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Monday, October 18th
Rocket Chinese makes it easy and interesting for beginners to take Chinese lessons. This well-known program gives you a holistic approach to the language, with plenty of opportunities to read, write, listen and speak - all within a cultural context. Many people like only having to pay once instead of subscribing, though it's also possible to pay in six installments if you prefer. This isn't the right program for more advanced students, but Rocket Chinese is an excellent option for brand-new students looking for Chinese lessons.
Looking for official certification of your Chinese studies? Give Busuu a try. You can receive verification once you achieve A1-B2 fluency levels through a paid membership, or just use your free account for as long as you like if you just want to study the language. You can choose three levels of difficulty or focus your studies just on the Chinese you need for travel. There's not much speaking practice, though, unless you work with native speakers of Chinese who also use Busuu and offer you their help.
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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