7 Exceptional Chinese Language Learning Courses for Beginners

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Learning chinese for beginners

Learning Chinese for Beginners can be incredibly beneficial. Having a grasp of the language can help in career advancement,  studying in China, and even travelling. There are plenty of Chinese language courses available online. These courses can help a beginner learn Mandarin from scratch, and provide practice materials to improve pronunciation skills. Most of these courses are self-paced and come with a certification. However, before enrolling in a course it is important to be aware of the duration of the course, prices, and other details. For this reason, we have provided a list of the 7 exceptional Chinese language learning courses for beginners, and tips for learning the language.

Best Resources for Learning Chinese for Beginners Value 
Mandarin Chinese Language Course: Henry Harvin Best to master all Mandarin levels
Chinese language for beginners: Mandarin Chinese HSK1-HSK3: UdemyBest certification courses at a reasonable price
Chinese for beginners by Perking University: Coursera Certification from Perking University 
Chinese Language Courses by Story LearningLearn with the help of stories 
Mandarin Essentials for BeginnersBest introductory courses 
Duolingo Chinese Best gamification app
Train ChineseBest Chinese dictionary app

5 Basics of Learning Chinese for Beginners

Before learning the Chinese language it is important to be aware of the basics. For example., the Chinese language has no cases, genders, and tenses! Here are some of the few things that every learner must be aware of:

  1. Simplified vs  Traditional Chinese Characters: Simplified Chinese refers to the Chinese script introduced in 1954. It is the standardized form of Chinese mainly used in Mainland China, Malaysia, and Singapore. The form was introduced to make everyone literate. On the other hand, the traditional Chinese is the Chinese before the language was standardized. It is still used in Macau, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
  2. Pinyin: It refers to the Phonetic system used as a pronunciation guide to understand Chinese characters. It was introduced at the same time when the government simplified the language.
  3. Chinese Tones: It is used to identify the meaning of words. 
  4. Chinese Stroke Order:  The Hanzi or the Chinese characters can look difficult to write. However, three is a proper order to write them, It was the Chinese characters that resulted in the paintbrush. Hence, the strokes are similar to the Chinese calligraphy. 
  5. Daily Chinese Phrases- It is best to learn Chinese for beginners in phrases rather than learning individual words. The reason is, that it can be easy to learn the words in context.

7 Exceptional Chinese Language Learning Courses for Beginners

There are several Chinese courses available online. Out of them, we have curated a list of the 7 Exceptional Chinese Language Learning Courses for Beginners.

Note: some of these courses offer certification while others are meant simply for learning purposes.

Mandarin Chinese Language Course: Henry Harvin

Learning chinese for beginners
Credit:  Henry Harvin

Henry Harvin Mandarin Chinese Language Course is one of the best websites for learning Chinese for beginners. The course will help a student to master all Mandarin levels HSK1, HSK2, HSK3, HSK4, HSK5, HSK6. Moreover, it will prepare a student to ace the HSK examination. The trainers have 10+ years of working experience.

Level Beginner- advanced 
Duration NA
Certification Yes
Price NA (available on request at the website)

Website: https://www.henryharvin.com/PPC/mandarin-language-course?

Get to know the top courses by Peking University HSBC Business School in UK

Chinese language for beginners: Mandarin Chinese HSK1-HSK3: Udemy

Learning chinese for beginners
Credit: Udemy

Udemy’s Chinese language for beginners: Mandarin Chinese HSK1-HSK3 is another good website for learning Chinese for beginners. The course will help a learner learn the basics such as carrying on a conversation in Mandarin Chinese, reading Mandarin Chinese simplified characters, and understanding the different tones in the Chinese language, among others. The course. The course offers certification and a total of 76 downloadable resources are available.

Level Beginner 
Duration 25.5 hours on-demand video
Certification Yes
Price INR 389

Website: https://www.udemy.com/course/mandarinchinese/

Chinese for beginners by Perking University: Coursera

Learning chinese for beginners
Credit: Coursera 

Coursera is another great resource for learning Chinese for beginners. There are several Chinese courses available on Coursera. However, the  Chinese for Beginners courses by Perking University are the best suited for beginners. The university, (=17 in QS World University Rankings 2024) is offering a total of 5 courses with certification to develop the reading, writing, communication, and listening skills of the learner.

