How to Learn Chinese – Free eBook

How to learn Chinese, what is the most effective way to study Mandarin, what are the tried and trusted methods? Questions like these are ones we get asked a lot at LTL. The best way to learn Chinese is not to simply spend hours rote memorizing characters, but to learn smart. You need to know how to learn tones, the best way to memorize characters, which apps and websites to use and how to keep motivated while learning Chinese. Everyone has their own methods to succeed but it’s important to find yours rather than endlessly reading through those Chinese books doing the same monotonous thing.

Let ten world famous Chinese language learners tell you in the free Ultimate GuidEbook to Learning Mandarin Chinese their tricks, advice and what they recommend as the most useful ways to learn Mandarin. Both for beginners and those who’ve already started learning, we help you to avoid the most common mistakes Chinese language learners make and benefit from our learning experiences.

How to Learn Chinese Ebook cover

Mandarin Learning Tips and Advice from 10 Language Specialists

  • Pronunciation And Tones

    One thing I always tell people is that as with any language, it’s a good idea to practice speaking or at least get your mouth moving as early as you can. This is doubly so with Mandarin.

    Chris Parker

    Pronunciation And Tones |
  • Remembering Chinese Words

    There are two tips I want to give to help you learn words faster – first I want you to notice some words you already know, and then I’ll give a tip for remembering the majority of unfamiliar words you’ll come across much quicker.

    Benny Lewis

    Remembering Chinese Words |
  • Improving Listening Ability

    You get what your teacher says, but strangers seem to speak a different language. You hang out with Chinese people, but find it hard to catch what they say among themselves. Does this sound familiar?

    Olle Linge

    Improving Listening Ability |
  • Mastering Sentence Structure

    My method of mastering Chinese is one that may work when studying many other languages: learn full sentences, not single words or characters.

    Verena Menzel

    Mastering Sentence Structure |
  • Motivation to Study

    One of the biggest realisations I have made in my Chinese learning journey is that motivation is a finite resource. You don’t have total control over your motivation and recognising that lets you use your time and energy in a more effective way.

    Hugh Grigg

    Motivation to Study |
  • Immersion Chinese for Dummies

    Some people just naturally hear tones and some remember characters by just looking through them. I never did and it took me a long time to figure out how to learn Mandarin. Once I did, I finally mastered the language.

    Andreas Laimboeck

    Immersion Chinese for Dummies |
  • Expanding your Chinese Abroad

    Learning Chinese in China does not mean you will learn it better than someone learning it outside China. You simply need to access the language from where you are and take some steps to integrate Chinese into your life.

    Richard Simcott

    Expanding your Chinese Abroad |
  • Using Technologies in Studies

    In the past few years, new technologies have experienced impressive developments. Which are the main tools that the new digital age offers to obtain a greater efficiency in studying Mandarin?

    Sborto Zhou

    Using Technologies in Studies |
  • Learn Chinese by Having Fun!

    Perhaps one of the greatest secrets to learning Chinese may not really be a huge secret after all: follow your passions and learn by having fun!

    Greg Bell

    Learn Chinese by Having Fun! |
  • Learning Characters Methods

    A friend of mine calls them birds’ foot scratches in the sand – I see pictographs in them representing images and ideas. But either way, at first sight Chinese characters will look like a puzzle to be solved!

    Marcus Pentzek

    Learning Characters Methods |

Learning Chinese – Problem Pairs

It’s very easy to get certain words mixed up in Chinese especially when you have four tones to adhere to. Be sure to get your tones perfected early on. Our Tones Infographic below will tell you everything you need to know about cracking them as quickly as possible.

Once you master the tones you’ll start to hear the difference between these #ProblemPairs – to the untrained ear these my sound the same, but with a little bit of practice you’ll be speaking Chinese like a pro.

We’ll add to the list of #ProblemPairs all the time to give you all the free resources you need to learn Chinese

How to Learn Chinese – Building Blocks

Learning Chinese is actually incredibly logical. Generally it’s the fear that puts people off studying Mandarin. Imagine a language built of lots of small building blocks, the more you learn the easier it gets. With Chinese, this is exactly the case. To showcase this we have provided you with a host of #BuildingBlocks below which show how logical learning Chinese is. Rather than random words, everything is built from the basic radicals and characters. Once you know a few Chinese characters, the rest will start to come more naturally. Taking on Chinese head on is all in the mind, if you want it enough, you will achieve your goals.

How to Learn Chinese Blog Posts

  • Chinese isn't so hard

    LTL Blog

    On the face of it learning Chinese can be incredibly daunting but it really doesn’t have to be. It’s very different from most other languages but there are many hugely logical areas of learning Chinese. We run down our favourites with this blog post.

    Learning Chinese isn’t hard

    Chinese isn't so hard |
  • Skritter Review

    LTL Blog

    Skritter is an app created at helping Chinese learning students get familiar with Chinese characters. It’s ability to also teach stroke order means it has gained huge popularity with it’s theory of repetition to teach mandarin learners characters.

