review

Full-length language review

Hanbridge Mandarin

Quick Review

3.5 

Summary:

Hanbridge Mandarin is an online Chinese school. They offer 1-1 online classes with professional teachers. It’s a good option for people looking for a Chinese tutor, but it’s not my top choice. Personally, I decided to sign up for classes with TutorMing. Though, those who prefer a cheaper option without a commitment might prefer italki.

Quality

All teachers have BA degrees, many have masters, and all undergo training prior to teaching

Thoroughness

Scheduling and cancelling classes is very easy to do online

Value

Lessons are relatively expensive and inconvenient if your time zone doesn’t align well.

Price

The cost per lesson varies significantly depending on a variety of factors. It can be anywhere from $8-$35 per 50-minute class.

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Ninchanese

Quick Review

4.5 

Summary:

Ninchanese is one of the most unique resources for learning Chinese. It’s a mixture between a course and a game and manages to do quite well in both regards – being both fun and extensive. You’ll need to use a few other resources to cover a few gaps that Ninchanese has. However, it’s one of the best tools for learning Chinese that I’ve come across.

Quality

Works great as an app or online. I was pleasantly surprised by the speaking practice component.

Thoroughness

Lessons go from absolute beginner all the way to an advanced level.

Value

Extremely good value. $10/month is an absolute steal.

Price

You can try Ninchanese for free. A one-month subscription costs $10, a half-year costs $54, and a full year costs $96.

Use the promo code “ALR15OFF” to save 15% on a subscription to Ninchanese.

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Zizzle

Quick Review

4.3 

Summary:

Zizzle is one of the most unique tools for learning Chinese. This app will help you memorize Chinese Characters. First, they break down the character into its component parts. Then, they use ridiculous images and a short story to remember these components. Next, they use characters and link words to help you remember the tone and pronunciation of the character. Finally, they give you example words and sentences using the character. On first glance, the app looks rather silly. But, it really does make remembering characters much easier.

Quality

The images are absurd, which makes remembering them easy.

Thoroughness

Covers lots of characters, but mostly within the first three HSK levels.

Value

The pricing is competitive with other Chinese learning resources, but it’s focus is much narrower.

Price

A one-month subscription costs $9.99, three-months costs $24.99, and one year costs $59.99. You can also buy one of a few different packs and receive lifetime access for $49.99.

Use the promo code “ALLLANGUAGERESOURCES” to save 15% on all three-month and annual subscriptions, as well as packs.

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Learn Chinese From Movies

Quick Review

3.5 

Summary:

Learn Chinese From Movies makes it easier for intermediate and advanced level students to start incorporating movies into their study routine. They add English, Simplified or Traditional Characters, and Pinyin subtitles to play over the top of various Chinese and international movies. I’ve found it to be helpful to bridge the gap between intermediate study materials and native movies.

Quality

Movies are streamed online from Youtube and other sources with subtitles added.

Thoroughness

A decent selection of movies, but having more added would be nice.

Value

Cheaper than other resources that use native videos to teach Chinese.

Price

A Basic subscription to Learn Chinese From Movies costs $8/month or $77/year. A Premium subscription costs $297/year and the only additional benefit is that you can download the glossary and transcripts.

Save $30 on a yearly subscription by using the promo code “ALR-30$-off-yearly”.

It seems like the quality and value of Learn Chinese From Movies has gone downhill since writing this review. Many videos have been taking down, and there seem to be some other issues as well. I’d recommend checking out these free alternatives instead – CaptionPop & Captron

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ChineseSkill

Quick Review

Summary:

ChineseSkill is one of the most popular apps for people getting started learning Chinese. There are 45 lessons based on a variety of topics. It’s not the most comprehensive course and it won’t be the only tool you need. But, if you’re a beginner and want a free introduction to Mandarin, it’s worth trying. However, I personally think that HelloChinese is a better overall app.

Quality

The app is really well designed and can be a fun way to begin learning Chinese.

Thoroughness

It’s freemium, so it’s not really fair to expect it to cover everything you need to know.

Value

It’s freemium and works well.

Price

Freemium, with premium subscription plans from $12.99/month or lifetime access for a one-off fee of $399.99.

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WaiChinese

Quick Review

2.8 

Summary:

WaiChinese is an app that makes it much easier to improve your Chinese pronunciation. You can compare your voice to that of a recording, seeing visualizations of your tones. Then, you can submit recordings to be corrected by a teacher. I used to strongly recommend this app even though it’s very buggy. However, a new service, Speechling, was recently after I wrote this review. It does everything WaiChinese does and more, but better.

WaiChinese appears to no longer exist. Obviously, that makes this review irrelevant but I wanted to leave it up so that interested readers could find a good alternative – Speechling. It’s a resource for getting feedback on pronunciation that’s available for several languages, including Chinese. I’m a big fan of Speechling so would definitely recommend checking them out.

 

Quality

WaiChinese is very useful, but the app has an absurd number of bugs.

Thoroughness

You’ll receive solid feedback on your recordings.

Value

When I originally wrote this article WaiChinese didn’t have any competitors. It was great value at the time, but that has changed.

Price

WaiChinese costs $10/month for the Demo version which allows you to submit 50 recordings. The Beginner version costs $25/month and allows you to submit 150 recordings. The Advanced version costs $50/month and gives you 300 submissions.

I no longer recommend WaiChinese as a resource for improving your pronunciation. A new service, Speechling, was released after I wrote this review. I prefer it over WaiChinese in just about every way. 

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