode). The official site for the series is Learn to Speak Chinese (on the CCTV website), where you can also find other learning materials.
- 《快乐中国 – 万里海疆快乐行》 Happy China is another language learning TV series produced by Chinese Central Television (CCTV). This series has 12 episodes lasting eight minutes each. They are subtitled in Chinese characters and English. The dialogue is less fast than in “Happy Chinese” and better articulated. Linguistic explanations are woven into the dialogue, and sometimes complemented with short English clarifications.
is the channel that hosts the videos of
FluentU site for learning
Chinese. FluentU is a site where you can learn Chinese, Japanese,
English, Spanish and a few other languages. The site wants to deliver
rich experiencesand tools to make the language learning experience more engaging. The site also has learner blogs (e.g. the Chinese Learner blog) and educator blogs and even invites guest posts. You can register on the website for free, to see what the quality of the materials is; for unlimited watching and listening, you need to choose one of the paid plans.
The YouTube videos are free to watch, of course, and the most practical way to enjoy them is through the playlists. The most striking feature of the dialogues is that the actors pause slightly between the exchanges, so that the listener has time to process what they have just heard before the next part of the dialogue.
- Learning Chinese is a playlist with nine video recordings from classes taught (in Chinese) at Beijing Union University. The length of the videos varies between 22 and 90 minutes. Some of the videos are entirely in Chinese (without subtitles), some use English for instruction.
- MandarinChineseSchool.com is a channel with videos for the site www.MandarinChineseSchool.com, a site that offers differet types of courses (for children, teenagers, adults, business people etcetera) that are taught via Skype. The YouTube channel has playlists that cover pronunciation, grammar, Chinese for children Chinese children's song and other areas.
- New Concept Mandarin is the YouTube channel of the organization New Concept Mandarin, which offers in-person classes (private classes, group classes, corporate training, etcetera) in several locations in China, and online classes. The YouTube channel has playlists such as Beginners Mandarin 初級普通话 (more than 60 videos), Common Mistakes of Speaking Chinese (more than 30 videos), Pinyin Lessons 拼音课程 and Business Mandarin (fairly advanced, without subtitles).
- Learn Chinese with Emma is a channel with several playlists related to Chinese. The most important one is Learn Chinese Language with Emma, with over 30 videos that cover various aspects of basic Chinese.
- Apprendre le chinois c'est facile ! is a French channel for learning Chinese. The playlists group the videos by level and language area.
- Taipei CLASS Flipped Videos is a playlist with 30 videoes by David J. Wang in which a number of grammar aspects are explained in Chinese.
- Chinese with Mike is a channel where Mike teaches Chinese in front of a whiteboard in his garage. There are 120 lessons of 10-15 minutes, but only the first 15 are on YouTube. Mike also has a website where you can register for lessons and a set of coursebooks.
- Warp Speed Chinese: YouTube channel focusing on learning Chinese for business. There have been no new uploads since 2016.
- Learn Chinese from Movies is a channel where (some scenes from) Chinese films are subtitled in four ways: Chinese characters, pinyin, a literal translations and a regular translation. One playlist covers the film Shower (洗澡), another playlist covers the film Lost in Beijing (苹果). Most of the other videos in this channel are not related to films.
Cédric Beau is a Frenchman who lived in China for several years
and published a few books about learning Chinese (in French).
is a channel that contains many (French!) videos about learning Mandarin
or learning foreign languages in general. See the playlists
Apprendre le chinois : Cours de chinois en français pour débutant et avancé
(over 600 videos),
Chinois Mandarin (Débutant) - Apprendre les bases du chinois
(15 videos) and
Fiches Pratiques : apprendre le chinois rapidement, facile!
(All content from the older channel Apprendre le chinois : la CRAMPE ! has been moved to the above channel. The playlist Chinois : Apprendre le chinois [CRAMPE] no longer exists. The website where one could access the Crampe method was www.crampe-productions.com but is no longer available.)
by “SuFei” is not really a channel for learning Chinese
but you can practice your listening skills by covering the subtitles
for the Chinese parts of the videos.
Danwei TV has some similar videos.
- Lee Katrina is the YouTube channel of Katrina Lee, who was born in Taiwan and founded SMART Mandarin. SMART Mandarin offers ne-on-one classes, group classes and online video instruction.
- Learn Chinese with Queenie is a playlist with over 30 videos on basic aspects of Chinese.
- eTeacherChinese and the YouTube channel eTeacherChinese provide Chinese language lessons. eTeacherChinese provides one-on-one online language lessons by a teacher based in Beijing.
- Learn Chinese 360 is a YouTube channel with many long videos (20 to 30 minutes) that introduce a lot of vocabulary using example sentences. Some videos are shorter, for example Most common China Phrases / My family (5 minutes). The video titles can be misleading. For example, How to learn chinese conversation? is a 30-minute video that introduces various words and uses them in example sentences, without a common theme. The videos contain no explanations, just words and example sentences. The channel has no discernable didactic concept.
Textbooks (and Companion Resources)
See also 5 Best Mandarin Chinese Textbooks for Chinese Learners on FluentU.com (November 2014).
New Practical Chinese Reader
New Practical Chinese Reader is a series of textbooks published by the Beijing Language and Culture University Press.
- Chinese080808 is a channel with videos for the first four volumes of New Practical Chinese Reader:
- The same videos are also available in the following YouTube playlists:
- BianHua TV is a channel with videos for the first three volumes of New Practical Chinese Reader. Each video has buttons for moving to the previous or the next lesson.
