After deciding to study Chinese, there are a few questions everyone asks: Where should I start? What apps are good? Should I use ____ ? What courses are good for beginners? What resources should I use to learn Chinese?
I live in Beijing and am learning Chinese independently. I haven’t taken any formal classes. Figuring out the right resources to use has been a challenge. Since starting this site, I’ve been trying out lots of different products to find out what they do well and what they need to improve. It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve learned a lot along the way.
There are tons of great resources to learn Chinese. However, this site isn’t made to teach you Chinese. There are plenty of people who do that far better than I’d be able to. This site is here to help guide you to the right resources. It exists to help you figure out what’s worth your time and/or money and what you should avoid like the plague.
Whenever I meet someone studying Chinese, I’m always very curious as to what they use and why. Most of the time, it’s just whatever they happen to have stumbled across when starting out. Sometimes, it’s through advice from a forum or blog. You need to be skeptical of everything you read. A lot of people will recommend terrible products because they get a percentage of sales they refer. If you click a link and then buy the product, they’ll get a commission. These are affiliate links.
My site also uses affiliate links. I make money when you purchase some products after clicking on a link from my site.
So why should you trust me?
Well, you shouldn’t. Not blindly at least. Read the reviews. I think you’ll find they are more than fair and critical. If they feel dishonest to you – search for other opinions or try out the product yourself.
There are also resources that I think you should avoid even though I’d make money if you clicked on a link from here and bought it. I think Rocket Chinese is absolutely terrible even though they have one of the highest paying affiliate programs. If you search on google – you’ll see a ton of people saying it’s great. Be skeptical. There are many other resources that pay affiliate commissions that I can’t consciously recommend.
Without trust, there’s nothing. I hope my honest opinions will earn your trust.
Learning Chinese is a long journey that is made easier with the right tools. Let’s figure this out together.
– Nicholas Dahlhoff (firstname.lastname@example.org)