Websites to Learn Chinese // Your Ultimate List
Welcome to LTL Mandarin Schools ULTIMATE guide of websites to Learn Chinese.
The world wide web is packed full of websites to Learn Chinese, BUT, sometimes finding the right best websites to learn Chinese can be challenging!
Depending on your level, budget, strengths, weaknesses, learning style and preferences, the best websites to learn Chinese for one person can completely differ from one person to the next.
Quick disclaimer, if you’re reading this list of websites to learn Chinese and you stop and think, ‘Hey! isn’t that an APP?’ – you’re probably right!
A few of the websites below are accessible on mobile. HOWEVER, they only make the list IF they have a web-based version, allowing you to learn Chinese on your computer.
If you want a comprehensive list of apps to learn Chinese, don’t worry, we have that! Here are some of the Best Apps To Learn Chinese.
So let’s break down ALL the websites to Learn Chinese and see if we can find the right ones for you!
Websites to Learn Chinese – Learn Chinese Online Free
Websites to Learn Chinese – Paid
Websites to Learn Chinese – Tutors
Websites to Learn Chinese – Online Chinese Courses
Websites to Learn Chinese – Software to Learn Chinese
Websites to Learn Chinese – FAQ’s
Learn Chinese Online Free
Where better to start with a list of websites to learn Chinese than FREE ones?
Now, this might sound like a mean comment when we say ‘you get what you pay for‘ with free websites to learn Chinese, but hear us out!
That is by no means to say any of these websites are bad. In fact, considering they’re free, they provide a rather impressive amount of content for you to learn Chinese.
Having said that, when comparing and contrasting, Free VS Paid websites to learn Chinese. Paid websites will almost always come out on top (inevitably) with more resources dedicated to them.
All of these FREE websites to learn Chinese are in alphabetical order:
PROS: Arch Chinese provides you with an abundance of materials to learn Chinese. Beginner to advanced students could use this website for learning materials.
CONS: If you’re wanting a colourful and stimulating website, Arch Chinese isn’t the site for you.
Chinese Boost is a neat and orderly website that’ll provide you with Chinese grammar and sentences.
Additionally, they have a blog with interesting articles to help you with your learning journey.
PROS: Chinese Boost has a simple website that is easy to navigate with short text based blogs with insights from Mandarin learners to help you with your journey.
CONS: Chinese Boost doesn’t have the same volume of resources as other websites and is all text basted learning materials.
The Digital Dialects is a website to learn Chinese that has practice games, flashcards and interactive materials with audio for learning.
Digital Dialects has 80 languages to learn from.
PROS: Digital Dialects is fantastic for visual learners. Each page is stimulating and interactive making it particularly good for kids to learn with.
CONS: Computer generated audio files (no human recordings) is the biggest thing holding Digital Dialects from being an incredible tool.
PROS: What’s great about Forvo is the recordings are by native speakers making them worthwhile to listen to. Plus, having the audio files broken down into categories is also a great way to have focused study sessions.
CONS: Forvo has an impressive 18 categories to learn from with dozens of audio files in each category. Unfortunately, that’s where Forvo ends in terms of resources to learn Chinese.
Free Chinese Lessons
Free Chinese Lessons is a website with (you guessed it) free Chinese lessons.
This title might be a bit deceptive and there’s no structured lessons, media or other resources.
Still, there are some helpful articles to support you learning the basics of Mandarin.
PROS: This website to learn Chinese breaks down the fundamentals of learning Chinese.
CONS: Very limited articles. Currently only covers the basics of learning Chinese and no media or downloadable learning materials.
L-Lingo immerses you in the sights and sounds of the target language, rather than just the written word.
L-Lingo is primarily an app BUT on their website, you’ll find a free 7-day Mandarin course as well as flashcards and audio recordings of Chinese natives to help you learn
PROS: We always appreciate when websites to learn Chinese include recording of native speakers. L-Lingo has plenty of audio files with images to learn from.
CONS: L-Lingo’s website can be difficult to navigate with some functionality issues.
Livemocha is a social network designed to connect language learners for free.
They also provide instructional materials in 38 languages, including mandarin, to help support your learning of the language.
PROS: Simple dashboard that’ll give you some simple and interactive lessons with Chinese.
CONS: Live Mochas was founded in 2007 and was quite popular at the time. However, their website still has a bit of a 2007 vibe to it. There are competitors offering the same services with a more modern look and feel.
Loecsen one of the best free websites to learn Chinese on this list!
