Mandarin Learning Resources

Links, information, and recommendations for students of Mandarin

This section of The China Guru is for anyone interested in learning Mandarin—from people traveling to China who want to learn some of the basics to serious, long-term students of the language. Mandarin, one of seven major subgroups and approximately 130 dialects of Chinese, is the official language of both Mainland China and Taiwan, and the most widely spoken dialect.

The resources in this section include Quizlet vocabulary lists, book and app recommendations, links to resources on other websites, related blog posts, and more. See the Language navigation menu for specific pages organized by topic.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at brantley[at]thechinaguru[dot]org if you have a question or would like more information about something on this site.

The China Guru’s 2018 Holiday Shopping Guide for China-Themed Gifts

If you have a friend or relative who is interested in Chinese culture, this shopping guide should help you find an appropriate gift. This guide is the result of years of research, and I have direct personal experience with many of the gift ideas listed here. Please contact me if you have questions about any items on this list or any suggestions for future...

Contemporary Mandarin Slang Part 2: Flirting, Dating, Romance, Marriage, and Heartbreak

Here is another collection of Mandarin slang expressions—some of the more commonly used expressions I’ve come across in chatting with and listening to native speakers, and in books like Eveline Chao’s Niubi! The Real Chinese You Were Never Taught in School, Zhou Yimin and James J. Wang’s Mutant Mandarin, James J. Wang's Outrageous Chinese: A...

Contemporary Mandarin Slang Part 1: Compliments and Insults

One fascinating effect of China's continuing growth and modernization on its popular culture is the explosion in slang expressions that has occurred in recent years, in large part because of the use of the Internet by ever-larger numbers of Chinese citizens. As in the United States, wildly creative, funny, and vulgar new slang expressions can become...