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Mandarin Chinese

An Honest Review of Speechling With Image of Girl Looking at Phone

Speechling Review – I Didn’t Know I Was Saying That Wrong!


Rating 4.3


Speechling is a website and app that makes it easy to improve your speaking skills in several languages. The free version is an incredbily valuable resource that makes it easy to practice mimicking native speakers. The Unlimited Plan provides unlimited corrections of your recordings by a teacher.

Quality 4.5

Speachling makes it easy to improve your speaking rhythm and pronunciation.

Thoroughness 4.5

Lots of different ways to practice speaking.

Value 4.0

The free version is better than most paid resources and the paid version provides outstanding value.

I Like
  • An excellent method to improve your speaking abilities and get feedback from a real teacher.
  • Answer the Question, Describe the Image, and Freestyle mode are great for higher levels.
  • You can switch languages at any time. I like seeing translations in my second language while studying my third language.
  • Truly unlimited recordings with quick feedback.
I Don’t Like
  • Absolute Beginners should learn the basics elsewhere first.
  • You’ll need to learn how to make the sounds of your target language on your own.
  • The amount of time given to record sentences can be too short.

The Forever Free Plan is complete free. A monthly subscription to the Unlimited Plan costs $19.99 per month.

Click the link to save 10% on Speechling’s Unlimited Plan.

Speechling has quickly become one of my favorite language learning resources. The free version includes a ton of useful features and the premium plan is great value for the cost.

Best Apps for Learning Mandarin Chinese: We’ve Tried Them All

There are a ridiculous number of apps out there for learning Chinese, and, while having plenty of options is certainly a good thing, finding the ones that are best for you can seem daunting.

Hopefully, we can help with that. We’ve tested dozens of them, and have included the standout performers in this list. These are apps that will help you improve a number of language skills, and we’ve categorized them based on whether they’re best for speaking, listening, reading, or writing.

The major benefits afforded by language apps are that they’re convenient and inexpensive, often free. Since this post focuses on apps, it will leave out some great resources that simply aren’t available as apps.

General Courses Available as Apps

Best Communication Skills App: Pimsleur

Best Interactive App: HelloChinese

Best Reading Practice for Beginners and Up: Du Chinese

Best for Writing Feedback: italki

Apps for Learning Vocabulary and Grammar

Best Dictionary App: Pleco

Best Easy-to-Use Way to Learn Vocabulary: Memrise

Best for Learning Words in Context: Clozemaster

Best Customizable Study Tool: Anki

Best for Grammar Practice: Chinese Grammar

Apps for Reading and Listening Practice

Best for Learning Chinese Characters: Outlier Linguistics

Best for Reading About Current Events: The Chairman’s Bao

Best Interactive Reading Practice: WordSwing and M Mandarin

Best Audio Lessons in a Podcast Format: ChinesePod

Apps for Speaking and Writing Practice

Best for Learning to Write Chinese Characters: Skritter and TOFU Learn

Best for Pronunciation Feedback: Speechling

Apps for Tutors and Language Exchange

Best for Finding an Affordable Tutor: italki

Best for Structured Lessons: TutorMing

Best for Language Exchange: HelloTalk and Tandem

Best Q&A App: HiNative

An Honest Review of Yoyo Chinese With Image of Chinese Architecture

Yoyo Chinese Review: An Exceptionally Detailed Look At Their Courses

Yoyo Chinese

Rating 4.7


Yoyo Chinese is probably the most established and popular website for online Chinese courses. Yangyang has helped hundreds of thousands of students learn Chinese and her videos have been viewed millions of times. There are several different video-based courses available which include interactive quizzes, clear explanations, and tons of practice, with each progressing in difficulty. I think the conversational courses are especially good value.

Quality 5.0

Video lessons and interactive quizzes are very well done.

Thoroughness 4.5

The content is explained very clearly and covers a wide range of topics.

Value 4.5

The course bundles help to lower the price.

I Like
  • The way Yangyang explains the content makes it super easy to understand.
  • The courses are structured very well, with less English spoken as you move up levels.
  • The combination of real-life Chinese as it’s spoken on the street with more ‘correct’ Chinese.
  • High-quality videos with lots useful extras to practice what you’ve learned.
I Don’t Like
  • The lessons definitely use more English compared with equivalent levels of other resources.
  • There are other resources I prefer over the Chinese Characters courses.

