12 of the Best Resources to Learn Chinese | Our Complete List

Your Go-To Guide for Learning Chinese 🎖 12 Great Resources You Need to Use

What are the Best Resources to Learn Chinese in 2021?

Fear not, we have everything you need here.

We are lucky enough to have access to more resources than ever before and it’s all at our fingertips.

However, with that it means you have a pool of resources and you don’t know where to start.

What’s good, what’s not – what will propel you to heights you could only dream of, and what’s just a complete waste of time?

It’s your lucky day, because we’ve tried and tested pretty much everything out there and have compiled a complete list… so

Here are the best resources to learn Chinese right now! Don’t worry if your starting Chinese from zero, all the resources listed below can be catered to your own individual need.

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – YouTube

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – Instagram

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – (Great) Blogs

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – TV

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – Podcasts

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – 1-on-1 Online Classes

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – Vocabulary Cards

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – Apps

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – Music

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – Books

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – Our FREE e-book

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – Join Our Newsletter

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – YouTube

The best things in life are free…

Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson weren’t lying. YouTube has everything under the sun when it comes to learning, well anything!

  • How to make the perfect pancakes?
  • How to tie your shoelaces like a pro?
  • How to read from 1-20 in Chinese?

It’s got it all (by the way, that 3rd suggestion… yeah we got that!

Of course we’ve jumped on the YouTube bandwagon.

FUN FACT – After Google, YouTube is the world’s BIGGEST SEARCH ENGINE!

There’s so many great channels to learn languages in truth. Some more conventional, and others less so, which is great because it allows you to find exactly what YOU like.

Sure we can force our channel on you, but it isn’t for everyone! Whatever you style, or preference, there’s probably a channel for you and best of all… it’s FREE!

Anyway, back to the shameless plug’s again, here’s another couple you might like – if you do/did, then be a doll and subscribe to us because there’s plenty more where that came from!

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – Instagram

Where YouTube is great for free video content, Instagram is likewise for excellent imagery (although in truth video is becoming much more prevalent on IG these days also).

The same as above applies here really – there are a load of excellent profiles for learning Chinese from:

It’s not all about doing the boring stuff like rote memory and learning Chinese grammar – it should, and can be fun to learn as well.

Obviously again, we have to plug our own channel, but why? Aren’t we like everyone else?

NO WE ARE NOT – and I’m offended you think so!

Who else teaches you these words on their account for crying out loud…

Most of us have YouTube and Instagram but don’t utilise to them fully when it comes to learning a language, time to change that once and for all!

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – (Great) Blogs

Best Resources to Learn Chinese
We teach you what others do not

So for all the excellent media out there on every social channel imaginable, it’s easy to forget about a good “old-fashioned” blog post.

The problem is though, the internet is swamped with, quite literally, millions, heck, billions of blogs.

How on earth are you supposed to find the best blogs to learn Chinese?

Well, I’m going to stop you right there – because you’ve already found it.

Now, I’ve already shamelessly plugged our YouTube and Instagram, knowing perfectly well that we are far from the finished article with either. Facts are facts, it hurts (we’re getting there)!

HOWEVER – when it comes to writing content… we ARE the best and we’ve got no doubts about that.

Don’t believe us?

We even wrote an article on buying Deodorant in China… I mean WTF, who does that? We do, that’s who!

Now of course, there are some other amazing blogs out there, which we also love, but anything China related… Come to us, we do it best!

Just How Large is China Really 😲 Size Matters Thumbnail

Just How Large is China Really 😲 Size Matters

How Big is China? 🐲 Size Matters – China is huge. We have some incredible facts just to prove how large China really is, 48 facts to be precise!

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – TV

You mean I can sit on my lazy arse and learn Chinese simply by watching TV?

Yes, that’s exactly what we are saying (you aren’t lazy though, that was just us being cheeky).

Going back to our (great) blogs, here’s a few to get you kick-started:

5 Top Tips: Watch TV and Learn Chinese (2020-2021) Thumbnail

5 Top Tips: Watch TV and Learn Chinese (2020-2021)

Discover 5 Top Tips to help you Learn Chinese with TV Shows by making flashcards, Chinese subtitles and linking your learning level to the right show.

