Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.

The Best Chinese Lessons

Who Provides the Best Chinese Lessons?

With more than 16% of the world's population who speak Chinese as their first language, it's no wonder that modern education is prioritizing learning Chinese as a foreign language. From immersion-based elementary schools to language learning programs found online, it is estimated that as many as 40 million non-native speakers around the globe are currently studying Chinese.

There are two primary dialects of Chinese: Mandarin, or "Standard Chinese", the official language of China and Taiwan; and Cantonese, the official language in Hong Kong and Macau and influential in the Guangdong Province. While the two are similar, Chinese students may want to focus more on one or the other, depending on their purposes for using the language.

Sunday, September 19th

2021 Chinese Lesson Reviews

Rocket Languages Review Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award 5 Star Rating

Rocket Languages

5 Star Rating Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Rocket Languages uses a well-rounded approach to help students converse in Mandarin Chinese and has more than 250 hours of language lessons throughout its beginner and advanced levels. Because of its high customer satisfaction ratings and affordable pricing, Rocket Languages is a great choice for Chinese lessons.

Transparent Language Review 4.5 Star Rating

Transparent Language

4.5 Star Rating

Transparent Language is one of the few Chinese language providers that offers both Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese instruction. Their classes are available as an audio course as well as an online subscription for adults. Transparent gives students less structure within the lesson framework than we observed in other Chinese lessons, so Transparent Language may work best for self-directed learners who don't need regular prompting to motivate themselves to progress in their Chinese studies.

Rosetta Stone Review 4 Star Rating

Rosetta Stone

4 Star Rating

Rosetta Stone is a household name when it comes to foreign language instruction, and rightly so: the lessons provided are comprehensive and approach learning in a variety of ways (for example, audio or visual). While Rosetta Stone's regular pricing for the Mandarin Chinese program is steep, special offers often make it as affordable as other courses that are less comprehensive.

Chinese Class 101 Review 3.5 Star Rating

Chinese Class 101

3.5 Star Rating

Chinese Class 101, from Innovative Language, uses a variety of approaches - audio, video, written, and so on - to teach Chinese and includes a good selection of lessons that teach different dialects as spoken in various parts of the world. The user interface can be somewhat overwhelming, and the sales tactics might feel pushy to some customers. We recommend trying the 7-day free trial before committing to a paid membership.

Pimsleur Review 3.5 Star Rating

Pimsleur

3.5 Star Rating

Pimsleur is best known for its 30-minute audio recordings that provide Chinese lessons on the go. If you learn well by listening, Pimsleur might be your best - though expensive - way to begin studying conversational Chinese. But, if understanding how to read Chinese characters is important to you as well, be sure to get the DVD software version that includes reading lessons, flashcards, and other learning helps.

Ling Q Review 3 Star Rating

Ling Q

3 Star Rating

Pronounced "link", LingQ teaches Chinese lessons with authentic Chinese texts and native speaker "helpers", who help students sound more natural in their speaking and writing. We found that LingQ's point system for those connections makes it difficult to know the true cost of their learning model, and they make no mention of how students are able to bridge the gap between English and the Chinese characters in authentic texts.

Unforgettable Languages Review 2 Star Rating

Unforgettable Languages

2 Star Rating

Unforgettable Chinese uses a speed-learning mnemonic technique to teach Mandarin Chinese vocabulary. Unforgettable Chinese might be helpful for people currently learning Chinese who want basic vocabulary drills; however, compared to more comprehensive Chinese programs, Unforgettable Chinese will not adequately convey grammar and overall usage of the language.

Strokes International Review 1 Star Rating

Strokes International

1 Star Rating

Strokes Easy Learning Chinese targets levels A1, A2, and B2 of the European Framework for Languages. However, with information on the Chinese lessons available only in Italian at the time of this review, with almost no positive reviews for Easy Learning programs in other languages, errors on the website, and zero return policy, Strokes Easy Learning is our lowest-ranked provider of Chinese instruction.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

From beginners learning the intonation of a simple ni hao to those looking to fine-tune their knowledge of Chinese characters and pronunciation, students have many programs from which to choose to help them better grasp the intricacies of the Chinese language. When deciding which Chinese lessons will be the best option, we recommend getting a feel for each program's methods.

