Do you know you can learn Chinese online from the comfort of your cozy cushion? A good number of online platforms offer online Chinese classes to beginners and advanced learners. All you need to do is find out the access points to get started.
The most populous nation in the world with over 1.28 billion people is one of the world’s oldest and richest continuous cultures. As such, the study of the Chinese language is highly beneficial as it expands your horizon by simply infusing the knowledge of Chinese culture and people.
In this article, we’ll list the 17 best online Chinese classes for beginners and advanced learners. See the table of contents below.
Can I Learn Chinese Online?
You can learn Chinese online through various e-learning platforms like Coursera, Benzinga, Duolingo, Rosetta Stone, Alison, edX, Udemy, and fluentU. These online platforms offer the best online Chinese courses (Mandarin).
While the Chinese language may seem challenging to master, you can reach basic or practical proficiency as long as you put in the time to the online learning. Furthermore, how fast you learn Chinese is dependent on the amount of time you dedicate to practicing the language.
What Are The Benefits Of Learning Chinese Online?
Learning Chinese offers many benefits to personal and professional growth. Millions of people travel to China for business purposes or to see the shrines, walk The Great Wall of China, and indulge in the wonderful food markets in cities such as Beijing.
With China moving fastly towards the pole position in the world ranking, it makes more sense to learn Chinese. Here are some key reasons why you should learn Chinese online.
- China is the most populous country in the world with over 1.4 billion people. Mandarin is spoken by almost one billion people. It is the most widely spoken language in the world. One out of five people in the world is Chinese.
- Knowing Chinese will allow students to compete effectively in the business environment of the future.
- Many American companies do business in China, including Motorola, Coca-Cola, and Ford.
- Knowing Chinese may be an edge when competing for a job. The demand for business people who know Chinese is skyrocketing.
- By studying Chinese, students will develop an appreciation for Chinese culture and history
- Learning a second language develops critical and creative thinking skills.
How Long Does It Take to Learn Chinese Language?
How quickly you learn Chinese is dependent on your level of dedication and the time you spend building skills. Many online resources say becoming fluent in Chinese can take up to 2,000 hours to 3,000 hours or more. The average learner should be able to speak conversationally and travel with ease after about six months to a year of studying Chinese.
Compared with languages like Spanish, learning Chinese will likely take longer.
17 Best Online Chinese Classes For Beginners & Advanced Learners
The right Chinese class will help you speak with confidence, understand hanzi characters and pinyin, and perhaps most importantly of all, enjoy learning Chinese.
Not all Mandarin Chinese courses are the same. Some are for beginners, intermediate and advanced learners, some are more focused on listening, or writing, etc.
Our list of best online Chinese classes for beginners and advanced learners is made up of courses selected from various e-learning platforms based on high ratings, reviews, and course outlines. It is without a doubt that this outline offers the best way to learn mandarin online.
#1 Chinese For Beginners – Coursera
With the increase in the number of people interested in Chinese culture and language, it is useful to attend Chinese language classes either for travel or business purposes.
This introductory online Chinese class for beginners includes an introduction to phonetics and daily expressions. After taking this class, learners can have a fundamental understanding of Chinese Mandarin and make basic conversations of daily living such as exchanging personal information, talking about daily arrangements and food, asking about price, introducing the city and the weather, telling your hobbies, etc. Selected topics and instances come from real-life scenarios and can be used for everyday communications. In addition to the dialogues, reading materials and practice activities are available to make the content as rich and varied as possible, in order to stimulate the learners’ interests.
This elementary course on Chinese speaking is sponsored by Perking University.
#2 Learn Chinese: HSK Test Preparation Specialization – Coursera
This online Chinese course is a specialization that consists of three elementary language courses. The online class aims to improve your Chinese language skills effectively and systematically. In this specialization class, you will practice all four language skills: conversation, comprehension, reading, and writing. Additionally, you will learn about Chinese culture and basic Chinese Characters more will possess the ability to further your Chinese language studies.
At the end of this specialization, learners can communicate in Chinese at a basic level in their daily, academic, and professional lives. More so, you will learn how to manage most communication in Chinese when traveling in China.
#3 Chinese for HSK 4 – Coursera
Chinese for HSK 4 is a 10-week online course. It consists of two parts: Part I, which is a 6-week program, covers vocabulary and grammar delivered mainly through dialogues and passages; Part II takes 4 weeks to complete and the foci are exercises and testing strategies. Chinese for HSK 4 aims at the fourth level of HSK. It is the counterpart of Level 4 of the Chinese Language Proficiency Scales for Speakers of Other Languages and the B2 Level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
At the end of the online Chinese class, you will be able to converse in Chinese on a wide range of topics and are able to communicate fluently with native Chinese speakers.
#4 Learn Mandarin Chinese Specialization – Coursera
In this beginner online Chinese class, you will learn the language spoken by over 1 billion people in the world. The online class offers the best way to learn mandarin online.
This beginner’s course uses video lectures, short plays, interactive exercises, and cultural tips to help learners build a fundamental capability of oral Chinese in real-life situations. At the end of the 15-week specialization, the learners will reach the following proficiency: 1000 words, 75 language points, and handling 30 real-life situations.
#5 Learning Chinese : Start From Scratch (零到一學中文) – Coursera
This course offered by National Taiwan University is a six-week introductory course in Mandarin Chinese conversation. The course is taught completely in Mandarin, however, students are not expected to have any experience learning Chinese.
By watching videos showing various kinds of situations, learners will recognize and understand vocabulary, pair everyday words together with grammar to form short phrases, and learn the correct way to express words used in day-to-day life. At the end of this online Chinese class, you’ll learn how to have practical conversations in mandarin. This is one of the best online Chinese classes.
