Wondering what the best Online Chinese Courses are? Here are the top courses you should consider taking to learn Mandarin in 2023.
How did I compile this list? I tested a number of online Mandarin courses, from expensive to free, and found these 4 to be the best ones available online.
I paid for each of these courses with my own money and do actually go through them!
Ultimately, I want to help save you time and money while also helping you figure out the best route for you to learn Mandarin Chinese. I studied Mandarin Chinese in college, went to an intensive Mandarin institute in Beijing, and even lived abroad as an English teacher in Guangzhou for a period of time. I’ve been exposed to many different styles of learning Mandarin Chinese, but my favorite of them all was actually learning through online courses.
So, I hope this list serves you well and helps you learn Mandarin and reach your goals!
- 1. Chinese Zero to Hero: Best Overall Mandarin Chinese Course For All Levels
- 2. GoEast Mandarin: Best Online Mandarin Teachers
- Don't Miss Out – Get an Exclusive GoEast Bonus
- 3. YoYoChinese: Best Mandarin Course to Speak Like a Native
- 4. Pimsleur Chinese: Best Mandarin Chinese Course to Learn On The Go
- Honorable Mention: ChinesePod – Best Mandarin Chinese Supplementary Material
- What's Next
Looking for a course to start learning Mandarin, level up your current Mandarin level, or prepare yourself for the HSK test? Chinese Zero to Hero is the course for you.
Easy to Follow and Easy to Practice
Chinese Zero to Hero has 6+ levels in their Chinese curriculum that correspond to a test you can take to test your fluency, called the HSK test. For you, this means you can take their course starting as a beginner (level 1) and go all the way to complete fluency (level 6).
They have professionally-produced videos with strong audio, they break down all of the grammar concepts, they supply answer keys, and they even built flashcards decks with custom recordings so you can practice on-the-go.
I mean, when a course creator records custom audio for their flashcards for their course, you know they are going all-in on making studying for the HSK as streamlined as possible.
I am currently enrolled and working through the HSK 5 program and could not be more impressed.
To walk you through what it looks like for me, they supply a nice intro video to the chapter with phrases I need to know which allows me to repeat after them and familiarize myself with the key terms/phrases, then I listen to the audio recording from the HSK textbook’s main text for that chapter, and then I listen to (and answer) the grammar points in the textbook while watching the corresponding video explanations supplied by Chinese Zero to Hero.
It’s like clockwork and it’s magical.
The Verdict for Chinese Zero to Hero
Chinese Zero to Hero is the best overall Mandarin course. They have a course perfect for you, whether you are a complete beginner or near fluent. If you are preparing for the HSK test, this is a no-brainer. If you just want a clean & effective curriculum to learn Mandarin Chinese, Chinese Zero to Hero has my recommendation.
They also have a money-back guarantee so, if you find it isn’t what you were looking for, just ask for a refund.
2. GoEast Mandarin: Best Online Mandarin Teachers
- Want to learn from the best of the best?
- Ready to invest in your language learning?
- Want a Mandarin Chinese learning plan customized to your unique needs?
GoEast Mandarin Chinese is the perfect solution for Chinese learners of all levels that want 1-on-1 instruction.
Do you struggle with knowing what to study? Do you struggle with staying consistent in your studying? I know I have.
GoEast provides a custom learning plan and regular lessons so you can reach your Mandarin goals and interact in Chinese with confidence. You’ll love how fast you are learning and you’ll love how focused GoEast is on your success.
For Those That Want the Best of the Best
I purchased a whole year of GoEast 1-on-1 instruction with my own money. And, to be honest, it’s not the cheapest option available. You could use iTalki, for example, and get a 1-on-1 instructor for less.
So why did I end up spending my money with GoEast?
The whole experience, from initial sign-up to lessons and even after the lessons, is premium.
I signed up for a language assessment and received a complete, customized learning plan on how they would help me reach my Mandarin Chinese goals. They asked important questions, listened to my unique situation, and they came up with a game plan to reach my goal by the time frame I had set.
