Looking at the Best App for Learning Chinese [2024 List]

Looking at the Best App for Learning Chinese [2024 List]

Looking for the best app for learning Chinese?

Aspiring language learners studying Mandarin Chinese, the path is now more achievable than ever with various mobile apps at your disposal.

We’ll take an in-depth look into what makes these apps to learn Chinese so helpful and provide advice on how you can select one tailored to your particular learning goals. From character memorization Chinese culture, and grammar lessons, opening yourself up to this language through technology could be the start of a thrilling journey!

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7 Best Apps for Learning Chinese

If you’re looking to become fluent in Mandarin Chinese, there are several apps for language learning available that can suit any preference. From courses covering all aspects, such as pronunciation and grammar, to interactive games teaching both culture and vocabulary, these Chinese learning apps provide a variety of methods perfect for mastering the language quickly.

Here is our selection of top apps designed with one aim: helping users learn how to speak Chinese fluently!

1. Duolingo

duolingo chinese interface

Duolingo Chinese interface

Duolingo has a firm grasp on the massive in learning a language.

Their free model allows new users to access free learning content. Users can always pay for additional features. But so many can be done with their free account.

They have a decent Chinese course with interactive activities through playing game modes and engaging in exercises. Users can improve their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, as well as learn characters' stroke order plus refine vocabulary pronunciation and grammar.

Duolingo may be perfect for those looking to develop or brush up on their Mandarin Chinese ability at an independent pace! Have you already tried Duolingo, and not your forte? We have a lot of alternative Duolingo apps to use.

2. Hello Chinese

hello chinese app

HelloChinese website

Hello Chinese is a great app to learn Chinese for anyone. It offers a comprehensive selection of activities and lessons, ranging from reading, writing, listening, and speaking exercises through animated graphics, as well as speech recognition technology with an interactive handwriting interface.

Like Duolingo, they also offer premium packages, but their free version greatly benefits users. Additionally, Hello Chinese supports simplified or traditional characters, allowing you to pick your preferred writing structure.

3. Memrise

memrise chinese lesson

Memrise vocabulary set

Memrise is an effect app with tons of Chinese flashcard features to try.

One of Memrise's most prominent features is that they use native speakers for audio recordings and tests, allowing you to hear accurate pronunciation. Users also have SRS-designed exercises and drills for grammar and Chinese vocabulary.

If you want to improve your Chinese, this app will serve its purpose well.

4. FluentU


FluentU interface

One of FluentU Chinese's biggest features is you learn with real-world videos from movie trailers, music videos, commercials, and more. This feature, along with interactive subtitles, transcriptions, and translations, provides a great learning experience if you are an auditory learner and see Chinese grammar in media. Also, the platform features quiz sections that use spaced learning techniques to reinforce vocabulary and understanding.

As you can see, this app is great listening practice for beginners and advanced learners. They have a 14-day free trial period to allow you to see if this software is right for you. If it is, their subscription plan starts at $29.99/month or $359.99/year.

5. Skritter

Skritter app interface

Skritter interface

If you are looking for a place to practice writing Chinese characters, then Skritter is your go-to app.

It specializes in aiding Chinese writing to help you memorize Hanzi by giving you the stroke order, their tones, and pinyin, making this app ideal for anyone wishing to sharpen their handwriting skills.

Their free app allows you to learn the basic Chinese Hanzi, such as numbers, animals, and colors. But if you want to learn more, subscribe to one of their plans.

6. Drops

drops app for chinese

Drops app interface

As the name suggests, you can learn Chinese characters in small drops. There is little to no pressure for how much or how little you want to learn because each session lasts 5 minutes.

They have entertaining animations and activities; you can write Chinese characters of common everyday words. If 5 minutes is not enough, they have monthly, yearly, or lifetime subscriptions to extend your learning time.

7. Rocket Chinese


RocketChinese interface

Rocket Chinese is a new app we have discovered, and it is quite interesting. They mainly focus on audio, interactive lessons, and language & cultural courses.