Matti Tukiainen's website has Practical Chinese Reader Vocabulary Lists. Practical Chinese Reader was the precursor of New Practical Chinese Reader.
is a series of textbooks published by
Cheng & Tsui.
The companion website for the texbook at
provides resources for learners (audio, vocabulary lists, flashcards, etc.)
and teachers. Registration is required.
Some additional resources are available on other websites:
- Integrated Chinese (IC) Home Page is a site by the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at the University of Hawai‘i. The resources include slides, answer sheets for the workbooks, flashcards, sound files and other materials.
- Integrated Chinese Level 1 Part 1 is a playlist with 9 videos for Level 1, Part 1 of the textbook Integrated Chinese.
- The playlist Integrated Chinese Level1 Part1 (H.S.C.1) by Dan Li contains over 20 videos for learners who are starting out with this textbook. The videos cover pinyin, pronunciation and some basic grammar and vocabulary for the first four lessons of the textbook.
- Chris Parker: Improving your Chinese listening ability (some tricks): 7-minute video with some tips to learn new words from materials you listen to.
- Olle Linge:
Chinese listening strategies: An introduction,
Hacking Chinese, 23.04.2012. This is the introduction
to a series of articles about how to improve your listening comprehension:
- Problem analysis,
- Background listening,
- Passive listening,
- Active listening,
- Improving listening speed,
- Deliberate practice and i+2,
- Diversify your listening practice,
- The 10 best free listening resource collections for learning Chinese.
- Chinese Extensive Listening / 汉语泛听: website with a large number of videos (mostly from YouTube), organised by level (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and with transcripts below the videos. The site is maintained by a certain Edward, a native speaker of English who is learning Standard Chinese.
- Don't fall for the commercial nonsense sold as “Chineasy” like the blogpost Fun and fastest way for kids children to learn Chinese characters reading and writing while at the same time improve their learning agility and IQ (07.10.2012). See Victor Mair's blog post Chineasy? Not on Language Log (19.03.2014).
- Turner, Jared: How Reading in Chinese Changed My Life, Mandaring Companion Blog, 21.01.2014. About the benefits of extensive reading.
- Casalena, Emily:
Easy Reading: 5 Chinese-English Parallel Texts for Language Learners,
FluentU Chinese blog, 11.04.2018. The recommendations are the following:
- Lawrence, Melissa Rose: Mandarin Chinese: Haiku Reader Series: 4 volumes published in 2018. For each poem, the book gives the text in traditional Chinese characters, the same text in simplified Chinese characters, an English translation, a version in traditional characters annotated with bopomofo, a word list for this version, a version in simplified characters annotated with pinyin, and a word list for this version.
- Learn Chinese with Bilingual Stories: Intermediate Chinese. Chinese-English Parallel Text,
Bilingual XY, 2018. This book contains no pinyin transcription. According to the blog post,
The author suggests reading the book four times to effectively connect vocabulary words to their definitions.(“Intermediate” is a vague term; judging from samples, readers should at least have HSK.)
- Balcom, John (editor):
Short Stories in Chinese: New Penguin Parallel Text. Penguin, 2013. (256 pages)
This book contains eight short stories with parallel English translations, for
students at all levelsaccording to the publisher. However, without the translations, the text require an intermediate to advanced reading level.
- Mu, Aili; Smith, Mike (editors and translators): Contemporary Chinese Short-Short Stories: A Parallel Text. Columbia University Press, 2017. (528 pages) ISBN 9780231181532. This book is for advanced learners of Chinese.
- Deng Nan / 邓楠: Lost in Reverie / 不醒. A collection of poems and prose poems with English translations; there is no pinyin transcription. This book is not for beginners. (2017. ISBN 978-1545559130)
- IronMandarin: website with texts that are categorised by HSK level. The texts are very short.
- Yes! Chinese: Graded Readers: the site is entirely in Chinese, but reading levels can be selected in the navigation bar at the top.
- Linge, Olle: Easing yourself into reading novels in Chinese, Hacking Chinese, 23.01.2014.
- Ng, Ginny:
Learn Chinese with Books: 10 Novels for Your Reading List,
Fluent U Mandarin Chinese Language and Culture Blog, 06.09.2014.
This blog post lists 10 novels that were originally written in Chinese (so not translated from another language such an English) and have no pinyin. English translations are available on the market, but Ginny Ng is against reading the Chinese text and the English translation side by side. These recommendations are obviously for intermediate and advanced learners.
Reading Chinese Newspapers
Many resources for learning Chinese focus on conversational Chinese. Transitioning to reading newspapers is not easy and there are a number of resources to help you read newspapers in Chinese.
- Ng, Ginny: How to Learn To Read Chinese Newspapers: The Ultimate Guide, Fluent U Chinese blog, 30.09.2014.
- Wu Xieyao:
TIMES - Newspaper Reading Course of Intermediate Chinese (I)
BLCUP, 2006. (235 pages)
Wu Xieyao is TCFL teacher at Shanghai Normal University. The publisher does not provide information about the level required for the book beyond the indication “intermediate” in the title. According to the description on the website of bookseller Aolifo,
The textbook may be used for universities sophomores, intermediate refresher course, or short-term advanced Chinese program. Each lesson is completed in four class hours (45 minutes for each hour), and each volume is finished in one semester.
- Wu Xieyao:
TIMES - Newspaper Reading Course of Intermediate Chinese (II)
BLCUP, 2007. (247 pages)
Wu Xieyao is TCFL teacher at Shanghai Normal University. The publisher does not provide information about the level required for the book beyond the indication “intermediate” in the title.
