Learn more Chinese

The following is a non-exhaustive list of resources and tips to improve your Chinese language. If you would like to suggest others, please add a line in the comment section! Of course, one way is to practice translation on our website – or join one of our translation events!

You may also be interested in our links for learning about China.

Learning Chinese


Sinosplice – language learning website from a linguist – particularly good for pronunciation

Hacking Chinese – the blog of a Taiwan-based Mandarin teacher, best resource for general tips on Chinese language learning. These posts about tones and the pitfalls of pinyin are particularly good.

Did you know? Google translate has an electronic reading system. Copy a paragraph into their reader, and press on the microphone icon – you will hear the text: it’s a good way to practice!


Chinese Grammar Wiki – a web-based free Chinese grammar – high quality explanations!

We’re working on a series of blog posts about Chinese grammar in the context of translation – check out our blog regularly to see the details.

Vocabulary building

3000 most common characters – This page developed by Patrick Zein gives a full list of the most commonly found characters. But hey, 1000 characters already take you to 89% understanding.

Common Chinese characters – This website (also available as an app) allows you to search and practice the 2500 most common characters – covering almost 98% of all Chinese usage.

Skritter  – a web-based tool to review words and characters – also available as an app.

And for a more philosophical approach to vocabulary building, you may enjoy this classic piece by Ernest Fenollosa on The Chinese character as a medium for poetry.

We’re developing our own semantically organised list of the most common 1500 characters – which we hope to release soon.


Chinesepod – probably the best Chinese podcasts around.

FluentU – learn Chinese through videos – wide growing selection, and a good model.

Pianke – high quality Chinese podcasts, with source text available. A very good way to practice your listening skills!

Speaking and writing practice

Lang-8 – a multilingual blogging platform – practice written Chinese and connect internationally

Hi Native – Lang-8’s latest development, Hi Native puts you in contact with a community of native speakers who directly answer your language question. Wondering how to say something in Chinese, or what something means – go to Hi Native!

Language Connection – a Melbourne-based language exchange organisation bringing together international students and local Mandarin learners.

Learn Chinese online eChineseLearning offers students to learn Chinese online 1-on-1 via Skype with native Chinese teachers. Trial lesson is free. 

About the Author

French-Australian writer, educator, sinophile. Any question? Contact julien@marcopoloproject.org