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      December 5, 2019

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Ling Q Review

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Learn Chinese with Rocket Languages Today! 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.

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Chinese Lessons Reviews

3 stars
Ling Q


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Free for 5 lessons/month and 20 LingQs (target words), no Conversations access

$10/month for unlimited lessons and LingQs, 50% discount on Conversations "points"

$39/month for unlimited lessons and LingQs, 3,000 free points/month, 50% discount on additional points

LingQ (pronounced like the word "link") takes readings from actual Chinese print material such as books and newspaper articles, downloading audio lessons to review, and connections with native speaker helpers and tutors as the foundation of its Chinese lessons.

Given the substantial differences between learning Chinese versus languages based on the Roman alphabet (for example, German, Italian, or Spanish), we would have liked to see more specific examples of LingQ's Chinese methodologies. (The site also makes no mention of whether the Chinese taught is Mandarin, Cantonese, or both). Both the sample lessons and the testimonials all refer to learners of other languages, and given the complexities of Chinese characters and the tonal aspects of the spoken language, we found ourselves wondering just how effective LingQ's program is at teaching "meaningful Chinese", as they put it.

We also were less than impressed by the paid nature of LingQ's connections with native speakers. A one-on-one conversation with a native speaker costs $5 for 15 minutes, and a 100-word writing correction costs $5 (and there was no specific explanation as to how Chinese writing would be counted, whether that's in actual Chinese characters or transliteration into the Roman alphabet). With the ease of connecting with native speakers around the world for free, we wonder if the value of those paid interactions would be worth the investment.

With so little detailed information specific to LingQ's Chinese lessons (compared with other languages they offer), we strongly recommend that prospective students sign up for their free trial before committing to a membership.

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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. 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!

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