- Mickel, Stanley:
Reading Chinese Newspapers: Tactics and Skills. Yale University Press, 1995. (288 pages)
There is also a workbook: Reading Chinese Newspapers: Tactics and Skills: Student Workbook. Yale University Press, 1996. (206 pages) ISBN 9780887101854.
- Staehle, Susian:
Aktuelle Texte aus chinesischen Zeitungen und Zeitschriften mit deutschen Erläuterungen. Peking University Press, 2004. (377 pages)
According to the description on the website of bookseller Aolifo, this book requires knowledge of roughly 1500 characaters and 3000 words. After working through the book, you should know 3000 characters and 6000 words. The book consists of 20 lessons, each of which contains four texts. Each text is accompanied by a vocabulary list and a reading comprehension exercise.
- Quick Mandarin:
Learn To Read Chinese Newspaper:
textbook for someone who knows at least 200 Chinese characters (…). All articles are annotated into Chinese Pinyin, so you can read even if you don't know some characters. The vocabulary list is complete and contain all vocabulary(pairs), proper nouns and proverbs.
For learning materials for HSK, see the separate page HSK / 汉语水平考试.
- EasyMandarin: Beginner Online Mandarin Level Test: an online test that is strictly speaking only meant to help you decide which course to take at the EasyMandarin Chinese language school.
- ESL: Chinese Test: an online test consisting of 40 multiple-choice question.
- Language Trainers: Chinese (Mandarin) Language Level Test characters: online test by a language school in the USA and Canada. The page Language Levels contains a table that compares the level from various frameworks, such as CEFR and ACTFL.
- Sprachenlernen24: Chinesisch-Einstufungstest: a short vocabulary tests by a German vendor of electronic self-learning courses.
- Alston, Imron: HSK 6 gets you halfway, Chinese the Hard Way (no date).
Other Tips and Resources for Learning Chinese
- Judith Meyer: From 0 to C1 in Chinese – without staying in China, a presentation (partly in English, partly in German) at the Polyglot Gathering 2015.
- How can I teach myself Chinese?, a discussion on the DigMandarin forum (started on 28.12.2015).
- Chris Parker and George Fleming: 2 Brits Speaking Fluent Chinese - Chris' Journey (YouTube, 19 minutes) and 2 Brits Speaking Fluent Chinese - George's China Story (YouTube, 17 minutes). Both videos are in Chinese with English subtitles. See also 2 Brits Speaking Fluent Chinese – Chris’ Learning Journey and 2 Brits Speaking Fluent Chinese – George’s China Story on Peter Parker's website, where you can find the English translation of both conversations.
- How I Learned Fluent Mandarin in One Year (YouTube, 7 minutes, 30.04.2017). Ari spent one year in China. This is what he did to become fluent: getting Chinese input (from CCTV) first thing in the morning, using flashchards (Anki; adding roughly 50 new cards per day; hundreds of reviews per day), carrying an MP3 player or smartphone so you can constantly listen to Chinese audio, taking classes for 6 to 8 hours per day, talking to other students during the breaks, constantly making friends and talking to them, and getting enough sleep and rest to prevent burnout.
- Steve Kaufmann: Fluent Mandarin in 6 months? (YouTube, 15 minutes, 09.09.2013). This video was created in response to a letter that Steve received from one of his viewers.
- Things to do with a tutor: discussion thread on Chinese-forums.com.
- Yang: Learn Mandarin Chinese Effectively: 3 Outstanding Tips from Students, Language Surfer, 27.09.2015.
- Cruickshank, Michael: 5 Problems You'll Need to Overcome to Learn Chinese on Your Own Like a Master (23.12.2015).
- Metivier, Anthony: Mandarin Chinese Mnemonics and Morning Memory Secrets (YouTube, 10 minutes).
- Wilbur, Mark: The 7 Chinese learning mistakes that cost me a year of my life, Fluent in Mandaring blog (no date).
- Alan: 10 Tried and True Tips for Learning with Chinese Tutors, FluentU Mandarin ChineseMandarin Chinese Language and Culture Blog, 07.10.2011.
Slow Chinese: Cultural Podcasts for Chinese Learners.
are personal narratives by native Chinese people, they are read in Mandarin at a slow speed (2~3 characters per second). Topics vary from language, knowledge, tradition and culture to opinions on social phenomena.See the podcast archive.
- Linge, Olle: The 10 best free reading resource collections for learning Chinese, Hacking Chinese, 11.11.2014.
Chinese courses on Udemy.
Udemy is an
online learning marketplacethat hosts both free and non-free courses on a wide range of subjects.
- Mandarin Learning Resources by Shannon Kennedy of Eurolinguiste.
- Lewis, Benny: Benny’s Top Resources for Learning Chinese.
- Mandarin Frequency lists (on Wiktionary): the 10,000 most common words in Standard Chinese, ordered by frequency. This resource was provided by K. J. Chen and the CKIP Group of the Academica Sinica. Frequency lists are useful if you want to quickly build a base vocabulary by focusing on the most common words, as recommended, for example, by Gabriel Wyner. (Wyner created a base vocabulary list for his book Fluent Forever.)
- Chinese language resources by Oxford Dictionaries (also contains Chinese sample letters and e-mails).
- Language International: Chinese Mandarin Language Schools in China: on this site, you can look for Chinese courses in China. You can filter courses and language schools by location, or look for specific types of courses (e.g. professional Chinese or test preparation courses).
