21 Best Mandarin Chinese online classes 2023 – Learn Chinese
There has never been a better time in history to learn Chinese Mandarin. The internet means we all have a wealth of resources at our fingertips; all we have to do is fire up a browser or app to get started.
But where to begin? There are so many Mandarin courses out there that it can be difficult to work out which one is best for you. Let us try and help you with that. Below is a list of the best Mandarin Chinese online classes in 2023.
Mandarin Chinese Online Classes – Overview
With over one billion speakers of Mandarin, its popularity among learners shouldn't come as a surprise. China's growing economy and international influence, as well as cultural exports like Mandarin-language TV series, movies, and music, have led to increasingly more people learning the language.
If you're a native speaker of English, however, Mandarin Chinese is one of the trickier languages to learn. The USA's Foreign Service Institute recommends 2,200 hours of learning to get to native proficiency.
All levels of learners need to be aware of Chinese characters, though whether you focus on handwriting or typing is up to you. Tones are another big factor in making speaking more complex, but Mandarin has a smaller number of distinct syllables as a result.
While you might be familiar with the CEFR A1-C2 system for measuring language proficiency, Chinese Mandarin has something different. Those interested can take the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) to test their Chinese level.
The exams have recently been overhauled and there are now a total of nine levels instead of six. Whether you decide to take the exams or not, you may find at the lower levels that many online Mandarin Chinese online classes align themselves with the HSK.
Best Mandarin Chinese Online Classes 2023 – Top Picks
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*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure at the end of this post.
Note: This review offers a list of the best Mandarin Chinese online classes. We cannot claim comprehensiveness as there are many other online Chinese courses available.
1. Rocket Mandarin Chinese Online Classes
Rocket Languages (visit website) offers Mandarin alongside 13 other languages on their app. The Chinese courses are split into three levels. Level 1 is for beginners. Level 2 is to proceed from an intermediate to an advanced level, and Level 3 is for advanced learners.
All three levels are available for Mandarin, although it is unclear to which HSK level they correspond. There is also an extra feature – ‘Play the Part' – which gets you ready for travel to China by teaching you the language for daily life, as well as cultural tips.
Rocket Mandarin Chinese focuses on vocabulary, pronunciation, and listening. Chinese characters are shown alongside pinyin, so while you don't have to produce the characters yourself, you can learn to recognize them.
The app also features the ability to practice speaking without a partner. Instead, you speak both sides of the conversation. The aim is more to help a learner overcome nervousness than anything else, and no access to feedback or a tutor is included. This is among the best Mandarin Chinese online classes for beginners and is suitable for lifelong learning.
User Reviews: 4.8 ★★★★★ | Info: Visit website. Free trial + discounts.
Pricing: Level 1 from $99 | Level 1/2 from $249.90 | Level 1/2/3 from $259.90
2. Udemy Mandarin Chinese Online Classes
Udemy (visit website) is a platform that hosts a variety of Chinese classes, including many for learning Mandarin. These range in their focus; pronunciation and vocabulary-building courses are popular, but there are also Chinese courses that cover HSK requirements at specific levels. Particularly at the lower levels, many of these courses are taught in English.
Generally, courses on Udemy consist of video lessons with quizzes and other learning exercises intersperse between this content. How this is weighted will depend on the specific course you choose. Although there is a lot of content, it does not appear that many Mandarin Chinese online classes offer you any option to practice with a live teacher.
While Udemy classes are not free, they are usually heavily discounted. You can also use their rating system to look through and judge the value of a course before you pay for it. Considering the sheer number of options Udemy certainly offers some of the best Mandarin Chinese online classes suitable for beginners or those on a lower budget.
Chinese courses: 1,000+ | Rating: 4.7 ★★★★☆
Info: Browse category for all Chinese Classes on Udemy. From $11.99. Up to 95% off.
3. Rosetta Stone – Learn Mandarin Chinese
Mandarin Chinese is just one of the 24 languages Rosetta Stone (visit website) offers on their cross-platform app. You learn by associating words and phrases with images and by listening to plenty of audio along the way. Once you subscribe, lessons are downloadable and your data syncs across different devices when you log in.
For Mandarin, it appears that Rosetta Stone primarily uses pinyin to teach. Of course, this makes sense in the context of an audio-heavy course, but if you're looking to read and write then you may need to supplement your studies with other resources.
The regular subscription gives you access to Rosetta Stone's content, but you can pay an additional fee to get access to group coaching. These sessions are assisted by native speakers, giving you the chance to practice what you've been learning and get feedback.
4. Learn Mandarin Chinese Level 1 – Udemy
This Learn Chinese Course Level 1 (visit website) offers a great starting point and orientation for complete beginners looking to learn Mandarin. It includes almost 12 hours of video content and several articles that will help you learn the very basics.
