10 best apps to learn Mandarin Chinese language (fast and easy)

Updated: 03. Nov, 2022

There are many reasons why learning a language used to be a challenging task in the past. However these days, things are different because humans have evolved and so has our technology. 

This means that anyone can learn almost any language right from the comfort of their homes. They can do so with certain apps designed specifically to teach and improve mastery of a particular language — in this case, Mandarin Chinese. 

These apps have many learning tools with functions that range from connecting users with native speakers to educating them on how to put down Chinese characters until they become fluent. 

Of course, like anything worthwhile, it will not be an easy task. The Chinese language is one of the hardest to pick up, especially for English speakers. One reason is that different letters represent characters in the Chinese Mandarin language. In addition, many of the aural tones have no English equivalents, which can make them sound weird to western ears. 

Still, with the right tools, attitude and actions, anyone can learn Mandarin Chinese and even become proficient at it, even if it usually takes longer when compared to other languages. Thanks to new software innovations, people can begin the learning process within the comfort of their homes. However, with all the numerous apps, how does one know which to go for? 

The question can become a dilemma but armed with information from this article; anybody can make a great choice. Below are ten of the best apps that can make learning Mandarin Chinese fast and easy. 

Best Apps To Learn Mandarin Chinese 

There are a ton of apps on the market that can successfully teach the Mandarin Chinese language. Here is a list of ten apps that can help you study Mandarin Chinese regardless of where you’re located. 

1. Rosetta Stone

This particular app has grown in popularity because it was tailored especially to beginners with little experience in learning a foreign language. First-time Mandarin Chinese learners are advised to choose Rosetta Stone to gain quick mastery of the basics of the language and its vocabulary. 

Rosetta Stone has grown over the years to become a household name in language learning, with their commercials reaching back decades. Many fancy this app because its methods are pretty effective and it also uses a conversational approach.

Users get to learn to communicate in Mandarin Chinese before expanding their expertise with additional vocabulary and grammar. It also has splendid features like offline support, additional study aids, interactive games, speech recognition, and many more.  

Above all, new users will find the fees easy to deal with. The Chinese package is priced at $94.99 per year or a lifetime payment of $199.99. A little expensive, but it only happens once.

2. Busuu

Busuu is a very smart app that almost makes learning Mandarin Chinese look like a walk in the park. This language learning platform teaches vocabulary and grammar with intellectual lessons and exercises. 

Busuu was created in 2008 and has since grown to become one of the top language learning systems that are constantly evolving. In 2015, it partnered with McGraw-Hill Education to create an official certificate that can be granted to users as soon as they pass a test on the platform.

One of the best things about Busuu is its online community which gives users access to native speakers that can easily correct mistakes and encourage growth. You can add your favorite correctors as friends. Also, if you are proficient in your mother tongue, you may also help others trying to gain mastery of it. 

All lesson modules in the app are well categorized. The exercises are also very efficient because they cover several aspects of a given language at once. Like many other apps out there, Busuu is free. However, it has a paid subscription divided into two: the premium plan and the premium plus plan.

3. Duolingo 

Duolingo is another language learning app that motivates its users to learn using gamified methods. Thanks to these methods, users can learn simple vocabulary and sentences to gain a well-rounded knowledge of the target language. 

Duolingo is popular among users of all ages because it is a pretty straightforward learning app that is very easy to use. All you have to do is create a profile, choose the language you desire to learn, and set your weekly milestones. The courses the app offers are presented in modules grouped to form skills.

The app dictates the order in which a user needs to complete the various modules. This means new learning modules will only be made available after the previous one is finished. 

The lessons consist of a variety of activities including translation. The app also has tracking metrics that keep users updated on their progress. Enough memes have been made about the relentless reminders the app sent as notifications to remind users to complete their daily streak before it gets reset. 

The app has a paid version but this does not unlock new perks except the removal of ads that overrun the free mode. 

4. Mondly

Mondly is a language learning app that has become famous for its learning approach. This app will reportedly help you learn a new language with gamified tools that will have you speaking faster than any other learner. Indeed, Mondly was designed by combining precepts of neuroscience with cutting-edge technologies.

It was founded by Alex Iliescu and Tudor Iliescu in 2013 and has since grown to accommodate over 40 million subscribers. Its popularity is not hard to see; Mondly uses a combo of course materials, Augmented Reality (AR), and chatbots to help users learn a new language. 

You don’t need to sign up to use Mondly. Interested users need to visit the website or download the app to start learning. However, it is best to create an account if you want to integrate the app across multiple devices. 

Like many apps out there, Mondly has a free and paid version. With the free account, learning is limited to one topic with seven lessons. However, with the paid version, users will have access to different categories or topics including core vocabulary, family, countries & languages, and even romance.

Mondly will easily get a newbie addicted to the learning experience, which will teach them useful vocabulary and phrases that users are most likely to encounter in real life. 

5. Pimsleur

Pimsleur is an audio-based learning system that helps users learn by presenting them with phrases in the target language first. Afterward, it converts the phrases to their mother tongue for them to translate. It was developed thanks to the research spearheaded by linguist Paul Pimsleur many decades ago. 

