Resources and Tools

Here are the resources I recommend because I use them or have used them. Of course, if you want a more complete and categorized list you can head over to Hacking Chinese Resource page. Also, I have tons of books on grammar, textbooks and such, hit me up and I’ll send you the link.

Conversation Practice

Seriously you need to do this.

[currently using] italki: if you really want to improve speaking and do not have access to a local teacher or would like the convenience of skype and the internet please go over to this site and find your a match. The price is completely reasonable.

HelloTalk: It’s a pretty awesome app to make language exchange friends (not the same as a teacher though) with all kinds of cool little things like saving words, translation, voice messages, correction, dictionary… What are you waiting for? Download it.

Mixxer: sweet site to find language exchange buddies. Different levels and all kinds of interesting people 🙂 All you need is Skype and you’re good to go (though those time differences can be a little pesky).

Readers & Books

[currently using] Duokan: It’s like iBooks, but in Chinese and prettier.

Langread: I just started using this and it’s great because I read a lot of news in French. It’s an extension for Chrome and other browsers and it has flashcards and vocabulary and whatnot, but I use it as a reader because you just push the button on the page you’re on and then it can translate words or phrases, great for intermediate learners.


lang-8: What are you waiting for? Get over to that site introduce yourself and get used to writing something every week seriously this site is fantastic.


[currently using] PLECO: It is awesome, I use it during my conversation practice since you can use it offline. If you have some kind of mobile gadget get this, seriously it’s good. I also have the Outlier-Linguistics Dictionary Add-on, which is very, very thorough.

MDBG: I still use it for translation, since it gives the word for word translation.

If you’re thinking of buying an actual dictionary you also need to learn how to use it.


Chinese Pod: It’s more than a podcast, that is, if you can afford it. I do recommend it if you have the money, there are exercises and worksheets, you can import your vocabulary to Skritter. They also have a “task” section for each podcast where you can post up some of your spoken Chinese answering related questions. There are always great discussions and there are different people who speak on the podcast so you can get used to different people’s accent.

Popup Chinese: Another podcast that you can try. Podcasts are free, it’s about the same price as ChinesePod. It’s super cool. I would totally get the yearly subscription because I like northern accents.


[currently using] Skritter: Best out there.  Get yourself a 1 year subscription, really it’s worth it, comes out to 8 bucks a month. Or get yourself a 2 year subscription for 6 bucks a month. They’re soon coming out with a new version (I’m currently trying out the beta for it).

Mandarin Poster: I think the site is well designed and that’s what sold me. You can also get radical sheets and if you’re feeling motivated and have some 35 bucks you can get their mandarin and radicals poster (I did because I found it a better investment than only one month of Chinese Pod).

Hanzi Girds: Great also for generating character practice, but you have to pay to get the diagonal guides, another reason why I am making my own material which you can get for free.


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