Careers & Education

Learn Mandarin Anywhere – The Convenience of Online Language Courses

Learning a new language takes consistency and dedication. Online learning offers the solution for those who need help to fit classes into their busy schedules. Countless Chinese learning apps are accessible on your phone or tablet. Use these during your commute or lunch break to immerse yourself in the language.


Online Mandarin courses are convenient, accessible, and flexible. Many platforms allow you to re-schedule classes when necessary and use free resources. Moreover, you can make the most of your dead time with Mandarin learning apps. For instance, use a flashcard app to review vocab on your commute or during a coffee break and chat with a native speaker using a platform.

Immersing yourself in Chinese media is essential to learning the language. This can be achieved using immersive Chinese learning programs or watching Chinese movies and TV shows. Chinese films and TV shows are well-known to be a great way to learn the language because they feature realistic (if sometimes overly dramatic) dialogue. Moreover, many Mandarin audio and video lessons are downloadable to your smartphone or MP3 player, making it easy to listen to Chinese in the car or at home. 


Whether you’re an expat looking to get to know your local friends or need help with some basics so you can order food in Chinese, there are plenty of online resources to help. Online courses are self-paced, and many offer the option to pause and resume lessons anytime. Choosing suitable learning materials is critical to keeping yourself motivated and engaged. Listen to podcasts focusing on the vocabulary you need, and watch Chinese TV shows or movies to practice your listening skills.

It’s also helpful to have a bilingual dictionary handy to check the meaning of new words as you come across them. Spending time around language learners, I’ve noticed that they fall into two categories: those who deride their mistakes and think they won’t ever learn and those who throw themselves into the learning process and make it part of their identity. You must be in the latter group if you want to progress with your Mandarin.


Whether you’re looking to travel, work abroad, or make new international friends, learning Mandarin can open doors in ways you didn’t expect. You need to create a regular study routine and commit to it. There are so many options for studying Mandarin on your mobile phone that it’s easier than ever to get started.

Some apps offer 30-minute lessons that help you build your Chinese conversational skills by listening and repeating conversations. Other apps or specially designed flashcard decks can help you review the vocab and strengthen your retention of what you learn. Using your phone or tablet to expose yourself to as much Chinese media as possible, whether music, TV shows, or movies, is also a good idea.

If you slip up and spend 30 minutes on Facebook instead of an hour studying, it’s no big deal – pick up where you left off the next time you have some downtime. You could even find a group of Chinese-speaking friends to practice speaking with.


Online learning makes it possible to fit language study into your lifestyle. You can take comprehensive video lessons at home, use the audio files for practice on the go, or participate in live one-on-one Mandarin classes from anywhere in the world! You’ll be able to see and hear your progress with interactive exercises and get feedback from your teacher.

You can also review and learn any Chinese language points that you do not master well over again. Especially for tones and pronunciation, this feature is essential. It is easy to focus on vocabulary, characters, and grammar and forget the importance of correct tones. However, you should also make sure to have fun! If you aren’t enjoying your Chinese lessons, they will feel like work, and you will lose motivation long before reaching fluency.

Find ways to make it fun – watch your favorite Chinese TV show or listen to music in Chinese while driving to work. Then, sitting down and spending an hour on your Chinese studies will be much easier than turning on Netflix.


With many of the online resources available for free, you have nothing to lose. There are also paid courses and apps that are more expensive, which offer one-on-one live lessons with a professional teacher. Prices range depending on the number of weeks you choose to learn but are generally much lower than classroom tuition.

Other apps are designed to be short units that can quickly be learned while waiting for a train, at work, or during other downtimes. The app provides both simplified and traditional Chinese characters, pinyin, and lesson notes, which are helpful.

The app also features a “Tips and Notes” section, useful for explaining some grammar concepts in greater detail. Regardless of what app or online resource you choose, remember that it takes dedication and consistency to master Mandarin truly. The sheen of new language learning wears off after a while, but if you stick with it and make it a part of your daily routine, you can reap the rewards of your efforts in the future.