The most well-rounded Chinese lessons use strategies to reach different learners - visual, auditory, and so on - through flashcards, pronunciation practice using a microphone to compare the student's speech to that of a native speaker, games, and other online resources.

On the other hand, some Chinese programs focus on a single approach to teaching the language (for example, worksheets or audio lessons) that may or may not be the best way for a particular student to learn.

When choosing a program for Chinese lessons, there are several things to consider. These include:

  • Instructional Methods. Does the format of the lessons match well with your learning style? If a free sample or trial is available, how did you feel after giving it a try?
  • Skill Level. Does the program have an option for your level, whether that is beginning, intermediate, or advanced? Can you move from one level to the next for what you purchase, or do you have to buy more levels later?
  • Value. Is the program effective? Is it worth the money necessary to purchase the program?
  • Mandarin or Cantonese. While the majority of Chinese learners and thus teaching programs focus on Mandarin, you might prefer a Cantonese program if your primary use of the language will be in Hong Kong or with speakers from that area.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Chinese Lessons available today. We hope these reviews help you learn the most common language around the globe quickly and easily!

The Best Chinese Lessons Compare Chinese Lessons Compare Chinese Lesson Reviews What are the best Chinese Lessons Best Chinese Lesson Reviews

Chinese Lesson FAQ

With China being the most populated country in the world, it will come as no surprise that an estimated 1.31 billion people speak Chinese - approximately 16% of everyone on the planet! And, that only includes those whose first or native language is Chinese, not those who are learning it as a second (or third!) language.
There are seven primary dialect groups in Chinese: Mandarin, Yue (or Cantonese), Min, Kejia, Gan, Xiang and Wu. Mandarin is the most widely used and is the dialect you'll most likely use if you travel to Taiwan, Singapore, or China, particularly in the northern regions. Most Chinese lessons are based on Mandarin.
Chinese is one of four languages ranked as a Category IV by the State Department's Foreign Service Institute: a designation that means that, for native English speakers, Chinese is "exceptionally difficult" (along with Arabic, Japanese, and Korean). However, if you're patient and hard-working, you can learn to speak and write in Chinese!
Many experts recommend focusing first on learning how to speak Chinese. The written language is extremely complex, because it's based on pictographs and not a phonetic alphabet, and most learners have a bigger need to communicate orally than in writing. Chinese is a tonal language, where shifting the "shape" of one's voice can change a syllable into a different word. (In Mandarin, for example, the syllable "ma" can mean everything from "mother" to "horse" and even "to scold" depending on the tone!) That can be very tricky for non-Asian learners to master, making it a great place to start.
There's no way to study Chinese that's more convenient than online lessons. You don't have to worry about making it to class on time, being able to register for a course, or turning in homework! Studying Chinese online is also much more affordable, and it lets you take things at your own pace.
Depending on whether you're using a Mac or PC (or an iPhone or Android), there are different steps you can take to enable a Chinese keyboard. Your best bet is to do a search based on the operating system you've got and follow the steps to turn on the Chinese language functionality.
No! You can choose classes with one-time fees for a complete course or a monthly subscription for continuous access, but both types of Chinese lessons are very affordable. For example, one popular program has a 12-month membership for just $16.66 per month, and another offers two levels of Chinese lessons for $249.90. You'll have a hard time finding an in-person class for less than that!
Sometimes. If you've subscribed to a monthly plan, you'll probably be able to cancel future recurring payments. If you've paid for a package of Chinese lessons, some platforms will allow you to request a refund within the first 30-60 days of use. However, your best option is to use any free lessons or resources that the language program offers prior to purchase: many sites have partial or full lessons you can try before you buy, or a 7-day trial you can use before your payments kick in. That's a great way to find out if the Chinese lessons you're considering are a good match for how you learn and what you want to get out of your studies.
The Best Reviews of Chinese Lessons