Learning a language is one of the best skills you can try. Anybody can learn a language. Studies have shown that learning a new language develops your association cortex rapidly.
It improves one’s cognition abilities, too. Learning a language is fun initially, but the zeal kind of dies down as we approach further into it. How do we stop it?
Mandarin Chinese, commonly called Chinese, is the largest spoken language globally. A whopping approximately 11.9% of the total world population speaks Mandarin.
It is spoken all over China and parts of neighboring countries too. This skill will prove very useful for you to switch into Chinese business-dominated areas.
Even if you think you would probably never require this language, it is still a wise choice to opt for this exercise. Not only will it help you utilize your time effectively, but it will also strengthen your mental core by sharpening your long-term memory.
The more complex your language is, the more high-yielding. Mandarin Chinese wins over, in this case, of course.
Yes, the process is a bit longer if not executed well. Wait till you get a great app according to your needs, use it daily, practice much, revise well, put your all into it, and everything becomes more superficial and enjoyable now!
If you want to challenge yourself with a new language to start with, you should definitely choose Mandarin Chinese.
It is complex, has a strict set of rules, and only a few correlated characters are present; not that easy to ace it!
Best Apps to Learn Mandarin Chinese👌👌
With innumerable language learning apps available in the market, it is hard to choose the best one for you. Finding the best app to aid your language learning experience without making a fuss is not that convenient.
When it comes to a language like Mandarin, you can learn the best only if you practice translating and revising frequently.
The app should preferably be well suited to identify your weaker points with excellent feedback and provide simple techniques to take care of them in the future.
Here is a list of the top nine easy to use yet effective apps to learn Mandarin Chinese:
Cost:- Free for both Android and iOS.
Why should you have it: The best-gamified language learning experience.
There’s no denying the fact that Duolingo has a monopoly over other language learning apps because of its unique format. With more than 25+ languages to choose from, you can easily learn any new language that you want in a few weeks.
Duolingo has the learning topics made into levels to make things more fun, getting more elaborate and complex as you navigate your way to the higher stages.
It also features a Championship League to make things more competitive with people playing together to top the charts worldwide. You will have a great time practicing and jumping from one league to another whilst enjoying the perks!
Duolingo relies on interactive visuals and audio playbacks to be thorough with a complex language like Chinese. You can also switch to story mode settings after a particular stage, which allows you to read descriptive texts entirely in Mandarin Chinese and comprehend to answer the following questions.
The speaking exercises are also top-notch to get you a good hold over proper pronunciations. Although some find it not that good for Chinese character memorization, it is still an excellent platform to practice well while not stressing yourself too much.
Shared battles and learning progress are a great way to interact with people and flaunt your badges adorned.
2. Hello Chinese
Cost: Absolutely free. In-app purchases are involved for additional perks.
Why should you have it: All-round fun Mandarin Chinese learning experience.
With a massive number of downloads and more than 5 million active users, Hello Chinese undoubtedly is one of the oldest and most loved languages learning platforms, especially for Mandarin.
Chinese, being a not-so-easy language to learn, this app ensures you an interactive environment loved by the masses.
It boasts of being the most satisfactory gamified learning platform, and the reviews definitely seem to agree with it also.
It is not all about cute interfaces and fun experiences, Hello Chinese holds more than that. A well-devised curriculum to study from has made the learning flow amazingly good.
You can always listen to native enunciation voice notes to become familiar quickly. Learning through games is very useful for memorizing the extensive Mandarin vocabulary.
Not to forget the most challenging part about Chinese is its characters. Hello Chinese offers a large array of characters to learn and practice by writing themselves!
They base most of the lessons on real-life conversations. They are quick, easy, and a practical way to add on a new skill to your hat. It also supports speech recognition so as not to make the entire learning monotonous without being able to check your speaking level.
Cost: Completely free to use. In-app purchases are involved in further additions.
Why should you have it: Your go-to Mandarin Chinese translator and dictionary.
Pleco is another widely used app for learning Mandarin Chinese with utmost precision. While you level up with your language training for a subject like Chinese, there will be many times that will require you to look up words and characters now and then, and Pleco is the right place for that.