It has a modern and simple to use interface. Loecsen will also play audio files by native speakers and breaks down sentences and vocabulary by helpful ‘daily speak’ categories.
PROS: Practical lessons to help you learn Chinese with quizzes to review, downloadable MP3s and PDFs.
CONS: While Loecsen is one of the better free websites to learn Chinese. It’s Mandarin lessons are limited to 17 categories. Once you’ve completed the 17 categories you’ll only be able to use this site to review rather than expand your knowledge.
Tatoeba is a free open source online database of sentences in multiple languages.
Open Source means that all of the content has been contributed by the community, rather than the web developers.
The name “tatoeba” means ‘for example’ in Japanese.
PROS: Tatoeba is a neat looking website with an easy search function. Being open-source the content is constantly growing thanks to the users of the website.
CONS: While there are plenty of example sentences in Mandarin to search there is a lacking of Chinese speaking contributors to the website.
Yeah! Pretty obvious one on our list of FREE websites to learn Chinese BUT it still has to go on the list!
Here are 15 YouTube channels we think you should follow to help you learn Chinese.
Sometimes the most obvious are the most useful!
Oh, and don’t forget to go and follow our YouTube channel!
Websites to Learn Chinese // Paid
Okay! Let’s talk about the big players in the world of websites to learn Chinese. We’re talking, of course, about the paid services you can use to learn Chinese online.
These are NOT, websites where you can book 1-on-1 lessons, that’s in the next section.
These are websites with a variety of functions like videos, flashcards, audio recordings, spaced repetition systems and more!
Busuu is a language learning platform teaching vocabulary and grammar with smart lessons and exercises.
Busuu’s platform is available on an app and their website.
In fact, check out our FULL review of their app for more details.
PROS: Quite a customisable learning experience in terms of setting the days and times to learn, goals and placement tests.
CONS: There are two types of payments, Premium and Premium Plus the prices and extra features don’t differ much.
Chinese Class 101
ChineseClass101 also falls into the category of app and websites to learn Chinese.
While ChineseClass101 is many things, at its heart it is Mandarin Lessons in the form of podcasts.
The podcasts are broken up into sessions with categories and units.
PROS: If your an auditory style learner (sounds) ChineseClass101 should no doubt be on your phone for when you up for listening to Chinese lessons.
CONS: If you need a bit of structure and like a curriculum for your learning you might not enjoy this so much. Yes, there are levels and topics but no clean orderly progression through the language.
Chinese Pod is a website to learn Chinese that offers video and audio based lessons.
Chinese Pod boast that they have over 4000+ audio and video lessons ranging between ten and twenty minutes.
Chinese Pod now offers private tutoring services with mandarin teachers.
PROS: Chinese Pod is one of the few websites to learn Chinese that’ll carry you through from a beginner to an advanced student. There are a lot of resources for every level of learner.
CONS: Chinese Pod is heavily focused on listening which can be restrictive to users who are not good with auditory learning. Private lessons are not only expensive but in limited supply.
Du in Chinese means Read Chinese. That’s exactly what you can expect from the Du Chinese app.
Du Chinese gives users the ability to filter topics by topic and difficulty. Then from your readings you can save Characters to review as flashcards later.
See our FULL review the Du Chinese.
PROS: Simple and elegant design with real world practical lessons and interesting articles to help learn Chinese.
CONS: Du Chinese doesn’t try to be anything more than what the name implies. It’s a reading app, possibly your best option to learn how to read Chinese characters, but that’s as far as it can take you.
PROS: Duolingo has the basics of Chinese (and most languages) down to an art. You can study from categories like food, colours and numbers pretty quick and easy.
CONS: While they do have the basics down, don’t teach you much about the characters as you learn. This can be quite cumbersome as you progress beyond a beginner level student.
Glossika is, at its core, a spaced repetition technology. A tried and true method for learning languages.
They offer a mobile and desktop version of their software.
See our FULL Review of Glossika
PROS: Big range of topics to learn from and recording from native speakers always gets a big tick of approval from us at LTL.
CONS: Placement tests are geared from lower levels – as you move to higher levels in glossika the content does start to thin out.
So here it is, Hack Chinese, a Spaced Repetition learning software, made by Mandarin learners for Mandarin Learners.
See our FULL tutorial and see for yourself why we’re such big fans of what they’re up to:
Memrise, a flashcard learning app and website to learn Chinese – they use spaced repetition to help you learn.
In their own words, they’re “the opposite of textbook learning”
Put that claim to the test with our FULL review of Memrise.
