Learning The Mandarin Language Online
In a world where people are trying to improve their fluency in English, learning Mandarin might seem like an unwise decision. A lot of people are turned off from learning Mandarin by the belief that it’s a complicated language that requires a lot of time to master.
This way of thinking, on the other hand, grossly underestimates the importance of Mandarin in the world today, both in terms of business and culture. Because of China’s emergence as a world market, even a simple understanding of the language will lead to incredible job opportunities.
You’ll be appreciated for your efforts when you gain a better understanding of their traditions and culture. Now, you will be able to find many organisations that teach Mandarin. However, if you want to learn Mandarin online, that is just as accessible. The internet is full of websites and apps where you’ll be able to learn Mandarin online. You just need to find the perfect site for you.
Our Guide to Learning Mandarin Online
Before we get into the variety of websites for learning Mandarin online, you should heed the following tips to make your experience more enjoyable.
The Perfect Site
Everyone has different routines. While some might be available to take up an intensive Mandarin course, others might not have even half an hour to spare. Find your place and find the right website for yourself.
Everyone doesn’t have the same capacity. You know yourself best. So, set your goals accordingly. That also includes no slacking off. If you go out to practice, then you will only be wasting your time.
Practicing with Others
Just because you learn Mandarin alone doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to do it completely on your own. Communicating with others is after all the best way of identifying your progress and mistakes. Find yourself, someone, to practice your Mandarin with from time to time.
Practice by Writing
Writing is the best way of learning something and that even includes learning a language. You don’t have to write in Mandarin, you just have to write in the language you’re comfortable with and you’ll eventually be able to get the hang of it.
Best Sites for Learning Mandarin Online
If you want to learn Mandarin online you’ll have plenty of opportunities to do so. Not all of the available learning platforms are as good as others, but here, you’ll find some of the most-reliable online platforms to learn Mandarin.
Instant Mandarin (Editor’s Choice)
Instant Mandarin is a specialized online Mandarin learning portal. All of their instructors have completed a four-year or longer program in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages (TCSOL).
They are not only native Mandarin speakers; they are also qualified teachers with extensive teaching experience in Chinese Language Schools, allowing them to have the most authentic Mandarin lessons available. Their main emphasis is online Mandarin instruction, which is considered the most realistic and effective way to learn Mandarin in today’s society.
The teaching approach is very student-centered; they prioritise their students and tailor their lessons to their needs. Their knowledge allows them to provide a unique approach for each student. To achieve the learner’s objectives, they have adopted a fun, positive, and motivating teaching style that will enable the learner to effectively learn Mandarin at their own pace, immediately, anywhere, and at any time.
Udemy is the most famous website for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). They offer a lot of high-quality courses for learning Mandarin online at a low price. Udemy has everything for everyone, from HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi) exam training to intermediate Mandarin courses.
The aim of MOOCs is to provide learners with an environment that is as similar to in-class as possible, irrespective of what they’re doing. Many are arranged like university classes and have a syllabus, while some have line-up dates and are chock-full of quizzes, exams, and homework.
FluentU is the place to go for an authentic Mandarin experience that will teach you how Mandarin gets used in the modern world. FluentU transforms videos into personalised language learning lessons, such as headlines, movie trailers, motivational talks, music videos, etc.
This software replaces the scripted phrases of standard lessons with movie previews, music videos, news segments, inspirational talks, and sound files, all while teaching you important grammar and vocabulary through immersive subtitles. You can see meanings and sample sentences for vocabulary terms by clicking on them in each video, and you can even add the words to your personal list to make flashcards. You should also look for tutorials that use basic terminology and grammar if you want to understand something specific.
Coursera is another famous MOOC platform, and this site in particular is excellent for learning Mandarin online. This course, offered by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, is structured similarly to a university course, but you can freely enrol in this one. However, the class also has start and end times, but if you can’t join right now, you can still check back later for new options.
The course lasts five weeks, and learners will have learned 150 words, 20 vocabulary points, as well as how to tackle five real-life scenarios in Mandarin by the end. It takes about 10 hours to finish and follows a set of instructions.
It’s been quite a while that Pimsleur has been around and they have come quite a long way from its humble start, both in terms of price and content. Pimsleur uses an audio-based method to teach languages. Rather than purchasing pricey CDs, you can now view all of your Pimsleur tutorials on the site and via the app for a very low monthly fee.
