Web-Based Resources for Learning Chinese

Back in May, we posted a list of recommended language and literature sites for students of Chinese. We pointed out that these five sites were only the tip of the iceberg; there are literally hundreds of other sites offering live Chinese lessons, interactive exercises, flashcards, and other learning tools and tips. Here are five more of our top picks among sites with significant free offerings for language learners:

1. The rich collection of goodies on Eric Peterson's Online Chinese Tools site includes Chinese dictionaries, file converters, a text annotator, a romanization converter, and a popular Chinese text reader program called DimSum.

2. The Chinese Language Center on the Yellowbridge website features what it calls the web's most comprehensive Chinese-English dictionary, along with an etymology explorer, Chinese flaschcards, memory games, and a text-to-speech converter.

3. Looking for language learning tips, reading suggestions, grammar help, or just a bit of moral support in your struggles with the Chinese language? With its large active membership and extensive archives of past postings, Chinese Forums is the leading discussion board for students of Chinese at every level. Topic areas include "Reading and Writing," "Grammar and Vocabulary," "Chinese Computing and Technology," "Studying in China," and many others.

4. The most advanced and user-friendly suite of dictionary tools is probably the award-winning reference site Xuezhongwen.net. In addition to a very flexible bilingual dictionary, the site offers Chinese text annotation and translation, radical tables, character flaschcards, character encoding converters, and pinyin & hanzi text entry tools.

5. Did you ever wonder how many characters you know, or wish you could have a textbook-style vocabulary list for that Chinese news article you're trying to read? The Clavis Sinica website, created by ChinaBeat contributor David Porter, offers a number of unique learning resources for students of Chinese. The site's comprehensive Language Toolbox includes the popular Chinese Character Test and Vocabulary Extractor tools. The Text and Audio Library features pre-sorted flashcard lists and large collections of graded and annotated Chinese texts (over 100 of them with accompanying mp3 audio) for reading practice by students at all levels.


celticagent said...

I highly recommend www.livemocha.com for learning languages, not just Chinese

davesgonechina said...

I'm surprised you left out the following free and popular tools:

Adsotrans dictionary/annotation http://adsotrans.com/

MDBG dictionary http://www.mdbg.net/chindict/chindict.php

Chinese Perapera-kun pop up translation for Firefox https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3349

syz said...

The list is incomplete without a mention of the well-known Laowai Chinese blog.

Not only has owner Albert done a great job of organizing and providing entries you can actually use, such as the recent articles on Hanzification of names, or Olympic vocabulary, he also provides stuff that's well thought out and carefully crafted. Since a major hurdle to Mandarin-learning is misinformation (fake rules, useless vocabulary, and so on), this is no small feat.

BTW: the marvelous MDBG is the same as Xuezhongwen.net

noncoupable said...

For audio listening while out running, working out, or commuting, I highly recommend downloading the free podcasts from www.chinesepod.com. They are a good supplement to any more "formal" learning in a classroom and the topics are sometimes more interesting.

Alex Mitrofanov said...

Have a look at mandarinspot.com. This one can add pop-up annotations to the whole web site preserving layout of the pages.