Netflix

Netflix has become a fantastic tool to learn Chinese because there is so much to watch there.

“But Max, how can I learn Chinese whilst not understanding a sodding thing?”

Well, my friend, let us introduce you to LLN Language Learning with Netflix.

A stroke of genius this is. LLN is a Google Chrome Plug In that allows you to watch Netflix with TWO language subtitles, instead of one…

… meaning me, an English native can watch in English and read Italian and Chinese. Or watch in Chinese and read in Italian and English.

Quite simply it’s a game changer and one you MUST take advantage of.

Best Resources to Learn Chinese - Language Learning with Netflix
Best Resources to Learn Chinese – Language Learning with Netflix

Even without LLN, Netflix is still a brilliant way to improve your skills in any language.

Happy Netflix and Chilling.

Don’t forget…

You can also watch Chinese TV on other platforms such as Youtube, Rakuten ViKi & Asian Crush!

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – Podcasts

“I don’t have time to just sit around and watch Netflix all day Max, I need a solution for a busy-body like me, always on the go.”

OK then…

If you don’t have the time or simply cannot stand sitting watching TV then the solution is listening to podcasts.

Podcasts are becoming/have become BIG (yea we’ve jumped on that bandwagon too).

Every man and his dog wants a piece, which again is great news for you, the language learner!

Once again, OF COURSE, we’ve saved you hours of trial and error by producing a list of the best Chinese podcasts right now.

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – 1-on-1 Online Classes

Learn Chinese Online

There is no substitute for improving your Chinese than your own Mandarin tutor.

The reason we say individual is because this truly gives you the power to study WHAT YOU WANT.

Group classes are great, especially when they are free (see below), but with these your hands will always be tied to what the curriculum says.

Study 1-on-1, and that goes away.

Want to study Manga and Comics in Chinese, fine! Keen football player, want to discuss sports lingo in Chinese, fine!

Individual classes with anything, puts the power in your hands so…

Check out our free Chinese group classes which are live on Facebook every week

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – Vocabulary Cards

Criminally underrated in my opinion.

Vocab cards for any language are essential.

Quite simply, when you learn a language you are expanding your memory, you need to fit it in that noggin’ of yours.

Vocab cards are an old school, but genuine way to help you do this.

Unless your surname is Einstein, you won’t be remembering every word after reading it just once (really though, even Einstein probably used vocab cards for crying out loud)!

Now the key here is to make them engaging. Make your own and design them how YOU want, or find a set online you like.

Do we make vocab cards? What do you think!

Again, we try to make them as engaging and as “sharable” as possible. They need to be easy on the eye, not too hectic and help trigger your memory one way or another.

Here’s some of our favourites we’ve made, but in truth, our Pinterest channel is the place to go for all of these, so do the right thing, and drop us a subscribe.

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – Apps

Probably surprised we hadn’t mentioned these yet right?

We’re a sucker for a great app, so much so we’ve reviewed pretty much every single Chinese learning app on the market!

Hack Chinese Review
Check out our Hack Chinese Review

We do that for you by the way! I’m sure it’s appreciated…

Anyway, as we’ve written about all these apps (in great depth by the way), it makes sense for us to direct you to them rather than repeat ourselves here.

Some of our favourite Chinese apps include:

There’s an app for everything, reading Chinese, writing Chinese, listening to Chinese… it’s just finding which works for you. I’m so all those app reviews will help!

TOP TIP 🏆 – build a portfolio of apps so you don’t get sick of one. Have one for reading, one for watching videos perhaps, one for speaking and so forth.

How to Learn Chinese Free? Is it Even Possible? Thumbnail

How to Learn Chinese Free? Is it Even Possible?

Learn a Language Free? Can I Do This? How to learn Chinese free, is it even possible? You’d be surprised! With the amount of resources out there nowadays, you can absolutely learn Chinese free but you will always have your…

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – Music

“Learning languages is a doddle, I just sit, watch TV, listen to music and enjoy movies?”

Well yes, I guess you can…

… but you actually have to LEARN as you are doing these things! It doesn’t just stick into your noggin’ just like that!

It certainly takes the formal aspect away and makes it fun though. I mean listening to music and learning? Dream combo for most of us right!