#6 Professional Certificate in Mandarin Communication – edX
This online certificate program is an in-depth introduction to the Chinese language. In Essentials in Chinese, learners will be introduced to Mandarin Chinese in 5 parts.
In Basic Level 1, learners will learn basic language skills to talk about eating, shopping, and getting around in Mandarin-speaking countries. Moving Basic Level 2, learners will expand extensively on vocabulary for describing people and objects, making comparisons, and speaking about opinions. In Basic Level 3, learners will further advance their Mandarin Chinese vocabulary and repertoire of sentence structures based on dynamic scenarios.
At the end of the online Chinese class, participants will have to take a 30-minute oral training class that aims to diagnose their language proficiency level and strengthening the learning outcome.
#7 中级汉语语法 | Intermediate Chinese Grammar – edX
This online Chinese course is one of the best online classes offered by edX. In this online class, you’ll improve Chinese proficiency, accuracy, and fluency in using Chinese as a second language, learn the fundamentals of Chinese grammar such as syntax, semantics, and pragmatics and lastly improve reading, speaking, writing, and translating skills.
This self-paced online class is free. Get started.
#8 Chinese Cultural Communication – edX
This online Chinese class offers you an opportunity to learn Chinese as a second language and get familiar with Chinese culture.
In this course, you will learn about the communication culture in China, such as the Chinese address system, metaphors, taboo words and euphemisms, Chinese terms of respect and modesty, and more. By understanding Chinese culture, you will be able to communicate more appropriately.
#9 Chinese Language in Culture: Level 1 – edX
This introductory course will help you develop skills in Mandarin Chinese to communicate and to develop an understanding of Chinese interpersonal behavioral culture and related thought patterns. At the end of the course, you will be expected to perform in speaking, listening, reading, and writing Chinese at a basic level of proficiency.
In this level 1 Chinese language class, you will learn Chinese greetings, how to introduce yourself, how to have basic conversations and how to read and write.
#10 Chinese Language in Culture: Level 2 – edX
The focus of this course is to train you to function successfully in Chinese culture using Mandarin as your primary language. This course will help you develop skills in Mandarin Chinese to communicate and to develop an understanding of Chinese interpersonal behavioral culture and related thought patterns. At the end of the course, you will be expected to perform in speaking, listening, reading, and writing Chinese at a basic level of proficiency.
In this level 2 course, you’ll master how to get around in the Chinese language. This means you’ll master the art of reading and writing in Chinese.
#11 Diploma in Basic Chinese Language Studies – Alison
This free online Chinese language diploma course will teach you the elementary aspect of spoken and written Chinese—one of the six official languages of the United Nations and one of the most spoken languages in the world. You will be taught about the language, its dialects, the formation of written Chinese characters and words, and the Pinyin writing system which is used to transcribe Chinese sounds into the Roman alphabet.
#12 Introduction to the Chinese Language – First Language – Alison
This free online Chinese language course on Alsion will teach you about making the first contact. In this course, you will learn about all of the basic elements of spoken Mandarin Chinese which is broken down through the use of Pinyin to transcribe it and its dialects. If you are looking to travel to China for business or leisure, or are interested in learning an ancient, fascinating, and highly relevant language, this free online course is a wonderful resource.
#13 Basic Chinese – Introduction to Social and Leisure Activities – Alison
This free online Chinese language course offered by Alison will introduce you to the vocabulary and phrases used to discuss social and leisure activities. You will be taught how to discuss your favorite social and leisure activities in Mandarin Chinese, and you will learn how to talk about your hobbies and make plans with friends. Anyone learning Mandarin Chinese, or traveling to China for work or leisure will find this course invaluable. This course is sponsored by Cambridge University.
#14 Basic Chinese: Talking about yourself – Alison
This free online Chinese language course teaches you the vocabulary and grammar required to talk about yourself in Mandarin. You will study the difference between traditional and simplified Chinese, and learn how to use a Chinese dictionary. If you are traveling to China for work or leisure, working with Chinese colleagues, or just have an interest in the Chinese language, you will find this course both interesting and useful.
#15 Basic Chinese – Restaurants and Hotels – Alison
This free online Chinese language course teaches some of the basic grammar and vocabulary required to talk about and communicate within restaurants and hotels. At the end of this course, you will learn how to order tea, coffee, and food, and also learn how to complete check-in procedures at a hotel and ask questions too without having to sweat it.
#16 Chinese Pronunciation
In this course, you will learn the fundamental concepts upon which you can easily build your Chinese language learning. By the end of this course, you will be able to conduct a simple conversation in Chinese with basic expressions, as well as relevant reading and writing skills.
#17 Learn Chinese | Level 1
Chinese is very logical and systematically builds on each previous step so every step forward will be easier than the last, and that is also how you’ll be able to recognize Chinese upon finishing this course. By the end of this course, you will not only be able to write and understand short dialogue but also have an incredible foundation to build further on.
FAQs On Best Online Chinese Classes
You can learn Chinese on edX, Coursera, Alison, FluentU, or Duolingo.
Yes, you can learn the Chinese language online via any of the following platforms; edX, Coursera, FluentU, Duolingo, Alison, etc
You can reach basic or practical proficiency as long as you put in the time to the online learning. All you need to do is stay dedicated and keep practicing.
How quickly you learn Chinese is dependent on your level of dedication and the time you spend building skills. Many online resources say becoming fluent in Chinese can take up to 2,000 hours to 3,000 hours or more.
All Chinese lessons start from the most basic elements of Chinese – the initials, finals, and tones in pinyin which compose its phonetic system. So, to get the best out of the Chinese classes online spend more time practicing Pinyin. Pinyin is one of the most important tasks in learning the Chinese language. Pinyin is the system that Mandarin Chinese speakers use to communicate in written form the sounds of Chinese characters.