Best Apps to Learn Chinese (Mandarin) Language

George Garcia

Best app to learn Chinese Mandarin language

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Learning Chinese is one of the most difficult tasks for English native speakers. The Chinese language is tonal, so word pronunciation changes its meaning. Learning to write characters and taking complicated grammar lessons doesn’t ease the process of learning Mandarin Chinese either.

We found that the best strategy for learning Chinese is to use audio recordings and learn vocabulary, write characters, and everything else gradually. Best apps to learn Chinese are the fastest way to implement this method, as a simple textbook won’t aid you in hearing native Mandarin speakers use this highly tonal language.

Interactive speaking exercises and, for more advanced learners, native speakers as tutors are essential for learning Mandarin Chinese. The best apps to learn Chinese language we collected can provide all of it for beginner and intermediate learners. They are the best apps for learning Chinese as all aspects are covered, and most of them give some totally free practice too.

My TOP 3 Chinese (Mandarin) Learning Apps

Most Well-Rounded Chinese App

Pimsleur review

A compelling learning experience with audio lessons

Best Novice Chinese App

mondly review

An effortless language learning with cutting-edge technology at its forefront

Best Chinese App with Lifetime Access

Rocket Languages review

The most comprehensive audio-based language learning platform

Best Chinese Learning Apps in 2023

  1. Pimsleur – Most Well-Rounded Chinese App
  2. Mondly – Best Novices Chinese App
  3. Rocket Languages – Best Chinese App with Lifetime Access
  4. ChineseClass101 – Best Self-Paced Chinese App
  5. Memrise – Best Flashcard-Based Chinese App
  6. Italki – Best Chinese Online Tutoring App
  7. LingQ – Best Authentic Chinese Content App
  8. Yabla – Best Chinese App for Visual Learners
  9. Speechling – Best App for Chinese Speaking Practice
  10. FluentU – Best Chinese Grammar Improvement App
  11. Duolingo – Best Free Chinese Learning App

How to Choose the Best App to Learn Chinese?

The language learning market is saturated, so finding the best apps to learn Chinese is time-consuming. It takes throughout research and testing to see what’s actually effective. Here at Lingomee, we’re all about making it easier for you. We benchmark all products through the same measures.

⭐ RatingA sum of user experience, content quality, features, customer support, and value for money.
🥇 Available languagesMost relevant for studying multiple languages but tells a lot about the best apps to learn Chinese.
📈 Suits best forEvaluations are based on ACTFL guidelines, but we also measure how fast you will move up a level.
🛒 Payment optionsShows how flexible the pricing plans are and, in most cases, how much you can save.
💵 Price rangeA measure of much you should expect to spend on a language-learning app.
📚 Hours of study timeAn approximate measure of how much language learning material there is for one language.
🕒 Time commitmentOptimal daily dedication for the best results, as spending more time isn’t always the best strategy.
💻 PlatformsWhere you can use the best apps to learn Chinese. 
🔄 Refund policyA money-back guarantee is a safeguard for your money.
🎁 Free TrialMost of our best apps to learn Chinese do not require a credit card to signup.


 PimsleurMondlyRocket LanguagesChinese Class 101MemriseItalkiLingQYablaDrops AppSpeechlingFluentUChineasyBusuuDuolingo
ReviewPimsleur reviewMondly reviewRocket Chinese reviewChineseClass101 reviewMemrise reviewItalki reviewLingQ reviewYabla reviewDrops App reviewSpeechling reviewFluentU reviewChineasy reviewBusuu reviewDuolingo review
Available languages5141143420+130+41646131011239+
Suits best forIntermediatesNovices / Lower-IntermediatesNovices / IntermediatesIntermediatesNovicesIntermediates / AdvancedNovices / IntermediatesIntermediates / AdvancedIntermediatesIntermediates / AdvancedNovice / Intermediates / AdvancedNovice / IntermediatesNovices / IntermediatesNovices / Intermediates
Payment optionsMonthly / Lifetime3 Months / Annually / Lifetime6 Months / LifetimeMonthlyMonthly / Annually / LifetimeIn-app currencyMonthly / 6 months / Annually / 24 monthsMonthly / 6 Months / AnnuallyMonthly/ Annually /LifetimeMonthly / 3 months / AnnuallyMonthly / AnnuallyMonthly / Annually / LifetimeMonthly / 3 months / 12 monthsMonthly / Annually
Price14.95 – 575 $9.9 – 89.99 $15 – 260 $4 – 552 $8.49 – 119.99 $4 – 50 $ per lesson7.99 – 34.99 $12.95 – 99.95 $13 – 159.99 $19.99 – 239.99$29.99 – 143.99 $6.99 – 139.99 $9.99 – 79.99 $9.99 – 79.99 $
Hours of study time300+575+350+345+70+Not applicable400+300+250+250+1,000+250+250+1000+
Time commitment30 min / day30 min / day40 min / day40 min / day30 min / dayFew hours a week30 min / day20 min / day15 min / day25 min / day15 min / day20 min / day15 – 30 min / day15 – 30 min / day
PlatformsWeb, iOS, AndroidWeb, iOS, AndroidWeb, iOS, AndroidWeb, iOS, AndroidWeb, iOS, AndroidWeb, iOS, AndroidWeb, iOS, AndroidWeb, iOS, AndroidWeb, iOS, AndroidWeb, iOS, AndroidWeb, iOS, AndroidiOS, AndroidWeb, iOS, AndroidiOS, Android
Refund policy30-day money-back guaranteeIndividual refunds60-day money-back guarantee60-day money-back guarantee30-day money-back guarantee100% satisfaction guarantee90-day money-back guarantee7-day money-back guarantee14-day money-back guaranteeNon-refundable20-day refund policyIndividual refunds14-day money-back guarantee48-hour refunds
Free Trial✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️