- Chinese in Marjorie Chan's China Links.
- ChinaKnowledge.de - An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art. (Surprisingly, the oldest grammar of Chinese written by a Chinese scholar dates from 1898: Mashi wentong 馬氏文通 "Linguistic Overview of Master Ma".)
- Learn Chinese Now: Should You Study Chinese in Taiwan? (YouTube, 12 minutes, 14.06.2016). One reason for going to Taiwan instead of China is the quality of the teaching, which is better than in China.
Culture and Everyday Life
YouTube has many channels about life in China or Taiwan. Some of these contain interviews (including street interviews) with native speakers.
Off the Great Wall:
a YouTube channel by Mike and Dan, two Chinamen who grew up partly in China, partly in the USA.
The channel has
funny edu-taining videos about China & Asia.
- ExpatInfo: a YouTube channel who live and/or do business in China. The videos are in German with English subtitles.
- Saarland 2 China: the YouTube channel of a German who studied law in Germany, France, the UK and China, and who stayed in China. Some videos are in German, some are in English.
- Laowhy86: a YouTube channel by “C-Milk” about living in China. The channel's title is a play on the informal Chinese word for foreigner (老外 / lǎowài).
- SerpentZA: the YouTube channel (or vlog) of Winston Sterzel aka SerpentZA, a British South African who has lived in Shenzhen (near Hong Kong) since 2006.
- Churchill Customs: a YouTube channel where C-Milk and Winston/SerpentZA (see above) make roadtrips in China.
- Living in China: the YouTube channel of an Englishman who moved to China in 2012. He lived in Shanghai for three years and currently lives in a small town Guizhou.
- China Non-Stop is a channel by Georges, a Frenchman who is married to a Chinese woman and currently lives in Changsha (Hunan province).
- Austin Guidry is an American expat living in Chengdu (Sichuan province). For example, watch the video This is China: White Monkey Jobs (October 2015) and Chinese Social Media: A Guide (April 2015).
- China Uncensored: a YouTube channel run by New Tang Dynasty Television (NTD) where presenter Chris Chappell takes a critical look at Chinese politics (and censorship, technology, international relations, human rights, etcetera) and its coverage in state-run media. The channel also contains two interesting documentaries: Building Without Nails: The Genius of Japanese Carpentry and The Truth Behind Traditional Chinese Kung Fu.
- Gestik und Mimik in China (YouTube, 5 minutes).
- Double Chen is a YouTube channel by Dan and Mike Chen, who grew up in the USA and China.
- Strictly Dumpling is a YouTube channel on cooking and food by Mike Chen, who sometimes also appears on Off the Great Wall (see above). This YouTube channel does not teach you any Chinese but most videos are about Chinese food. (No people likes food more than the Chinese.) For a very simple recipe, see How To Make Chinese Tomatoes and Eggs Stir Fry (番茄炒蛋).
- Chinese speaking practice (8 minutes, YouTube): video by two Chinese students who explain and play some aspects of polite and humble interaction in China. The video also discusses differences with American culture.
- China: Geboren ohne Recht auf Leben (YouTube, 36 minutes): documentary by Arte about children who were not supposed to be born according to China's one-child policy. These children can't have identity documents, cannot go to school, etc. The documentary is also available in French: Chine : naître et ne pas être. See also the article by Laure Siegel and Uwe Lothar Müller (23 April 2015) on Arte's website.
- How American and Chinese Treat Foreigners Differently (Social Experiment) (YouTube, 7 minutes): somewhat flawed “social experiment” that compares the reactions of Chinese and Americans to questions in a language they don't know. (For comparison, this other social experiment compares reactions between different races without the confusing factor of a foreign language.)
Learning Chinese Characters
- Wang Huidi and others:
Chinese Character Dictionary: A Guide to the 2000 Most Frequently-Used Characters.
Boston: Cheng & Tsui, 1998, 2003.
For each character in the book, you get stroke order diagrams, the pronunciation (in pinyin), and two or three example words that use the character. The characters are ordered alphabetically based on their pinyin transliteration. The book also has a section for looking up characters based on radicals and stroke count.
- McNaughton, William:
Reading and Writing Chinese Characters: A Comprehensive Guide to the Chinese Writing System.
Third edition. Tokyo: Tuttle Publishing, 2005 (2013).
For a core set of 1,725 characters, this book provides stroke order diagrams, the pronunciation (in pinyin), and two or three example words that use the character. The characters are not ordered alphabetically; instead, the book starts with a number of basic characters and then moves on to more complex characters that use the components introduced in the basic characters. The back of the book has an alphabetic index (using pinyin) and a stroke count index for looking up individual characters.
- Heisig, James; Richardson, Timothy W.:
- Remembering Simplified Hanzi 1: How Not to Forget the Meaning and Writing of Chinese Characters. University of Hawai'i Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-8248-3323-7.
- Remembering Simplified Hanzi 2: How Not to Forget the Meaning and Writing of Chinese Characters. University of Hawai'i Press, 2012. ISBN 978-0-8248-3655-9.
There is also a German translation of these books. The German translation of volume 1 is Vereinfachte Hanzi lernen und behalten 1 (Klostermann, 2009. ISBN 978-3-465-04068-2).
See also Full interview with Timothy Richardson - the man who brought the Heisig method to Chinese characters (Mandarin Segments, 01.11.2014) and Interview with James W. Heisig at the second NOJP conference (YouTube, 39 minutes, 20.05.2017; interview recorded in December 2016).
