10 Best Online Chinese Courses & Classes

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Written By Francesca Stephens

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Chinese is a very popular and incredibly useful foreign language to learn.

However, not all parts of the world have the same opportunities to learn Chinese.

So, whether there are no good Chinese classes in your living area, or you simply enjoy e-learning, you’re probably searching for the best way to learn Mandarin online.

Luckily, there are many great options on the market right now.

In today’s article, we will show you the 10 best online Chinese courses.

We’ve rounded up different types of courses; from guided video lessons to learning Chinese in virtual reality.

Something will surely grab your attention!

10 Best Online Chinese Courses & Classes

1. Rocket Chinese

Rocket Chinese online classes

If you’ve ever searched for the best online language courses, you’ve probably heard of Rocket Languages.

It’s a widely known platform that offers a variety of languages including Chinese.

But what makes Rocket Chinese one of the best Chinese language programs?

Rocket Chinese Features

Rocket Chinese is a comprehensive online course that will take you from beginner to advanced (well, maybe upper-intermediate.)

It has three levels, and it’s focused on all necessary skills: speaking, reading, listening, and writing, including reading and writing Chinese characters.

On the Rocket Chinese Dashboard, there are several sections (besides 3 Levels): Interactive Audio, Language&Culture, and Writing.

So, you’ll be learning through audio lessons and other activities.

Features such as flashcards, quizzes, and games will help you test and strengthen your knowledge.

And the inbuilt speech recognition system will allow you to work on your pronunciation. Of course, its feedback is not as accurate as a real person’s, but it is still very convenient and helpful.

Content and Benefits

Rocket Chinese has a well-rounded curriculum that will introduce you to Mandarin in a very effective way.

You’ll learn Hanzi characters, practical vocabulary, useful (but not too detailed) grammar rules, expressions, and so on.

You’ll also get cultural insights and interesting knowledge about Chinese traditions and customs.

And the Survival Kit lessons will introduce you to extra vocabulary and basically teach you everything you need to know to get around a Chinese-speaking country.

They are divided into different topics. Some of the topics they cover are Chinese food, body parts, clothing, and countries and nationalities.

Rocket Chinese also includes a leaderboard to keep you motivated. And there’s a community forum, which is another cool benefit of this program.

Who is Rocket Chinese Best For?

Rocket Chinese offers the best online Mandarin courses for people looking for a structured, comprehensive course that will significantly improve their language skills.

The course is suitable for all levels and ages, but it’s probably most beneficial to beginners.

2. Yoyo Chinese

Yoyo Chinese online course

Yoyo Chinese is another popular online Chinese class.

It’s well-structured, versatile, and comprehensible.

Yoyo Chinese Features

Yoyo Chinese was founded by Yoyo Cheng. She is also the main teacher in the platform’s video lessons. And she is really an exceptional online tutor; professional, expressive, and easy to follow.

Her platform Yoyo Chinese is designed to take you from beginner to upper-intermediate level.

So, if you’re just starting out, you can start with the Beginner Conversational Course.

It’s a linear course that combines audio tracks, speaking practice, quizzes, flashcards, and downloadable materials.

You can also use an interactive Pinyin chart with audio demonstrations and video explanations. Features like this one are free to use.

Lessons are bite-sized and well-structured, so you won’t feel stressed or overwhelmed.

You can also choose a specific skill you want to enhance (writing, speaking, etc.)

Moreover, the Yoyo Chinese program allows you to track your progress. You will also have daily goals, earn points and medals, and so on.

Content and Benefits

The Yoyo Chinese course is focused on conversational Chinese. And you’ll learn both academic and natural, conversational language.

Some of the audio files include authentic, unscripted dialogues (interviews with teacher’s family members, etc.) which is a big plus.

Another benefit is flexibility. You can follow a structured study plan or focus on whatever you want. It’s entirely up to you.

And you can find a bunch of free learning materials. For example, there are numerous useful videos on Yoyo Chinese’s Youtube channel.

All in all, it’s a fantastic online program to get you started with learning Chinese.

Who is Yoyo Chinese Best For?

