How to Learn Chinese on Instagram & Who To Follow?
It might sound crazy but you really can learn Chinese on Instagram.
Sure it won’t get you fluent, and nothing beats actual student-teacher interaction, but you can go a damn sight further than you’d expect.
Because there are so many fantastic accounts out there these days, and we want to introduce you to some of them today.
The great thing with learning Chinese on Instagram is there’s a real mix.
You can follow flashcard accounts, you can follow cultural videos, you can follow schools, or individuals – there’s a little something for everyone.
It can be done casually, relaxing on your sofa at any time of day also.
EVEN IF you only have 5 minutes, it’s those 5/10 minute sessions that can make the difference over time.
Imagine you say to yourself on 100 separate occasions…
“Pfft, I’m going out in 5 minutes so there’s no point”
You’ve just missed out on 500 minutes worth for study over time… every minute counts!
So, without further ado, let’s introduce you to our roll of honour, here’s the best accounts to Learn Chinese on Instagram!
Learn Chinese on Instagram #1 – @han_characters
Learn Chinese on Instagram #2 – @chinesewithjen
Learn Chinese on Instagram #3 – @chineseclass101
Learn Chinese on Instagram #4 – @easymandarinteacher
Learn Chinese on Instagram #5 – @lialiu_chinese
Learn Chinese on Instagram #6 – @chillingchinese
Learn Chinese on Instagram #7 – @unconventionalchinese
Learn Chinese on Instagram #8 – @yoyochinese
Learn Chinese on Instagram #9 – @naughtychinese
Learn Chinese on Instagram #10 – @sofunmandarin
Learn Chinese on Instagram #11 – @writtenchinese
Learn Chinese on Instagram #12 – @ltlmandarinschool
Oh and by the way – if your favourite account isn’t listed, give it a shoutout below, we’ll include it on our list.
The thing with learning Chinese (or Japanese & Korean for that matter) is that it’s very visual.
With French or German, you already know the alphabet, so there are no surprises there.
DID YOU KNOW – Chinese doesn’t even have an alphabet, it’s a series (a rather large one at that) of characters.
Therefore we don’t just learn how to say words we need to discover how to read them.
This makes accounts like @han_characters fantastic, because the account is dedicated towards showing your how characters are built, and how to understand them.
You’ll see from the recent posts above how characters are broken down visually, take for example 乒乓 at the top right – this means table tennis in Chinese.
They use two paddles to help you remember the downward strokes on each character – smart, yet simple.
Using this account makes remembering characters that bit easier due to the visual aids.
We like this account a lot and a bonus… they are also on YouTube and TikTok if you prefer, but it’s Instagram where they made their name.
FOLLOW @han_characters here.
Sometimes simplicity is best and @chinesewithjen is just that.
Some accounts come across aesthetically pleasing when you visit the profile and this is one of them.
Jen serves up two kinds of post – a vocabulary flashcard, and a video where she introduces a word and gives an example sentence.
There is nothing groundbreaking about it, but ones things for sure, it’s a super useful way to learn Chinese.
The fact she boasts over 50,000 followers and counting proves this!
A number of people who speak many languages attribute learning sentences rather than words as a key method to learning a language – so on that basis, Jen has you covered.
What Jen also does well with her videos is that she makes sure the setting is pretty professional.
These aren’t just off-the-cuff videos taken in any setting.
She takes the time to use a microphone, and have a clear background, making the sound crystal clear – important when you are new to learning any language, let alone Chinese.
Jen is also on YouTube as well, with some slightly longer videos if you like her Instagram channel.
FOLLOW @chinesewithjen here.
The 101 language accounts are hugely popular and if you are a language learning, there’s a strong chance you’ve come across them on a Google search if looking for learn (insert your language of choice here) online.
ChineseClass101 provide a whole host of content which is useful for not only beginners, but also intermediate learners as well.
If this is account you particularly like you are in luck because there are pretty active online.
FOLLOW @chineseclass101 here.
There are many accounts, with any language, whereby individuals set one up and start teaching a language to their followers.
We saw one above with Jen and this is another one.
@easymandarinteacher doesn’t have the rigid structure of Jen’s account, and is a little more fluid with the content, sometimes including current affairs for example.
She also provides classes every so often and dabbles in sharing meme’s and song lyrics (whilst singing along by the way), recently in particular from one Teresa Teng.
A simple, but wholly effective account to follow to boost your Chinese for sure.
FOLLOW @easymandarinteacher here.
DID YOU KNOW – not long after publishing this post we ran a vote to find out your favourite Instagram account to learn Chinese, and @easymandarinteacher was the winner! Definitely worth a follow if that’s anything to go by.
Another account very easy on the eye with Lia Liu whose excellent usage of eye-catching captions and a big smiley face makes the account a fun one to scroll through but it’s the content here we really enjoy.
Lia Liu does a few of things really well making the account super popular and fast growing:
- There’s plenty of slang thrown in there to learn alongside the usual stuff
- Lia Liu makes use of the Reels feature (we’ll come to that more in a second)
- Lia Liu also gives some lovely culture lessons which include poses Asian’s make during photos and funny translations
Lia Liu is super smiley and the channel provides a lot of laughs which probably explains her recent success on Tiktok.
She has amassed over 80,000 followers already, making her one of the top Chinese learning accounts on the platform.
She uses her videos there in her reels on Instagram allowing her to grow her IG account further.
Very smart and we see big things for Lia Liu and her merry band of followers!
@chillingchinese is run by a lady called Karen who now has over 70,000 followers making the account one of the more popular Chinese learning accounts out there.
