Learning to read and write Chinese was once possible almost exclusively at paid language courses. With its booming economy, China has taken its official language to the international stage with the creation of Confucius Institutes that have promoted it around the world. Fortunately, the development of new technologies allows us now to access different cultures far away at the click of a button.
In the past, a few websites had a monopoly on teaching Mandarin Chinese online, but today the web platforms are so varied and diverse that every student can find the methodology that best suits their needs and expectations. We want to share with you 8 most interesting Chinese learning blogs we are sure you will find useful. Each of these blogs is different and focuses on different aspects of the Chinese language and China. Some of them are lifestyle blogs that deal with their authors’ personal experiences; some focus precisely on language teaching and grammar, meanwhile others will provide you with new interesting learning techniques.
You may consider it to be a mere self-promotion, but think: why are you reading it right now? Since you are already here, it is possible that you have heard about us or found some of our resources useful to you. Or maybe you are still searching for your perfect Chinese language website? Then why not try with us then?
In Maayot, we developed an interesting free Chinese learning blog that can answer some of the most common questions students ask when learning Mandarin. How do I learn Chinese faster? How do I know all the ways to say sorry in Chinese? If I like learning from music, what are the Chinese bands I may find interesting? What are some useful idioms I could say in a daily conversation? There is much, much more.
Laowai Chinese is the blog of Albert Wolfe, a Chinese language student and long-term blogger. Albert came to China to teach English and, having never taken a formal Mandarin class, learned Chinese well enough to become a translator, host a TV quiz show and participate in a Chinese radio programme. His blog is fun, original and features lots of different topics, from grammar and vocabulary to cultural differences. It is worth reading if you are interested in how the real life in China looks like.
Chinese Language Guide is what its name says: a comprehensive language guide that deals with grammar and vocabulary that Chinese speakers use on a daily basis. It is especially oriented towards beginners: it can help you with forming basic sentences and learning basic vocabulary. You will find there a guide to proper forming direction sentences, Chinese pronouns, prepositions and pronunciation. It is a useful resource if you just started your Chinese language journey and need to memorize basic words and grammar in forms of simple sentences.
TutorMandarin is an online Chinese language website just as Maayot, so its blog is very similar to ours. It deals with important questions any learner may have about Chinese: how do I become more effective? How do I find proper Mandarin teachers in the world of an increasing popularity of online learning? TutorMandarin can help you find answers to these and much more questions as well as give you a lot of useful tips regarding efficient Chinese learning. The scale of its resources is impressive: it covers topics such as Chinese food, culture, videos, music, phrases, reading, conversations, pronunciation, anything that is important to properly understand a language and a culture.
FluentU is is a popular language learning blog and platform where students watch videos and take quizzes to learn a new language. Since it is a massive website that teaches many different languages, including Chinese, it has many freelance language specialists writing for it. Its Chinese language blog is one of the biggest available online and is always updated with new information regarding, among others, best Chinese apps, online Chinese learning platforms reviews, HSK materials and many other. FluentU is professional, efficient, exhaustive and up-to-date: in short, very recommendable to learners at any proficiency levels.
If you have any experience with Mandarin, we are sure that you have already heard of The Chairman Bao. It is a kind of online newspaper, with real news, but adapted to the vocabulary of the different HSK levels (although they only start from HSK 3). The great novelty of this resource is that it encourages students to use the vocabulary they already know in different contexts, which undoubtedly contributes to broadening their communicative skills. Since it is based on reading news, certain level of Chinese is necessary for it. Thanks to its innovative content, it is actually fun to read and provides you with lots of cultural knowledge as well.
Sara Jaaksola is a Finnish language enthusiast and a current Mandarin teacher based in Guangzhou. She has been living in China for already more than ten years. Reading Sara’s blog is especially impressive because of her enthusiasm for the Chinese and China. As a student, she would illustrate her monthly progress with Chinese on her blog to keep the reader’s attention and motivation. Nowadays she also offers her own Chinese learning classes and resources, as well as continues to write about culture and travelling in China. Her blog will definitely interesting to those who are interested in how life in a foreign country like China looks like.
Hacking Chinese is an innovative blog for many reasons. It puts much emphasis on “what to learn” along the journey of acquiring Chinese language skills. Olle Linge, founder of Hacking Chinese, approaches language acquisition from a different stance: he focuses on “how to learn” first. He introduces and analyzes different learning techniques, such as timeboxing (means setting a limited amount of time to concentrate on a single task) or spaced repetition (a technique that incorporates increasing intervals of time between subsequent review of previously learned material). If you are interested in smart learning, Hacking Chinese is definitely for you!