Yoyo Chinese offers subscription options and the Lifetime one-time purchase option. If you want to test out the program, try a monthly full-access “Learn” subscription for $19.99/mo. Or an annual subscription for $11.99/mo. Lifetime one-time purchase is $399 (don’t forget the 10% discount with the discount code ALR10!!).

If you’re looking for an online Chinese course, you’ll eventually come across Yoyo Chinese. It’s one of the few established courses where you can independently study Mandarin online.

It’s quite possibly the best course as well. That’s not to say it’s perfect or that it’s the only tool you’ll need to learn Chinese.

Yoyo Chinese is actually comprised of several different courses which can be purchased individually, or as bundles. The six main courses are Beginner Conversational, Chinese Characters, and Intermediate Conversational, Chinese Characters 2, Upper Intermediate Conversational, and Chinese Character Reader. There are also two smaller and cheaper courses – Chinese Grammar and Chinese Learning Tips.

Bilingual Oxford Dictionaries Mini Review: Handy Apps

Oxford Dictionaries

Rating 4.2



Oxford Dictionary has published numerous bilingual dictionaries over the years, many of which are not designed to be comprehensive. While some are “complete” dictionaries, others are called “mini”, “concise”, “essential” or even “shorter”. Even the smaller ones are pretty thorough, however. The Oxford Mini Greek dictionary contains 40,000 words and phrases, many of which also contain multiple translations. It’s a lot shorter than the Oxford Hindi dictionary, at 100,000 entries, or the New Oxford American English Dictionary at 350,000 – but it’s still got a wider vocabulary than the average English speaker. You can purchase the books themselves, but most learners will prefer the convenience of the apps with their regular updates and learner-friendly features. Search Autocomplete, Fuzzy Filter, Wild Card and Voice Search help you find words you don’t know how to spell. Favourites help you save useful words and phrases, while Word of the Day will introduce you to new words. Some dictionaries also contain audio recordings and thesauruses. And the freemium Oxford Dictionary with Translator will translate words and paragraphs to and from 14 languages. For some languages, learners already have plenty of free, thorough dictionaries available to them. Spanish learners, for example, will probably prefer to combine the free apps SpanishDict and Diccionario RAE (Google Play, App Store). Mandarin Chinese learners will likely find Pleco more useful. But for some languages, these dictionaries may well be the most thorough and reliable ones available.

The rating is our best guess, but we haven’t yet had the opportunity to fully test and review this resource.


Look No Further: 30 Best Podcasts to Learn Mandarin Chinese

You don’t have to travel to another country to create an immersive Chinese environment, nor do you have to stare at a screen for hours on end. With a digital device and a pair of headphones (or speakers), you can bring immersion to you—for free.

And we’d like to help you with that. With hours of research and testing, we came up with this list of what we believe to be 30 of the best podcasts to learn Mandarin Chinese. Pick an episode, choose a streaming platform, then have a listen while you commute to work, do chores, or relax on the couch.

Stay Motivated with 35 Mandarin Chinese YouTube Channels

Your day is coming to an end and you want to squeeze in a bit of Chinese practice, but you can’t muster up the energy to study on your own. Why not try a new YouTube channel to relax and learn at the same time?

Below are 35 YouTube channels for learning Chinese at any level—tested and approved by us. Whether you want to learn for a minute or an hour, we’re sure you’ll find something to enjoy.

The 19 Best Online Courses for Learning Mandarin Chinese

The right Mandarin course will help you speak with confidence, understand hanzi characters and pinyin, and perhaps most importantly of all, enjoy learning Chinese.

But not all Mandarin Chinese courses are the same. Some are more focused on listening, others on writing. Some are suitable for beginners, others for intermediate students. Some are well-suited to the HSK exams, while others are better at everyday Chinese slang.

And some just aren’t that great. After all, there are tons of Chinese courses out there (here on All Language Resources, we’ve reviewed hundreds of Mandarin resources). Some of them wowed us; others were flops

A sub-par course won’t just waste your time and money. It will leave you demotivated, frustrated, and potentially learning incorrect Mandarin.

So we’ve rounded up our top picks for learning Mandarin Chinese. Each one of these courses gets a rating of at least 3.5 out of 5 stars, meaning they’re above average on our site. What’s more, they all have something that sets them apart. No matter what you’re looking for – beginner lessons, hanzi, in-depth explanations or a less intimidating introduction to the language – we think you’ll find it on this list.

