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Wednesday, March 22nd
If your priority is speaking Chinese fluently, turn first to italki for your lessons. These are like nothing else out there: your instruction will be delivered through one-on-one sessions with the tutor(s) you select, and there are more than 2,500 instructors to choose from! This is also one of the only services that gives you access to more than just Mandarin, if you need to study Cantonese, Taiwanese, or Hokkien. These Chinese lessons are remarkably affordable, with most tutors charging from $10-$20 for a one-hour session, and trial lessons are available for less than $5. italki is one of our all-time favorite resources for well-rounded language learning, and we highly recommend it for students of all fluency levels in Chinese.
Rosetta Stone teaches language through immersion: in other words, when learning Chinese, you won't get any English translation as you work through the lessons. That's easier said than done, especially when learning a language that uses characters instead of the Roman alphabet! You should take full advantage of the free three-day trial here, to see if learning Chinese by immersion is a good fit for you. Most students will feel more comfortable using a higher-ranked provider of Chinese lessons.
If you're interested in the language, you're in good company: according to recent statistics, there are more than 25 million people worldwide learning Chinese as a second language, with over 200 million people outside of mainland China who speak it! A few decades ago, eager students had to find a college offering Chinese lessons in order to learn, but today Chinese can frequently be found in high schools, enrichment programs, and even dual language or immersion programs for elementary school children.
Not one of the lucky ones to have classes nearby? Don't worry! There are many different options for taking Chinese online now too. Whether you want traditional-style lessons with detailed grammar explanations, multiple choice quizzes, and lots of repetition with flash cards, or you prefer a more modern, game-like approach, you'll have no trouble finding something that fits your learning style and your available study time.
Of course, Chinese probably isn't going to come to you as easily as a Romance language like Spanish or French. Not only do you have a completely new writing system to comprehend - one that uses characters instead of letters, too - but the tonal aspect of Chinese is notoriously difficult for English-speakers to master. (For example, a single change in tone can make the difference between saying "to buy" or "to sell" , "flower" or "painting" , or "panda" and "chest hair" !) You'll want to choose Chinese lessons that help you learn what you need most - like travel phrases or everyday conversation - while teaching you the well-rounded basics too.
How can you tell which Chinese lessons are right for you? Here are several things to look for as you consider different programs:
To help you get the most out of your language studies, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best Chinese lessons available online today. We're confident that this information will help you pick a program that fits your unique learning style and fluency goals.
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