PROS: Videos of native speakers talking gets a big green tick in the pros column from us. Chinese is a tone-based language and you’ll get nowhere fast using computer-generated voices to learn.
CONS: Limited Chinese courses, Memrise can’t take you beyond a beginner level.
Mondly made quite a name for itself when it launched being one of the few apps with an intelligent Chatbot that recognises what you say and responds in kind.
Not just that, but they provide lessons with vocabulary and sentence structure.
See our FULL review of Mondly.
PROS: If you can’t find a real-life speaker to practice Mandarin, Mondly’s chatbot is as close as you’re going to get!
CONS: Not much free content, you’ll have to commit to a subscription pretty quick to keep using Mondly.
Ninchanese is a website to learn Chinese that offers a game-like approach to learning.
Each level is a world built around cute characters to help you on your quest to learn mandarin.
For a creative and beautifully designed program, NinChanese easily gets a 10/10 from us.
PROS: The gamified way of learning can be quite addictive and make some of the more boring elements of learning a language quite fun.
CONS: There is no comprehensive course, more supporting learning materials for the average learner.
Optiling is a website (and app) to learn Chinese that focuses on listening and speaking.
Using Optilingo, you can study up to 100 lessons for 20 different languages.
See our FULL review of Optilingo.
PROS: Simple and elegant website that has useful and practical lessons for speaking Chinese Mandarin.
CONS: beyond introductory spoken Chinese Optilingo can’t really help you out. Once you’ve completed all 100 lessons you’ve completed the Optilingo course.
Rocket Languages is a popular website to learn Chinese and several other languages.
On their website, you’ll find flashcards and audio lessons.
Rocket Languages uses audio, flashcards and proununciation procatace to learn seveal languages.
PROS: The audio lessons give you real-world examples of how you can use Chinese out and about.
CONS: Rocket Languages is great with real-world conversations, which makes them more of a survival Chinese style course. While this is perfect for some learners, this might be limiting from intermediate to advanced learners.
Rosetta Stone is quite a divisive website to learn Chinese amongst language learners.
Not because people argue if it’s good or bad but rather is it worth it?
The program delivers quite a comprehensive Chinese course with lessons on reading, writing, speaking and listening (basically everything you need)
PROS: Beautiful website and learning experience for many languages.
CONS: While Rosetta Stone is undeniably impressive, for the price you could buy several other learning apps, programs and even real-life teachers! Hence the price tag does put a big question mark against its value.
The Chairman’s Bao
The Chairman’s Bao is a simplified Chinese news site, specifically aimed at Mandarin learners.
Once again you’ll have the option of using The Chairman’s Bao via their app and website.
See our FULL review of The Chairman’s Bao app.
PROS: Every article has the option of listening to an audio recording spoken by a native speaker.
CONS: The Chairman’s Bao is great at delivering articles for learners but falls short with other features.
Yoyo Chinese is a website (and app) to learn Chinese via video lessons, audio files, flashcards and reviews.
They boast an impressive 20 million lessons delivered to over 400,000 students.
Yoyo Chinese offers 6 levels broken down into smaller units. They have videos, flashcards, quizzes and downloadable materials to study with.
PROS: Yoyo Chinese provides a very comprehensive course with bite-sized (10-minute) lessons so even people tight for time can find the time to learn.
CONS: No customisation of your course, you basically run through the pre-set content on Yoyo and can only review what you’ve learnt (no set your own path). Great for beginners with no direction but has short come as you enter intermediate to advanced.
Websites to Learn Mandarin // Tutors
Okay… Let’s talk about Websites to learn Mandarin with real-life native speakers to learn from!
As a Mandarin School with several schools across mainland China and one in Taipei city, you’ve got to imagine we might be a bit biased in thinking learning with real speakers is the best way to approach learning Chinese.
In fact, let’s kick off this list of websites to learn Mandarin with our very own! We’re talking about FLEXICLASSES.COM the very website you find yourself on RIGHT NOW!
Before we get into the review, why not spin our Wheel of Fortune?
- One game per user
- Cheaters will be disqualified.
You can WIN up to 3 HOURS of FREE Flexi Classes, Posters, E-Books and more!
One thing we know from years of running a Mandarin School is Small Group Classes can be of huge benefit to students.
Not just for splitting the costs of a teacher, but learning with others at the same level as you gives you the opportunity to get instant feedback from your peers.
Not to mention it can simply be more enjoyable with friends!
With that said, we built the WORLDS FIRST platform with small group (6 persons) classes running 24/7!
