- Covers difficulties, learning resources, vocabulary, grammar, culture and lots more. Very useful.
Wikipedia Standard Mandarin
- An article about the official language of China, the phonology, dialects, the role of Mandarin in China etc.
Wikipedia Mandarin (linguistics)
- An article about the history of Mandarin, dialects, phonology, vocabulary, writing system, literature etc.
How Hard is it to Learn Chinese? from the BBC
- Nice article covering the basics of the language and foreigners learning Chinese.
How Hard is Chinese?
- A concise article on the difficult and easy aspects of Mandarin Chinese.
Why Chinese is so Damn Hard by David Moser, 1991
- A lengthy article detailing difficulties of Mandarin Chinese. Don't let it discourage you though. Read some reactions to the article here.
Journey Across the Great Hump of China: Debunking the Myth that Chinese is the World's Hardest Language by Ben Ross, 2009
- Nice detailed essay about the hard parts and the easy parts of learning Chinese, and why it is perceived as difficult.
...So, you want to learn Chinese? by Brendan O'Kane, 2003
- Snappy article summarising what new learners will face when they decide to start learning Mandarin Chinese.
Mandarin vs Cantonese
- A useful article examining which is more difficult, Mandarin or Cantonese.
Learning Curves: Chinese vs Japanese by John Pasden, 2008
- Short article with diagrams comparing difficulties in learning Chinese and Japanese.
- Information on the Chinese writing system and its history.
Omniglot Mandarin Chinese
- Information on spoken Mandarin Chinese, the various romanizations used to write it and links.
About Chinese by Pisith Phlong
- Information about the history of Chinese, comparisons with other languages, dialects, script etc.
UCLA Mandarin profile
- Article with diagram on the history, dialects, script, grammar and role in society of Mandarin.
Some advice for beginners by wushijiao
- A nice essay covering learning techniques, resources and attitude for people setting out learning Mandarin.
The Chinese Language(s)
- A basic overview on the languages of China, the writing system, Chinese outside of China, the current language situation etc.
- Overview of the language, politeness, pronunciation & grammar.
Courses Beginners/Basic +
Rutger's Multi-Media Chinese Teaching
- A 4 level chinese course with dialogues, audio, grammar and vocabulary notes and exercises. Looks really good.
- A multimedia course for teenagers with study, practice, apply and games sections. Can be a bit fiddly to use online but lessons from the instructor's manual are available to download.
Multimedia Chinese Language
- 22 video lessons with exercises on listening & speaking, grammar and characters.
BBC Real Chinese
- A video course teaching the very basics of Mandarin with online activities and notes.
FSI Standard Chinese: A Modular Approach
- A large, thorough course with loads of lessons and audio designed to bring you to a competent speaking level. The pronunciation module in particular is fantastic.
Chinese I, Chinese II, Chinese III, Chinese IV from Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- This downloadable university course includes a downloadable textbook, study materials, audio, tests and more. Covers beginning to intermediate levels and looks like a useful resource.
Integrated Chinese, Pinyin supplements, audio, general supplements, Level I supplements, Level II supplements, multimedia exercises, vocabulary trainer
- A huge university course with lots of extra material and support. Looks like a great resource. Alternative link: lessons 1-11 and 12-23.
- An online Chinese community with a 30 day multimedia course and lots of opportunities to practise your Mandarin with native speakers.
L-Lingo Mandarin Available in English, French, German & Spanish
- Interactive course with 40 lessons using pictures, audio and exercises to teach Mandarin phrases and vocabulary.
- Teaches entirely in Mandarin Chinese through audio & pictures. Lots of lessons & activities and an active community.
TUFS Language Modules Only available in Japanese
- Huge course teaching Mandarin Chinese through video & audio; with pronunciation, dialogue, grammar & vocab sections. A Moodle version is available here.
Peace Corps Mandarin
- Introduces basic words and phrases with audio and grammar explanations.
Chinese Tools Available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Polish
- Lessons with dialogues, grammar, exercises and audio in pinyin and characters. Also some character lessons, vocabulary lists and lots more information on Chinese.
Conversational Mandarin Chinese Online
- An online textbook with audio teaching the basics of Mandarin Chinese.
