Find online resources to help you learn and practise Mandarin Chinese.
Coursebook companion websites | 配课本的网站
These websites provide activities which link with course books/courses offered through Victoria University of Wellington.
For CHIN101 through to CHIN202, check your understanding of what you are learning in class with this series of in-house interactive exercises.
Language learning hubs | 在线学习中心
These websites offer a large variety of language learning materials across all skills and all levels of difficulty.
Swedish learner of Chinese, Olle Linge provides a huge amount of advice on learning Mandarin for beginners through to advanced learners. Also click on the 'Resources' tab to find the best materials to help you practice your chosen skill.
Confucius Institute Online
Provides a huge variety of multimedia study materials at all levels.
BBC Languages Real Chinese
Real Chinese is a free online course for complete beginners. It includes topics such as introducing yourself, directions, ordering a meal etc.
An online community of people with an interest in Chinese language and culture.
Free blog with MP3s that can help you learn about Chinese culture as well as new developments in contemporary China, listen to and have Chinese pop songs explained as well as find MP3s clarifying how to use tricky words or aspects of grammar.
The official English-language website of China Radio International, providing learning materials, including video dialogues with transcripts as well as explanations of aspects of Chinese culture.
Grammar | 语法
Chinese Grammar Wiki
A comprehensive, free resource for standard Chinese grammar, organized by part of speech and difficulty level, with clear, practical examples of usage.
Listening | 听力
These podcasts teach some interesting Chinese words and phrases and are useful for improving listening comprehension. There are 'street interviews', 'beginner tutorials' as well as 'Common Words From The 100 Most Common Chinese Characters'. You can search for more background material and transcripts on their website too.
In this YouTube channel an interviewer approaches people on the street and interviews them, asking them for information about themselves or their opinions on a certain subject. It shows the way native speakers talk in unprepared, everyday situations including colloquial language, filler words, speakers not completing their sentences etc. It is authentic and really gives you a feel for the country in which the speaker comes from. Almost all speakers speak Taiwanese Mandarin.
A YouTube channel with intermediate level conversations and a focus on HSK vocabulary.
Practise listening through free podcasts on a wide variety of subjects and at varying levels of difficulty.
This course of 22 lessons in simplified characters at elementary-intermediate level provides listening practice for students who have already learned Chinese for at least 3 months.
Happy Chinese (快乐汉语; kuàilè hànyŭ) is a language learning TV show produced by China Central Television (CCTV) targeted at advanced learners of the Chinese language.
Mandarin Chinese Listening Training
Listen to native speakers from across Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore as well as foreigners speaking Mandarin as a second language. This site specifies where each speaker is from and their age. A transcript provides a means to check comprehension. Note all text is in written in traditional characters and that one way of simplifying these is to paste them into this converter.
Regional variation is a huge issue when trying to understand native Chinese speakers. Using this website you can choose a speaker from a map of China and listen to a recording of their speaking (often with an accompanying transcript). Great for getting used to different accents. There are also recordings of Chinese dialects/languages other than Mandarin such as Cantonese, Hakka, Hokkien etc.
Like a Chinese version of YouTube.
Chinese Fairy Tales
Each fairy tale is narrated in Chinese and is between 5 and 15 minutes long in duration. A good listening resource for adults and children alike. The tales are will be more familiar to those from a European cultural background.
Speaking | 说话
Earworms Volume 1
200+ essential words and phrases that will get anchored into your long-term memory through music. Highly recommended for pronunciation and speaking practice. Volume 2 adds another 200+ words and phrases. These hyperlinks link to the accompanying PDFs. To borrow the audio CD(s) come and visit the LLC's Self-access Library.
Chinese Pronunciation Wiki
In our opinion the best online pinyin chart around. You can focus on a particular tone or do all four with each of the just over 400 possible syllables in Mandarin.
Reading | 阅读
Chinese Reading Practice
This collection can help you keep your skills fresh, practise recognising sentence structures, or pick up the occasional new word. From beginner to advanced levels.
This plugin is a must-have for reading online Chinese with Mozilla Firefox. Once installed, just hover your cursor over a character and see the pinyin and meaning pop up.
Xinhua's Bilingual Zone
These short articles are selected for learners of Chinese interested in current events. For those at an intermediate level and above.
Provides readers a glimpse into modern China and Chinese society by translating popular and trending Chinese internet content and netizen discussions from China’s largest and most influential websites, discussion forums, and social networks into English. You can also view the original Chinese.
Writing and vocabulary | 写作与词汇
(online tool) If you need to write pinyin (not characters using pinyin) you can do it using this website i.e. you could use it to write: Wǒ zhù zài xīnxīlán. You could then copy and paste this to where you need it.
(Windows or Mac OS add-on) If you want to type pinyin directly into a document or browser, you can download and install this 'add-on' freeware on your own computer. Instructions on installing and using this are available here.
Offers practice in writing characters. Get instant feedback, including stroke order. It is free to sign up and to use. Study 3000 simplified or traditional characters.
Practise character writing to find out their meaning and pinyin.
Roll your mouse over a picture and you will get the word in the spoken and written form (characters plus pinyin). Practise and expand your vocabulary with this great tool.
Dictionaries | 词典
Online dictionary with examples of usage.
Another excellent online Chinese dictionary for foreigners.
This is THE BEST dictionary for learners of Chinese. It is only available as an app though, if you want to use a dictionary on a computer use one of those listed above.
A dictionary designed for Chinese people using English, but also useful for non-native speakers of Chinese at advanced levels.