11 Best Apps to Learn Chinese Mandarin


Most Well-Rounded Chinese App

Pimsleur website

Why we like Pimsleur

Pimsleur app gets you conversational in a new language with interactive audio lessons and games. A native speaker instructor will walk you through basic vocabulary and the most important concepts for reading, grammar, and writing.

⭐ Platforms:Web, iOS, Android
⌚ Time commitment:30 minutes per day
💵 Price:$14.95 – $575
🔄 Refund policy:30-day money-back guarantee
🎁 Free Trial:✔️

Key Features

  • Driving and Offline Mode – download audio lessons for offline use and easily control the app while driving.
  • Speak Easy challenge – build conversational skills, expand vocabulary, and get conversational in real-life settings.
  • Voice coach – advanced speech recognition technology for pronunciation practice.
  • Speed Run Game – memorize and translate words quickly with an interactive game.

The Good

The Bad

Why Pimsleur Is The Best Chinese App

The ability to differentiate between different tones might be the most crucial for reaching fluency in the Chinese language. So learning Chinese grammar and sentence structure through audio lessons is your best bet. Pimsleur app is based on a decades-tested method of audio repetition to help you learn and memorize the Chinese language.

We recommend Pimsleur as the most well-rounded language learning app. It allows starting with the most difficult part of the language – speaking and listening. Instead of overwhelming you with theory, Pismleur app will provide conversational aspects of the Chinese language from the start.


Pimsleur offers affordable subscription options ranging from $14.95 monthly audio-only course to $150 for all-inclusive individual courses. Premium Pimsleur account provides access to all available languages and levels. The seven-day free trial is a great way to test Pimsleur before purchasing.


Best Novices Chinese App

Mondly website

Why we like Mondly

Mondly might be the most innovative language-learning app on the market. It appeals to language learners of various levels with gamified and even virtual reality lessons. Language learning is guaranteed to be fun with Mondly.

⭐ Platforms:Web, iOS, Android
⌚ Time commitment:30 minutes per day
💵 Price:$9.90 – $89.99
🔄 Refund policy:Individual refunds
🎁 Free Trial:✔️

Key Features

  • Speech Recognition Technology – gain confidence in speaking with advanced voice recognition.
  • Interactive Chatbot – receive instant feedback on your conversational skills.
  • AR and VR Modules – engage with digital characters and objects while learning a language.
  • Mondly Kids – immerse your kids into a foreign language through interactive games.

The Good

The Bad

Why Mondly Is The Best Chinese App for Novices

Most beginner courses on the Chinese language start with characters and tonality. It’s not the most engaging part of language learning. That’s why many novices and younger students stop learning Chinese after barely starting. We think that starting with Mondly app can solve this problem.

It’s one of the best app to learn Chinese because of its interactive lessons and innovative solutions. Mondly balances such novelty with excellent coverage of the language basics. You’ll learn how to speak, write and read while staying motivated. If anything can get you into learning Chinese, it’s Mondly.


The payment options of Mondly are flexible – you can pay every month ($9.99), every three months ($29.97), or annually ($47.99). The lifetime subscription ($89.99) has great value for money, providing access to all languages and features. You can also try out Mondly with the seven-day free trial.

