A Complete Guide to Learning Chinese Online for Free

A Complete Guide to Learning Chinese Online for Free

You want to learn Chinese, but you don't have the time or money.

Learning Chinese has become popular lately for a variety of reasons. Trying to find quality Chinese courses online has become more and more difficult. The internet is flooded with websites that sell expensive classes without giving you the anticipated results.

Wouldn't it be great if you could learn Mandarin online for FREE? Do not fear when Speechling is near with a complete guide on how to learn Chinese online for FREE!

Ancient Chinese script

Why Should I Learn Chinese?

Even though Chinese is the official language for only three countries, (Taiwan, China, and Singapore), you have to consider the size of them. Together, these three countries have a population of approximately 1.5 billion individuals. The world's population reached a high of 7.7 billion, according to worldometers.info's survey at the end of 2018. Ultimately Chinese speakers make up a full seventh of the world's population, making it one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.

There are many reasons why you should consider learning Chinese, even if it's just a few phrases. Not only will it make traveling to Chinese and Mandarin speaking countries more comfortable, but it will open up opportunities to do business within the Chinese market. You will enrich your life beyond measure if you learn a few basic Chinese phrases.

You are probably finding yourself in a position where you don't want to invest too much money or time into learning Chinese. That is why I have put together a complete guide to help you learn Chinese online for FREE.

Here follows a complete list of platforms you could sign up for and join to enjoy free online Chinese lessons:

Wood blocks

Social Media

Click on the 'like' button, follow, and subscribe. Social media is filled with bloggers and influencers who want to help you learn new skills.

1. Instagram

An active online Chinese teacher is a cool guy from Elementary Chinese on Instagram. The presenter gives you tips on how to communicate with Chinese speakers while traveling. He provides additional guidelines and classes on using Chinese tones and common phrases.

The enthusiastic presenter has a very hands-on approach, as he goes through everyday experiences with you. Going on live chats while talking to Chinese speaking taxi drivers or shop owners. Chinese number - Hand signs and How to leave Taobao ratings are some of the useful video titles he posts on his Instagram weekly.

He also offers free practice tutorials on his Instagram account and lets his audience interact with him. He provides free online videos and strategies to individuals who sign up on his website - speakeverydaychinese.com

2. Facebook

Facebook has a wide variety of pages and groups that can assist you in learning Chinese online for free. One of the most useful Facebook pages is ChineseClass101.

They offer a free lifetime account, which gives you access to hundreds of video and audio lessons every week. With great cheat sheets and motivation from other non-native speakers, you'll find this online community of over 40,000 members delightful and informative.

3. Youtube

Mandarin corner is a Youtube channel with over 35,000 subscribers and over 1 million views. These Chinese speaking girls produce videos that give you 50 Essential sentences for traveling and eating in China, as well as 50 Essential sentences for small talk with Chinese speakers as a beginner. More intermediate level videos are also available for more advanced learners. Titles of their videos include: interesting topics like Ten things Chinese girls find attractive to discussing informative topics like One year in China's countryside

4. Wechat

GuideinChina is an excellent Wechat Official account that will provide you with hundreds of free articles written by locals. Articles include differences between English and Mandarin, as well as tips on how to approach Chinese locals. GuideinChina will also give you more information about language exchange programs between locals and foreigners in your area.

A man making notes

Free Online Courses

1. Duolingo

Duolingo is one of them. With their daily goals of spending 5, 10, 15, or 20-minutes on learning Chinese, they create a supportive online platform for beginners and advance students. The cute green owl makes learning fun with virtual awards like stickers and other daily goal challenges. You can connect with friends and compete against them through the Duolingo APP and website.

2. Hanbridge Mandarin

Hanbridge Mandarin offers a free initial lesson, where you can participate in a one on one video call with a native speaking tutor to help you learn Mandarin. Hanbridge Mandarin has a structured curriculum and has a flexible time schedule that will fit in with your busy schedule.

3. Speechling

Speechling is my top choice when it comes to FREE online learning. This comprehensive platform provides you with a bunch of different tools from recording your Chinese pronunciation to listening to your coach's feedback. A massive variety of worksheets and flashcards help you practice anywhere at any time. Speechling also gives you FREE access to articles and tips from native Chinese speakers as well as non-native speakers who live in Chinese speaking countries.

A girl listening podcast


The great thing about podcasts is that you can listen to them on the go. No need to be stationary because you can listen, learn, and practice while you jog, shop, and walk the dog.

ChinesePod - ChinesePod has more than 4000 free online Chinese lessons. There's no need to learn Chinese from boring textbooks. As the Chinese pod team creates engaging video and audio materials to guide you from being a beginner to being a master in spoken Chinese while practicing your listening skills.

A woman working on tablet


Your smartphone can be the best device to help you learn Chinese for free online. There are a wide variety of APPs available for android and ios phones to help you with easy translations, quick vocabulary checking, and Mandarin character writing.

1. Pleco

You can use Pleco for free offline translations into traditional Chinese, Mandarin, and other foreign languages. Key features include an extensive collection of dictionaries, flashcards, and handwriting input. My personal favorite - the OCR feature - where you use your phone camera to scan and lookup 'live' Chinese words.

2. Skritter

Skritter is simple enough for students, powerful enough for expats. Skritter is used to practice and learn Mandarin character writing. It has an online system that recognizes your written Mandarin characters and gives it a real-time grading, for you to check your progress.

3. Memrise

Use Memrise to learn HSK Chinese vocabulary by going through hundreds of flashcards. Testing your memory with simple challenges and games. You can access a huge variety of Chinese words and general knowledge questions through interesting categories like, 'Arts & Literature,' 'Maths & Science,' and 'The Natural World.' It even won a Google play award in 2017.

4. Speechling

Speechling -again, my number one choice! Speechling offers you the opportunity to learn and practice speaking any language. It focuses on providing you with tools to sound like a native speaker. This unique platform gives you access to Chinese speaking coaches and high-quality content.

There are many tools available online for you at no cost, all you need to do is to invest time in your Chinese proficiency. Learning Chinese is a challenging task, but with all the FREE resources available to you, you have no excuse!

快乐学习,下次见 (Kuài yuè xuéxí, xià cì jiàn!) - Happy Learning, see you next time!