That doesn’t mean you have to have a favourite Chinese band. You can learn the lyrics to your favourite Oasis or Rihanna song in Chinese if you wish… it does exist! (see YouTube again)

That being said, as we are learning Chinese we should learn about the culture too so discovering a few Chinese songs might be good right…

… but where can I find a blog with the best Chinese songs… 🤔

As if you doubted us!

🥇 here’s the best Chinese songs of all time, but for a sneak preview this one below is quite possibly THE most famous of all time in China.

A number of our teachers enjoy teaching students this song, and they love it!

The song is fairly slow and has some useful, yet fairly basic lyrics which makes it super popular with foreigners.

On the flip side you’ve got this… 小苹果 (Little Apple in English). Fast forward to 2 minutes for the “catchy” chorus.

A karaoke classic in China, well Asia actually. Less said about this one the better!

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – Books

Books are a great way to learn Chinese as it can not only improve your fluency but also improve your reading speed! – an important skill to master for those HSK exams!

Here are some suggestions of great learning books that are tailored made to your Chinese level:

  • Graded Chinese Reader (500 to 3000 words)
  • Chinese Breeze (Level 1 to 4)
  • Reading China (Level 1 to 5)

These books are available to buy on Amazon or in local Chinese bookstores.

My personal favorite is the Chinese Breeze series as there are mini quizzes at the back to test how much you really understand!

Some books also have pinyin – but try to challenge yourself. In most books there is a vocabulary list to help you read along.

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – Our FREE e-book

What better way to learn Chinese than from those who’ve been there and done it?

Learning from other people’s mistakes is a great method when doing anything.

As ever, we’ve got you covered. We found 10 fluent non-native Chinese speakers and asked them for their tips on how to learn Chinese the most efficient and effective way possible.

Each have their own way to learn Chinese and the tips are invaluable for a beginner to Chinese.

HOW TO DOWNLOAD – Simple, visit our Chinese for Beginners page, drop us your email and the download will be sent straight to you.

16 Chinese Idiom Stories - Speak like a Native Thumbnail

16 Chinese Idiom Stories – Speak like a Native

16 of the Best Chinese Idioms – Our Favourites and the Stories behind them Learning Chinese idiom stories and proverbs is a brilliant way to get into higher level Chinese, and the great thing is, they aren’t that hard to…

And last, but certainly not least…

Best Resources to Learn Chinese – Join Our Newsletter

Want a place where you can get ALL of the above in one handy, weekly email?

Then our beautiful (it really is) newsletter is essential.

Without bragging (I know we’ve done enough of that already) too much, our newsletter is one of the things we get the best comments on (pains me to write that because my Marketing colleague Campbell is the architect behind it).

So, if there’s one thing you do today… it’s to sign up below.

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Best Resources to Learn Chinese – FAQ’s

Can I watch Netflix with two sets of subtitles?

Yes you can, using the Language Learning for Netflix tool.

What are the best Chinese TV Shows to learn Chinese?

There are some really good Chinese TV shows to learn Chinese with. Some of these include:

All is Well

Empresses in the Palace

Half and Half

Idol Producer

Meteor Garden

Can I learn Chinese on Instagram?

Again, the answer is a resounding yes.

Where YouTube is great for free video content Instagram is likewise for excellent imagery (although in truth video is becoming much more prevalent on IG these days also).

What are the best Chinese Movies to learn Chinese

There are hundreds and it all depends on your preference of genre but here are some of the best Chinese movies to learn Chinese with:

Hidden Man

Farewell My Concubine

Wolf Warrior

Suzhou River

Adoring

The Farewell

Can I learn Chinese on YouTube?

Absolutely. There’s so many great channels to learn languages in truth. Some more conventional, and others less so, which is great because it allows you to find exactly what YOU like.

Can I learn Chinese listening to music?

You can indeed, there are some great Chinese songs out there to practice your Mandarin.

Want more from LTL?

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We give plenty of handy information on learning Chineseuseful apps to learn the language and everything going on at our LTL schools!

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  • LTL Avatar Irene Magnosi
    Irene Magnosi , Student Advisor

    Welcome to LTL Mandarin School!

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