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How can I learn Mandarin [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-4-24 14:34:16 |Display all floors

The last ten years have brought online education from relative obscurity to some level of legitimacy. Though I am pretty skeptical of online degrees in Neuroscience, I do think learning Mandarin through online methods is very possible. However, a lot of people would rather go the traditional classroom route. If you live in Shanghai, multiple methods are available to you in any combination.

Public Universities

Whether you are serious about college credit or just want to learn Mandarin part-time while living in Shanghai hassle-free with a student visa, studying at a Chinese university might be a good option. Classes usually last 3-4 hours a day and cost 7000-10,000 RMB per semester. Your classmates will come from all over the world and some may not speak much English.

Its possible to keep up with a part-time job or full-time job with a flexible schedule while studying if you are self-disciplined. However, according to Chinese law, if you are on a student visa, you aren’t supposed to be employed. Not sure how enforced this is.

Schools: Jiaotong, Fudan, Tongji, Donghua, East China Normal, Shanghai Foreign Language University

Private Mandarin Schools

A simple Google search for “Shanghai Mandarin Schools” will list dozens of options for studying at a private company. Most of these schools hire professional teachers, some do not. These schools are more expensive but offer smaller classrooms and a variety of schedules for those who are less flexible. Visas can be arranged through these schools if you need one.

Language Partner

Advantage: Free, no contracts or set schedules, might become friends with your partner

Disadvantage: Might spend a disproportionate time teaching/practicing English rather than learning Mandarin.

Private Tutor

If you are like me, have a full-time job, and would rather pay someone to have a one-on-one lesson a few times a week, I would suggest finding a private tutor. Be warned that some teachers have no credentials and, since it’s all done “under the table,” no screening process. That doesn’t mean a non-certified teacher can’t be a great teacher, but the quality varies greatly and it might take a few trial lessons to find a tutor that’s right for you. The basic price across the board seems to be about 150RMB for one hour.


For a fee, you can unlock a massive database of online audio lessons and PDF documents designed to improve your spoken Chinese. You can also attend a live Mandarin course online with flexible schedule.  Reviews for this kind of learning is mixed, but as interactive technology improves and things like online training  become more common, I think this method of learning will becomes more developed and standardized.

A Combination

A combination of methods keeps the brain fresh and eager to learn even when the material is the same. If you are serious about learning Chinese, use a mixture of methods. As for myself, I found a great private tutor that I employed about twice a week for 8 months. I then studied at a public university but I couldn’t keep a full-time job while keeping up with all the classes. Now, I rely on e-learning against my tight schedule.

Furthermore, here are some online resources that I have found helpful:  (Online English Chinese Dictionary) (Audio podcast for Mandarin learning) ( 1 on 1 Live Online Mandarin lessons) (online Mandarin audio lessons)

Do a Google Search. There are tons of resources.

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Post time 2012-4-24 14:55:28 |Display all floors
thank you for the information.In reality there are many more than the above ,I have found hundreds.I like the first two you mentioned
I really    love China,半个 中国 人

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Post time 2012-4-24 19:30:28 |Display all floors
The best way I believe learn Chinese or Mandarin is to follow the steps as below:

1> Lay the basic foundation, such as  'Four Tones of Chinese' ' Chinese Pinyin' 'the strokes of Chinese Characters'

Relevant Reference:

学拼音Learn Pinyin with English Equivalent

汉语实践How to practice Chinese?

拼音and Foreign Place Names and Personal Names

Step 1: Mandarin Four Tones

Step 2: Easiest way to Learn Chinese Pinyin

The necessity of Studying Chinese Characters

学习汉字笔划 Learn the Stroke of Chinese Characters

汉字笔划进阶介绍Advanced Introduction on Chinese Strokes

2> Start practicing, including reading, listening, speaking, writing. Making some Chinese friends will not be that hard if you are in China. Lots of Chinese people are willing to get to know westerners, some believe it is also a good opportunity for them to practice English.

In addition, the most efficient way is to learn Chinese through a piece of news, video clips, articles.

There are lots of Chinese-study blogs, they pop up such materials with some key words in Chinese together with Pinyin and English translation. Although it seems to be a little slow when you could only learn one or two words after watching a piece of material as above, it would be very helpful for you to understand the very deep meaning of the Chinese words, phrases, or slangs, and learn about the culture at the same time.

Relevant References:
•Chinese Culture
•Chinese Festivals
•Foreigner's China stories
•Guideline for Chinese Study
•Hottest Video Clips in China
•News and Chinese Study

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Post time 2012-4-25 10:56:55 |Display all floors
You are's not worth reading this

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