Yoyo Chinese is the best Chinese learning for learners of all levels and ages.

It’s also a nice extra learning resource if you’re looking for free study materials.

3. Chinese Uncovered

Chinese Uncovered

And how about learning Chinese through stories?

It’s a very immersive and creative method ideal for book lovers and visual learners.

Chinese Uncovered Features

With this online Chinese course, you’ll be learning the language through story learning and guided discovery method.

In short, you’ll be receiving chapters of a book; you’ll read them and listen to them.

After each chapter, you’ll get a video lesson and check your knowledge with the comprehension quiz. You can also download the English translation and complete the worksheets.

You’ll also be introduced to key grammar concepts. But learning grammar with Chinese Uncovered is a bit different than with some other courses on this list.

Everything is much more immersive and intuitive. And although that kind of learning might be a bit challenging for absolute beginners, it’s actually quite effective and very fun.

As creators of the course explained: “You end up learning Chinese almost passively, in the same way that a native Chinese speaker learns. That is the exciting result of learning through stories.”

Content and Benefits

The Chinese Uncovered story method is a relaxed and natural way of learning a new language.

The main story was created with the help of a native Chinese writer. The story is called “The City of Lost and Found.”

Level 1 is centered around this story and it has 20 modules.

At the end of the chapter, you’ll get video lessons, recorded by a native Chinese teacher. She will take you through everything you previously read and heard in the chapter.

And then you’ll have quizzes and speaking exercises.

Through all of these chapters, you’ll be introduced to practical vocabulary as well, so you’ll be able to use your knowledge in everyday situations.

And you’ll eventually be able to read the whole book!

Chinese Uncovered (Level 1) will help you get to an upper-beginner/lower-intermediate level of Chinese (HSK II.)

Who is Chinese Uncovered Best For? 

Chinese Uncovered is great for people who are searching for a fresh and creative approach to learning languages.

It’s ideal for visual learners who like stories and want to be immersed in the Chinese language through authentic fictional narratives.

4. Mandarin Blueprint

Mandarin Blueprint Mandarin lessons online

Mandarin Blueprint offers well-structured and efficient online Mandarin classes.

It’s a beautifully designed platform that will help you take your skills to the next level.

Mandarin Blueprint Features

The Mandarin Blueprint course is created by two advanced self-taught learners who are familiar with all the potential Chinese learning obstacles. They wanted to create a system that applies everything they did right and avoids everything they did wrong.

So, they developed a method that will allow you to learn Chinese in a quick and effective way.

Their online course is based on an easy, step-by-step curriculum and well-designed, useful study tools.

Video lessons are high quality, as well as the rest of the lesson material.

And they are focused on the development of all main language skills.

Content and Benefits

The Mandarin Blueprint course has six phases. All of them will gradually introduce you to different segments of the Mandarin dialect.

For example, the first video course is called Pronunciation Mastery; it will show you how to produce, identify and read every syllable. It’s sort of a pre-phase, actually.

The First phase will teach you how to read, write, and pronounce Chinese characters.

You’ll learn hanzi characters with the Hanzi Movie Method. It’s a patent-pending mnemonic visualization system. In short, you’ll create a coded story about the hanzi character.

In other phases, you’ll learn vocabulary, simple grammar, and graded reading.

In the final phase, you’ll be introduced to popular stories created by native Chinese writers. That’s a really nice touch.

As you can see, it’s a very versatile Chinese course, and you surely won’t get bored with it.

Who is Mandarin Blueprint Best For?

Mandarin Blueprint is hands down one of the best online Mandarin courses for learners who are searching for reliable, effective methods.

If you want to take your Mandarin to the next level, you won’t be disappointed with this course.

5. TutorMing

TutorMing private Chinese classes

TutorMing is another fantastic option for Chinese learners.

If you’re familiar with italki, then you already know the basic idea behind TutorMing.

TutorMing Features

TutorMing is an online Chinese learning platform perfect for learners who prefer one-on-one lessons.

You just need to choose a teacher, book a lesson, and start learning right away!

You can join group lessons or have a private lesson.

