5 Best Chinese Learning Resources
Want to learn the Chinese language? Here are the five best resources available to help you in your endeavour:
One of the best textbooks for learning Chinese is the integrated Chinese series. The complete set of books is very well written. The integrated Chinese series is the easiest to understand, best laid out and most straightforward in terms of writing style. That definitely deserves a place in your bookshelf, whether or not you want your textbook in traditional characters or simplified characters. However, the integrated Chinese books do only go through to level 2 part 2; once you are done with that one, it is recommended to start reading study Books from Princeton Language.
Its sequencing layout is a bit different from the integrated Chinese books as it is intended for grown-ups instead. The content is more bare-bones in nature but it is useful in making it easy to understand and less overwhelming for the reader. An added benefit is that it actually has both traditional and simplified characters in the same book so you can study both.
2. Online resources:
For going online, we recommend you to switch all of your websites over to Chinese. Yes! all of them! Facebook, YouTube, Instagram etc. Also, join communities and comment sections on websites such as Youku, a Chinese video hosting site which functions similarly to Youtube. This allows you to connect with native speakers and learn what is current. One great addition to your Chinese language resources would be to download the free versions of English-Chinese dictionary. Zhongwen is a good example of one. When you hover your mouse cursor over a word, it gives you the definition as well as the pronunciation in traditional and pinyin characters.
3. Apps and Websites:
Some of the best and most useful apps for learning the Chinese language are Decipher Chinese, Memrise, LearnWithOliver, and Pleco. Pleco is the most basic Chinese dictionary app that every Chinese language learner should use, no matter what their level is. It has literally everything you would want in a dictionary e.g. audio, visual functionality, flashcards etc. Some of the features you do have to pay for but that actually is worthwhile. Decipher Chinese is another wonderful application and it is unlike anything else. The app contains news articles in the Chinese language; if you don’t understand the meaning of any words mentioned in the news articles, you can add it to the deck of your flashcards. You can also review the HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi aka Chinese Proficiency Test) ranking of each article with respect to its difficulty level. Similarly, another app called Memrise can help you in building your vocabulary and acts as a great resource to learn proper pronunciation of the Chinese language.
4. Newspapers and Journals
If you are not living in China, it might be difficult to fully immerse yourself in the language, but you can still try to do so as much as possible. You need exposure to Mandarin every single day, so wake up and before you get out of bed, read a light news article in Chinese. You can do so from your phone as you commute to work or school.
5. Movies and dramas:
To get a good grasp of the language and Chinese culture, you should watch their movies and dramas. Start by watching with subtitles first and when you become more proficient in the language, try to watch and understand the spoken words without subtitles.