The creators of this course argue that Mandarin is a very logical language and present a method that helps you build up what you're learning. In the first lesson, you can get access to a book that accompanies the course, and this is included in the overall price.
Although the creators of this online Mandarin class do recommend you work with a teacher, you won't automatically get one. So, this is something you have to research yourself – and it is something you'll have to pay separately for.
If you're not a complete beginner, too, it might be worth looking around Udemy for something else. This best-rated Mandarin course focuses a lot on building a base to work from, so your time might be better spent elsewhere.
5. Pimsleur Mandarin Chinese Courses
Pimsleur (visit website) is an old name when it comes to self-studying languages. The Pimsleur Method was established by Dr. Paul Pimsleur almost 50 years ago. Originally, Pimsleur produced entirely audio-based courses, where you would hear sentences and repeat them, eventually building up your own phrases and conversations.
Now, there's an app, with more features to help you learn Chinese Mandarin effectively. Alongside the familiar audio lessons, the app has quizzes, voice recognition technology, flashcards, and even a driving mode. Mandarin Chinese features five levels, each of which has 30 lessons. It is unclear which HSK levels the Pimsleur levels correspond to if any.
A rolling monthly subscription gives you access to all of Pimsleur's content, including the extra features to help you learn. Pimsleur also offers an annual subscription, so you can pay once a year. However, there is no time with a teacher or native speaker provided and there appears to be little focus on reading and writing outside the quizzes and flash cards.
6. Memrise Mandarin Chinese Online Classes
UK-based company Memrise (visit website) began life as a flashcard website but they have since expanded into creating their own language courses. Their approach focuses on speaking and listening, with heavy use of video and audio clips of native speakers.
The app can be used on any device and primarily has you practicing your listening skills, although some Chinese characters are also introduced throughout the Mandarin class. There are three different levels, which all cover the beginning stages of learning Mandarin.
As with many of the other apps, Memrise offers you no time with a tutor or native speaker, so there is little in the way of practicing speaking. The site itself is free to use and features a lot of user-generated content for different languages, but a subscription is required for some of the features when learning one of the Memrise official courses.
7. Mandarin Blueprint – Chinese Online Courses
Although Mandarin Blueprint focuses heavily on pronunciation – as many other Mandarin Chinese online classes also do! – reading is also promoted in this course. The six focuses Mandarin Blueprint lists as being part of their course are pronunciation mastery, components and characters, vocabulary, simple grammar, graded reading, and stories.
Mandarin Blueprint offers different bundles of their class, with the price varying depending on what's included. The beginner Mandarin online classes take you to the A2 level. This is around the same level as the old HSK 4.
There are also intermediate, upper-intermediate, and advanced Mandarin online classes, with Mandarin Blueprint claiming that their Advanced Chinese Course will get you to a near-native level in Mandarin.
Paying for a bundle will also get you access to other learners and coaches, even though, aside from pronunciation practice at the beginning, there does not seem a focus on speaking or listening according to their methodology.
Rating: 4.8 ★★★★☆ | Price: $97/month. All Chinese Courses | Trial: Yes
8. Chinese Zero to Hero – Chinese Mandarin
Chinese Zero to Hero features a multitude of online Chinese Mandarin online classes, ranging from free lessons about phonetics, vocabulary, or poems to online lectures covering material in the new HSK levels 7-9.
The Mandarin courses are self-paced and feature videos covering grammar points and vocabulary at each level of the HSK. Some add-on expansions explore things like song lyrics, business and economics, and history and civilization, to name a few.
The lower-level Manadrain classes appear to be taught in English, with higher levels switching completely to Mandarin. They are regularly updated and added to.
On the Chinese Zero to Hero site, you can purchase individual Chinese online courses or a bundle containing them all. However, the course is taught alongside the HSK Standard Course textbooks, so be prepared to buy those, too. Purchasing their online Mandarin Chinese courses once gives you lifetime access.
Rating: 4.8 ★★★★☆ | Price: from $30-$299 for various course bundles.
Topics: Grammar, Vocabulary, Phonetics, Poems, HSK1-9. Trial: Yes
Tip: Not the right language? Browse our lists of best Italian courses or Spanish courses or English courses or German classes or Portuguese classes or French classes or Japanese classes or Arab courses or Russian classes online.
9. GoEast Online Chinese Courses
GoEast's Beginner Chinese online course helps you learn content covered at the HSK 1 and HSK 2 levels. You can either learn in a group class (1:4) or in a one-on-one class with a Chinese-speaking teacher.
