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9 Best Apps To Learn Mandarin Chinese

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 dies down as we approach it further. 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 to 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 it. 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, you should 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!

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:

1. Duolingo

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 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. 

Best Apps to Learn Mandarin Chinese

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 while enjoying the perks!

Duolingo relies on interactive visuals and audio playbacks to thoroughly use 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 a good hold over proper pronunciations. Although some find it not 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.

Download links:-

(for Android users

(for iOS users)

2. Hello Chinese – Best app to learn Chinese for beginners

Cost: 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 language learning platforms, especially for Mandarin.

Best Apps to Learn Mandarin Chinese 1

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 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 practical ways to add 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.

Download links:-

(for Android users)

(for iOS users)

3. Pleco

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.

9 Best Apps To Learn Mandarin Chinese

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 in 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.

Download links:-

(for Android users

(for iOS users)

4. Anki Flashcards – Best app to learn Chinese for free

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 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.

Intro to AnkiDroid - High Yield

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 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 them by including them every time you learn again.

Download links:-

(for Android users)

(for iOS users)

You may like to read our guide on the 9 Best Apps For Learning Sign Language and Practices ASL.

5. Memrise – learn Chinese app free

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 proven to increase your cognition abilities. It claims you can learn any language here twice as fast as any other app.

This app is a boon for expanding your vocabulary like anything. It is highly effective, just like the students say.

Memrise: Learn Spanish Fast, with Locals

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!

Download links:-

(for Android users

(for iOS users)

6. Zizzle

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 the app and finalize it later.

Over the past few years, Zizzle has become one of the fastest-rising Chinese learning apps. It mostly focuses on users adapting to the stricter part of learning Mandarin, character identification, and writing.

Learn Chinese Characters with Zizzle

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!

Download links:-

(for Android users)

(web version)

You may like to read our guide on 11 Best Apps To Learn Portuguese – Listening and Speaking.

7. ChinesePod

Cost: $14 to $29 per month, depending on the subscription.

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 has created a community of learners for the past 15 years. 

More than 4000 video lessons and podcasts aid your learning process. The video lectures are so well planned and executed, that you would not have a tough time comprehending them.

What is ChinesePod?

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 daily.

From tonal quality to accents, ChinesePod has got you covered from all sides so that it well adapts you to all variations possible.

The translation lists and vocabulary passages alongside each lesson you go through make things smooth as butter for you.

Are you 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!

Download links:-

(for Android users)

(for iOS users)

8. Skritter: Write Chinese

Cost: Subscription required. 

Why should you have it: Learning and practicing writing Chinese characters.

Skritter is a 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 use 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.

Skritter: Write Chinese App Trailer Google Play

You can challenge yourself for a disciplined language learning experience by competing with many avid learners on the leaderboard.

Various translations, examples, and sentence construction aids are 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!

Download links

(for Android users

(for iOS users)

9. Speechling – learn Chinese offline app

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: Speak Languages Better

Speechling has been co-founded by great scholars, including Google alumni and Ivy League graduates. To get your diction right, you are in the perfect place.

The best part here is the freedom to learn 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 on 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.

Download links

(for Android users)

(for iOS users)

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 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 benefit 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 enjoy the process. If you are serious about the task, you will succeed; it is all about the consistent grind.

You can plan the 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:-

1. User-Friendliness

Check out the app reviews to see if the program is a delight or a pain. 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 dead and a 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 corresponding to your 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.


What app can I use to learn Mandarin? 

Duolingo, Hello Chinese, Pleco, Anki Flashcards, Zizzle, ChinesePod, etc. are among the best and most popular applications to learn Mandarin Chinese and offer a complete range of lessons, learning tools, videos, flashcards, fun games, and more to make learning super easy and full of fun. 

How can I learn Mandarin Chinese for free? 

You can use many free online resources to learn Mandarin Chinese. Some of the best platforms are Duolingo, YouTube, FluentU, Spotify Podcasts, AsianCrush, Arch Chinese, etc.  

Can I learn Mandarin Chinese on my own? 

It can be difficult to learn Mandarin Chinese on your own as it is one of the most difficult languages, especially for new speakers.

However, you can utilize a wide range of applications and websites easily available to start your Mandarin Chinese learning journey at home without much effort.

Some great resources are Duolingo, Skritter, YouTube, AsianCrush, Spotify, etc.  

How do I start learning Mandarin Chinese? 

First, make sure that learning Mandarin Chinese is important for you. Otherwise, you can also think about learning other popular languages like French, Spanish, Portuguese, or even Arabic.

If you are very sure, you can check out various easily available Chinese learning materials. Daily practice can make a lot of difference. Focus on listening to Chinese to improve your communication.

If possible, get in touch with a native Chinese speaker to enhance your chances of learning better and faster. 

Can I learn Chinese in 3 months? 

Yes, it is pretty much possible to learn Mandarin Chinese in three months. However, you have to spend at least 8 to 10 hours daily to have a better chance.

It means you want to be able to find time for anything extra in your daily routine. And that’s why it’s not the best of ideas to rush things and start slowly with short sentences maintaining consistency. 

Is Mandarin Chinese hard to learn? 

Yes, Mandarin Chinese is one of the hardest languages to learn. And it is challenging for several reasons.

First and foremost, the writing system involved in Mandarin Chinese is extremely difficult for English speakers or anyone who is accustomed to the Latin alphabet. 

What are the 10 hardest languages in the world? 

Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, Hungarian, Korean, Finnish, Basque, Navajo, Icelandic, and Polish are considered as 10 hardest languages in the world, and they can be massively challenging, especially for native English speakers. 

Is Chinese easier than Japanese? 

No, the Japanese language is slightly easier to learn than Chinese. However, Chinese is much more commonly spoken.

Both languages have their pros and cons, and everything depends on why you want to learn any of these languages. And more importantly, what are your interests and preferences? 

What is the toughest language? 

Mandarin Chinese is unanimously considered the toughest language to learn, to master in the world.

Already spoken by more than a billion people worldwide, the language can be extremely challenging to master for people who are used to other native languages and prefer using the Latin writing system. 

What is the easiest language? 

Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Indonesian, Dutch, Italian, and French are among the easiest languages to learn, even for new learners. And these languages can be mastered with a bit of dedication, consistency, and practice. 

Can you learn 2 languages at once? 

Yes, your brain is powerful enough to handle learning two languages; add once more. However, you should be clear about why you want to learn a particular language. 

Final Words

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.

Happy learning!