When you listen to an audio interactive course, a moderator will review the lesson plan, the goals, and the reason for learning a specific topic. Then, you will listen to a native speaker's conversation. Now and then, the moderator will stop to give some content, explain grammar, and ask questions to engage in the conversation. The language and cultural lessons will give you insights into grammar points and cultural insights.

This app is generally geared towards beginners and intermediate learners. Their subscription model allows you to purchase either 1, 2, or 3 lessons with hundreds of total hours of lessons.

BONUS 1—The best app for learning Chinese characters: Pandanese

pandanese learn customize card

Pandanese learning flashcards

Pandanese has an upcoming app that operates exactly as the online software. Just the online version, you will start learning Mandarin Chinese's radical as a building block. As you keep leveling up, you will learn characters and Chinese vocabulary.

Unlike the other apps on this list, it is like a three-sided flashcard. It will give the meaning or translation, the reading or pronunciation and spelling in pinyin, and what radicals and characters make up the vocabulary. Each side will give you mnemonic stories to help you memorize these characters.

Additionally, Pandanese has character pronunciations and implements the spaced repetition system so that you will learn characters that need more focus.

The first three lessons are free for you to try!

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BONUS 2—The Chinese dictionary app: Pleco

pleco flashcard

Pleco's dictionary app

Pleco is best known as the Chinese dictionary app. But they also have Mandarin flashcards for an additional purchase.

Similarly to Pandanese, Pleco's flashcard uses SRS to have you review the characters you are struggling with. Other features include optical character recognition, a document reader, a stroke order diagram, and audio pronunciations.

Which app for learning Chinese is the best?

When deciding on the ideal Chinese learning app, there are several flashcard features to consider, as well as your personal goals, budget, and learning styles.

Think about what you want to accomplish: Improve your Chinese listening skills? Build your Chinese vocabulary? Learn how to write Chinese characters. These are the types of questions you should ask yourself before considering any apps to try.

Next, see if there is a free trial or free version for you to use before committing to any subscriptions. That way, you can taste what each app and software can provide you.

Lastly, think about your study style. Some apps have interactive activities, structured lessons, or flashcards. So, finding the perfect tool depends on knowing which features best satisfy each person’s wants and objectives.

The best method: A combination of everything

All these apps are great as extra content for learning Mandarin Chinese. However, each app has its advantages and focuses on learning an aspect of a language, such as vocabulary, grammar exercises, listening comprehension, and speaking proficiency.

Maximizing your Chinese learning additional Chinese resources

There are plenty of other Chinese resources as supplementary materials, such as podcasts, videos, language exchange, Chinese learning websites for Mandarin Chinese.

By combining various Chinese resources, you can improve your reading, writing, and listening skills by self-studying, hiring a tutor, or learning from native speakers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What app should I use to learn Chinese?

Pandanese is a great app to start learning Chinese characters. You'll learn radicals, the building blocks of the Chinese language. Once you learned Chinese radicals and characters and expanded your vocabulary, you can start learning grammar and other aspects of Chinese with Duolingo, HelloChinese, and FluentU.

Should I use Duolingo for Chinese?

Duolingo is a great supplementary choice to combine with your other learning materials. However, relying solely on Duolingo is not recommended as it can leave linguistic gaps for beginners since it won't provide in-depth explanations.

To sum up

There is no one best app for learning Chinese, but it is best to use a combination of these Chinese apps and other learning materials to learn Mandarin.

Hopefully, you have expanded your Chinese learning resources to help you master this language.

Tammy Dang is the project manager for Pandanese. She specializes in writing learning tips, educational resources, comparison articles, and content related to Chinese culture.

About Pandanese
Learn over 6,000 Hanzi with Pandanese’s Chinese characters flashcards with our easy mnemonic stories and SRS system to build your Chinese vocabulary.

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Learn more than 6,000 hanzi and vocabulary in a single year.