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  • Writer's pictureJamie Keyte

MM Top 5 Mandarin Learning Apps/Websites

MM Top 5 : Mandarin Learning Apps / Websites

Five must-have apps/websites we at Manhattan Mandarin have personally used to improve our Mandarin and

了解 the trickier parts of the language.


We have all been stuck on a grammar pattern at one point or another. In the end, the use of the pattern seems obvious but not until we dig through the academic jargon of most Chinese textbooks. Our favorite go-to website of easy-to-understand grammar breakdowns is from AllSetLearning.

Easy to find patterns

Simple and sensible explanations with loads of examples

Good for all levels

4) The Chairman's Bao - $10/month or $80/year

Founded by three friends passionate about all things Mandarin, The Chairman's Bao is an immersion app/website reader with stories and news for all skill levels. You will never run out of lessons and content using TCB.

Unlimited content for all levels

Easily breaks down HSK levels and categories

Good for both reading and listening

3) Pleco - $29 for the basic bundle

We first encountered Pleco in 2008 while studying abroad in Shanghai with CET. We were told it was the gold standard Chinese dictionary and things haven't changed (we had to get a "palm pilot" to use to early version ha!:)).

Simply put, every student should have the Pleco app downloaded and ready to whip out at a moment's notice.

2) Skritter - $14/month or longer discounted subscriptions

Character writing is the downfall of many a student. Skritter has almost any textbook you can think of pre-loaded and gamifies the process of learning characters.

Wildly addicting and incredibly effective we recommend this to all learners, and especially to students who learn character writing in school!

Best way to learn characters

Highly addictive

Fantastic for students

When you sign up be sure to use the promo code: MANHATTANMANDARIN for 15% off!

1) Chinesepod - $14/month [basic], $29/month [premium]

Chinesepod holds a special place in our hearts. In 2008, Jamie had a roommate at CET who held an internship with Chinesepod. This was back in the day when 'pods' were still on itunes! We have been recommending this app to our students ever since.

With an ever-updating library of lessons to draw from students will never run out of content. The lessons are especially effective when a student can 'stack' it with a relevant textbook lesson. For example, listening to 4 lessons on getting around Beijing in Shanghai after your first transportation chapter.

In-depth lessons on the go

Easy to use

Never-ending content!


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