All TutorMing teachers are qualified, experienced, and friendly. They will create a study plan based on your current skill level.

You can have classes on your computer, but you can also use TutorMing as an app.

It’s a very convenient program; during your lesson, you’ll be able to pull up images, write on the screen, and so on.

After each class, you’ll get a video recording of your lesson, lesson slides, and some homework. Homework is often very quick and simple.

You’ll also get comments pointing out what you need to work on.

Content and Benefits

One of the greatest things about TutorMing is its customized content. Your teacher will adjust the plan to your abilities and goals.

You’ll learn how to speak, write, and read, but you’ll also get a lot of cultural insights.

All TutorMing teachers make an effort to provide you with an interesting, well-rounded curriculum.

Moreover, the schedule is really flexible, and teachers are available 0-24. You can schedule your class one day in advance. And that’s a huge plus.

There’s also a TutorMing blog to keep you involved and updated with the latest Chinese trends and news. They’re also active on social media.

Finally, if you’re not sure about TutorMing, you can try a free class first, which is something you won’t get with italki and similar platforms.

Who is TutorMing Best For?

If you’re searching for live virtual Chinese classes, you should definitely check out TutorMing.

It’s a perfect way to improve your conversational skills.

6. Pimsleur

Pimsleur Chinese classes

Pimsleur is arguably one of the most popular language-learning platforms.

And it offers a fantastic Chinese online course.

Let’s see if it’s the right type of course for you!

Pimsleur Features

First of all, Pimsleur is one of the very few platforms that offer both Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese classes.

So, if you’re interested in Cantonese, you should definitely give it a try.

All Pimsleur courses are based on organic learning and the so-called gradual interval recall.

So, you’ll be learning Chinese through repetition, exercises, and versatile study tools. They include Flashcards, Quick Match, Speed Rounds, and so on.

Moreover, you can study for 30 minutes a day and still get the results you want. Lessons are short and comprehensible.

There are currently five Premium packages to choose from. All of them cost the same and contain approximately 16 hours of lesson time. The difference is in levels and content.

Content and Benefits

The focus of this Chinese course is on practical vocabulary. YOu’ll learn everything you need to know to have a meaningful conversation in Chinese (Cantonese or Mandarin.)

What you’ll learn with Pimsleur Chinese depends on the package you opt for.

Some courses will strengthen your grammar, some will teach you to practice your pinyin reading skills, and others will prepare you for dynamic conversations.

You’ll also learn about Chinese culture and history.

The whole Pimsleur Chinese course is largely audio-based. And its audio lessons mostly include real-life dialogues.

Audio-based courses are also very convenient. Pimsleur lessons are hands-free, so you can learn Chinese wherever and whenever you want! In your car, during your daily exercises, or while you’re cooking.

Regardless of your level and goals, Pimsleur Chinese is very effective and simple to use.

Who is Pimsleur Best For?

Pimsleur Chinese is a great learning source for learners who want to work on their Chinese listening and communication skills.

It’s also perfect for people searching for portable, hands-free Chinese courses.

7. ChineseClass101

ChineseClass101 is a very similar platform to ChinesePod.

It offers audio lessons, video clips, and various study tools for fast learning.

ChineseClass101 Features

If you like listening to podcasts, you’ll probably like this online Chinese course too.

ChineseClass101 offers a variety of podcast-style lessons centered around real-life dialogues.

You’ll be listening to conversations, and the host will break it down for you line by line. They will make sure you understand every word and phrase.

On the other hand, you’ll be able to pick up words just by listening to dialogues. It’s amazing how much you can learn from the given context.

With ChineseClass101, you’ll also get slideshows, word lists, and flashcards.

And there’s a voice recording function that will help practice your pronunciation.

Moreover, the Pathway feature organizes lessons based on their topic, which is great if you prefer a more structured layout.

So, ChineseClass101 has everything you need for relaxed and effective learning.

Content and Benefits

ChineseClass101 is focused on the development of listening and conversational skills.

Audio lessons are presented by multiple hosts who talk in Chinese and English.

All lessons are downloadable, which is important to point out. It’s a big advantage for people who prefer hands-free courses.

