Top 9 Chinese Forums To Use To Learn Mandarin Chinese
Everyone used a forum sometime in their lifetime. Whether it's to ask a question, engage in a conversation, give answers on any given topic, or read about other people's opinions.
So of course, you can use Chinese forums to help you study Chinese. Using it allows you to connect with like-minded people who are also learning Chinese.
So let's jump into what forums you can use to help you learn Chinese.
Why should I learn more on Chinese forums?
Learning a foreign language is always challenging. That's especially true if we are talking about Chinese. There are thousands of characters to learn, and finding specific answers and examples in your Chinese textbooks is difficult, easily leading to frustration.
We all felt lost and had the experience of wanting to ask a specific question but not knowing who to ask.
For example, coming from the Republic of San Marino, one of the smallest countries in the world, it's challenging to find other people learning Chinese here or to find Chinese speakers to become friends with.
So, that's when Chinese forums can come in handy.
How can forums help you learn other languages?
With over 100 million people learning Mandarin, online forums for Chinese language learners are the perfect place to meet others like yourself to exchange Chinese learning tips and hear opinions about learning this language.
1. To find or ask a question
For example, you can contact other students on a language forum to learn how they memorize Chinese characters or exchange learning materials. Also, you can find students taking the HSK exam on the same day as you so that you can organize study groups together. Even if you're just willing to complain about how hard it is to learn Mandarin Chinese, it can be good to find "a shoulder to cry on."
Sometimes, a certain phrase doesn't make sense, and using Chinese learning websites or textbooks will have a surface-level explanation. Most of the time, you can find an online community of someone in the past who posted about the same problem you are having. If someone has not posted or the post is outdated, you can ask the question, and someone will respond.
2. To find a language buddy, study buddy, or a tutor
Online forums let you pair up with a native speaker and someone who is learning your language. This is an excellent way to improve your language skills by talking in each other’s language.
Additionally, you can find other study buddies who are also learning Mandarin and exchange notes or have practice conversations in Chinese.
Moreover, if you're looking for a tutor online, forums are great platforms to find them as there might be several qualified teachers posting about their services.
3. To increase your reading proficiency.
Once you've reached a good proficiency level in Chinese, join forums used by Chinese people and discuss topics you're interested in, such as music, literature, and movies, and discover new Chinese internet slang being used.
Additionally, reading topics you are interested in Mandarin will help you learn how to read in Chinese and increase your Chinese proficiency. These discussions will allow you to learn while being engaged and having fun.
When using the language you've learned, which is the key to proficiency in any foreign language.
4. To find more lived-experience information
Online communities are the perfect place to find information. If you're planning a trip, studying abroad, or moving to China, reading other people's experiences will give you ideas and information. Additionally, finding people with similar plans makes it feel less lonely and less overwhelming.
What are some Chinese forums to learn chinese?
Chinese-forums.com home page
This free forum lets you ask questions about learning Chinese or China. Chinese-forums is very comprehensive, and it includes many sub-forums. Some forums topics include:
Finding assistance for a quick translation
Exchanging views about learning and studying methods
Life questions about how it is like to work in China
Subforums for Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, and many other cities
There are dedicated sections to Chinese culture, a great place to discuss Chinese movies, music, art and literature, politics, and much more.
2) Pandanese forum
The learning platform Pandanese has its own forum, a place where you can speak about any China and Chinese-related topics, such as Chinese food (from Chinese street food to desserts), movies, Chinese memes, etc. You can also start your own topic. Don't be shy!
The community is welcoming and helpful, and it being a smaller community can mean you'll be more likely to create meaningful relationships with other users and keep in touch with them.
You can also suggest new features you would like to see on Pandanese and provide feedback on the website's features.
Linguaholic has several forums, one for each foreign language.
Its Chinese Language Learning includes six sub-forums:
Chinese lounge: a very interesting section where you can join conversations using Chinese.
While these sub-forums have been inactive lately, you can still find some active threads or browse through old posts.
Reddit is the go-to platform for basically any topic under the sun. Even though it's not a specialized educational platform, you'll find interesting posts or support other learners.
Some subreddits you can join are:
5) Stack Exchange
Stack exchange home page
This forum covers various topics, including a section for those who want to learn Chinese.
Stack Exchange is very active. Using tags lets you browse topics such as grammar, word choice, culture, history, HSK exams, etc.
You'll surely find what you're looking for.
Scrabbin home page
Scrabbin is a good website you can use if you are learning any new language, Chinese included.
It is a forum and a tool you can use to get in touch with potential language partners who want to learn your first language. So, you can find a Chinese speaker who wants languages you know.
Additionally, it's a great place to find language exchange partners. First, you select the language you are learning and the one(s) you are native in. Then, you'll find a list of potential language partners you can message. You will see the date they signed up, so you'll get better chances to find active users.
What are some popular Chinese discussion forums that Chinese people use?
Learning and using Chinese on a forum can be a very entertaining experience, and you will kill two birds with one stone:
you'll both practice the language and
get in touch with true Chinese contemporary culture
These forums are full of Chinese slang and idioms. While there is no one forum that dominates the Chinese online landscape, there are several popular platforms that cater to different interests and communities.
1) Tieba 贴吧
Baidu Tieba is the closest Chinese equivalent to Reddit. It has many sub-forums and is popular among the young Chinese population.
Tieba lets users create and participate in forums, known as "bars" or "tieba" for specific topics, such as movies, music, sports, technology, and more. Each bar focuses on a particular subject, and users can post discussions, share information, ask questions, and interact with other members who have similar interests.
If you are interested, here is an English step-to-step guide with pictures here to get started.
2) Zhihu 知乎
While this site is not properly a forum, as it is more like Quora, the tone is generally quite formal, and most are college-educated users.
Zhihu 知乎 app
Users can ask questions and get answers from a community of experts, professionals, and knowledgeable individuals online. Zhihu has separate categories to take part in topics in their interest and share their expertise on various subjects.
Definitely the go-to social media platform for people looking to reliable and informative answers
3) Douban group
This website mainly reviews books, movies, art, and hobby-related content.
Douban has a section called 豆瓣小组 Dòubàn xiǎozǔ, which is similar to a forum. Its categories include:
Travel & photography
These categories are then divided into more specific, smaller subforums.
Frequently asked questions
Why join a forum?
Online forums are help places for people to learn from each other. Which is especially useful for language learning. If there’s any confusion, translation help, or grammar explanation, language forum can help you out.
Which forums can I use to learn Chinese?
For Chinese language learning, use chinese-forums.com, the Pandanese forum, Linguaholic, r/chineselearning, r/learnchinese/, Stack Exchange, and Scrabbin. For reading Chinese posts, try Tieba 贴吧, Zhihu 知乎, and Douban group.
Chinese forums provide a valuable platform for language learners to enhance their Mandarin skills and immerse themselves in the vibrant Chinese online community. Embracing the power of Chinese forums opens doors to an enriching language learning journey and fosters meaningful connections with others passionate about Mandarin Chinese.
Elisa Felici has been studying Chinese since 2014. She started her language-learning journey at Italian universities and lived in Beijing while attending Beijing’s Confucius Institute. Elisa passed HSK 4 and 5 and finally, in 2020, HSK 6. She now has a Master’s degree in translation and interpreting and has experience not only as a language learner but also as a Chinese teacher and translator.