Mandarin Chinese is one of the world’s most popular languages. There are almost a billion speakers worldwide. Chances are that it’s the version you want to learn. The good news is that there are plenty of apps that teach Chinese. Not all of them are good, though, but that’s why we’re here. Here are the best Mandarin Chinese learning apps for Android! Duolingo is our first choice for learning Chinese!
Drops is a language learning app with a ton of languages. That includes Chinese. This app boasts a unique style and five-minute sessions. That should work great for learners on the go. It focuses mostly on vocabulary and conversational Chinese rather than grammar. Thus, the app skips some of the most tedious aspects of any language. The app features 1,700 words across 99 topics. The full experience requires either a subscription or an expensive one-off purchase. We actually recommend the one-off purchase over subscriptions.
Google Translate is probably the best translation app on Google Play. It translates between 103 languages online and 59 languages offline. Of course, that includes Chinese. This app works great for both learners and travelers. You can translate conversations in real time, learn new words, and even point your camera at Chinese words to see translations. It obviously won’t teach you Chinese on its own. However, it’s a valuable (and free) tool for any up and coming linguist. This is also the one we’d recommend first.
HelloChinese is an excellent Chinese learning app for beginners. It has a lot of lessons and comes at the topic from a variety of directions. That includes games, pronunciation courses, offline support, and support for both simplified and traditional Chinese. It uses simple, small lessons. That helps make a difficult language slightly easier to learn. There is more than enough free content for beginners. It should also let you see if you like it enough to pay for it every month.
HelloTalk is a unique, progressive app for Chinese learners. It doesn’t use the course or lesson style. Instead, it pairs people together to teach one another. You teach your language to another person and they teach you theirs. It boasts over 100 languages. The app also offers audio and video calls, text messaging, picture messaging, and more. This probably won’t teach you everything on its own. However, it’s an excellent study aid when paired with another app. This with something like Memrise or Drops makes for a good one-two combination.
LingoDeer is a very competent app for learning Chinese. This one focuses mostly on Asian dialects, including Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese. The app utilizes bite-size courses for quick learning. It builds a vocabulary and fills it in as you go. Some other features include offline support, 2,000 words and phrases, and over 150 lessons. The app is entirely free unless we missed something. There is an option to donate to the developers, though, if you want to show your appreciation.
Memrise is one of the most popular language learning apps on mobile. It supports a variety of languages and, of course, Chinese is one of them. Memrise takes a broad approach to language learning. There are vocabulary and grammar lessons, games, quizzes, a chat bot for conversational Chinese practice, a pronunciation guide with audio examples, and a lot more. It’s also usable offline. All these features do come at a price. That said, Memrise is definitely for those serious about learning Chinese.
Mondly is another large language learning company. They support dozens of languages, including Chinese. Most languages have their own apps as well. Thus, you don’t get the extra stuff from all of the other languages that you don’t want. Mondly apps include the usual array of lessons for both vocabulary and grammar. It uses a conversational approach. You basically learn how to talk in Chinese first. You then learn all of the extra words and phrases. It’s a neat little system. This one is fairly expensive at $9.99 per month. However, it’s for serious learners much like Memrise.
Rosetta Stone is a huge name in language learning. Their commercials reach back decades. The app’s methods are very effective. It uses a conversational approach. You learn to talk in the language and then expand with additional vocabulary and grammar. It also includes offline support, additional study aids, and more. The Chinese package is either $94.99 per year or a single payment of $199.99. That’s expensive, but at least it’s just once.
Simply Learn Chinese Mandarin is a simple app, obviously. It works better as a phrasebook than a language learning app. It features over 900 common Chinese words and phrases. You get 300 of those in the free version. The app also features quizzes, training sessions, and more. It’s mostly for travelers. However, it can be a decent and valuable extension of whatever apps you already use. We definitely recommend this for quick, secondary learning. It’s also relatively inexpensive, at least compared to other apps in the language learning space.
Tandem is a lot like HelloTalk. You pair up with other individuals. You teach them while they teach you. It boasts well over 100 languages and a ton of language combinations. It’s almost impossible to not find a match. Tandom also features audio and video calls, text and picture messages, audio messages, a text correction feature, and more. You can even choose the topic you want to learn more about. For instance, that means you can learn Chinese foods if you want. This is an excellent secondary learning source. We recommend pairing this with a more traditional learning app for a great combination of learning. Speakly is another decent app in this space as well.
If we missed any great Mandarin Chinese apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments below! You can also click here to see our latest Android app and game lists!