addressalign-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcameraccwcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-checkcircle-with-crosscircle-with-pluscontroller-playcredit-cardcrossdots-three-verticaleditemptyheartexporteye-with-lineeyefacebookfolderfullheartglobe--smallglobegmailgooglegroupshelp-with-circleimageimagesinstagramFill 1languagelaunch-new-window--smalllight-bulblinklocation-pinlockm-swarmSearchmailmediummessagesminusmobilemoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1ShapeoutlookpersonJoin Group on CardStartprice-ribbonprintShapeShapeShapeShapeImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartickettrashtriangle-downtriangle-uptwitteruserwarningyahooyoutube

The Boston Mandarin Chinese Language Meetup Group Message Board › Chinese Learning Resources

Chinese Learning Resources

user 3595685
Group Organizer
Somerville, MA
Post #: 16
Hi Folks,
I'm one of several people in our group that is mostly self-taught. I'd like to share some of the resources that I use and keep talking about (mostly because I find them really useful and they make me really happy :) I hope you might also find them helpful in your journey too.

1. Iphone Dictionary: Qingwen
-This Rocks! it's the best $5 i've EVER spent on Chinese learning.
-This app is my absolute favorite. The search will take English, pinyin or characters. I will often use the Simplified handwriting input on the iphone to help me look up characters i don't recognize.
-It also has a "word-list" feature where you can create custom word lists as you look up words and export them whenever you like. I use this to create lists i can import into Quizlet (see below) to make custom flashcards for study.

2. Textbooks: Integrated Chinese
-having tried several textbooks, this stands out as the absolute best for me.
-The lessons are well organized, they present both pinyin and characters for all readings and exercises. The practice exercises in each lesson really help run you through several examples of the grammatical structure. I can also say that the vocabulary introduced really seems to fit with a standard progression through the most used words in the language. When i got to some readers at the 300 and 500 word reading level, i found my vocabulary to be very well suited for these books. I only use the text but they also have character writing workbooks, study workbooks and listening materials.

3. FlashCards!!!:
-this website is just awesome and FREE!!!
-you can make totally custom flashcards. One of the things i didn't like about pre-made flashcards and the like is that the vocabulary is never really relevant to your study! With Quizlet, not only can you access thousands of premade flashcards (if you so choose) you can also make your own flashcards with vocabulary from your favorite lessons/books/articles/conversations etc. It's not language or topic specific, you can make and access cards for ANY topic. It's very popular with schoolkids and actually was written by a teenager to help him study french. it has games, tests etc, all derived from your custom flashcards. I put most of mine in with the character and then the pinyin on the back with a tone number like ni3hao3. it allows you to ignore punctuation, spaces and things in parenthesis so then i got smarter and did ni3 hao3 (hello) and so answers to tests or games could be ni3hao3 and it would accept the answer. If you check out this site, i will be surprised if it doesn't revolutionize your study. Feel free to access my public card-sets under username "atlascoughed". I mostly have integrated Chinese chapters in there.

4. Iphone flashcards App: Flashcard Touch
-Another well spent $5
-This app will allow me to download flashcards i've made in Quizlet to my iphone and study them. Now, i have no excuse... i can study ANYWHERE; no net connection necessary to study already downloaded sets.

5. The hat-trick: Use Qingwen, Quizlet and Flashcard touch together!!
a. export your wordlist from Qingwen to email
b. Cut/paste the wordlist from email into the bulk import of Quizlet
c. Set Quizlet bulk import (copy-paste) delineators to "]" between term and definition and "newline" between definition and term.
d. create set and make public
e. download set into Flashcard Touch
f. STUDY!!!!
-if anyone would like more specific instructions on that please let me know.

6. Readers: Chinese Breeze!
-OMG, the best find in the whole world.
-These are short books maybe 30-50 pages in ALL Chinese (no pinyin). they start at a 300 word reading level and the stories are not boring by any stretch. One of the first ones I read was about a murder mystery! They introduce more advanced vocab with footnotes so you're learning new words as you read too. I absolutely love these and read them all the time. The ALSO come with a full CD of the text read to you!!!! they have normal speed reading and extra slow reading. So, even if you have no intention of learning characters, these are worth it for the audio alone! They are around $6/book but I'd pay $20 i think they're so valuable to my study. The language takes on an entirely different flavor when you can read or hear a real story. Great for reading practice and listening practice. I ripped them and carry them on my iphone so, again... no excuse, i can practice listening anywhere anytime. They are currently in process of developing this reader series and have completed the 500 vocabulary word series so there are 300 level and 500 level completed for sale. Next to come should be 750 then 1100, 2100, 3000 and 4500 so, eventually they'll cover the gamut. Just for clarity, these are not 300 total words in the story but 300 unique words are used to create the story which is usually much longer than 300 words. I'm almost through the 500 series but i'm dragging them out because i don't know how long i'll have to go until i can get my greedy little hands on the first 750 word reader. If you're more advanced, i wouldn't get too hung up on the level, think of it as pleasure reading/listening.