The Chinese courses combine self-study (videos, flashcards, and learning exercises) with your class time, meaning that you'll have a chance to put what you've learned into practice. The video lessons are entirely in Mandarin – albeit with English subtitles – so you will see and hear plenty of Chinese as you learn on your own.
This is easily one of the more expensive Chinese Mandarin online classes on the list, with one-on-one courses costing over $1,000 and group classes costing almost $700. This combination of self-studying and attending classes might not be for you if you need a more flexible schedule, as you will have to maintain a certain pace with your studying to use that class time more efficiently.
Rating: 4.7 ★★★★☆ | Paths: Various course bundles. Self-paced. 1:1.
Topics: Grammar, Vocabulary, Hanzi, Business Chinese, HSK1-6. Trial: Yes
10. Professional Certificate in Mandarin Chinese Communication – edX
Like Udemy, the edX platform (visit website) offers a multitude of Chinese Mandarin online classes online from different providers. The Professional Certificate in Mandarin Communication is from a company called MandarinX and is designed to help beginners learn some Mandarin, with a focus on business communication.
Five courses make up this program: Mandarin Chinese Essentials, Mandarin Chinese Level 1, Mandarin Chinese Level 2, Mandarin Chinese Level 3, and Mandarin Chinese for Business. Each course is estimated to take around 20-60 hours to complete and the goal is for the learner to have an intermediate level of Chinese by the end of all five courses.
These online Mandarin courses seem to take a slower pace than some of the others on this list, especially considering the depth they cover. Paying for the certificate does give you access to one-on-one speaking classes at each level of the Chinese courses, so you can put into practice what you've learned.
11. YoYo Chinese Online Classes
YoYo Chinese features video lessons alongside practice exercises and quizzes to help you develop your knowledge of Mandarin. Their online Mandarin Chinese courses range in level from beginner to upper intermediate. The main focus appears to be verbal communication, but you will also develop your reading skills.
Some courses cover Chinese characters, including videos at the upper intermediate level that get you reading using a ‘motion comic' format. You have the option as to whether you learn simplified or traditional characters.
A free account gets you access to more than 75 video lessons, but a subscription is required for the rest. This starts at $8.99 a month, with the option for a one-off lifetime payment. Although subscriptions begin at $8.99 per month, to get access to all the learning tools, you have to pay $11.99 per month.
Rating: 4.7 ★★★★☆ | Price: from $8.99/month | $299 lifetime | Trial: Yes
12. Mandarin Chinese for Beginners – Peking University – Coursera
Peking University offers a beginner's Chinese online class (visit website) through the Coursera platform. The overall class is split into parts one and part two, which are designed to take six and seven weeks respectively.
Made up of video content, word lists, and exercises, the Mandarin course is designed to get you to a high beginner level. It is entirely free to learn and shares some features in common with many other paid courses in terms of the different activities you will complete. There are two parts. Part 2 (view) is the Chinese course for advanced beginners.
Although the main focus of this course is speaking and listening, there is no access to a teacher for assistance or feedback. It is also probably best for complete beginners, as the limited amount of content included will not get a learner to a high level.
13. Preply Mandarin Chinese Online Tutors
Preply helps you find a language tutor online. If you visit the site and choose the language you want to learn, you can fill out a short quiz detailing your goals, when you have time to learn, and the kind of price point you're after. Preply then shows you tutors who match your criteria and it's up to you to find one and set up a lesson.
Of course, the quality of tutors on sites like these can vary. Preply has a rating system in place and shows you lesson prices up front. You can book single trial lessons to get to know a new tutor, but then you have to pay for a subscription, choosing how many hours per week you want to learn.
Subscribing to a tutor might be unusual, but the goal is to keep your momentum going. This might be useful if you find structured class times to help you learn. Preply has some of the best Mandarin Chinese online classes if you look for 1:1 live sessions and tutoring.
Tutors: Various tutors to learn Chinese 1 on 1. Native speakers. Multiple languages.
Review: ★★★★☆ | Pricing: Low: $10. Medium: $15/hour. High: S40/hour.
14. Chinese for US – Mandarin Online Classes
The ChineseFor.Us platform offers over 200 video lessons to help you learn Mandarin. Their Mandarin online classes focus on pronunciation, as well as covering HSK levels 1-3 in depth. This material is compliant with new HSK standards, so is useful for these exams.
Alongside the video Mandarin lessons, there are also quizzes, grammar notes, vocabulary lists, and writing sheets for you to download. While some Chinese lessons are available for free, most are only accessible with a premium subscription. As a member, you get access to the content, but if you want a tandem partner or teacher, you'll have to find one yourself.
You can pay monthly, every six months, or annually. Paying annually of course works out to a lower price per month, but there is a significant difference in price if you pay monthly ($39.99) versus every six months ($14.99 per month).