Rocket Languages

Best Chinese App with Lifetime Access

Rocket Languages Website

Why we like Rocket Chinese

Rocket Chinese app covers everything you need to learn a new language – from speaking and grammar to culture and immersion. The highly interactive app is also affordable, which makes it a steal for its 14 languages.

⭐ Platforms:Web, iOS, Android
⌚ Time commitment:40 minutes per day
💵 Price:$15 – $260
🔄 Refund policy:60-day money-back guarantee
🎁 Free Trial:✔️

Key Features

  • Interactive Audio Lessons – talk the language of native speakers through real-life interactions –
  • Play It! – take the role of a speaker in a dialogue and practice your pronunciation.
  • Reinforcement Activities – use multiple exercises to memorize the language in every aspect.
  • Progress-Tracking – stay on your learning path with a gamified motivational system.

The Good

The Bad

Why Rocket Languages Is The Best Chinese App With Lifetime Access

All languages take a while to master but learning Chinese is especially time-consuming. You must figure out different tonalites, learn thousands of characters, and word order perplexities. There’s no better way to prepare for a lengthy language-learning journey than with a lifetime subscription to Rocket Languages.

It packs all you need to improve your Chinese language proficiency in all relevant language skills. Unlike many other apps, Rocket Languages doesn’t lack features for Chinese. With one purchase, Rocket’s Chinese course will set you up for years to come.


Rocket Chinese app starts from $99.95, which might seem expensive. But it’s not. Instead of paying a subscription fee, you get access to all the course contents for one price. Forever. Rocket languages also have an unlimited free trial with access to some introductory content. There really isn’t any reason not to try it.

Chinese Class 101

Best Self-Paced Chinese App

chineseclass101 website

Why we like Chinese Class 101

Chinese Class 101 provides an extensive collection of podcast-like language apps with the same high-quality standard in each. Listen to native speaker dialogues adjusted for your level and accessible at your own pace.

⭐ Platforms:Web, iOS, Android
⌚ Time commitment:40 minutes per day
💵 Price:$4 – $552
🔄 Refund policy:60-day money-back guarantee
🎁 Free Trial:✔️

Key Features

  • Pathways – learn with personalized lesson plans suiting your interests.
  • Dialogues – follow native speaker conversations while making notes and recording yourself.
  • Vocabulary – study each word separately with its pronunciation and translation.
  • Lesson Notes – read comprehensive yet concise notes on the most crucial concepts of your target language.

The Good

The Bad

Chinese Class 101 Overview

There are many ways to learn the Chinese language, but none are universally correct. You might need to start with specific vocabulary topics or fix problems with your pronunciation before moving your learning process. Choose Chinese Class 101 courses for the best self-paced Chinese language learning.

With numerous audio lessons and flexible offline access, Chinese Class 101 will allow you to create a custom learning path. Language lessons fall into a variety of different modules, which does not commit you to have much previous knowledge or stick to a pre-established structure.


Best Flashcard-Based Chinese App

Memrise website

Why we like Memrise

Powered by flashcards, spaced repetition, and AI, Memrise is a great app to memorize words and reach conversational fluency. Besides official tools, Memrise promotes language learners to upload courses on topics of interest.

⭐ Platforms:Web, iOS, Android
⌚ Time commitment:30 minutes per day
💵 Price:$8.49 – $119.99
🔄 Refund policy:30-day money-back guarantee
🎁 Free Trial:✔️

Key Features

  • Chats and Missions – get conversation practice with a chatbot and complete missions to use the language in everyday scenarios
  • Review to Retain – flip flashcards with word translations and videos to memorize them.
  • User-created Content – use relatable materials nourished by other students for language learning.
  • Immerse – measure what you’ve learned in the material with fun videos.

The Good

The Bad

Memrise Overview

There’s a lot to memorize while learning Chinese. It is not enough to know some basic phrases and numbers to get conversational. You must remember at least 2000 characters to reach the fluency of an average native speaker. Flashcards are an age-old solution for that.

Memrise app elevates flashcard-based learning of Chinese to a new level. Instead of only memorizing characters, you will hear recordings to improve your pronunciation, see videos of native speakers and embark on missions. Memrise is one of the best apps to memorize hundreds of Chinese characters quickly.


Best Chinese Online Tutoring App

italki website

Why we like italki

italki is the most popular online tutoring app with a wide selection of teachers for any language. The language exchange provides all you need for tutoring and even some additional practice possibilities outside the classroom.

