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LEARN CHINESE | ALL OUR (FREE) RESOURCES
There are so many ways to learn Chinese, and the beauty of it is we all react differently to a number of materials.
- Some of us love absorbing TV and video
- Others prefer flashcards dotted all over the house
- Some need good old-fashioned text books
- Others prefer genuine immersion in the language
Whatever the method, we’ve covered it!
How? Because we’ve all been there, a million times over!
Our team speaks well over 20 languages between them and we all have our own weird and wonderful methods to learn Chinese.
This is why we put so much time into creating the best resources possible, so you can benefit, for free!!
CHOOSE YOUR FAVOURITE RESOURCES
Here is our one-stop page listing our most important resources for, all completely free!
Click your favourites from the list below, as you can see, there’s loads to choose from!
LEARN CHINESE ON SOCIAL MEDIA WITH LTL
Everything we create, we share on Facebook.
The perfect place to see all our flashcard designs!
We love getting creative and we love the fact that you benefit from it. We spend countless hours making these graphics and Pinterest is the place to find more.
We’re on Instagram all day every day with fresh content.
We love creating little quick-fire quizzes and useful images about anything and everything. We even equip our posts with audio to help your speaking.
We also love keeping our eyes on the world of Twitter.
Very much like Facebook, if we release something new, chances are you’ll find it in our Twitter feed. Drop us a follow and come say hello!
We hit YouTube hard in 2020, and why not, we couldn’t travel!
Our YouTube channel is the home of a tonne of excellent content! We cover dating, food, learning, apps and everything else you can imagine!
We’ve also got our very own LinkedIn page as well!
We share some of our favourite graphics here, and we are steadily building a great little community there. Come and be a part of it with us.
We even jumped into the crazy world of Tiktok in 2020.
Tiktok is one of those utterly addictive apps, and we’ve had great fun being a part of it with videos from our teams in Shanghai, Taipei & Beijing.
What? You’re on Spotify? But why would you do that?
What, so a language school can’t share its favourite tunes either? We’ve made some amazing playlists with our very favourite Chinese songs!
To complete the list, we even podcast too. Aren’t we the jack of all trades!
Max, Cam and Katie are your hosts in which we provide short, snappy pods talking about all things related to China. Why not pop along and subscribe to us?
LEARN THE ESSENTIALS OF CHINESE
CHINESE MEASURE WORDS
Some elements of Chinese confuse beginner students, but you needn’t be worried.
We are always creating new graphics and media to make you lives easier.
Measure words in Chinese can intimidate at first, but upon realising we actually use them in English, the process becomes far more friendly!
Here is one of many graphics we made for Measure Words, the rest of which you can find by clicking the link below.
Radicals are a concept alien to new students of Mandarin, but don’t go worrying!
It took us a (very) long time, but we got our hands dirty and created an amazing FREE download for you.
In total, there are 214 Chinese radicals, and in a nutshell, these are the building blocks of the entirety of the Chinese language. Every character has them!
As we believe the best resources should be available to each and every student, you can download your FREE PDF here.
LEARN CHINESE – FREE DOWNLOADABLE PINYIN CHART
If you are just starting out to learn Chinese then you’ll be discovering Pinyin.
Pinyin was invented in 1958 to allow Chinese to become easier for us to learn.
It worked! Mandarin learners now have a vital tool to understand how to pronounce Chinese characters.
This is because Pinyin is the romanization of Chinese characters.
Of course, in true LTL style, we’ve created something great for you to aid your learning.
Available to download for free, we created a Pinyin Chart which covers every possible word combination in Chinese.
That’s because every Chinese word is made up of an Initial and a Final (as shown in our videos below). Once you’ve spent a little bit of time getting used to Pinyin it’s actually a very simple concept. In fact you see certain combinations (we’re looking at you SHI) come up pretty often!
OTHER AMAZING RESOURCES TO LEARN CHINESE
LANGUAGE LEARNING WITH NETFLIX
Language learning with Netflix is something we discovered back during lockdown in early 2020.