- An interactive site with lessons for different levels with audio, video, exercises etc and a thriving online community. Also has loads of supplementary material.
- Video lessons on Chinese pronunciation, beginner's lessons, intermediate lessons, business Chinese etc. Free registration required.
Hanyu Available in English, Korean & Japanese
- Lots of different courses and learning materials available. Free registration required.
Read Chinese! from the University of Maryland
- Simplified & traditional reading lessons for novice-low & novice-mid levels with audio and loads of activities.
Reading in Chinese from the University of Iowa
- 900 lessons from beginning to advanced level, with texts in simplified or traditional characters and a variety of exercises.
ALC 中国語学習 Only available in Japanese
- Several courses available, including beginner's guide, vocabulary course, learning Chinese through movies etc.
Courses Intermediate +/Sustainment
Defense Language Institute Chinese
- An online advanced course aimed at improving your listening, reading and grammar skills in Chinese.
GLOSS Chinese by the Defense Language Institute
- Improve your Chinese with lessons on listening and reading comprehension. Beginning to advanced-intermediate level.
Weekly Training Events by the Defense Language Institute
- Improve your Chinese with listening & reading lessons from authentic material. Intermediate and beyond level.
Yale Chinese 130
- An online intermediate Chinese course from Yale university with textbooks, flashcards, tests and lots of supplementary materials.
- Loads of useful beginners and advanced tests. Great for brushing up on your Mandarin.
The Chinese Reading World from the University of Virginia
- Lots of reading material for beginning and intermediate students with audio. Looks really useful.
Yellow Bridge Chinese Language Centre
- Lots of useful materials; vocabulary lists, dictionaries, an etymological character dictionary, a memory game, flashcards etc.
- An interactive course for learning Chinese vocabulary (traditional & simplified), lots of tests, looks nice.
- An interesting website where you improve your Mandarin through attempting translations of video, audio, text etc or from viewing completed projects.
- Lessons on vocab, phrases, grammar, chinese characters etc with video and audio. A nice site for filling in gaps in your knowledge.
- Short and concise lessons on grammar, vocabulary, everyday topics etc.
Language Guide Mandarin Chinese
- Lots of vocabulary with pictures and audio.
- Lessons on grammar, characters, pronunciation, lessons for children etc.
Learning Chinese Online (alternative)
- Lots and lots of helpful links for learners of Mandarin Chinese.
- A newly launched massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that immerses you in Chinese. A bit slow but looks promising.
- A really interesting website with articles on learning Mandarin, tone learning materials, study material reviews.
Field Support Online
- Mandarin language guides/phrasebooks with audio available to download. Some modules specific to the military.
The Chinese Pear Stories
- Audio stories in seven Chinese languages, including Mandarin. 20 different versions are available in Mandarin, with hanzi and Pinyin transcripts. Useful for hearing authentic speech.
- Progressive lessons that aim to increase your vocabulary, with audio and example sentences.
- Vocabulary lessons with example sentences and audio. Best used alongside other courses.
- Lessons focused on grammatical words and sentence patterns, with audio and examples.
Internet Polyglot Chinese Available in En, Es, Fr, De, Ja, It, Nl, Ru, Pt, El, Ar, He, Ln, Hi, Pl, Ro, Tr & Uk
- Interactive vocabulary learning with loads of different wordlist and games. Includes audio and pictures.
Chinese Through Songs
- 3 popular songs with audio, video, lyrics in characters & pinyin and exercises.
Learn Chinese from CRIEnglish
- 50+ audio lessons with transcripts for learning situational language.
- Text lessons teaching everyday Chinese beginners, with basic grammar, phrases useful for everyday life, dialogues and vocabulary lists.
- Online flashcard quizzes which test the reading of Chinese words through typing, and pronunciation practice using a microphone. Also has an online dictionary.
Hanzi and Romanization
- Information on the rules of writing Pinyin, other romanization schemes, news articles on Chinese etc.
Learn to Read and Write Chinese Characters
- Interesting videos giving an introduction to hanzi.
- A great website that gives etymologies and mnemonics for many, many characters. Very helpful website for learning hanzi.
Mandarin Tools Flashcards
- Online flashcard game for testing your knowledge of the 1,000 most common characters.
An Introduction to Chinese Characters
- Gives basic information on stroke order and writing Chinese characters.