    Skritter Review

    Skritter Review |
  • Hello Chinese Review

    LTL Blog

    Hello Chinese is a popular Chinese learning App many Chinese learning students use. It is widely used around the world by Mandarin learners and uses pinyin, Chinese characters and imagery to teach students Chinese.

    Hello Chinese Review

    Hello Chinese Review |
  • Duolingo Review

    LTL Blog

    Duolingo is one of the biggest language learning apps in the world and thankfully they offer a Chinese edition, but just how good is it? Follow our review of Duolingo and see if it’s worth the download.

    Duolingo Review

    Duolingo Review |
  • Tinycards Review

    LTL Blog

    Tinycards is an app that helps users memorize things with the use of flashcards. There are a huge amount of decks in which suers can learn Chinese. Read our review on the sister app of Duolingo.

    Tinycards Review

    Tinycards Review |
  • Argue in Chinese

    LTL Blog

    We all learn the useful phrases for getting by in China but what if you are faced with confrontation? How will you get by? It’s useful to know how to stand up for yourself. We reveal all with our “How to Argue in Chinese” blog!

    How Argue in Chinese

    Argue in Chinese |
  • Friends in Chinese

    LTL Blog

    Friends is one of the most popular TV Sitcoms of all time and it’s equally liked in China. Beijing even boasts it’s own Friends themed cafe! We translate the main characters and some of their most famed quotes.

    Friends in Chinese

    Friends in Chinese |

Learn Chinese Infographics

Learning Chinese isn't as difficult as you'd think. We are Mandarin language experts and to help you further we are creating a whole bunch of hugely useful infographics relating to learning Mandarin.

  • Learning Chinese Tones

    Learn those tones in Chinese with our useful Tones Infographic for Mandarin speakers. If there is one thing you should master early on, it’s tones. Take it from us!

    Download Now

    Learning Chinese Tones |
  • Le 了 Infographic

    Le 了 is a character that causes much confusion. It has many uses and is very easy to use incorrectly. Never fear, this is why we’ve dedicated to much to creating this great infographic.

    Download Now

    Le 了 Infographic |
  • Lai / Qu Infographic

    Coming or going? Lai and Qu are two Chinese words you’ll find yourself using everyday  so it’s important to get it right. Our comprehensive, easy-to-follow graphic explains all.

    Download Now

    Lai / Qu Infographic |
  • Airport Infographic

    Worried about arriving in China and not knowing what lies ahead? Beijing isn’t a small airport and nor is Shanghai! Get ahead and learn our key phrases and learn how to survive at the airport.

    Download Now

    Airport Infographic |
  • Restaurant Infographic

    Going to the restaurant in China is inevitable. In fact you’ll probably end up going twice everyday, maybe even three times! It’s useful to know what to say in these daily life situations. We are here to help!

    Download Now

    Restaurant Infographic |

Our Favourite Learning Chinese Apps

Duolingo Chinese Testimony for LTL
Duolingo Chinese
Chinese Market Leader
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Duolingo is one of the big names on the market when it comes to learning languages and when it comes to Mandarin, it's no different.

Read More

Duolingo Chinese Testimony for LTL
Duolingo Chinese
Chinese Market Leader
Duolingo language learning app logo

Duolingo – Big Hitter

Duolingo is one of the big names on the market when it comes to learning languages and when it comes to Mandarin, it’s no different.

We absolutely love Duolingo. It suits a variety of levels and is simple to use.

Come and check out our full review on the app, what it does well, what it can improve one, and how you can use it to improve your Chinese studies.

Duolingo Review

Manga Mandarin Testimony for LTL
Manga Mandarin
Chinese via Comics
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Manga Mandarin isn't your conventional Chinese app but it does something most of it's competitors do not do, teach Chinese via Comics.

Read More

Manga Mandarin Testimony for LTL
Manga Mandarin
Chinese via Comics

Manga Mandarin isn’t your conventional Chinese app but it does something most of it’s competitors do not do, that is teach Chinese via the medium of Comics!

Manga Mandarin Logo

It’s surprisingly effective. With the addition of audio recordings and the added ability to look up and save words you didn’t know before makes it a really interesting platform.

We review the app in full and give you all the lowdown on Manga Mandarin

Manga Mandarin Review

Pleco Dictionary Testimony for LTL
Pleco Dictionary
Ultimate Dictionary
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Pleco is one of the most famous names in the world of Chinese and with very good reason. It's almost indispensable, that's how good it is!

Read More

Pleco Dictionary Testimony for LTL
Pleco Dictionary
Ultimate Dictionary
Pleco Chinese Dictionary App

Pleco – The app every Chinese learner has

If there is one app you can bank on a Chinese learner having, it’s Pleco. It’s almost indispensable, that’s how good it is!

Pleco is one of the most famous names in the world of Chinese Language Learning and with very good reason.

In a situation where you can’t dig out the Chinese translation? Pleco has your back! Quite simply a must download, but find out more about it via our review.

Pleco Review