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italki Review

Friday, May 20th

2022 Chinese Lesson Reviews

italki Review 4.5 Star Rating


4.5 Star Rating
  • 2,500+ Chinese tutors to choose from
  • Hourly rates range from $4 to $40+ hour
  • Trial rate on first lesson for as low as $1
  • Fantastic way to get speaking practice, along with personalized homework, grammar lessons, and other instruction

Chinese is particularly difficult for native speakers of English. One big reason is that we often don't have anyone that we can practice with! That's where italki comes in and saves the day. This platform has over 2,500 Chinese tutors who will work with you one-on-one to help you master the language, whether you're starting as a true beginner or you have some experience already.

Choose from community tutors and professional instructors

There are two types of teachers on italki: community tutors and professional instructors. The difference is what you'd expect: while they can all help you learn Chinese, individuals labeled as "professionals" have formal training in language teaching. Whichever type you prefer, you'll have lots of people to choose from as you browse their profiles.

Play the intros

We recommend that you play the intro videos of any that catch your interest: you'll be able to see a little bit of their personalities and determine how well you can understand their English (which is important for your learning!). There are a few filters you can use to narrow down the choices, like other languages they speak or their country of residence, but the most helpful filters are missing: ratings, completed lessons, or overall experience on the italki platform. In the meanwhile, you may want to click the little hearts to mark any favorite profiles, allowing you to go back after you're done browsing and choose the best one(s) for your learning goals.


  • From $4/hour to $40+/hour
  • Discounted rates on your first lesson

Plenty of experience

Although you'll find tutors and teachers who are new to the platform or have only completed a few lessons, there are lots who have ample feedback and a well-established history. For example, we found a professional teacher who simply goes by the name "Rose" and who had over 8600 completed lessons at the time of our review. Watching her 7-minute intro video, we got a clear picture of her English fluency and even her philosophy on life! Clicking on her profile, prospective students can see where she lives, her educational background, and how much she charges for lessons (ranging from $18 for a trial lesson to $20+ for Conversational American English/Mandarin Chinese or $35+ for Business Chinese).

Best Chinese Lessons

No-hassle scheduling based on where you live

Let's say you're ready to book a lesson with a great italki tutor. Simply click on his or her calendar and all available time slots will be shown in your time zone, which is detected according to the time on your computer or phone. In the case of Rose, we were able to book a lesson within a day, and there were lots of open time slots over the following seven days. If you have your heart set on a particular tutor or teacher but don't see any availability in their calendar, just click on "Contact Teacher" to see if they can fit you in another time.

Lots of five-star feedback

You'll have a hard time finding anyone with a bad thing to say - about italki or the instructors there. Almost every Chinese teacher has a perfect five-star rating, and you can read many reviews from students who describe their amazing experiences with the Chinese lessons they received.

Still not the right option for every Chinese learner

With so many positives about italki, would it surprise you if we said that it's not the best fit for every student? Think about it: if you're very timid or you get really embarrassed when you make mistakes, your first exposure to Chinese lessons might be too uncomfortable if it's a one-on-one video session! And, speaking of video, italki isn't your ideal way to learn Chinese if you don't have a quiet environment with a great internet connection: you can't work one-on-one with a tutor if you're sitting in a noisy cafe or using spotty public WiFi.

Best Chinese lessons for learning to speak fluently

That being said, italki is one of our all-time favorite resources for thorough language learning, especially for conversational fluency. After all, what good is it to learn Chinese on paper if you are totally tongue-tied the first time you try to speak it? The teachers and tutors at italki have an excellent track record for high-quality, approachable instruction, the prices are affordable, and you literally have thousands of options at your fingertips. While italki takes a less-than-conventional approach to Chinese lessons, it's one of the first places you should go if you want to learn the spoken language well.

Where Can You Find the Best 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.

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.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

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:

  • Pricing Structure. Will you be locked into a monthly membership fee, or is it a one-time cost? A recurring subscription might keep you motivated to learn, or it might go to waste if you're not diligent in your studies.
  • Approach to Teaching. Some lessons are very traditional, while others immerse you directly into Chinese with no grammar lessons at all. There is Chinese instruction that focuses mostly on conversation through memorizing important words and phrases, as well as programs that teach you how to read, write, understand and speak the language.
  • Difficulty Level. Almost all Chinese lessons are suitable for beginners. What if you've already studied the language for a while? Be sure any program you're considering has enough material for you to make progress, and take advantage of the sample lessons or free trial that may be offered so you can see for yourself.
  • Satisfaction Guarantee. Once you've paid for your Chinese lessons, can you get your money back for any reason? Not every provider offers a refund policy, making it even more important to see if there's a way to try it out before you commit.

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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