Chinese Character Test
- A fun flash-based game that tests your knowledge of hanzi and then gives an estimate of how many you know. Also includes a text & audio library, pinyin annotating tool, flashcards and more.
The 1,000 Most Common Characters
- Blog that introduces hanzi with the pinyin and compound words, as well as weekly quizzes.
- Interactive exercises on Chinese characters & reading.
DLI Chinese-Mandarin Basic Course Vol I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, Glossary Chi-En, Reference Materials, Dialogues for Airport Facilities
- Another very thorough course similar to FSI Chinese. Sadly no audio is available right now but students who already know some Mandarin may find it useful.
DLI Chinese-Mandarin Advanced Course Newspaper & Periodicals Reader by D. L. Lipsett & J. S. Poelman, 1972
DLI Chinese-Mandarin Advanced Course Glossary for Newspaper & Periodicals Reader by D. L. Lipsett & J. S. Poelman, 1972
Mandarin - English XL: lessons 1-13 & 14-25
- Downloadable textbook available in pdf format. 1st 25 lessons are free; audio and more lessons are to pay for.
Day Day Up Chinese!
- 2 elementary Mandarin textbooks equivalent to one year of study at a Chinese university. Uses pinyin and hanzi. In progress, no audio yet.
More Mandarin e-books are available in the Language e-books page.
Mandarin Chinese lessons with Serge Melnyk
- Learn Mandarin Chinese with theme-based, progressive and easy to follow lessons.
CSLPod (Chinese as a Second Language)
- Elementary, intermediate & advanced podcasts with free multimedia supplements introducing new words, grammar etc.
Chinese Learn Online
- Progressive course with 7 ability levels, loads of lessons and dialogue & vocabulary notes.
- New podcast with several ability levels, as well as special podcasts on films, Chinese music and the HSK exams.
World Learner Chinese
- Basic, intermediate, upper-intermediate, vocabulary and survival lessons available.
- Teaches from dialogues which are broken into vocabulary and grammar points. Beginner and advanced lessons so far.
Chinesisch für Anfänger Only available in German
- 70 progressive lessons with online scripts & vocab lists; teaching basic Mandarin and Chinese culture. 普通話一分鐘 Only available in Cantonese
- Quick 1 minute lessons on Mandarin words and phrases.
5分で中国語 Only available in Japanese
- 5 minute lessons on practical Mandarin phrases for travellers, with transcripts available.
- Mandarin only lessons for intermediate students with free pdf materials.
- Lots of lessons available at the newbie level. Other levels are available on subscription.
One Minute Mandarin
- Learn the very basics of Mandarin in 1 minute lessons.
Survival phrases Chinese
- 10 lessons and PDF guides available free, 50 more to pay for.
- A huge forum for Chinese culture and language.
- Discuss the languages of China and learning them.
- Another big forum for all aspects of learning Chinese, the ChinesePod podcasts, grammar, pinyin, characters, etc.
- An active blog with lots of useful advice on learning Mandarin Chinese.
- A nice blog from an experienced language learner with interesting posts on resources and advice for Chinese.
- An informative blog for Chinese students with proverbs, songs, vocab, advice and more.
- Tips and strategies for studying Chinese.
Life in Chinese
- Chinese words, phrases, and idioms by theme. Just started so not many posts yet.
Transparent: Chinese blog
- Very regular postings on Chinese culture, vocabulary, pronunciation, politics, videos, business, news etc.
- Posts on new vocabulary & phrases and buzzwords in Mandarin.
- Recorded natural Mandarin conversations with transcripts in Pinyin & characters, translation and in-depth explanations.
- Blog by a beginning learner of Mandarin, with posts on their progress, tips and articles about the language.
- A Firefox add-on pop-up dictionary for Chinese. Very useful for browsing sites in Chinese.
Chinese Dictionary from Yes Chinese
- English to Mandarin Chinese dictionary, alphabetically arranged and searchable. Uses simplified and traditional hanzi.
- A tool for writing Pinyin on a Windows computer.
Fast Track Chinese
- SRS vocabulary trainer which teaches the most common words through various exercises such as audio and sentence quizzes. Each word has example sentences and related words. The first 100 words are free and the rest are subscription based.