We were so excited upon discovering this amazing, yet simple tool, that we had to share it immediately!
We hurriedly put together an article and a video showing what LLN is all about and the response we had from it on our YouTube Channel, and our email inboxes we so strong!
In a nutshell – it’s a way to watch your favourite programs with two sets of subtitles. You can pause a program, look-up words, save sentences and phrases, and much more!
We documented it all in this quick-fire. We hope you like it as much as we do!
LANGUAGE LEARNING WITH YOUTUBE
Language Learning with YouTube was another fine discovery from our Marketing Whizz Marine!
Having discovered the Netflix equivalent months before, and realising how useful it was, this was the icing on the cake!
Very much like with LLN, Language Learning with YouTube does exactly the same thing. One video, two sets of subtitles and one amazing resource for learning a language!
Getting LLY on your computer is really simple as well, it simply involves downloading the extension (you need the Google Chrome browser) and you are good to go.
Of course, as with LLN we put together a video guide as well as the linked blog post above.
Hack Chinese was another 2020 lockdown discovery (some good things came from that difficult period of time you see).
Our Marketing Man Max became obsessed with this and he still uses it everyday, to this day (so he says)!
A brilliant tool to learn and absorb Chinese characters. He wrote a review about Hack Chinese here.
Many people overlook Netflix and assume it’s just something we put on to wind down at the end of the day.
Not true! Netflix can be an invaluable tool for learning any language. You just need to pin down some TV shows/movies you like.
A new one 2021. YiQi Hanzi is a beautiful new brand of flashcards created by the owner of @han_characters.
After gaining a host of fans with her designs on Instagram, MC (the person behind the account) took things one step further…
We love MC’s designs and think they’re a great way to learn Chinese. Check out a full review of YiQi Hanzi here.
LEARN CHINESE FROM THE ONES WHO KNOW BEST
The freebies don’t end there. We’ve got another download for you and this is a good one.
As we’ve grown as a school we’ve discovered many newbies like to hear how people “got fluent”.
Of course, that’s our job, but it’s not all about what we do, it’s about what you, the student does.
With that said, upon request from some of our students we created this super handy ebook which paints the picture of TEN fluent Chinese speakers who did it all from scratch.
Each provide different tips and tricks, plus things to avoid when learning Mandarin.
Included in the ten speakers is our very own founder, Andreas!
AMAZING MANDARIN MATERIALS – NO ONE DOES IT BETTER
One thing we back ourselves on (aside from being the best Mandarin school around!) is creating amazing content on our blog.
We’ve written over 500 fantastic posts about anything and everything related to China, some of the best ones of which we’ll list below:
👉 THE BASICS
👉 THE ESSENTIALS
👉 IDEAL FOR WORK
👉 HANDY VOCABULARY
👉 FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD
👉 TRAVELLING CHINA
👉 MUST KNOW
👉 USEFUL EXPRESSIONS
👉 DISCOVER MORE ABOUT LTL
👉 BEST APPS FOR LEARNING
👉 THE SUBLIME & RIDICULOUS
FREE HSK VOCABULARY TESTS
You did indeed read that correctly.
We’ve spent hours put these superb little quizzes together which allows you to find out just how good your HSK knowledge it.
All in the name of helping you guys!
We’ve every HSK level (currently 1-6) in multiple choice format.
One character and four options, your job is to choose the correct answer.
Upon completion you will be emailed your results immediately. Do check your Spam folders also, just in case they dropped in there.
PLEASE NOTE – this is NOT an official test and is not affiliated to the HSK Exam’s run by Hanban. This is simply a quick-fire vocabulary test created by LTL Mandarin School.
FUN LEARNING TOOLS
Understanding and learning Chinese isn’t just about opening the text book and learning new words, it’s about getting to know the culture.
Chinese is an incredibly deep and historic language and there are so many useful things you can learn when embarking on this great adventure:
And yes, you guessed it. We’ve gone and made something for each of those things!