Level Beginner 
Duration Varies (depending on the course)
Certification Yes
Price Varies (depending on the course)

Website: https://www.coursera.org/search?query=chinese%20&

Chinese Language Courses by Story Learning

Learning chinese for beginners
Credit: Story Learning

Chinese language courses by Story Leaning is an excellent resource for learning Chinese for beginners. Story learning uses stories to help a person learn a new language. Hence, it is best for those wanting to learn without following the rules. Beginners can learn HSK course 1 followed by HSK course 2 to improve their language skills. There is a 100% free support line where learners can always get help

Level Beginner 
Duration NA
Certification No
Price Free trial for 7 days 

Website: https://storylearning.com/learn/chinese/chinese-courses

Studying in China does not have to be expensive. Check out the top Scholarships in China to know more.

Mandarin Essentials for Beginners

Learning chinese for beginners
Credit: EdX

Mandarin Essential for Beginners is one of the best courses offered by EdX. The course is divided into 2 parts and is best suited for learning Chinese for beginners. Students can learn Basic rules and concepts, and develop the basics necessary for Mandarin Chinese. It prepares learners for learning the language needed for business. Certification is available at the end of the course.

Level Beginner 
Duration 11 weeks (both)
Certification Yes
Price INR 28,349

Website: https://www.edx.org/certificates/professional-certificate/mandarinx-mandarin-essentials-for-beginners

Duolingo Chinese 

Learning chinese for beginners
Credit: Duolingo

Duolingo is a great free resource for learning Chinese for beginners. The app offers gamification features and personalized learning. The lessons are bite-sized and can keep a learner engaged. Learners can download the app at the Play Store, and start by spending 5 minutes regularly to learn. 

Level Beginner
Duration Self-paced 
Certification No
Price Free

Website: https://www.duolingo.com/course/zh/en/Learn-Chinese

Working in China can help an international student earn additional income. Check out the Detailed Guide to Part-Time Jobs in China to know more.

Train Chinese

Learning chinese for beginners
Credit: Train Chinese 

Train Chinese is a Chinese dictionary and flashcard app. The app has a free and paid version. The free version has the dictionary with example sentences and audio recordings of the same. The audio version is good enough to rely on. In the paid version, it is possible to add words to flashcards and organize them into lists. The lists will remain even after the subscription has been cancelled.

Level Beginner 
Duration Self-paced 
Certification No
Price Free and paid (amount NA)

Website: https://www.trainchinese.com/v2/index.php

5 Best Ways to Learn Mandarin 

Here are some of the best ways to learn Mandarin Chinese language. Learning Chinese for beginners can become easy by following these tips: 

  1. First, Master the basics by practising the four Mandarin tones, and Mandarin sounds, and memorizing simple vocabulary. 
  2. Next, learn how to count in Mandarin and some basic conversational phrases 
  3. Thirdly, focus on learning the basics by studying the basic grammar, familiarizing yourself with Pinyin to improve pronunciation skills, and practising reading and writing Chinese characters
  4. Fourthly, immerse yourself in the language. This can be done by practising the language by speaking to a native speaker, taking Mandarin online language classes,  and by watching and listening to Chinese content like movies, podcasts, etc.
  5. Lastly, be patient and remember that learning the language can take time. Do visit China whenever possible as traveling can also help in learning a new language. 

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How do I start learning Chinese by myself?

To learn Chinese start by learning the pinyin, focusing on pronunciation, practicing the Chinese tones, start learning characters and character components early. Use visualization and mnemonics to improve the language. It can be beneficial to enrol in an online course as all study materials will be available.

How to learn Chinese for beginners?

Beginners can learn Chinese by enrolling in an online/offline course, and then using the study materials to start learning the language. It is also important to watch and listen to Chinese content,  and practice grammar as it can greatly help a learner.

Is Chinese hard to learn?

Yes. Chinese is one of the most difficult languages in the world. The reason is, the language has a unique structure and pronunciation system. It is totally different from English. Hence, it can be difficult to learn for non-native speakers.

Hope this blog provides you with all the important details, for more information about such courses, visit our online courses page.

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