Whether you're learning Standard Chinese or Mandarin for a class, a work promotion, a trip, or even a move to mainland China, Taiwan, or Singapore, you want it to come jiǎndān -- that's easy! You don't want to spend months struggling through incredibly difficult courses. There are easier ways to learn Mandarin Chinese, whether you're at a basic or intermediate skill level.
The following seven language learning apps for Android and iOS devices make learning Mandarin Chinese online -- basic vocabulary, speaking skills, and sentence patterns -- child's play with fun exercises and games that are built on spaced repetition, which is great for retaining new vocab in your long-term memory. You'll be conversing and even writing like a native Chinese speaker in no time with the best apps for learning how to speak Mandarin Chinese in 2018.
One of the best apps for Mandarin learning, FluentU (Android, iOS) leverages Chinese-language video content -- music videos, film trailers, and talks -- from around the Internet to teach Chinese vocab and grammar rules. By watching, Chinese students get to see the words in action. They can also quickly look up any words they don't understand in the app. Download the app and get two weeks of foreign language learning tools for free to start and then pay $29.99 per month or $239.99 per year to continue to learn and improve your skills.
2. Rosetta Stone
The highly regarded Rosetta Stone (Android, iOS) foreign language app stresses immersive learning, helping you pick up Chinese vocabulary and Chinese grammar -- words, sentence patterns, even entire conversations -- with pictures of actual situations you might find yourself in in Beijing. Start with the most elemental greetings, questions, and phrases. Then read short stories aloud, confident that your pronunciation is correct as it is checked by trustworthy TruAccent speech recognition technology. Then get out and about, testing what you've learned in real-life situations, and consult the app's easy-to-access phrasebook if you get stuck on any idioms. Pretty soon you'll be able to have deeper conversations and even conduct business in Mandarin. You can also take the learning offline with downloadable lessons. Try the service for free for three days before paying between $54.99 to $199.99 for a subscription.
3. In 24 Hours Learn Chinese
As its name spells out, In 24 Hours Learn Chinese (Android, iOS), one of the best apps to learn Mandarin, promises to teach people thousands of Chinese words and phrases using audio-visual lessons in just 24 hours. The name may be an exaggeration, but the language-learning app is still highly recommended to improve your conversation skills. Get your first 12 lessons for free, or pay just $6.99 for all 24.
4. Learn Languages with Memrise
Learn Languages with Memrise (Android, iOS) makes learning fun by teaching beginning and intermediate learners everyday-life words and phrases using a mix of quick-to-learn games and over 30,000 native speaker videos. The pronunciation guide ensures that you speak like a local by recording and comparing your pronunciation with native speakers. The offline mode keeps the learning going even when Wi-Fi is interrupted. For advanced learning, you can upgrade to Memrise Pro for between $8.99 per month to $179.99 for a lifetime subscription.
In Busuu (Android, iOS), you'll start with a placement test to ensure you're starting from the right difficulty level. Then Busuu helps you learn Mandarin using Chinese speaking and Chinese handwriting exercises corrected by real native speakers. You'll also get accent training with speech recognition exercises, grammar tips, and full courses with 150 units. You can also learn offline.
Busuu's latest feature, the Study Plan, gives users a plan of attack for reaching their goals by asking them how far they want to progress and when they're able to study and then calculates how long it will take them. This feature also helps track their progress and keeps them motivated to achieve their goals with reminders.
To gain access to premium features for advanced learning, you'll pay between $10.99 per month to $74.99 per year.
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Free app ChineseSkill (Android, iOS) teaches Mandarin through its game-based learning courses, based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), the international standard for describing language ability.
Students can expect to learn native pronunciation of 1000-plus key words and phrases for greeting, shopping, traveling, dating, and more; reading and writing; and 2000-plus Pinyin Chinese characters, in simplified and traditional Chinese. Students can purchase Premium Lessons for even more learning for between $4.99 and $19.99.
HelloChinese (Android, iOS) helps newbies learn how to speak, read, and write Pinyin characters in Chinese Mandarin, with immersive game-based learning exercises based on the Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì (HSK) levels -- China's only standardized assessment of Standard Chinese language proficiency for non-native speakers. The app goes one step further by teaching them about the culture behind the language.
Learn how to have everyday conversations by watching 1,000-plus videos featuring native Chinese speakers as well as by playing educational yet engaging games. The optional Premium paid subscription offers even more instructional games for $6.99 per month or $39.99 for a whole year.
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