The account is of the simple variety once again – short, snappy videos explaining vocabulary or sentences, but given the subscriber rate, it’s clearly done very well – and we agree!
@chillingchinese have jumped aboard the TikTok bangwagon and they also provide the occasional free Chinese class on the Instagram channel as well – always nice to see.
Karen’s regular videos, smiley demeanour and useful content makes it a must follow for learning Chinese.
FOLLOW @chillingchinese here.
I must admit this is a particular favourite of mine, simply because it goes against your typical teaching account – clue’s in the name!
Keren is the lady behind the account and just to get an idea of who we are dealing with here I recommend you watch her intro video on her website. It’s only 37 seconds long but a clear insight into her as a teacher.
@unconventionalchinese is all about teaching you Chinese, unconventionally, shock!
Keren dislikes the traditional teaching methods and teaches you her way, using comprehensible input.
If anything the account is fun to follow and you’ll learn a lot of stuff you wouldn’t learn with many other accounts.
See the middle image below here – that’s Keren doing a live class with a cute kitten, unconventional if anything!
Keren has a website (linked above) and a YouTube channel also with further content, and she also offers private lessons also which can be purchased on her site.
Despite the fact @unconventionalchinese doesn’t boast the huge follower numbers of some of these accounts, we know that’ll change soon.
A fun follow where you’ll learn plenty for sure.
FOLLOW @unconventionalchinese here.
From unconventional to the more conventional – Yoyo Chinese is a big name for online learners of Mandarin.
Yoyo Chinese is run by Yangyang Cheng who has a rather glitzy background which includes TV appearances such as being the former host of the “Hello! Hollywood” and Discovery Channel’s “Oh My Buddha”.
The Yoyo Chinese website also boasts that it’s “the most watched Chinese learning channel on Youtube with over 15 million views.”These are impressive numbers which are built on a channel that has been running for over a decade now.
When it comes to numbers it’s hard to argue, but what’s the Instagram channel like?
In fact Instagram is probably where the growth lacks compared to other channels with a mere 20,000 or so followers.
Mere when you compare it to the 300,000 YouTube subscribers, where the name shot to prominence over a decade back.
As you’ll see the channel provides a nice mix of flashcards, graphics, cultural videos and more.
Yoyo Chinese is worth checking out on Instagram and YouTube to help nudge your Chinese along.
Back to the unconventional again with another great account that is unique in it’s own right.
@naughtychinese delivers exactly what you’d expect it to deliver.
We delve into the world of Chinese swear words and insults here and it’s great fun to follow.
There’s something funny about learning the bad words in a language – I can’t figure out quite why?!
The account’s content is simply colourful flashcards.
As you’ll see above subtle isn’t a way to describe this account, more blunt and to the point!
They’ve racked up a few thousand followers and the account is still in it’s infancy.
If you want to learn some taboo topics – it’s a must follow!
FOLLOW @naughtychinese here.
This is a really pleasant follow.
There’s some really eye-catching flashcards to use and some adorable videos where two children help out also!
@sofunmandarin are fairly new to the party on Instagram but have amassed a solid number of followers in a fairly short space of time.
The account sits beautifully on the eye and has some very useful content.
Listening to children provide some of the audio is super useful also because they speak naturally at a slower pace making it easier for us students to take it all in.
FOLLOW @sofunmandarin here.
Guess what @writtenchinese helps you with? Doesn’t take a rocket scientist does it!
This is a tidy looking account that helps teaching you key words but also more significantly the radicals in Chinese which can be tricky for newbies.
Radicals are an important thing to understand when learning the basics of Chinese and this account is one of the few out there that do it well.
Although none of the six posts above immediately show it, @writtenchinese teach you some common words using radicals.
FOR EXAMPLE – the radical for ice is included in these characters:
- 冰 (ice)
- 冷 (cold)
- 凄 (intense)
- 冻 (freeze)
Notice a pattern? See the left side of each character is the same. That’s the radical and this is the sort of stuff you’ll learn by following @writtenchinese.
Essential stuff for anyone who is serious about learning Mandarin.
FOLLOW @writtenchinese here.Oh speaking of radicals – check out our very own flashcards here. This is the first of a few we made (the rest of which can be found in our complete guide to Chinese radicals).
Saving the best until last?
Something like that!
Although I must admit, having been at LTL myself for over 3 years now I can state that our Instagram game has SIGNIFICANTLY improved recently, most in part thanks to our amazing Marketing team.
Free language resources are something everyone should have access to. Sure we are a school, but we also want to make sure the Chinese language learning community has the chance to pick up their phone and learn whenever they wish.
Sure – it’s easy to promote ourselves but I challenge you to find a Chinese language school who gives you more than we do…
Free flashcards, short cultural videos, vital vocab, a few laughs along the way – it’s all there, wrapped up in one great little account which YOU SHOULD FOLLOW!
Come on, you know you want to…
FOLLOW @ltlmandarinschool here.
There you have it – 12 AMAZING CHANNELS to Learn Chinese on Instagram.
Did your favourite feature? Have we helped you? Tell us below, we all want the best portfolio of accounts possible after all!
Learn Chinese on Instagram – FAQ’s
Are there many Chinese accounts on Instagram to learn the language?
There are a lot more than you think! Instagram is a super popular way to learn not just Chinese, but any language.
Is Instagram banned in China?
Instagram is indeed banned in China, alongside a number of other social media websites like Facebook and Twitter.
How can I access Instagram in China?
To access Instagram in China you will need a VPN.
Do LTL have an Instagram account?
We do – you can follow us here.
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