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Tuesday, January 18th
If you want a fun way to learn some basic Mandarin Chinese vocabulary, including conversational phrases you can use right away, Mondly isn't a bad option. You can easily switch between Pinyin and the actual characters, if you need to learn to read in Chinese, and there are fun features like Augmented Reality and Chatbot to have a back-and-forth interaction that closely mimics the real world. You won't get much explanation on what you're learning - no grammar lessons or information on culture, tones, and so on - but Mondly is still an amusing way to begin taking Chinese lessons (or to review what you have learned elsewhere).
Fluenz helps you learn Mandarin Chinese more comfortably by always referencing back to English: no guesswork involved! There are a total of three levels of Chinese lessons here, starting with basics for travel and communication and going up to the language you'll need for "more personal and nuanced conversations in important situations" . You'll pay a one-time fee for the program, which is covered by a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. Unfortunately, there's no trial or sample lessons you can take advantage of, to see how well Fluenz will fit your learning style.
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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