If speaking fluently in Mandarin Chinese is a user’s fantasy, Pimsleur is arguably one of the best apps for them to do so. The words and phrases presented at each learning session come with translations and can either be said in isolation or in a suggested context. 

The system is almost totally audio-oriented. However, there are sometimes reading materials for some units that are to be read while listening to the audio. This means users will have more ease with spoken language and difficulty with reading what was said. 

6.  HelloChinese

HelloChinese is a great Chinese learning app for beginners that comes equipped with many lessons. Learning the Chinese language is a daunting task but this app comes at the topic from different directions which have made it quite popular among learners. 

Some of the methods the app uses to teach include games, pronunciation modules, and offline support. The lessons taught are short and simple making the difficult language just a bit easier to pick up. Like many of the apps mentioned earlier, it lets users work their way up through different levels while building knowledge and improving their understanding of Mandarin. 

The app begins with an explanation of how to read the written form of Mandarin which uses letters rather than Chinese characters. After that, users get to play games that help them promote vocabulary expansion, learn grammatical do’s amd don’ts, and construct sentences. 

7. Memrise

Memrise is an app with a massive amount of learning content. It makes use of spaced repetition flashcards as well as many free user-created courses. The courses officially provided by the app are equipped with great audio quality, occasional videos, and pictures. 

The app, which is available online and on mobile, is well designed and also fun to use. Learning is encouraged by the short activities and it offers quite a variety of content for free. Users will love the great interface on the app, which is great for memorization as its name suggest. 

Pricing is cheap at $8.99/monthly, $59.99/annually, and a $139.99/lifetime subscription. In addition, there are options that can let users learn up to 20 other languages after gaining proficiency in Mandarin. 

8. Drops

This is one of the best apps out there that has hacked the use of gamified methods to teach languages. The Drops app helps users acquire new vocabulary with interesting and fast-paced games. It boasts rapid learning modules which make use of high-quality pictures to immerse users in the learning experience, motivating them to return while expanding their knowledge. 

For the free version, some content is restricted; learning sessions are limited to five minutes per day, and ads are displayed. The premium version costs $13 monthly and grants access to listening exercises and ad-free interactions. 

9. FluentU

FluentU employs the use of realistic video content, which may include movies, music videos, and news, to teach users their target language. It has interactive captions that are subtitled and translated. Additionally, you can click on the words displayed to aid easy translation to a user’s native language.

Each learning content comes with a transcript that carries users along. However, it does not include any pronunciation practice and can be pretty expensive depending on your budget. 

It also offers a 14-day free offer that will help you determine if it is the best app for you and after the free trial ends, you get to purchase a monthly subscription at $29.99 which means you’ll be paying $359.99 per year or you can opt for the annual plan which costs $239.99 saving you about a $100. 

10. Clozemaster 

With Clozemaster, users can easily learn vocabulary by providing missing words for a wide variety of sentences. Like many language learning apps on this list, it uses spaced repetition to help users master vocabulary while earning points. Learners can track progress using word frequency. It is a great app for users who have gone past the basics but maybe a little too much for beginners. 

Many agree that the best thing about this app is how it helps users learn new words and phrases in context. It also has an audio program specifically designed for intermediate and advanced learners. Fortunately, a lot of content it offers is free but the pro version has even more features including text-to-speech and many more. 

FAQs On Choosing The Best Apps To Learn Mandarin Chinese

Can I learn Chinese Mandarin with an app as a beginner? 

Yes, a lot of apps have courses that cater to beginners. These beginner-level lessons usually start from the basics before progressing to advanced levels of difficulty or proficiency. In fact, some of the applications listed above only support beginners and first-time learners with no prior knowledge of the Mandarin Chinese language.

How do I know what app to choose?

Selecting an app is solely dependent on your needs, goals, learning style, priorities, and resources. Nonetheless, the three major features to look out for while choosing a Mandarin Chinese learning app include content quality, ease of use, and pricing. To avoid dissatisfaction, it is best to take note of your proficiency level, budget, and the style(s) of learning you prefer.

How can I know whether the features of an app are right for me?

In this article, we reviewed the features of various learning apps that offer Mandarin Chinese courses. However, in addition to this information, you need to do your own research. Additionally, several paid apps offer a limited free trial and money-back guarantee period. This means you can get your fee back if you believe you are not getting enough value. These options allow you to explore various apps till you find the one that best fits your learning needs regardless of what they are.

Can I learn everything in the Chinese Mandarin language with my app?

Likely not. The Mandarin Chinese language is wide and it has its own grammar rules, vocabulary, and syntax. Language-learning apps that support Mandarin Chinese produce the best results when combined with other language-learning services and resources such as Chinese classes, movies, news, etc. These will ensure you are not just a walking dictionary that knows what the words mean but can’t use them in different contexts. It is advisable to not depend solely on these apps unless they can help you attain a required level of fluency.

Conclusion 

Language apps are a convenient innovation. However, it is important to note that they will not teach you the nitty-gritty of Mandarin Chinese. There is also much to be said about how fluent you can get by using these apps. However, they are an effective and fairly affordable method of learning a language from the comfort of your home. Mandarin Chinese is a hard language that takes a long time to master and an even longer time to become fluent in. Still, with the help of the above-listed apps, users can rest assured they are well on their way to speaking the language fluently.

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