skip navigation

Language apps and online lessons



Good app for practicing vocabulary and character recognition. Available with an internet browser or phone app. Nice especially for beginners of all ages.

Hello Chinese
Similar to Dualingo, this app will help students practice vocabulary and learn character. Includes an introduction to pinyin. Primarily a phone app. Lessons increase in difficulty as you proceed.

This app is similar to the others listed above, except that it gets to more difficult language more quickly. It is also somewhat more complicated to use. Includes the most detailed introduction to pinyin and tones of any app we have found so far. Exclusively a phone app.

iHuman Chinese
Game and activity-based app for Chinese language learners ages 3-8. This app has many great reviews, but some users complain about the cost and difficulty of setting it up.


The Chairman’s Bao
This site offers news based reading adapted to all HSK levels. Readings include vocabulary and grammar points, audio, and comprehension exercises. Sample articles and blog posts are available for free. Students in UB Confucius Institute classes and tutoring programs enjoy a free premium subscription, which otherwise is $80/year.

Chinese Class 101
Each lesson includes a dialog with explanation of new vocabulary and grammar points. The focus is on useful, everyday language. Build your own flashcard and vocab lists. Excellent for beginner to intermediate learners. Subscriptions range from $4 to $23 per month.

Little Fox Chinese
Geared toward students in elementary school but useful for students of all ages, Little Fox Chinese teaches language through animated stories, games and songs. Excellent site for listening comprehension and vocabulary building. A free account is required to access most functions.

Growing up with Chinese
This series of 100 videos, currently available on Youtube, is an excellent introduction to .Chinese for novice learners.

Popup Chinese
A large collection of podcasts from beginner to advanced levels on a wide range of current and useful topics. Also includes videos, short stories, a writing pad, flashcards and sample HSK tests. Sign up for a free account or buy a yearly subscription to access all features.

Happy Chinese
This video series produced by CCTV, now available on YouTube, presents entertaining scenarios in language geared toward advanced learners, but with useful vocab, grammar explanations, and subtitles that will also be useful for beginners too.

Everyday Chinese
This Youtube channel provides video lessons for reading, listening, speaking, and writing Mandarin. Includes playlists targeted specifically towards grammar, pronunciation and more. Detailed video introduction to the pinyin writing system.


Dictionary app. English-Chinese and Chinese-English. Look up Chinese words by character or pinyin. Flashcard and other functions also available. Download for iTunes, Google Play, or Android.

50 Chinese Idioms
In addition to explaining the meaning of these idioms, the site offers some historical context for their derivation.