Recommended Resources for Learning and Practicing Chinese

On this page, you’ll find recommendations for tools, apps, and materials that will help you learn and practice your Chinese. I have personally used these tools for my own language learning and believe in their value. I only recommend the ones that I personally find useful.

Selecting the right tools and materials allows you to focus on learning and practicing Chinese and is an important part of the success of your Chinese journey.

However, it’s important to note that knowing the right tools and resources isn’t enough. You have to work at putting the tools and resources into use in order to actually gain the progress you are after.

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that if you buy one of them (at no additional cost to you), I’ll receive a small commission for the sale. Nonetheless, I never recommend a tool I don’t personally believe in.

Online Courses

After taking a catalog of online Chinese courses, these are my favorites.


YoYoChinese's slogan is "Chinese taught in plain English" and that is really spot on. If you are an absolute beginner or intermediate wanting to learn Chinese online, YoYoChinese is the perfect place to go. With courses for character writing, reading, speaking, they are becoming the all-in-one solution for learning Chinese online.

Pimsleur Chinese

Pimsleur Chinese is the best audio-only method for learning Chinese. By dedicating just 30 minutes a day, an absolute beginner to upper intermediate student can see progress and real results. If you have 30 minutes a day to spare, you can start seeing (and speaking) real results.

Chinese Zero to hero

Chinese Zero to Hero is focused on being the resource to go through to study (and pass) the HSK. Following strictly the HSK Standard Book materials, the presenters do a great job working through the textbook and are the best option for people studying to take the HSK specifically.

Tools & Miscellaneous Resources

Practice your Chinese with these materials.


An online Mandarin school that has professional, well-trained teachers that guide you through custom curriculums based on your needs. A great solution for those that need accountability and direction from a professional teacher over a period of time.


A website and mobile app, ChinesePod offers bite-sized, audio-focused Chinese lessons. With a massive library of every topic from Game of Thrones to ordering food, this is a great solution to supplement a main online course.


DuChinese is a mobile-focused reading app that helps you practice your Chinese reading. With the ability to toggle on/off pinyin, characters, and even have a person read to you, this app is great for learning. Use coupon code "SLANGUAGE" for 10% off!

HSK Online

For those preparing for the HSK test, look no further than HSK online for intelligent testing and practicing. A must have for HSK test-takers.


HelloTalk is the Facebook of language-learning. With features to post updates, connect with other learners, language exchange, and even play games, HelloTalk is a great way to find other language learners.


Pleco is the best Chinese dictionary I have used. With offline accessibility, clean user interface, accurate translations, and a consistent, non-crashing experience, Pleco has become my choice for a Chinese dictionary.


iTalki is perfect for someone who wants to locate a 1-on-1 tutor/professional teacher. With reasonable prices and ease of use, this is a great place to go to find someone to help guide your language journey. Sign up for a free account.

Language Learning with Netflix

A recently discovered game-changer for me. With the ability to watch Chinese movies/shows with both subtitles and take notes, this opens up a new world of language practice opportunity.

ZHONGWEN Chrome extension

A very neat Google Chrome extension that allows you to hover over a Chinese character and reveal the definiton and the pinyin. Very useful for quick reference.

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