Content is also delivered through video lessons and PDF notes, and that’s a great thing for visual learners. However, you’ll learn the most by listening to dialogues.

After all, they are designed to prepare you for real-life conversations and situations.

And with the Premium Plus subscription, you’ll even have a chance to get personalized guidance from a teacher. You can get valuable feedback, corrections, and answer to your questions. You’ll talk with your teacher via private messenger.

Who is ChineseClass101 Best For?

ChineseClass101 is the best way to learn Chinese for aural learners.

It’s great for beginners who want to start with the basics in a simple way.

8. Mango Languages

Mango Languages Chinese

Have you heard about Mango Languages?

Let us tell you about this amazing online language course.

It’s actually an app but it’s structured like a language course.

Mango Languages Features

With Mango Languages, you can learn how to speak Mandarin through an intuitive chunking approach.

The program uses semantic color mapping; in other words, you’ll see color codes words and match them with English translations. It’s actually a great way to master the vocabulary, especially if you’re a visual learner.

And you won’t be learning grammar in a standard way. You’ll learn it through lexical chunks, which is far more effective than memorizing countless rules.

Moreover, Mango Languages has a very neat and beautifully designed all-in-one interface. It features streamlined navigation, progress review, and learning activities.

Native speakers will guide you through pronunciations and all the nuances of Mandarin, and speech recognition technology will help you with your practice.

All new material will be presented to you in a conversational context.

And cultural notes will apply cultural context to what you’re learning.

Content and Benefits

As you can see, Mango Languages offers a very versatile and well-structured course. You’ll be focused on your vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and conversational skills.

And you’ll get useful cultural insights.

Memory-building and critical-thinking exercises are also included. They will encourage you to put what you’re learning into practice and challenge your recall of learned material.

You’ll also learn how to interpret idioms and figures of speech, and learn the difference between understood and literal meanings.

In essence, it’s a smart course that uses adaptive learning to cater to your needs and allow you to learn as efficiently as possible.

Who is Mango Languages Best For?

Mango Languages is definitely one of the best ways to learn Mandarin online. It’s great for beginners and intermediate learners of all ages.

9. Mondly

Mondly Chinese course

Have you ever imagined yourself learning a new language in virtual reality?

With Mondly VR, that became possible!

You can also opt for a standard version though. It’s just as popular and efficient.

Mondly Features

Mondly is the first company to use Virtual Reality for language learning. They also developed an Augmented Reality (AR) language course.

With Mondly VR, you can completely immerse yourself in the Chinese language. You can chat with a chatbot and experience all kinds of virtual situations and conversations.

Standard Mondly lessons are also very fluid and comprehensible. They are rather short and organized into relevant themes. You can pick a topic you’re interested in and focus on all the words and phrases related to it.

Also, Mondly implements a smart repetition system, so you’ll memorize everything you learn in a proper way.

There’s also fine speech recognition software to keep your pronunciation in check.

Finally, you can use Mondly on all your devices, which can help you have flexibility as well as continuity in your learning.

Content and Benefits

Mondly Chinese has a conversation-focused curriculum. Lessons are designed to get you fluent in a quick and easy way.

You’ll learn the language through common phrases, not individual words. You’ll be able to use them to form complete sentences in no time.

By listening to native Chinese speakers, you’ll also work on your listening skills as well as your accent.

And if you step into a virtual world to learn Chinese, you’ll be able to actively work on your conversational skills.

All things considered, Mondly offers effective and innovative courses that will undoubtedly improve all of your language skills.

Who is Mondly Best For?

Mondly is a fantastic learning resource for anyone searching for an immersive learning experience.

10. MandarinHQ

MandarinHQ Mandarin online course

Do you want to purchase reliable online Chinese classes with an affordable, one-time payment?

Check out what MandarinHQ has to offer!

MandarinHQ Features

MandarinHQ is co-founded by Angel Huang, an experienced Chinese teacher. And she really did a good job in creating the curriculum.

The system is reportedly designed to build your listening ability and confidence to understand Mandarin speakers in conversation.