Flexi Classes are broken down into 5 levels, beginner to HSK 4. Each level is comprised of several lessons that make a full and comprehensive course to take you from zero to hero.
You don’t need to take the lessons chronologically, but don’t worry, the system will track your progress AND you’re able to re-take any lessons you don’t feel confident with OR skip over classes you don’t want to take.
With Flexi Classes, you can choose from 3 different subscriptions depending on how many hours you want to study each month.
Changing your subscription is as easy as the click of a button with no additional costs.
Each subscription gives you a different amount of credits:
- 1 credits = 1 Flexi Class
- 3 credits = 1 private 1-on-1 lessons
Cafe Talk is an online platform connecting tutors and students from all over the world.
Cafe Talk is mostly used for English teachers by Japanese students but they have expanded to include other languages as well as skills like Chess, Origami, Calligraphy and much more!
PROS: Secure payments and simple booking system to schedule your classes.
CONS: The website layout can be overwhelming with popups and links everywhere. Tutors not necessarily qualified (anyone can become one) but usually by the power of reviews and filters you can get a good teacher. However, the ‘better’ teachers do charge more once they’re recognised by students as more qualified teachers.
Only 1-on-1 tutors available, unlike flexiclasses.com which offers small groups classes.
HelloTalk is the Tinder of language exchange.
You can use it to meet strangers all over the world who are interested in your native language in exchange for sharing their language.
HelloTalk started as a messenger app but is now also a website to learn Chinese and has some simple Chinese lessons to have some introductory lessons.
See our FULL review of HelloTalk.
PROS: Talking to native speakers right away for free is a wonderful way to get your brain in the language learning mode.
CONS: No structured course to learn Chinese and being the World Wide Web you’ll meet all the crazy people on the internet before you you find the right language learning partner for you.
iTalki is another tutor-student marketplace.
This is a language learning website (and app) that allows you to book 1-on-1 lessons with tutors and use their secure bookings and payment system to do so.
iTalki offers you options of qualified and non-qualified teachers so you can get the right mix of price and quality when finding a language instructor.
PROS: italki is one of the bigger and more established platforms to book 1-on-1 teachers for languages meaning there are more teachers to choose from.
CONS: Hidden Fees! Our pet hate! Prices are not presented to you upfront until you get to the checkout.
Only 1-on-1 tutoring available in most instances.
MandarinX is a website to learn Chinese with qualified mandarin teachers.
They offer courses you can go through such as the HSK, Business Chinese and Chinese Essentials.
PROS: Qualified teachers to ensure a high standard of Mandarin lessons.
CONS: MandarinX subscriptions are quite expensive, probably due to only offering 1-on-1 lessons with their teachers.
Preply is a language learning marketplace to meet tutors from all over the world.
Preply is a reputable company with secure payments and bookings when learning with tutors on the platform.
PROS: Good search filters to find the right teacher for you.
CONS: Anyone can join and start tutoring so there might be some trial and error finding the right tutor for you.
Only 1-on-1 lessons available, can be expensive with this style of online learning.
Superprof is (you guessed it) a private tutor directory to find mentors in skills you want to learn.
Superprof allows you to book 1-on-1 lessons with tutors from all over the world.
PROS: Secure payments and a simple booking system.
CONS: If you’re just looking for a website to learn Chinese Superprof won’t offer the same variety of teachers as other websites dedicated to just learning languages or Chinese.
Only 1-on-1 lessons available.
Tandem is a language exchange app and website to learn Chinese
Users are able to meet fellow language learners and help one and other learn their desired language.
Recently Tandem has bridged into the world of paid tutors.
PROS: Nicely designed app and website to learn Chinese.
CONS: Tandem can get overwhelming with incoming messages making it a bit of a draining experience talking to so many people.
No structured course, it’s like Tinder, but with langauge learning.
Verbling is an online platform to find 1-on-1 tutors for languages.
Verbling is hard to compare and contrast with many of the other websites we’ve mentioned above talking about marketplaces to find tutors.
It is a popular website making it easy to find 1-on-1 Chinese tutors.
PROS: A trusted brand with an easy search and bookings system for language tutors.
CONS: Verbling has similar downfalls to other online marketplaces for online tutors. Quality control of allowing anyone onto the platform to teach. High prices for the 1-on-1 lessons.
Online Chinese Courses
Moving onto the next section on our list of websites to learn Mandarin we have (drum roll please) Online Chinese courses.
These are websites with pre-recorded videos and learning materials that cover lessons like basic Chinese, survival mandarin and even more advanced lessons like business Chinese.