How Many Chinese Characters Do I Need To Know?,
Written Chinese, 19.01.2018.
According to this article,
to be able to read Chinese fairly well, you need to know around 2500 Chinese characters.
- Most Common 3000 Chinese Hanzi Characters: this is a deck of flashcards for Anki.
- Olly Richards: How to learn different alphabets in foreign languages (7 minutes, YouTube). For Chinese languages such as Standard Chinese and Cantonese, Olly Richards does not recommend learning characters from the start; he advises focusing on speaking first.
- Asian Language School: Introduction to Chinese character writing: radicals and stroke order, Asian Language School blog, 27.10.2016.
- Tim Xie: Learn to Write Characters: page with stroke order animations for Chinese characters. The page also covers traditional Chinese characters.
- Is there a lot of value in learning to write Chinese characters?: a question on Chinese Language Stack Exchange.
- Olle Linge wrote a series of blog posts about learning Chinese characters:
- Towards a more sensible way of learning to write Chinese (01.01.2013),
- You can’t learn Chinese characters by rote (25.12.2012),
- Remembering is a skill you can learn (08.01.2013),
- Sensible character learning: Progress, reminders and reflections (15.01.2013),
- How to create mnemonics for general or abstract character components (22.01.2013),
- Don’t use mnemonics for everything (29.01.2013).
- In 2014, Olle Linge revisited the subject of learning Chinese characters:
- Sensible Chinese character learning revisited (17.03.2014),
- Sensible Chinese character learning challenge 2014 (20.03.2014),
- Sensible character learning challenge 2014: Milestone #1 (08.04.2014),
- Sensible character learning challenge 2014: Milestone #2 (30.04.2014),
- Sensible character learning challenge 2014: Milestone #3 (01.06.2014),
- Sensible character learning challenge 2014: The Big Finish (02.07.2014).
- Practice writing kanji with Anki, a discussion on Kotoba Miners (started June 2015) that is also relevant to Chinese characters.
- Tempé, Thomas: How to use Anki's Chinese Support Add-on (YouTube, 9 minutes, 02.01.2015). Note that the Anki website has several pages about Chinese support.
- 書法練習 - Character Stroke Order, ChineseHideout.
- Mandarin Strokes - The Stroke Order Dictionary for Chinese Characters.
How many characters can one learn in a week, a year, etc?
In The Chinese Language: Its History and Current Usage (2006),
Daniel Kane wrote:
The maximum rate for the absorption of characters, especially at the beginning,
is about 30 a week. (Page 55.)
The question is also debated on many websites, often with a certain degree of vagueness. For example, what is working hard? (How many hours per day or per week?) What does it mean to “know” character? (Active or passive knowledge? How many meanings? How many words that use the character?)
How many Chinese characters can a foreign-language student expect to learn in one, two, etc years?,
David Rosson estimated in 2015 that
the best results would be upwards of 3,500 per year, if you first learn the radicals and then use an efficient spaced repetition method, such as a Leitner box. Then he adds:
I estimate that with about 10x sessions of around 10 minutes each for the automated training per day, plus 3 sessions of 20-minute level-matched reading, at 5 to 6 days per week, you can get at least 3,000 characters in about 50 weeks.
David Rosson also points out that,
The website remembr.it claims that you will memorize over 2,200 characters in three months if you use their service as directed.(That claim cannot be found on the public part of the website.)
Jonathan Aaron Alpart, after learning Chinese for 10 years, wrote in 2011 that one could
learn roughly 500 characters in one year.
Jennifer Zhu wrote in 2015 that,
if you learn properly with the help of a professional, and take it very seriously, you can learn anywhere from 2-3,000 words in about two years if you work hard.
That would be you only need a learn around 20 new words a week, which is just a few day[s].
Ryan Waite claims that the creator of Zizzle
was able to speak Chinese proficiently in under a year’s timeand that
[u]sing [the Zizzle] method, a student could learn 3,000–4,000 characters in a year.
Can you realistically expect to learn 800 Chinese characters in one year?
Vinay Sisodia claimed in 2015 that learning 800 Chinese characters in a year should be easy. The key is learning the radicals first, and then
use as much logic as possible while learning charactersinstead of simply writing them many times.
Jonathan Aaron Alpart (2010) also wrote that it is possible. He also describes the (paper) flash card method he used in college.
Matt Bettinson, a PhD student in Linguistics, wrote in 2010 that it is possible since he learnt 1200 characters in 2010. His advice:
They key is practice every day, even if it's for a few minutes. I recommend a combination of Skritter, flashcards for teaching new words and looking at example sentences (I use the iOS Pleco application for this, the hands-down best software reference tool for Chinese in the world) and then adding some practical material such as reading simple Chinese from text books, moving on to newspapers and so on.
Vanessa Pacheco wrote,
I used Heisig's method with Japanese Kanji and memorized the 2100 in 2 1/2 months. It took me a few months after that to bring my reading up to speed as well.
- How many chinese characters per day?
on ChinesePod.com (2008).
This question was asked by someone who was studying at Sichuan Daxue (Chengdu) and
was expected to learn 100-125 characters per week.
One of the answers said,
I tracked my progress for about 10 months and found that I was learning about 2.5 characters per day. By that I mean being able to identify individual characters outside of any context. But the last few months I was averaging closer to 5 a day. I was not studying full time but in-between work and kids. I don't think I could do much better.
I manage a new one a day but doubt I remember well until a week has gone by. I'm up to about 560 but struggle to retain the old ones and there are only so many flashcards you can look at in a day when you are working and running a family.