Each lesson begins with a discussion in your chosen language. The lesson continues by making you quote the speaker and construct sentences, which teaches new vocabulary, grammar, and sentences in said language. Then, at the end, you can listen to the dialogue again and see if you understand it better. This is a very rewarding exercise, as more often than not, you can now grasp some if not all of the discussion.
There are five stages of the Mandarin course. There are 30 lessons at each level, each video lasts thirty minutes. As a result, completing a full course within a month at thirty minutes per day is incredibly feasible. You will also use the website to access reading tutorials, roleplay speech challenges, practice using digital flashcards, win badges for completing each class, and test your skills in agility games among other things.
Perks of Learning Mandarin Online
Cost-efficient doesn’t mean they don’t cost at all. There are a lot of websites that give out free courses. But if you want to learn from the best, taking up paid courses is a wise decision. And they’re technically less costly than physical courses.
One of the best parts of learning Mandarin on a website instead of a physical classroom, is you get to learn at your own schedule. You don’t have to try hard to make space in your daily routine. You can even save up hours of your life by not commuting to your mentor.
All of the learning platforms will have set goals and achievements for users to take advantage of. We recommend looking for well-structured websites that will assist you in addressing your particular language deficiency. Also large, robust language pages should be simple to use and have a variety of resources for various ability levels.
Mandarin is Easier Than Many Think
You’ve always heard that Mandarin is the most difficult language to learn. Here are some examples of why learning Mandarin is easier than what most people think.
Learning Mandarin is so often exaggerated. Despite the daunting characters and foreign sounds, Mandarin can be learned for a variety of reasons. To begin with, the writing system is logical. And, while you might have heard of people having trouble with voices, they aren’t entirely necessary for understanding characters. In reality, Chinese speakers often rely on context to find out what their counterparts are saying.
Many of the sounds are familiar to you. Most of those sounds in the Mandarin phonetic system called “pinyin” pre-exists in English, whether you believe this or not. You’ll have to shake the practice of matching Mandarin sounds to the English language since it’s a foreign language. Since Pinyin, like English, uses the Latin script, this can be difficult.
Mandarin has fewer grammar rules than English. Unlike English, tense, gender, or case are not used in Mandarin. The use of plurals in the language is therefore arguably more sensible than in English.
Why Should You Learn Mandarin?
You might’ve already questioned yourself and maybe even others this question, why Mandarin? Here are just a couple of reasons as to why we think learning Mandarin online can be extremely beneficial.
We all know that China has the largest population in the whole world. But more than 15% of the world speaks Mandarin Chinese. Even though is English is learned as a second language the most; over 1.2 billion people speak Chinese, which is more than English.
And if Cantonese, Mandarin, and other Chinese languages are considered separately, Mandarin still remains the world’s second most spoken language. So, when you hear people saying that you will find people to practice with almost anywhere, it’s not an exaggeration.
China has developed into an economic superpower over the last decade. In 2016, China’s GDP topped 11.2 trillion USD, and the country currently has more billionaires than the United States. As a result, a growing Chinese middle class is taking annual vacations worldwide to refresh, spend cash, and see new places around the world.
As an English speaker the possibilities for pursuing fun, well-paying jobs with fluent Mandarin on your resume are endless. Industries everywhere are recruiting workers who speak Mandarin to appeal to the increasing influx of Chinese customers and visitors, from financial institutions and tech giants to stores in iconic tourist destinations.
When learning Mandarin, it can also open up a number of job opportunities that you may not have thought about. Therefore, job sectors such as tourism, mentoring, international business could all be considered if you master the Mandarin language. On top of that, an expert understanding could lead to a job as a government official.
Access to the Chinese Culture
The Chinese have a culture-rich history that goes back for more than 5000 years. If you learn Mandarin you will be able to understand those things better and further immerse yourself in their history. You’ll be able to appreciate their unique works of art, literature, poetry, calligraphy, architectural designs, and not to mention you will be able to understand their traditions even better.
China is a huge nation that stretches from eastern Asia all the way to the Middle East. Due to that, Chinese society as a whole is composed of cultural components from a variety of regional communities, each of their own customs and traditions. When learning Mandarin, it’s essential to understand the most significant aspects of Chinese heritage.
Our Final Words
It can be difficult to know how to begin learning Mandarin initially. After all, the first foreign language you learn will be the most difficult one. It becomes much easier to make steady improvements until you understand well how to learn the language.
To maintain efficiency, don’t learn random Mandarin vocabulary lists, practice every day even if it’s just a little bit, always pay attention to Mandarin tones, and remember that repetition always helps to learn almost anything.