⭐ Platforms:Web, iOS, Android
⌚ Time commitment:Few hours a week
💵 Price:$4 – $50
🔄 Refund policy:100% satisfaction guarantee
🎁 Free Trial:✔️

Key Features

  • Teacher Filtering – find the right tutor with the help of relevant filters.
  • italki Classroom – take classes with an in-built software without worrying about compatibility.
  • italki Credits – pay with a virtual currency and save money.
  • italki Discover – find various activities created by the italki community.

The Good

The Bad

Italki Overview

You can learn Chinese without a tutor, but it will take way longer, and you risk mislearning some aspects. Chinese tonal variations and the writing of characters are notoriously difficult to learn on your own. You will need someone to guide you at advanced levels.

That is why online tutoring apps are essential, and italki is the best one for most language. There are more than a thousand italki teachers for Mandarin Chinese and many more students participating in the community. You are certain to find someone to help you learn Chinese on italki app.


Best Authentic Chinese Content App

Lingq web

Why we like LingQ

LingQ app houses a wide selection of custom language learning content unique to your target language. Its simple and interactive design organizes various podcasts, books, news articles, and songs for a culturally rich language experience.

⭐ Platforms:Web, iOS, Android
⌚ Time commitment:30 minutes per day
💵 Price:$7.99 – $34.99
🔄 Refund policy:90-day money-back guarantee
🎁 Free Trial:✔️

Key Features

  • LingQ Reader – listen, read, and compile learning materials adjusted to your pace.
  • Flashcards – rehearse words you learned with color-coded, spaced repetition-powered card decks.
  • Upload – import videos, reading materials, songs, and more to learn foreign languages faster.
  • LingQ Community – discuss pain points and participate in friendly competitions with other language learners.

The Good

The Bad

LingQ Overview

Most students from Western countries struggle while learning Chinese as the resources are mainly academic. With millions of native speakers, Chinese is a vibrant and lively language. You must dive into authentic and contemporary materials to fine-tune your language-learning experience.

LingQ is the best app to find authentic Chinese language content. It covers the basics of Chinese speaking, reading, and writing skills with a seemingly endless supply of original materials. If their course library and community discussions aren’t enough, you can upload your own materials.


Best Chinese App for Visual Learners

Yabla website

Why we like Yabla

Yabla app will fit every intermediary language learner looking for immersion through videos of native speakers. The high-quality content is supplemented with interactive subtitles and covers various topics to help you progress quickly.

⭐ Platforms:Web, iOS, Android
⌚ Time commitment:20 minutes per day
💵 Price:$12.95 – $99.95
🔄 Refund policy:7-day money-back guarantee
🎁 Free Trial:✔️

Key Features

  • Interactive subtitles and playback – read and translate subtitles, rewind, or loop your target language videos.
  • Language Practice Games – participate in various games of dictation, filling in the blanks, quizzes, and more.
  • Flashcards – review the vocabulary you have learned while watching videos.
  • Yabla Lessons – read short articles on crucial aspects of your language.

The Good

The Bad

Yabla Overview

Creating language immersion opportunities is an essential part of learning the Chinese language. But it isn’t easy when you are thousands of miles away from China. Visual learners have an advantage – they can watch interesting videos on apps like Yabla.

For a moderate price, you can access an abundance of authentic video content prepared to kickstart your language learning journey. Many video-based apps to learn Chinese lack quality subtitles. It’s not the case with Yabla, as its translations are accurate and come in Chinese characters.


Best App for Chinese Speaking Practice

speechling website

Why we like Speechling

Speechling app improves pronunciation and listening skills through various exercises. It uses a vast library of high-quality audio recordings, but the main benefit of this language-learning app is easy access to personalized feedback from a tutor.

⭐ Platforms:Web, iOS, Android
⌚ Time commitment:25 minutes per day
💵 Price:$19.99 – $239.99
🔄 Refund policy:Non-refundable
🎁 Free Trial:✔️

Key Features

  • Skills – a collection of language courses covering vocabulary, basic expressions, and listening skills.
  • Speechling Conversations – answer questions, describe images, and discuss various topics with your new vocabulary.
  • Toolbox – improve every part of the target language with quizzes, flashcards, dictation practice, and more.
  • Study – learn to pronounce new words and memorize them with spaced repetition.

