Chinese Learning Resources

Enriching Your Chinese Studies Online

Shanghai at Twilight (Kevin Ho/Flickr)
Kevin Ho/Flickr

Whether you're new at learning Mandarin or speaking fluently, there is a wealth of online materials to help you support your learning. But another important use of the internet for learning language is connecting to other learners, sharing you experiences, asking questions, and getting a broader understanding of the culture and country the language evolved in. Below are some initial suggestions for enriching your Chinese studies online.

Asia Society’s China Learning Initiatives has also developed and collected a trove of resources over the last 10 years, which you can also view below.

Know of something that’s great but not included in these lists? Help us out and send us a quick note with a link to your suggestion and a brief explanation on why you think it’s important others know about it. If we post it, we’ll list your name as having contributed it!


Resources

Discussion Forums

Below are the resources we found useful or interesting. If you find others, please share them with us, and we'll add them to this collection!

Reddit has a ton of forums where you can ask questions and start discussions, listed below by forum title:

One particularly interesting Reddit thread is an AMA (‘Ask Me Anything’) with Chinese Pod (which, by the way, should be on your list of Podcasts already. If it’s not, add it!). They took questions from Redditors and then posted the highlights on their blog, entitled ‘Six Chinese Study Hacks from Our Reddit AMA.’

Speaking of hacking, there’s a whole website devoted to Hacking Chinese!

Stack Exchange has a section for Chinese learning, too.

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Chinese Learning Apps and Sites

Below are the resources we found useful or interesting. If you find others, please share them with us, and we'll add them to this collection!

We don’t like to endorse one service or site over another, but since the tragic demise of popular Chinese-English (more-than-)dictionary *nciku, we have found some to be pretty solid surrogates:

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General Learning Tools

Below are the resources we found useful or interesting. If you find others, please share them with us, and we'll add them to this collection!

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News and Specialized Topics

Below are the resources we found useful or interesting. If you find others, please share them with us, and we'll add them to this collection!

  • For those of you with a more political bent, Asia Society’s own ChinaFile is a great resource.
  • Sinocism is also a firehose of information about all things happening in China.
  • There are tons of sites that help you keep up with cutting-edge pop culture (especially internet culture). Our top picks are:
    • ChinaSmack: All articles are translated into English from Chinese media sources, and if you hover over the English text, the original Chinese text pops up. This is a great way to advance your reading!
    • TeaLeafNation's crew scans Chinese social media for reaction to big news events and delivers you a broad variety of Chinese voices across the spectrum.
  • Green Honey is a great site that crunches data on various aspects of Chinese.
  • If history is your thing, check this out: China History Podcast
  • Any aspiring legal professionals out there? Ever wanted a source of solid insights into Chinese Law? Look no further than China Law Blog.

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Additional Chinese Learning Resources

Read previous versions of the Chinese Language Matters newsletter.
Each week, we'll reach into Asia Society's archives to find a photo from the organization's nearly 60-year history. This week: A performance from the 2014 National Chinese Language Conference in Los Angeles.
Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School is the only public elementary school in Washington, DC, to offer Mandarin Chinese language immersion. Yu Ying provides tuition-free, high-quality education to 551 students in grades pre-K–5.
Articles about China that are both fun and engaging.
NYU Shanghai Junior Kiril Bolotnikov discusses the biggest shopping day of the year in China: Singles' Day.
The Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School is a tuition-free, regional public charter school in Hadley, Massachusetts, that prepares students for academic and personal success through rigorous study in English and Chinese.
The Utah Chinese Dual Language Immersion Program is in place in the following 12 districts across the state of Utah.
Sophie Anderson, a junior at Gig Harbor High School near Seattle, was initially frustrated when she spent five weeks in Beijing this summer. However, a strong friendship with her language partner helped change her perspective.
Chinese American International School in San Francisco has a commitment to providing its students diverse learning experiences in China. The school organizes trips for its students to Taipei, Beijing, and Qinghai over three years.
Mandarin is one of many dialects of Chinese, and it's important to understand the diversity of dialects across China. NYU Shanghai Junior Kiril Bolotnikov explores the many dialects of China.
Jesse Appell dives into the often confusing tones that make the Chinese language what it is. But while the tones can be frustrating to master, there's also a sort of musical beauty to them.
In this episode, we ponder the curious nature of Chinese service habits, wonder why Chinese wait staff all hate the customers’ guts, and consider their curious affection for small bills.
Where big denominations of cash are not welcome
This year, Mid-Autumn Festival fell on September 27. To celebrate this holiday, we asked Kiril Bolotnikov, a junior at NYU Shanghai, to report on how international students celebrate this Chinese holiday.
Educator Heidi Steele shares her experience planning China Night at two high schools in Washington State, with advice and strategies on how to better engage students and prepare for the event.
Educator Heidi Steele shares her experience planning China Night at two high schools in Washington state, with advice and strategies on how to make this a rewarding experience for students, teachers, and the entire community.
What if China’s most basic dishes got the high-end advertising campaign they deserve?

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