- How many Chinese characters can you learn per day? on eChinaCities.com. Estimates vary between 3 and 10 per day.
- Antonio Graceffo:
On Learning the Awful Chinese Language in China:
I learn about twenty characters per week. That means, barring illnesses and holidays, it will be about two years before I could even think about reading a newspaper.
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Hanja
(24.01.2014): describes a method that included
[learning] Hanja in chunks of about 10 characters per week.
- A certain Ken (in Hong Kong) writes on ChineseTutoringLesssons.com,
Recently I’ve spent three months at a Chinese university in HongKong, where we learned 70 to 80 characters per week in Chinese classes mixed with Asians who already knew the Chinese characters. No disrespect to traditional Chinese teaching methods, but our Western brains must be wired different. After three months of full time Mandarin study, I learn Chinese a lot of words but wasn’t able to put many sentences together, so I can speak a fluent Mandarin Chinese.
Learn to Read & Write Chinese (done!),
Mandarin Segments, 29.11.2009.
This is a blogpost by someone who finished book 1 of Heisig's Remembering Simplified Hanzi. His stats are as follows:
- 1500 characters in 106 days
- this is about 14 characters a day
- if I allow for the fact that during October I studied no new characters because of work pressure, I could argue it only took about 2.5 months, at about 20 characters a day
- on average I spent 20-30 minutes a day learning to read & write Chinese, so I might guess that the total time investment was a mere 40 hours, including revision along the way
- I'm guessing that my recall is about 80%+ (going from hanzi to keyword) and 70% (going from keyword to hanzi)
- and even when I get a character wrong in my revision, when I look at the answer, it's almost never a total surprise - it was at the tip of my tongue.
Learning Chinese Characters | Different Methods,
Sensible Chinese, 08.02.2015.
This anonymous blog post compares three methods — Heisig's Remembering the Hanzi, SRS systems such as Anki and Shaolan's Chineasy — and then claims that the Sensible Chinese Character Course allowed him
to learn up to 100 characters per day. It takes some time and preparation to reach this speed but it’s certainly doable.Compared to the numbers cited on other websites (see above), this sounds like a wildly exaggerated claim.
- Kyle (?):
How to Write in Chinese,
Sensible Chinese, 01.02.2016.
This blog post describes a method that the author
used to learn 75-100 characters per day with 90% recall after a week, reach literacy in Chinese within a year and start my first business in China.
The Chinese ABCs are not as easy as one, two, three,
Impossible Chinese, 24.01.2016.
Laowinner used the Heisig method. Quote:
It’s been around 25 days since I started learned Chinese again, and I have fallen short of my original plan to learn 50 characters each day from Heisig’s list of the 3000 most common characters. (…) While I have continued learning 50 new characters per day, not all of those characters are a part of Heisig’s 3000 most common ones.The author continued learning using Anki; see the February 2016 blog post Winning the Flashcard War.
Simplified and Traditional Chinese Characters
- Pasden, John: Variable Stroke Order in Chinese Characters, Sinosplice, 19.08.2008.
- Why Use Traditional Characters? (UPDATED): a video from the YouTube channel Learn Chinese Now.
- Chinese caligraphy: When children forget how to write: BBC News video from August 2014.
- Taiwan Says "No" to Simplified Characters (4 minutes, YouTube): part of a news report by NTDTV about simplified versus traditional characters.
- Simplified vs Traditional Chinese Characters (5 minutes, YouTube, 2013): Chris Chappell (China Uncensored) claims that simplified characters were introduced by the Communist Party of China to disconnect the Chinese people from their cultural roots, since you can't read classic texts without knowledge of traditional characters. He compares simplified characters with George Orwell's Newspeak.
- Why Use Traditional Characters? (UPDATED) (4 minutes, YouTube, 23 April 2013): this video also claims Communist Party of China introduced simplified characters to cut Chinese people off from their history. The video also claims that the communists wanted to replace characters with pinyin (a very dabatable theory), without mentioning that the call for a simplified writing system predates the communists.
- Techniques for learning and retaining characters, a question on Chinese Stack Exchange.
- How much faster is it to write Simplified over Traditional?, a question on Chinese Stack Exchange.
There are many transliteration systems for Chinese, i.e. systems for the phonetic notation of Chinese. Some are based on the Latin alphabet and are therefore known as romanisation systems, while others are based on other writing systems. Today, the most important transliteration systems are Hanyu Pinyin and Zhuyin Fuhao.
Hanyu Pinyin (usually known as pinyin) was developed in the People's Republic of China during the 1950s. Most modern translating dictionaries for Standard Chinese use pinyin; dictionary entries are typically ordered by pinyin syllables (i.e. not entirely alphabetic).
- Zheng Tao: Learn Mandarin Chinese Pronunciation: Pinyin Course: YouTube playlist (11 videos) with clear explanations of the pronunciation of Standard Chinese.
- Chinese Pronunciation Guide by Dr. Wenze Hu.
- Pinyin Quiz.
- Rules for using pinyin on Pinyin.info.
- Replacing Chinese characters with pinyin forever as Vietnamese did: a question on Linguistics Stack Exchange.
Zhuyin Fuhao (Bopomofo)
Zhuyin Fuhao is a transliteration system developed in the Republic of China in the early 20th century and is still the official transliteration system in Taiwan.
- Chinese Phonetic System (BoPoMoFo): two short YouTube videos that introduce Zhuyin Fuhao.
- Free Printable PDF Zhuyin Fuhao Bopomofo Flashcards.