The Good

The Bad

Speechling Overview

Many polyglots and language learners agree that Mandarin Chinese is the most difficult foreign language to speak. If you aren’t raised with a similar Asian language, grasping the intricacies of tonality can be extremely challenging. This is the best app to learn Chinese and get constant feedback.

That’s exactly what Speechling achieves. It’s the best app to practice speaking and listening while covering various cultural topics and receiving constant feedback on your pronunciation from private tutors. It covers traditional and simplified Chinese.


Best Chinese Grammar Improvement App

FluentU website

Why we like FluentU

FluentU app is built around a huge library of videos with transcriptions and translations for each language they cover. It individualizes the learning of vocabulary, grammar, and culture through foreign language immersion.

⭐ Platforms:Web, iOS, Android
⌚ Time commitment:15 minutes per day
💵 Price:$29.99 – $143.99
🔄 Refund policy:20-day refund policy
🎁 Free Trial:✔️

Key Features

  • Audio and video lessons – find what native speaker content you want from a large variety of options.
  • Flashcards – create your own flashcards from the videos you watched for later study
  • Dictionary – define words in their context with selected videos.
  • FluentU Translator – look up information while watching videos to get translations and definitions of words.

The Good

The Bad

FluentU Overview

Mandarin Chinese is a complicated language when it comes to grammar. The sentence structure is unfamiliar to most Western learners, and concepts like highlighting the sentence topic require a big change of habits. That’s why we recommend starting to learn Chinese grammar by immersing yourself in the language.

FluentU app offers one of the largest libraries of Mandarin Chinese content, as the company is Hong Kong-based. Watching video content will teach sentence structure and word tonality, while reviewing exercises will cement more complex concepts, such as measure words. It’s a great grammar resource, especially for those who want to avoid boring textbooks.


Best Free Chinese Learning App

Duolingo website

Why we like Duolingo

Duolingo app is the most gamified language learning experience you can get. Just like in a video game, you must collect gems and earn XP while learning basic concepts of a new language.

⭐ Platforms:Web, iOS, Android
⌚ Time commitment:15 – 30 minutes per day
💵 Price:$9.99 – $79.99
🔄 Refund policy:48-hour refunds
🎁 Free Trial:✔️

Key Features

  • Gems, XP points, badges… – motivate yourself to learn with an abundance of elements from mobile games.
  • Stories – read and listen to interactive stories bringing you closer to a real-life experience.
  • Roleplay – converse with a chatbot that can adjust to your proficiency level.
  • Personalized lessons – delve into short lessons teaching the basics of the target language while focusing on your weak spots.

The Good

The Bad

Duolingo Overview

Learning the Chinese language can get expensive, and it might be a good idea to try a free app before you you are sure to have what it takes. Although you won’t go far with only a free version of any app, an ideal one should cover some basics and motivate you for more.

That’s exactly what Duolingo app achieves with its Chinese language course. It is not the most exhaustive or best structured, but it is accessible and will keep you motivated. The XP system might not build much trust for some, but if you want a free start, Duolingo is a good choice.

Frequently Asked Questions When Learning Chinese Mandarin

Yes, Chinese learning apps are suitable for beginners. They often offer user-friendly interfaces, basic lessons, and pronunciation guides to help new learners get started on their language journey.

Yes, many Chinese learning apps offer progress tracking and certifications. These features help users monitor their language learning journey and gain recognition for their achievements.

The time it takes to learn Chinese with these apps varies depending on individual effort and goals. However, significant progress can be made in a few months of consistent learning, and becoming proficient typically takes several years of dedicated practice.

Yes, Chinese learning apps can help with speaking and pronunciation. They often include speech recognition and pronunciation practice exercises to improve your spoken Chinese skills.

Yes, there are specific apps tailored for children learning Chinese. These apps often feature interactive games, colorful visuals, and simplified content to make learning fun and engaging for young learners.

Apps can help with Chinese language proficiency tests by providing targeted test preparation materials, practice exams, and interactive exercises to improve listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills required for success in exams like HSK.

Yes, there are apps with a focus on Business Chinese. These apps are designed to teach language and etiquette relevant to professional settings, making them ideal for business professionals and those aiming to work in Chinese-speaking environments.

My Verdict

Mandarin Chinese language is especially broad in its grammar and vocabulary. But so is the selection of language learning apps to help you grasp this popular language. This list should be enough to help you find the best apps to learn Chinese characters, tonality, vocabulary, culture, and everything else.

Founder / Polyglot


Most Well-Rounded Chinese App


Most Well-Rounded Chinese App
Founder / Polyglot