Rating: 4.7 ★★★★☆ | Paths: Self-paced Online classes. Free lessons.
Topics: Basic Chinese, Writing, Pinyin, Tones, Speaking HSK1-3. Trial: Yes
Additional Mandarin Chinese Online Classes
15. FluentU Mandarin Chinese
FluentU provides video content sourced from across the web to help you learn Chinese. Learn using their interactive captions, which you can click on while watching the video to see in-context definitions and example sentences.
16. Glossika Mandarin Chinese
Available as an app as well as online, Glossika offers over 6,000 Mandarin Chinese sentences for you to learn. The platform will show you new sentences every day, as well as flagging ones for review. Instead of learning individual vocabulary or grammar structures, you'll learn it all naturally.
17. Mandarin Chinese Uncovered – StoryLearning
StoryLearning uses Olly Richards' Story Method to help you learn Chinese. You get access to stories and audio in Mandarin and to video lessons where a native Chinese teacher goes through the story to highlight grammar points. Learn Chinese in context!
18. Hacking Chinese Course
After browsing Hacking Chinese for advice on learning Mandarin, then you could always enroll in their course – Hacking Chinese: A Practical Guide to Learning Mandarin. The video course has 15 episodes and you also get access to an ebook and other resources to help you learn Mandarin.
Ninchanese is an online platform and app that uses gamification to get you learning Mandarin. You learn words, build sentences, speak (the platform uses voice recognition), and write in a variety of different exercises. You'll get limited access for free but can subscribe for $8 per month.
ChinesePod101 features a huge swath of audio lessons that focus on different levels and topics. There are over 4,000 Chinese lessons in total and when you subscribe, you also get access to exercises and vocabulary and grammar examples to help progress.
21. Lingodeer Mandarin Chinese Class
Lingodeer is an app that features a grammar-based curriculum to help you learn Mandarin. The app has plenty of explanations and all the audio is voiced by native speakers. You can also learn more about Chinese culture through their stories.
Choosing the Best Mandarin Chinese Online Classes
With so many Mandarin Chinese courses to choose from, how do you pick the right one?
It's important to pick a course that
- will help you reach your goals,
- is suitable for your level.
Furthermore, you may ask yourself these questions. Why are you learning Mandarin? What would you like to be able to do? Once you have your answers, take a look at Mandarin Chinese online classes that match your goal and your level.
Another consideration is how the course will fit into your life. How much time per week do you have to study? Is that consistent? Do you need strict deadlines to keep yourself on track, or do you need the flexibility to fit around other commitments?
Cost is also an important factor for many people. Plenty of free or affordable resources for learning Mandarin exist if you're looking to learn on a budget. Alternatively, you could splurge on one-on-one Mandarin Chinese lessons five times a week!
Best Mandarin Chinese Online Classes 2023 – Verdict
Wrapping up our review of the best Mandarin Chinese online classes in 2023. Whether you're taking your first steps into learning Mandarin or are looking to progress to the next level, an online course can help you achieve your goals. As long as you know what you're looking for, you're sure to find something to fit your needs.
No matter what you end up doing, the important thing is that you're doing it. Enjoy your language learning and good luck learning Mandarin!
Best Mandarin Chinese Online Classes 2023
- Rocket Mandarin Chinese Courses
- Udemy Mandarin Chinese Classes
- Rosetta Stone Mandarin Chinese Classes
- Learn Mandarin Chinese Level 1 – Udemy
- Pimsleur Mandarin Chinese Courses
- Memrise Mandarin Chinese Classes
- Mandarin Blueprint – Learn Chinese
- Chinese Zero to Hero – Chinese Mandarin
- GoEast Chinese Online Courses
- Professional Certificate in Chinese Communication – edX
- YoYo Chinese Online Classes
- Mandarin Chinese for Beginners – Peking University, Coursera
- Preply Mandarin Chinese Online Tutors
- Chinese for US – Mandarin Online Classes
Other Mandarin Chinese Online Classes
- Coffee Break Chinese
- Duolingo Chineses
- Hello Chinese
- Michael Thomas Chinese
- FSI Chinese
- Super Chinese
- 1,000 Chinese Phrases – YouTube – View
- Everyday Chinese – YouTube – View
- Learn Chinese Online Lessons – YouTube – View
What are the best Mandarin Chinese online classes for 2023, in your opinion? Which Chinese Mandarin courses have you taken? What have you learned? Please let us know in the comments below, or contact us via email for questions.
Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links to some providers of Chinese Mandarin courses online. courselounge may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. It does not add any extra costs. All reviews, opinions, descriptions and comparisons expressed here are our own.