And it’s based on “The Vault”; it’s a library with more than 150 video lessons. They include short interviews with people from different parts of China.

So, you’ll get used to the conversational speed of native speakers. You’ll also get introduced to a variety of accents and voices.

That’s a great way to pick up new words, including slang and filler words. And you’ll be repeating them a lot.

The “Please say that again“ button will make things a lot easier for you. And you’ll get word-for-word transcripts too.

Content and Benefits

With MandarinHQ video lessons, you’ll be introduced to the Chinese language and culture in a very natural way.

You can browse lessons by topic, and there’s really a wide range of topics to choose from. Celebrations, feelings, holidays, and names, just to name a few.

Lessons are also divided into beginner, elementary, and intermediate.

You can also ask questions about each lesson in the Personalized Q&A section. That’s definitely one of the highlights.

All things considered, MandarinHQ will definitely prepare for your trip to China.

Who is MandarinHQ Best For?

MandarinHQ is a reliable learning source for anyone searching for affordable Chinese video lessons.

How to Choose the Best Online Chinese Courses?

After going through all of these amazing online courses, you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed.

And that’s totally understandable; it wasn’t easy to pick only the 10 best online Chinese courses.

However, all of these courses have a specific learner in mind. So you have to be sure what exactly you’re looking for.

For example, do you want to opt for Mandarin or Cantonese classes?

A reminder: Mandarin (Putonghua)is a form of the Chinese language. You can also call it a dialect. And other forms/dialects include Cantonese, Hakka, Shanghainese, and others.

As Mandarin is the most widely spoken, you’ll probably want to go with that one. Unless you have a specific reason to choose Cantonese (offered by Pimsleur.)

Mandarin definitely opens up more opportunities. That’s why there are a lot of courses focused on Mandarin.

Best Online Chinese Courses

Furthermore, choose a Chinese class that fits your schedule as well as your learning style. If you want to learn on the go, there are great podcast-style courses for you to use.

And if you want to sit down for 30 minutes every day and really get into it, pick a well-structured course with interactive exercises.

Finally, you should pay attention to the level. Many courses are focused on absolute beginners, so if you want to take advanced Chinese lessons, you’ll have to dig a little deeper.

But there’s something on this list for everyone, regardless of your previous experience and learning style.

In the end, most of these courses have free trials, so you can check if you like their style before making any purchases.

What Are the Benefits of Online Chinese Classes?

The benefits of online Chinese classes are numerous.

Firstly, even though it’s an extremely popular language to learn, in some living areas there aren’t many good options for learning Chinese.

With online Chinese language learning platforms, you can learn from native speakers and experienced teachers dedicated to sharing their knowledge with students around the world.

You can also have virtual one-on-one lessons, learn while you’re driving or jogging, and even play games to pick up new words. With the variety of online lessons, possibilities are endless.

Another benefit of online Chinese classes is flexibility. You can learn at your own pace and whenever and wherever you are. And you focus on your specific goals.

Online Chinese classes

Online classes are designed to make your learning experience more effective.

And once you learn how to speak Chinese, new opportunities will suddenly appear.

This skill will undoubtedly give you a competitive advantage in the business world. China is one of the fastest-growing economies and it’s a manufacturing powerhouse.

So if you’re applying for a job in a company that wants to go international, speaking Mandarin will instantly make you stand out from other candidates.

And last but not least, learning Chinese online will immerse you in a unique, fascinating culture. And if that wasn’t the case before, China will immediately jump on your travel wishlist.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article helped you make a good choice and pick the right Chinese course for you.

Regardless of what you pick, you’ll have a great learning experience. All of these courses are fun, interactive, and effective, which is crucial if you want to stay motivated.

On the other hand, it’s your inner motivation that counts. But if you’ve made a decision to learn a new language, you’ve already on the right path!

And don’t worry – Chinese is not as hard to learn as it seems.

It’s a bit challenging to learn Chinese characters though, but with a good online course, that can also be fun and smooth.

Otherwise, it’s a beautiful language to learn, and with all the opportunities it opens up, that can only bring you benefits!