Not just a descriptive dictionary, it also offers audio descriptions to aid your search in a better way. It also features flashcards to learn, in case you don’t want to use additional flashcard services and work at one place only. The flashcards support many input options, including text, audio, image, drawing, etc.
The learning tools Pleco offers are extremely beneficial and better than other language platforms. The dictionary searches are very user-friendly too.
The app is free, but the quality is unmatched. This is one of the best apps to use, especially while spending time on future revisions.
4. Anki Flashcards
Cost: Completely free to use for Android users. $25 for the iOS version.
Why should you have it: To get your Chinese terms just right.
Anki needs no introduction. For learning, it is one of the best apps you can ever ask for almost anything. Used by students widely for different topics, Anki will make you memorize everything seamlessly. It works on the concept of active recall paired with spaced repetition to improve your learning capacity!
The flashcards come in very handy whenever you are less on time but still want to be productive. You can choose from an already made free library of flashcard decks or make a new one for yourself.
You can also categorize them based on your preferences. This is one of the best ways to ace your Mandarin Chinese characters and associated vocabulary in no time.
It yields better results when used religiously with your other language learning platforms. You can record your mistakes here or even the challenging words for you. Try adding difficult phrases with definitions for you to recall in the future.
It is compatible with almost all of the devices so that you can reap its benefits anywhere. The system is quite powerful and effective. The user interface, however, is not that aesthetic and beautiful. It is quite simple looking but the results are unmatched.
It will help you identify your weaker areas, you can mark the tougher ones every time you go through your deck and Anki will make sure you don’t struggle with it by including it in every time you learn again.
Cost: Entirely free. In-app purchases are involved for the pro version.
Why should you have it: To ace your language skills with scientific learning.
Memrise is another powerful competitor in the language learning arena. It boasts of the best learning system-based scientific immersive learning techniques that are proven for increasing your cognition abilities. It claims that you can learn any language here with twice the speed as compared to any other app.
This app is a boon for expanding your vocabulary like anything. It is highly effective, just like the students say.
Especially when learning Chinese, it is crucial to choose a platform that can take care of all the tools required, and Memrise does that beautifully. The interface is fun. It is a great alternative to many flashcard apps too.
It features native speakers speaking day-to-day life phrases in the form of both video and audio formats to give you that exposure. The pronunciation sessions are smart and effective for building your confidence.
This gamified platform has one of the best games to practice your vocabulary and other language skills to sharpen your Mandarin skills seamlessly!
Cost: Subscription required (starting from $9.99 to $49.9). Further in-app purchases for add Ons.
Why should you have it: Practicing Chinese character writing.
Although Zizzle involves a subscription to start with the learning part, you can also choose the free 15-day trial to test out the app and finalize later.
Over the past few years, Zizzle has become one of the fastest-rising Chinese learning apps. It mostly focuses on users getting adapted to the stricter part of learning Mandarin, character identification, and writing.
The best way to embed the alphabet in your mind is to practice them daily, writing yourself! But how would you know if you are on track or not, even when you lack a tutor? Zizzle helps you achieve the best memorization with the help of short stories and impeccable visuals.
There are fantastic stories to get you in the story mode and store the complex formation in your long-term memory, of course, via your subconscious.
It has such a fun way of storytelling that in no time, you will start remembering and identifying the characters without even trying hard!
Cost: $14 to $29 per month depending on subscription opted.
Why should you have it: A great podcast to improve language familiarity.
ChinesePod is a one-of-a-kind language learning podcast platform offering the best services to enhance your Mandarin fluency to a great extent.
Over 50,000 learners are already reaping its outstanding features. This app breaks all the plain old language learning norms and creates a community of learners for the past 15 years.
There are more than 4000 video lessons and podcasts to aid your learning process. The video lectures are so well planned and executed, you would not have a tough time comprehending them.
The video lesson library is well-curated and gives the user the freedom to learn at their own pace, according to their preferences and time strains.
You can bookmark words that hit hard on your vocabulary to review them later for better revision. The notes and study material provided come very handy while practicing sentences every day.
From tonal quality to accents, ChinesePod has got you covered from all sides so that it well adapted you to all variations possible.
The translation lists plus the vocabulary passages alongside each lesson you go through make things smooth as butter for you.