- Zhuyin fuhao system for Mandarin Chinese on Pinyin.info.
- Bopomofo pronunciation examples.
- Trista di Genova: How to Make Learning Chinese Impossible: Taiwan's Got It Down The Wild East Magazine, 27.03.2011. This article is a rant against bopomofo.
Input Methods Editors (IMEs) and Other Tools
Input methods are, strictly speaking, no learning resources, but every learner of the Chinese writing system needs them.
- A guide to 5 different Chinese input systems (YouTube, 11 minutes). This video demonstrates five of the most common input systems on a Chinese version of Windows. The systems discussed in the video include pinyin, zhuyin fuhao (bopomofo) and Cangjie.
- Pinyinput is a free and open source input method editor for pinyin with tones. The software works with both 32- and 64-bit version of Windows XP or higher. You can download the software from SourceForge.net. Installation is straightforward; check the installation guide.
- Pinyin to IPA Conversion Tools (py2ipa): open source tool to convert Hanyu Pinyin to IPA.
- Herman Schaaf:
Forums & Q&A Sites
- Chinese-forums.com: a site with many thematic forums about the Chinese language, Chinese culture, living in China, etctera.
- Chinese Language Stack Exchange: this is a question and answer site (not a discussion forum!). You can subscribe for free and ask questions about the Chinese language. Examples of past questions include What is the difference between 绿 and 青?, Roots of the difference between 谈,论,说,讲,议, 叙,言,报,告 and of course Resources for learning Mandarin Chinese.
- Chinesische Sprache: German discussion forum about the Chinese language.
- See the resources listed in the responses to the StackExchange question “Why don't Cantonese speakers write their own language?”. (Obviously, written Cantonese exists.)
- CantonesePod provides audio files, documents, blog posts, etcetera for learning Cantonese.
- Foreign Service Institute (FSI): Cantonese Courses.
The FSI's language courses are now freely available and have been copied on several websites, e.g.: Live Lingua, the Yojik website, and LearnChineseEZ.com.
- Chinese Cantonese in Language Links Database.
- Cantonese Swadesh list on Wiktionary.
Woes of a westerner studying cantonese
(2015) on Reddit. This post contains a link to the
Anki Deck “Cantonese 廣東話／粵語Beta v0.7”,
which claims to be a
summary of the most common colloquial Cantonese words for a new/intermediate or advanced learner.
- Cantonese - English dictionary: dictionary with Jyutping transliterations, Chinese characters in big fonts, and stroke order animations. Provided by HantrainerPro in Munich, Germany.
- Wörterbuch Kantonesisch - Deutsch: dictionary with Jyutping transliterations, Chinese characters in big fonts, and stroke order animations. (A German version of the above dictionary.)
- Shin Kataoka; Cream Lee: Putonghua Cantonese English Converter. Greenwood Press, 2014. (407 pages) ISBN 978-962-279-305-7. (According to a post on Chinse-forums.com, this book is essentially a frequency list based on actual Hong Kong usage. Words can be looked up in Mandarin or in English, but not in, e.g., Yale romanisation or Jyutping.)
- Cheung, Samuel H.N.: Debunking Some Myths about Cantonese, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Newsletter No. 478.
Cantonese: Using Mnemonics,
language ninja, 06.02.2013.
The method described in this blog post was adapted from
Serge Gorodish's Mandarin mnemoic system.
Serge Gorodish wrote
Actually, "adapted" is an understatement, since he [language ninja] did some significant reconfiguring to optimize the system for Cantonese.
Language Schools in China and Taiwan
Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement.
- LTL Mandarin School with locations in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengde (the cheapest option).
- Keats School in Kunming.
- That's Mandarin with locations in Beijing and Shanghai. See also Our Intensive Chinese Program - Learn Chinese in China on YouTube.
- Hutong School with locations in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu.
Chinese Computing, Font Faces and Typography
- Thiruchelvam, Sharon: The A-Z of Chinese Fonts (Part I), Forbes, 16.02.2015.
- Fang, Angela: How to Use: Chinese Punctuation, TutorMing Mandarin Learning Tips Blog, 29.12.2015.
- More Chinese Fonts & Apps, Pinyin Joe's Chinese Computing Help Desk.
- Wood, Alan: East Asian Unicode fonts for Windows computers, Alan Wood’s Unicode Resources.
- Chan, Marjorie: ChinaLinks: Fonts for Windows/Mac, Marjorie Chan's Chinalinks.
- Chinese Fonts & Related Issues, Tibetan & Himalayan Library Toolbox (University of Virginia).
- Ministry of Education (Republic of Taiwan): Standard Chinese Typefaces (last updated in 2006).
- Schaefer, Kendra: Chinese Standard Web Fonts: A Guide to CSS Font Family Declarations for Web Design in Simplified Chinese, Kendra Schaefer, 11.06.2012.
- Schaefer, Kendra: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Chinese Fonts, Envato Tuts+, 02.03.2015.
- Simplified Chinese font easily readable, suitable for documents and OK for commercial use?, a question on Chinese Language Stack Exchange (asked in 2014).
Ruby Font Creator:
an open-source project by Édouard Lopez and Hugo Lopez that allows you to
generate rich Unicode open fonts with custom annotations, transliterations, pronunciations. The code is available under Apache License 2.0.
Media in Chinese
The following programmes and media have subtitles in Chinese:
- 快乐驿站 (Happy Station) is an animated series. The animated films are also available on YouTube: 快乐驿站官方频道 / Happy Station Official Channel.
