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You Can Now Learn Chinese Using Duolingo

Dave Parrack 16-11-2017

Duolingo has added a language course just for people who want to learn Chinese. Specifically Mandarin Chinese. With more than 1 billion speakers, Mandarin Chinese is the most-spoken language in the world, so it would probably serve us all well to learn a few words and phrases.


You can learn dozens of languages using Duolingo. However, it took a long time for Duolingo to figure out how to teach Asian languages, which are notoriously difficult to teach to westerners. Duolingo added a Japanese course Duolingo Now Helps You Learn Japanese Duolingo has been helping people learn languages since 2011. However, it doesn't yet offer courses in every language, including Japanese. Until now... Read More in May 2017, and it has now added Chinese to the mix as well.

Using Gamification to Keep Things Interesting

Duolingo has added a language-learning course for Modern Standard Mandarin. It’s set up in the same way as its other courses, using variety and gamification to keep things interesting. You’ll work your way through various themes, including greetings, health, food, sport, and occupations.

Unfortunately for most of us in the rest of the world, Chinese is difficult to learn. Not only do you need to learn new characters, different intonations of the same word can give it a different meaning. Luckily, Duolingo builds these extra elements in, feeding them to you slowly.

It would take the average westerner a lifetime to learn to speak Chinese fluently, so lower your expectations. However, if you complete the Duolingo course, learning 1,000 characters and 1,000 words as you go, you should pass the first three levels of the official Chinese proficiency test.


Duolingo’s course for Modern Standard Mandarin is available now on Android and on iOS. And you can dedicate as much or as little time each day to learning as your life allows. Duolingo is free to use, but a premium offering called Duolingo Plus Duolingo Plus Makes It Easier to Learn a New Language Duolingo has launched a paid subscription service designed to give language learners a leg-up. Paid subscribers will gain a couple of advantages over free users, all while keeping Duolingo in business. Read More removes the ads and lets you learn offline.

Confucius Say: If You Don’t Try, You Can Never Succeed

Learning Chinese isn’t for the faint of heart. But you shouldn’t let the challenge dissuade you from trying. Duolingo isn’t going to make you fluent in Chinese, but it will teach you the basics. And if you take to it like a duck to water, you can then sign up for a professional course.

Have you used Duolingo to learn a new language? If so, which language did you learn using Duolingo? Have you tried learning Japanese yet? And are you likely to try learning Chinese? Is there another website or app you prefer using? Please let us know in the comments below!

Related topics: Duolingo, Language Learning.

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