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Beginner to Intermediate (ILR levels 0+ to 2)


  • Wikipedia - Chinese Language
    Introduction and overview in English of the Chinese language.
  • Wikipedia - Chinese Characters
    Article focused on Chinese characters and writing history.
  • Wikipedia - Pinyin
    Basic introduction to Pinyin, or Hanyu Pinyin, the official phonetic system for transcribing the Mandarin pronunciations of Chinese characters using the Latin alphabet commonly taught in the People's Republic of China.
  • Omniglot - Chinese
    Basic introduction from "the languages encyclopedia."
  • Virtual Chinese Keyboard
    Useful tool that allows one to type in Chinese using mouse and then do directed searches in Google, Yahoo, YouTube, etc.
  • Google Translate
    Translate a word, a phrase, or a document from Chinese to English or reverse. Far from perfect but getting better all the time. Word level much better than phrase or text.
  • Beginner Chinese Lessons with Yangyang
    Yangyang is a popular online teacher offering a short series of instructional YouTube videos concentrating on spoken Mandarin; however, via subscription you can gain access to more than 400 various lessons.
  • Beginner Chinese Lessons with Becky
    Becky offers instruction on both Chinese language and cultural topics on YouTube. She is a serious instructor with a white board and characters appear along with Pinyin and English in her lessons.
  • Chinese Grammar Wiki
    Don't let the empty main page fool you. The page's left side has links to various grammar explanations, vocabulary, translations and forums for all levels of students.
  • Chinese News Snippets for Reading
    While much of this site needs a subscription for a free account for full access, a long list of short news articles in Chinese with vocabulary translations available as you mouse over words and expressions. Also available is a dictionary tool, as well as a playlist of popular Chinese music videos. Music videos are an excellent way to learn Chinese, because they are all subtitled.
  • CCTV: Growing Up With Chinese & Other Video Series
    This PRC station offering includes a series of 100 videos of daily life situations all in Mandarin with accompanying text with Pinyin and English translations. This site actually has a repository of various video series for beginner to intermediate students involving daily life situations and culture.
  • Chinese Reading Practice
    Authored by a foreigner living in Beijing, the site offers a nice variety of essays, fables, poems etc… from beginner to advanced along with translations and forums to ask questions.
  • Life & Travel in China & Learning Chinese for Foreigners
    This Mainland Chinese site is useful from several standpoints. It offers bilingual stories concerning idioms and proverbs, as well as links and resources regarding literature, laws and information on living in China and travelling there.
  • National Foreign Language Center Reading Project
    This was funded by the U.S. Department of Education to present online reading lessons for beginning and intermediate students.

Intermediate to Advanced (ILR levels 2 to 3 and higher)

  • Joint Language University
    An extensive NCS-managed language training portal available to USG and military only through account registration. Resources include SCOLA products: news broadcasts, news archives, and the Insta-Classes – a variety of exercise based on broadcasts.
  • DLIFLC Language Products
    Developed by the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) for military linguists and available to all language learners, this website has some excellent sustainment materials; note in particular, Chinese materials in GLOSS which contains over 755 Chinese reading and listening comprehension exercises, 68 of which employ video. Also see: Chinese Weekly Training Events with more than 50 lessons.
  • BBC's Chinese Phrase of the Day
    Although basically geared to Chinese students of English, this site is useful for providing an English idiom or expression, as well as its Chinese equivalent with bilingual text.
  • ITlearner Chengyu Dictionary
    This gives access to several hundred idioms in Chinese and includes links to read the stories on their origins.
  • Oxford Chinese Multimedia Course
    This offers beginner and intermediate lessons via dialogues with videos, vocabulary and grammar help. You might have to download a plug-in for the video.
  • Advanced Classical Chinese
    This Taiwanese website furthers the study of Classical Chinese. Although some instruction is available just by entering the website, an account might need to be established for in-depth use.
  • Model Writing
    This Mainland Chinese site provides writing samples and various articles for advanced Chinese students wishing to improve essay writing and graphic skills.
  • Wikipedia - Chinese Edition
    Close to 800,000 articles. Use not only as a reference but also as a resource for reading materials – enter topic and you get a nice article written in perfect Chinese. Most articles are at ILR 2 to 3 levels; you can also link to English language versions to facilitate and speed up comprehension and minimize use of working aids. Important: Wikipedia contents are copyright free (see Creative Commons guidelines for details.)

Advanced Resources, Dictionaries, Media, Entertainment, and Miscellaneous

  • Preset for Chinese Language
    The Google search engine has been preset for you to search the Internet using Chinese. Also ideal for target language lexical and contextual searches and other language-oriented uses. Requires Chinese characters.
  • Google Translate
    Translate a word, a phrase, or a document from Chinese to English or reverse. Far from perfect but getting better all the time. Word level much better than phrase or text.
  • Jukuu Text Repository
    Although the translations are not perfect some of the time, this contains an expansive amount of text as individual sentences which are used to search for words or expressions in Chinese or English. This is very useful for learning how words are used. A portion of entries will also include notes on the screen's right side showing the rate of usage of various terms, as well as what words usually proceed or follow the target word.
  • MDBG Dictionary
    This site not only offers character/word dictionaries, but also offers the Pinyin for characters searched (unlike Jukuu). Additionally, it also has a radicals chart and translation help. The Pinyin for character is a good feature, but if you search for idioms and expressions absent from its lexicon, it will just spit out each individual character in that search chain.
  • Purple Culture
    This versatile dictionary also provides language tools such as a vocabulary list generator, pronunciation guide, flash card builder and more.
    This site offers a wide variety of language dictionaries. The Chinese-English dictionary shows the Chinese words with Pinyin.
  • Dictionary: Synonyms & Antonyms
    This Chinese-Chinese reference site enables you to type in a word and retrieve suggested antonyms and synonyms for that word.
    Although not always reliably connected, this online English-Chinese dictionary offers sample sentences, audio examples and character writing lookup.
  • Voice of America - Chinese
    " Voice of America Chinese is your source for reliable and accurate news about China, the United States and the World."
  • Deutsche Welle - Chinese
    DW is Germany's international broadcaster.
  • BBC - Chinese
    Chinese langauge version of BBC news.
  • Squid TV - China
    TV streaming from major news and entertainment media in Mainland China, including Hong Kong and Macau. Also links to major PRC newspapers and news sites.
  • Epoch Times
    This online newspaper is operated by the Falungong, so it has a conservative and fairly anti-Chinese establishment flavor. Articles are available in both English and Chinese. The writing style involves very long sentences.
  • New York Times Chinese Service
    Both world and domestic news articles in Chinese written with shorter sentences with a slight English feel to them.
  • Europe Times Online
    This Chinese news service is based in Germany and deals mainly with European issues and topics.
  • Southern Weekly
    This southern Chinese newspaper site entirely in Chinese offers many domestic and international news articles. It is written on a level good for intermediate students and higher.
  • Reuters Chinese
    This online service with Chinese articles strongly favors economics and business news.
  • Chinese Daily
    This online news service is hosted by Chinese-Americans in the U.S. and is not to be confused with the “China Daily,” the English language news service of the PRC government. This site offers a variety of news all in Chinese.
  • Aikan TV
    This holds a large repository of Chinese dramas, television shows and news casts. Its content changes often.
  • CCTV International
    Although hosted in English on YouTube, this PRC state channel presents a variety of well-done documentaries on all parts of Chinese culture and history.
  • Dawen's Chinese Songs
    Dawen is an American-born Chinese singer and songwriter who often translates popular songs into Chinese on YouTube.