You are tired and don’t feel like practicing again? No worries! Grab a coffee and a snack, plug in your earphones, and chill to the Chinese explanatory podcasts to have productive evenings on the go!
8. Skritter: Write Chinese
Cost: Subscription required.
Why should you have it: Learning and practicing writing Chinese characters.
Skritter is a much better platform for practicing a lot of Chinese using handwriting input. There are subtle differences in the letters used which sets them apart from each other. The slightest stroke change can show how bad you are at identifying Mandarin characters.
This will change your letter formation manifold.
This platform allows people to learn and write simultaneously, well stacked in numerous stage-wise lessons curated. You can switch between stroke styles, tones, and much more with an in-built great gesture system. You might end up using this for hours without getting bored because of its helpful learning tools.
Not just writing expertise, but you can also gain more confidence in your overall Chinese learning experience by taking advantage of well-explained video lectures and other tools.
You can challenge yourself for a disciplined language learning experience by competing with many avid learners for the leaderboard.
Various translations, examples, and sentence construction aids prove to be very helpful in the long run. Use the ‘Time Attack’ mode to enhance your learning by working under pressure and uncovering your true potential. Learn that language, you can!
Cost: Free. In-app purchases are available too.
Why should you have it: To nail that perfect Mandarin Chinese tonal quality.
Just like the name suggests, Speechling is another great app to assist you with your speaking requirements.
As we know speaking bland Mandarin does not make any sense if it lacks the native notes to get that going, vocabulary and pictures will not be enough at all. You need to be thorough with the accents to get everything right.
Speechling has been co-founded by great scholars, including Google alumni along with Ivy League graduates. To get your diction right, you are in the perfect place.
The best part here is the freedom to learn along with great real-time tutors. You will get assessed by tutors assigned to you based on your recordings to judge your tone, diction, pronunciation, and whatnot.
It offers many services to enjoy. From Listening and Dictation exercises to Audio Dictionaries, vocabulary lists, flashcards, and interactive exercises, they have it all.
Everything you take part in will be recorded in your journal all along. You can refer to it in the future for all coach feedback and recordings.
The advanced e-learning technology clubbed with the human interactive facility makes language learning a fun activity.
Students from all around the world can now brush up their accents and pronunciations anytime and anywhere, just through an app. Whether you are a teen or retired personnel, this is the perfect way to learn for you
How to get the best out of language learning apps?
So you now have a huge list of Chinese learning apps to choose from, and you’re ready to start. You even began with immense excitement. But how do you actually learn it without failing? Discipline is the only key that will save you.
We don’t want the excitement to fade away. We need to channel it into learning something good. Make it a part of your routine. Practicing for maybe 30 minutes to an hour a day will prove very beneficial to you later.
To prevent boredom at all costs, switch between a few apps. Learning from one app may seem monotonous after some days. Use one for practicing speaking, one for acing your vocabulary, another for video lessons, and maybe a flashcard app for revising your concepts in your leisure time.
This will ensure you don’t suffer burnout and actually enjoy the process. If you are serious about the task, you will definitely succeed, it is all about the consistent grind.
You can plan in advance topics you need to learn that particular week/month. This target setting will ensure you stick to your goal. And with that, have a good time learning Mandarin Chinese with the best resources and daily practice!
Some Pointers to be reasoned:-
Check out the app reviews to see if the program is a delight or a pain to use. Some language learning services are also available offline, to suit everyone’s preferences.
The platform you end up with should be interactive and unchallenging to work with. Go with the customer reviews to know it and all and pick the best.
2. Active Learning Support
A Chinese language app shouldn’t be just a dead and basic back-and-forth translation tool. Regardless of its key learning goals, a good learning app should encourage you to think. These could be games, fill in the missing words, or simple question-and-answer exercises.
3. Learning Stages
Preferably, you should go forward with settings that correspond to your own level. This helps to keep your learning approach structured, keeping you miles away from getting overwhelmed (or underwhelmed), and inspires you to “level up” and keep striding forward.
Choosing the best language learning platform for yourself is an important task, no need to hurry. There are just so many options available in the market, which complicates the entire process and leaves you with confusion.
That’s why it’s so noteworthy to consider your needs, budget, proficiency level, and priorities before you select your new learning app.