The 8 Best Mobile Apps to Learn Mandarin Chinese

Oct 30, 2020 | Chinese Apps

If you want to learn Mandarin Chinese but don’t know where to start, welcome. This is the right place for you. Studying Mandarin is not easy at all. In fact, it can be quite challenging. That’s why you need great apps to start with. Without adequate help, you’ll never be able to learn this challenging language.

Unfortunately, most apps today are both useless and ineffective. That’s why first, you must figure out which apps work out for you and which don’t. Once you picked the ones that do, it’s time to choose what you want to learn first. Some apps are mostly covering grammar, while others are good for improving vocabulary. Depending on what you what to get done and how soon, I’d recommend you choose some of these apps to work with.

  1. Duolingo

Duolingo is great for learning any new language, not only Chinese. This app is super popular and helps you finish your lessons quickly. It is a great way to keep you engaged in daily progress. Duolingo takes you through different steps and levels to help you learn Mandarin. It also keeps track of your scores, so you know where you are at every day. You can ask friends or family to join the learning competition! This is a great way to keep yourself accountable.

With Duolingo, you learn grammar & written characters. The more you learn each week, the more points you earn, and the higher you score.

  1. HelloChinese

This is another app that keeps you going! Here, you also get worked up through various levels and end up building on your pre-existing knowledge. You can also start from scratch but that’ll take you more time to finish all the levels. In the end, it depends on where you’re at.

HelloChinese starts with an explanation on how to read Chinese – or the pinyin system, and then starts using letters of the Chinese alphabet, according to With HelloChinese, you can learn vocabulary, sentence construction, and conversational Mandarin.

  1. LingoDeer

If you want to learn how to speak, read, and write in Mandarin, LingoDeer is one of your best options. This app uses minimal English to get you through the steps, which is great, because this is how you’re learning faster. With LingoDeer, you can quickly get from beginner to conversational. The app can be played in slow-motion or normal speed. Whatever you decide, your performance will improve with each session.

LingoDeer allows you to track progress and breakdown your scores. This makes it easy for you to see how much you’ve evolved each week. You can also highlight what you need to improve every time you review your work.

  1. Memrise

Back in the days, Memrise was used only for flashcards. Now, it can be used for language-learning games. Memrise is a practical way to engage in reviews as often as you can. If you’re unable to challenge what you’ve learned, you’ll never be able to progress.

Forget about custom papers and term paper help for your Chinese class. Memrise is good at helping you remember Chinese words and phrases – basically, great at stacking them into your long-term memory. You can also learn how to pronounce words and various characters within this app. Memrise has a camera option that can help you learn the things around you in real-time, also.

  1. Skritter

Probably one of the fanciest-looking Chinese apps, Skritter teaches you how to read and write Chinese. This is probably one of the top apps that students use in the classroom. Skritter teaches you more than 10,000 characters in Mandarin and combines them within 400,000 words that you must know. More than that, this app is free to use since it comes with a trial period. If you don’t like it, you can always stop using it. And if you want to get the basics but not pay, you can learn intense Chinese for the first week and then sign off.

  1. Anki

If you like flashcards, this is the app for you. Anki is probably one of the most popular flashcard apps online. You can use it on the bus, on the car, or at home, all to renew the Chinese-related information in your mind. With Anki, you can learn vocabulary and expand your knowledge of the Chinese language as a whole. You’ll get huge decks of flashcards that’ll help you memorize and review words every single day.

  1. HSK Online

Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi or HSK is a popular standardized test that measures your expertise in the Chinese language. Like most of the apps we’ve discussed today, HSK is structured on different levels and increases in intensity with every step forward. You can start with the basics, HSK 1 and finish all the way up at HSK 6, which is fluency.

With HSK, you can learn reading, writing, and listening. You can also test yourself on the concepts that you’re not sure about and see how you score. You can also learn new vocabulary using HSK.

  1. Pleco Chinese Dictionary

This list would not be complete without a dictionary, right? Pleco is one of the best ones that you can find online. Whenever you come across words or characters that you don’t know, use Pleco as a reference. This dictionary will give you the pronunciation and definition of the words you need. It will also show you all the proper ways in which you can use them in a sentence. Pleco breaks down words and shows you the meaning of each character if needed. It’s a really great tool to keep handy!


Mandarin is a challenging language to learn, but with the right apps, everything is possible. Make sure you know what you need before engaging in the learning process. If you already started learning, ensure that you discover only great tools. They will make the learning process easier for you.


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