- Liam Bates: 跟着老外回家乡：第一集.
- Bai, Jianhua:
Chinese Grammar Made Easy: A Practical and Effective Guide for Teachers. Yale University Press, 2008. (336 pages)
According to the publisher's website, this book
presents instructors with innovative and classroom-tested techniques for teaching Chinese grammar. It is designed as a reference for teaching the
150 of the most fundamental and frequently used grammar points that students need to learn in order to communicate successfully. These grammar points include “A 比 B”, “是 … 的”, “为了”, “一 … 就 …”, etcetera. The book came out of a three-year research project and pays attention to the sequencing of grammar points and scaffolding in Chinese language instruction.
- 杨玉玲: 国际汉语教师语法教学手册 (Handbook on Grammar Teaching for International Chinese Teachers). 高等教育出版社 / Higher Education Press, 2012. ISBN 978-7-04-031682-7.
- Everson, Michael E.; Xiao, Yun: Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language: Theories and Applications. Second edition. Cheng & Tsui, 2008. ISBN 9780887277948.
- Xing, Janet Zhiqun: Teaching and Learning Chinese as a Foreign Language: A Pedagogical Grammar. Hong Kong University Press, 1993. (336 pages) ISBN 978-962-209-763-6.
- Waltz, Terry: TPRS with Chinese Characteristics: Making Students Fluent and Literate Through Comprehensible Input. Squid for Brains, 2015. (174 pages) ISBN 978-0692442906.
- Billeter, Jean François: L'Art d'enseigner le chinois. Allia, 2021. (64 pages) ISBN 979-10-304-1357-1.
- Billeter, Jean François: Les Gestes du chinois. Allia, 2021. (96 pages) ISBN 979-10-304-1352-6.
- 周健: 汉语课堂教学技巧与游戏 (Skills and Games for Chinese Classroom Instruction). Beijing Language and Culture University Press, 1998. (204 pages) ISBN 9787561926354.
- Yang, Wenhui: 劲松教汉语： 汉语课堂教学实用技巧72法 (Easy to Teach Chinese: 72 Practical Skills in Classroom Teaching of Chinese). World Publishing Company, 2009.
- Zhang, Baolin: 汉语教学参考语法. Peking University Press, 2007.
- Goh, Yeng-Seng: Teaching Chinese as an International Language: A Singapore Perspective. Cambridge University Press, 2020. ISBN 9781107660809.
- Hack, Telse; Ni, Shaofeng: Chinesisch im Internet. Ein Social-Media-Lesebuch. Chinesisch-Deutsch. Buske, 2015. (213 pages) ISBN 978-3-87548-672-8.
- Chinesisch lernen mit 学习中文.
- Alex: 5 Tipps, um schneller Chinesisch zu lernen (Gastartikel), Erfolgreiches Sprachenlernen, 18.07.2017.
- Sinonerds: Chinesisch Lernen: Nützliche Links.
- Monkey Abroad: Foreigner Tests Chinese Locals on Their Chinese (YouTube, 11 minutes, 05.08.2017): a foreigner (Jayme Lawman) tests a number of native speakers on three aspects of Chinese: how they pronounce a number of words (especially the tones), how well they write a number of words he dictates, and the stroke order of a few characters he shows them.
- Mandarin Education Task Wiki: CFL Bibliography.
- San Duanmu: Duanmu's Publications. (San Duanmu is professor of linguistics at the University of Michigan.)
- Wang, William S-Y; Sun, Chaofen: The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Linguistics. Oxford University Press, 2015. (792 pages) ISBN 9780199856336.
- The #1 Chinese myth, Tae Kim's Blog, 24.07.2009: a short blog post about Chinese grammar.
- Lewis, Benny: Why Chinese isn’t as hard as you think: Encouragement for Learners, Fluent in 3 Months, 27.04.2012.
- Is it easier to learn Chinese after learning Japanese or vice versa?: a question on Chinese Language Stack Exchange.
- CJK(V): Best order?: a discussion thread on How-to-Learn-Any-Language.
- Vicky 빅키: How I Studied Chinese for 6 Months (Foreign Language Study Tips) (YouTube, 11 minutes, 06.01.2017).
- Wikimedia Commons: Stroke Order Project: a growing collection of illustrations of the stroke order in a number of East-Asian writing systems, including Simplified Chinese characters.
- Richard Sears:
- Serpentza: This Powder is Why Vietnam WON! (YouTube, 11 minutes, 08.06.2017): video about 云南白药 or Yunnan Baiyao.
- Useful resources for learning Taiwanese?: a question on Chinese Stack Exchange.
- Chris Livaccari: The best books on China (for those studying Chinese), Five Books (no date). Livaccari recommends the following books: The Languages of China by Robert Ramsey, The Sextants of Beijing (1999) by Joanna Waley-Cohen, Wandering on the Way: Early Taoist Tales and Parables of Chuang Tzu edited by Victor H. Mair, Diary of a Madman (1916) by Lu Xun, The Story of the Stone (also known as The Dream of the Red Chamber) by Cáo Xuěqín (18th century).
- Srikiow, Lisa:
"Chinesisch zu lernen lohnt sich",
Die Zeit, 07.04.2011.
Article about the establishment of a training curriculum for teachers of Chinese at the University of Göttingen in Germany. At that time, research on how best to teach Chinese was also still needed, so the university also established a chair in this domain.
- Grigg, Hugh: My favourite Chinese learning tools, East Asia Student, 2013年10月6日.
The section “Chinese Grammar” has moved to a separate page.