An Honest Review of Du Chinese With Image of Chinese City

Du Chinese Review: Updated For 2022 – Learn With Interesting Content

Du Chinese

Rating 4.5


Du Chinese is one of the best resources for learning Chinese. This app will help you to improve your Chinese reading skills as well as listening comprehension. There are articles across six different levels – from Beginner to Master. The design of this app is absurdly good, making it exceptionally easy to use. The biggest weakness is that new content isn’t added frequently enough.

Quality 5.0

Amazingly high-quality with lots of useful features.

Thoroughness 4.0

New articles are added fairly slowly, but they age well.

Value 4.5

You can read some articles for free.

I Like
  • The design is superb, and it’s loaded with useful features. I love how it uses highlighted words to synchronize the audio playback to the text.
  • The articles cover interesting content and remain relevant for months after release.
  • Articles can be downloaded for offline use.
I Don’t Like
  • Content isn’t added frequently enough. For most levels, a new article is only added about once per week.
  • Content is added even less frequently for Advanced and Master levels.

A subscription to Du Chinese costs $14.99/month. A six-month plan costs $89.99. A one-year subscription would cost $179.99/month. There is also a limited selection of lessons available for free.

The Du Chinese app is quite possibly the best-designed app out there for learning Chinese. I don’t know if it’s necessarily the best Chinese-learning app overall, but the developers really did an outstanding job. 

In this review, I’ll take a closer look at Du Chinese and help you decide whether or not it’s worth the subscription cost.

Mondly Review – Made Significant Improvements in 2022


Rating 2.7


Mondly is a language-learning app that teaches basic vocabulary and grammar structures. It seems most appropriate for learners with little to no exposure to their target language.

The activities mostly rely on passive recognition of vocabulary and phrases, and therefore are not very challenging. However, they are varied enough that you probably wouldn’t get bored with short, daily practice sessions.

Although I wouldn’t recommend Mondly to anyone looking to seriously learn a language, it may be appropriate for individuals studying languages with less available resources, or for individuals who are preparing to travel abroad.

Quality 3.0

Both the interface and the course itself could be designed better. *Edited on Nov 22* It has made many improvements this year. We will update soon.

Thoroughness 2.5

It’s decent for learning vocabulary, but I thought a lot of the material wasn’t explained very well.

Value 3.0

It’s fairly inexpensive.

I Like
  • Daily lessons, weekly quizzes, and monthly challenges – these functionalities encourage you to practice every day.
  • The vocabulary included is useful and drilled in an effective way.
  • It’s fairly inexpensive.
I Don’t Like
  • The content and exercises are the same for all levels and languages.
  • The exercises are mostly passive.
  • I don’t think the order of lessons and topics is very well thought out.
  • For me, the interface is not user friendly and the platform is visually unappealing.

There are three plans… $9.99 per month for one language $47.99 per year ($4/mo) for one language and $99.99 for lifetime.

First Impressions

I’ve previously tried out several language learning apps like Duolingo, Busuu, Babbel, and Mango Languages, that on the surface seem to be fairly similar to Mondly.

However, after testing out Mondly for a few different languages, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed.

Immediately, I felt that their interface wasn’t very intuitive to use and the aesthetics were underwhelming.

I wish I could say that Mondly makes up for it with quality content, but that just wasn’t the case. It was nothing special and, in my opinion, below average compared to similar platforms.

There is a pathway for users to follow, but it seems a bit random. For instance, parts of the body is the last topic covered and that comes after the vocabulary related to emergencies.

Lang Workbooks Mini-Review: Thorough Writing Practice

Lang Workbooks

Rating 4.0



For learners of languages that use unfamiliar writing systems, the Lang Workbooks series can be a helpful and practical way to master the intricacies of writing in their target languages. Among numerous other writing systems, the series includes the Korean, Russian Cyrillic, and Armenian alphabets; Persian and Thai script; the Hindi Devanāgarī abugida; Chinese characters; and Japanese Hiragana and Katakana. The series also covers languages that use the Latin alphabet with diacritical (accent) marks, such as French, German, and Portuguese. Many books in the series have been translated into other languages, such as Italian, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. The series also covers writing systems that may have fewer available resources for learners, such as Lao script and the Cherokee syllabary. Each book in the series presents its featured writing system with suggested pronunciations. The practice pages in each workbook have useful features for each letter, symbol, or character, such as a recommended stroke order, font variations, example words, and a “Trace and Learn” section. Each workbook is relatively inexpensive. In addition, the publishers of the series have granted teachers and students a license to make photocopies of the workbook pages for personal use, so you can get unlimited chances to practice. Considering the depth of information in each language’s workbook, the books in this series can provide great value for learners.