Each of these sites has similar product offerings. You pay and are given access to their streaming video platform with their pre-recorded lessons.
These can be great as a learning resource HOWEVER they will always have the downside of not providing you with instant feedback to know if your tones and pronunciation is on the right track.
With that said if you’re after a pre-recorded online Chinese course, here are your best options:
Chinese For Us
Lessons offered include structured basics to HSK 2, skills such as tones, pinyin or writing characters.
Chinese For Us quizzes to help them stand apart from other pre-recorded Chinese courses.
Coursera is a website with pre-recorded lessons on almost everything! That, of course included Chinese lessons.
Every class on Coursera has quite a high quality so you are guaranteed a certain level of quality. Each course is purchased individually (no subscriptions).
FluentU is a language learning streaming platform with a pleasant design and interactive video features.
You can access their mandarin courses online and via their mobile app.
Mandarin Blueprint is an online course for, you guessed it, Mandarin.
They have videos and Anki Flashcards to help you with your Chinese journey.
Great for taking beginner level students.
Pimsleur is a method of language learning developed by Dr. Paul Pimsleur.
Now his methods of Language learning are available online.
The Pimsleur method focuses heavily on speaking and listening with their course comprising mostly of audio files.
SkillShare is a subscription-based video platform. Its search functionality is similar to YouTube but rather than videos you’ll find full courses.
Usually, the better courses are upvoted so a simple ‘Chinese Mandarin’ search will show you some of the better courses uploaded.
Udemy is an online course provider aimed at professional adults and students.
The courses are of high quality and you’ll be able to find comprehensive courses for the level of Chinese you’re at.
Yabla is a computer-assister learning Learning website to learn Chinese.
Yabla has video and audio files combined with vocabulary drills, quizzes and flashcards.
With Yabla you’ll be able to watch videos with clear breakdowns of the Chinese characters, pinyin and English translations.
Zero to Hero
Zero to Hero are pre-recorded Chinese classes based on the HSK exam.
With each HSK course you’ll get access to videos, audio files, quizzes and more.
Zero to Hero was developed by Jon and Ken – two friends from China,
Software to Learn Chinese
Fluenz is a software to learn Chinese that you can download to your Mac or Windows.
Fluenz uses a combination of videos and sentence animations to help illustrate the sentence structure. There are also fill-in-the-blank games to help improve your vocabulary.
PROS: A great survival Chinese course with practical applications to speaking Chinese out and about.
CONS: Pinyin only! As it’s a survival speaking course there are no characters being taught.
Anki is not a Mandarin specific learning tool but rather a DIY online flashcard tool.
With this software to learn Chinese, you can make your own notes OR download the flashcards of others.
See our FULL review of Anki.
PROS: Anki is the grandfather of online flashcard programs, developed in 2006! For this reason, it’s perhaps the most tried and tested program giving you a free powerful tool to learn anything you like.
CONS: There is a bit of a steep learning curve to Anki. You’ll probably need to watch a few YouTube tutorials to fully appreciate all the features. The desktop version is free, but to also use it on your phone, and synchronise your flashcards, there is a bit of a hefty one-time payment of $25.
After you download Anki, here are some pre-made Mandarin decks to upload.
Our final website to learn Chinese needs no introduction! It’s the much-beloved music and podcasting software, Spotify!
You might not know it but this FREE program is packed full of podcasts to learn Chinese AND Chinese music to help get your ears accustomed to Mandarin.
Here’s a link to LTL Mandarin School’s Spotify with our top recommended Chinese playlists.
There we have it – a huge list of 46 websites to learn Chinese. Which is your favourite?
Websites to Learn Chinese – FAQ
What is the best website to learn Chinese?
Flexi Classes is the greatest website you’ll find to learn Chinese.
With very affordable small group classes, you can follow a structured course from beginner to advanced using their world-first 24-hour live virtual classroom bookings system.
Can I learn Chinese online?
Yes, of course!
There are some setbacks to learning Chinese online such as not having an immersive experience.
However, with a level of dedication and online tutoring, it is possible to learn Chinese online.
Where can I learn Chinese for free?
Can I learn Chinese by myself?
The truth be told, learning Chinese by yourself is incredibly difficult.
Without instant feedback for your mistakes when talking your brain will have a hard time to self-correct.
There are several apps and websites to learn Chinese but that will only help you to a certain level before you will need someone who can speak Chinese to interact with you and develop you speaking abilities.
Enjoy this list of Websites to learn Chinese?
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