Whenever we have a brain wave in the office we don’t just put it to once side, we make it happen! We hope you find them useful!
FREE QUIZZES TO LEARN CHINESE
You saw above our FREE HSK Vocabulary quizzes, and whilst it would’ve been easy to stop there, we decided to go on step further.
We realised we have a tonne of vocabulary blogs that teach our readers a bit of everything.
So we thought, why not go one step further and make quizzes for those as well?!
So we did just that!
We are continually adding these to our websites, but here are some of our most popular so far!
You’ll be very aware already we like to get creative, but perhaps you don’t quite realise how creative! So here are some of our most popular and insane infographics we’ve created, just for you!!
Download your favourites, share them and use them to learn!
FREE CHINESE CLASSES ONLINE
You didn’t read that wrong! We really do provide FREE Chinese Classes every single month live on our Facebook page. Check out this one about Chinese Celebrities with Jane.
Our FREE lesson schedule is published every month – we normally run 3-4 classes depending on our teachers schedules.
Topics vary from a whole host of things and we are always happy to listen to requests too.
As you’ll see by now, we put a lot of time into making these excellent learn Chinese resources, none more so than our free Chinese posters.
We have built up a little portfolio of excellent learning resources which you can download for free!
Our list of posters is increasing by the day, so much so, that we even made a shop for them!
You can also see a preview of our posters using the slider here.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is there a Chinese Alphabet?
In English we have 26 letters in the alphabet, in Russian we have 33 in the Cyrillic alphabet, but…
There is no such thing as the Chinese Alphabet.
Chinese is all about characters and we don’t put them together like we do with letters in our alphabets to make a word because these characters actually make up words themselves.
Find out more about the Chinese characters/letters here.
What are Hanzi?
Hanzi are quite simply Chinese Characters.
How many Chinese characters do I need to know?
There isn’t really a clear answer to this, but it’s more dependant on your goals.
To speak day to day Chinese you can cope quite comfortably with roughly 500-750 Chinese characters to your name.
To delve a little deeper, this is a good barometer for various levels of Mandarin here.
2,000 Chinese characters – the number you need to read a newspaper
2,633 Chinese characters – the number of characters you should know to pass the HSK 6 exam
8,000 Chinese characters – the number an educated Chinese person will know
20,000 Chinese characters – the number a modern day Chinese dictionary would use
Is Chinese the same as Mandarin?
In a word, no.
Mandarin is a dialect of Chinese.
Chinese is a language (Mandarin is one of the dialects of Chinese alongside Shanghainese, Cantonese and many more).
How do you say 1, 2, 3 in Chinese?
A horizontal stroke 一 (yī) means 1, two horizontal strokes, 二 (èr), represents the number 2, three strokes, 三 (sān), as you can easily imagine, represents the number 3!
To find out the others check out our guide on Chinese Numbers here.
How many Chinese characters are there?
Good question! A lot!
Let’s start with the Great Compendium of Chinese Characters, in Chinese the Hànyǔ dà zìdiǎn (汉语大字典).
They quote that the number of existing Chinese characters is actually 54,648.
However, there’s more
The Dictionary of Chinese Variant Form, in Chinese the Zhōnghuá zì hǎi (中华字海) takes things to another level, however. This rather tame dictionary includes definitions for a mere 106,230 characters!
Are there any loanwords in Chinese?
There are indeed.
In fact there’s some interesting examples which include:
Talk Show = 脱口秀 tuōkou xiù
Calories = 卡路里 kǎlùlǐ
Aspirin = 阿司匹林 āsīpīlín
What’s interesting about this is that these aren’t exactly common words, showing that Chinese is never quite as hard as people think.
Without even realising, you learned three new words there that are almost identical in English.
We’ve got some more great loanword examples here.
What is the HSK?
HSK Exam in Chinese is Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (汉语水平考试) literally meaning “Mandarin Level Test”.
It is the exam foreigners take to judge their Chinese level.
Currently there are 6 levels, which attempt to align with the A1-C2 framework.
There are plans to change the HSK in the near future though.