I was nervous for my first session. I still am hesitant sometimes to speak Chinese in front of people. But my instructor (Jane) was warm, encouraging, made me feel great about speaking Chinese, and gave me the confidence I needed to achieve my goals.
They are more than just the best instructors. They were the accountability, support system, and confidence boost I needed.
Who Should Sign Up For GoEast?
I would recommend GoEast to anyone at any level. Though, it is an investment – it is not the cheapest option. If you want the fast track your Mandarin mastery, want the best of the best, and are ready to invest in yourself, GoEast is for you.
For a limited time, the team at GoEast has agreed to provide my readers with an exclusive welcome bonus. You can claim the bonus by filling out the form below.
For what is known as the most difficult language in the world, YoYoChinese comes out strong with a big promise to teach it simply in plain English. And they absolutely nailed it. YoYoChinese lands itself on this list because they have put together a complete system that is well-defined and, most importantly, effective.
Learn Conversational Mandarin with YoYoChinese
YoYoChinese has become the ultimate solution for learning Mandarin Chinese but has always been rooted in learning Conversational Mandarin. In other words, it focuses on teaching you Mandarin Chinese which is actually useful if you were to visit China.
The lessons are presented extremely well by Yangyang and the other instructors and they are constantly adding new content to help their students master Mandarin. YoYoChinese is the perfect entry-point for someone who wants to begin learning Mandarin or elevate their current Mandarin skills.
The Verdict for YoYoChinese
For those who are absolute beginners, want to begin learning conversational Chinese, or need to add structure to their Chinese learning, I really can’t recommend YoYoChinese enough. I attribute much of my (relative) language-learning success to discovering them prior to visiting China for a second time.
Pimsleur focuses on teaching you a new language with daily, 30-minute audio recordings that you will listen to and interact with verbally. This means they will ask you questions and you will respond out loud. They do not recommend note-taking or multi-tasking even, but rather just giving it your full attention for the 30-minutes every day for 30 days. By doing so, you will successfully complete an entire level of Pimsleur’s curriculum.
Currently, there are 5 levels.
Progress in Just 30 Minutes
Pimsleur does a lot of things right with their model.
My three favorite things about Pimsleur are:
- The 30-minute lessons are a great way to make a commute feel more productive
- Daily sessions takes the guesswork out of when you need to study
- The audio-only approach sharpens your listening and speaking
When I was looking for a course to help change up my study schedule and breakthrough my previous routine, this was a perfect solution.
The Verdict for Pimsleur Chinese
If you like the audio approach, have a consistent commute, or just want to try something new, Pimsleur is a refreshing change of pace to add to your Mandarin-learning toolkit. I recommend it!
Pimsleur also has a free trial so you can test it out and see if it’s right for you before purchasing.
ChinesePod is a little bit different from the rest on the list as it isn’t necessarily a “course” like the others. ChinesePod is essentially a podcast focused on Chinese, separated into different levels like Newbie, Elementary, Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate, and Advanced.
Learn Chinese in Short Episodes
ChinesePod’s strength, in my opinion, is that it is episodic in nature.
In other words, the lesson you listen to doesn’t require you to have listened to a prior lesson. For the most part, as long as your Chinese is loosely within the right level category, you will be able to listen to and understand what the presenters are saying on that topic. They may talk about food, shopping, or even something like Game of Thrones.
With each episode lasting ~20 minutes, it’s a nice way to make a drive more productive.
The Verdict for ChinesePod
ChinesePod is a great option if you are looking for a fun way to supplement your Chinese learning. The episodes are long enough to keep your attention, the presenters are skilled at explaining the topics, and there is a massive library to listen to.
And, so many episodes available for free, there’s no reason not to give them a try and add them to your study plan today.
There are so many online Chinese courses available. I hope you have some new ideas and some new avenues to explore when it comes to learning Chinese.
The time has come! Pick a course from the list and get to work on your Mandarin. If you run into questions or need a friendly push in the right direction, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’m always happy to help.
Thank you for your time in reading and I hope that this was helpful to you! Happy learning!