7. Resource for Chinese learning materials: Cheng-Tsui
-they have a lot of materials. I mostly order online but i think you can visit them right here in Boston.

I hope that some or all of this helps and I would encourage everyone to share tips/tricks/sites/tools/books/cds/tutors­/schools/etc that have helped you in your journey.
Best wishes in your studies,

A former member
Post #: 2
Thanks Ken,

This is all great information
A former member
Post #: 32
Thanks for posting this!!
A former member
Post #: 156
Thanks! This is helpful information.
Roger D.
user 4637667
Boston, MA
Post #: 1

Try my free apple app: sunrise method

Check out this video too.­

More info at or or just google "sunrise method" and maybe add "chinese"

hope this helps your learning too.
A former member
Post #: 2
Here are 2 free iPhone apps that I find really excellent:
Pleco (optional OCR module -- available for a fee -- scans and translates characters) -- very useful dictionary, etc.
TrainChinese -- very helpful for learning characters
Cambridge, MA
Post #: 274
I really like http://www.skritter.c...­ for learning characters. It now has a mobile version for smartphones that you can use to practice anywhere, and it includes character recognition, pinyin (pronunciation) practice, and definition practice. One-week free trial followed by $10 per month/$99 for a year.

Pleco is good because you can also draw a character you don't know and get its pronunciation. The OCR will give you pinyin with no fee; the translation is what requires the fee.

I also like https://chinese.yabla...­ for listening comprehension and http://www.slow-chine...­ for a short educational program on various topics in Chinese with the text written out in characters below.

Finally - and this is indispensable on a desktop - use pop-up dictionaries! There's the Perapera plugin in the Firefox browser, and Zhongwen for Chrome. Perapera will be available for Chrome soon also. I sometimes try to get my news through Chinese-languages articles and the help of a pop-up dictionary; this also helps me to have my Facebook and Gmail in Chinese so I get daily passive exposure.

Nciku,, and MDBG are also some good web-based resources for vocabulary and dictionary lookup! I'm clearly enjoying myself too much.
user 3595685
Group Organizer
Somerville, MA
Post #: 18
Some new resources:

Fiona Tan's video series on youtube:­
fun and entertaining short learning lessons

Memrise:­ (free with signup)
A very cool tool with web and iOS/Android learning apps and many free resources. I'm currently working through the HSK level 3 course and finding it very interesting and useful.­ a really cool website which appears to all be free. They hav short stories (though mostly at the 500-1500 word reading level or above), songs, poems, vocab, grammar, etc. Seems like a great website though the advertising is strong. (I guess we all have to make money somehow).­ For those interested in studying and testing the HanYuShuiPingKaoShi Chinese Level Test or HSK you can find some resources for mock tests and vocabulary lists here.
A former member
Post #: 100
Thanks for these helpful links everyone.

I love Chinese Pod. It's $30 a month and worth every penny. I listen to the podcasts on the way to work and back and use all of the learning materials that go along with the dialogues.

I love Pleco. I use it every day, looking up words either in pinyin or characters, and then adding them to my ongoing quiz.

I also love the Integrated Chinese textbooks. But my favorite textbook is "Hanyu Jiaocheng"­
because when I first started learning Chinese, this is the textbook my class used (at the Chinese Language Institute of Boston--they have great classes, by the way. I didn't continue because I found I made faster progress with one on one tutoring.) I have found this textbook my favorite, just because it has a simple format, and is very easy to carry around with me.

My favorite way to learn Chinese is by listening. I've watched dozens of Taiwanese dramas on

I can't take the formulaic dramas anymore so now I am watching a sitcom, called IPartment, that is a lot like Friends. I found it through this cool project
People transcribe all of the vocabulary from first episodes of tv shows. Vocabulary is transcribed for the first several episodes of Ipartment.

Powered by mvnForum

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy