Resources I use

I’ll keep this updated as I go, these are just what I use and have used in the past.

This list is not presented in a way I would like right now but I thought I would get something put together for people curious about what resources I’d recommend and use myself.

Listening Material


So many lessons for beginners, intermediate level and beyond. I would recommend using other resources to get over the beginner hump and start using ChinesePod from the intermediate lessons. Below this I found there was too much English being used and other resources do beginner level more effectively.

Slow Chinese

Loads of audio clips that can be downloaded for free. Below each is the transcript in Chinese and another tab with the English translation. I usually browse through until I see an image that looks interesting and choose which to listen to based on that.

HSK Test Papers

Useful as the HSK exams contains lots of frequently used words that you will pick up throughout courses, even if you don't specifically study HSK vocabulary lists

Course Textbooks and Audio

Pimsleur 1 - 3

Builds a solid foundation of the language, repetitive but works very well, although a little pricey. Read my Pimsleur review

FSI: Standard Chinese

Very long course that’s completely free. Outdated and low audio quality, but still massive value to be extracted from it.

Assimil Chinese with Ease

Short and sweet lessons, only have experience with volume two but it seems like the language used is native-like, a fair amount of colloquial terms

New Practical Chinese Reader Series

Really enjoying the second book in the course. Only the first volume has both pinyin and characters, read about what I think of NPCR 2

Grammar Books and Resources

Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar

My go-to resource for grammar. If I notice some grammar I’m not sure about I can usually look it up in the index and then read a good explanation with example sentences. Open this on an almost daily basis.

Chinese Grammar Wiki

Totally free resource to satisfy grammar needs. Lots of grammar points organised into levels, ranging from beginner to advanced. I use this to get more sentence examples or when the book above isn't within reach.

Reading Books

Chinese Breeze

I’d recommend getting some of these books if you’ve learnt to recognise around 300 or so of the most frequently used characters (this isn’t too hard with Skritter). I have two of these books but haven’t finished them yet.

Private Tutoring


Hundreds of native Mandarin speakers to choose from. Please shoot me a message if you would like to know which teacher I use, being a little selfish and don’t want her to always be unavailable :p



The best tool to improve your writing ability, also helps with reading. A little pricey with recurring payments but worth every penny for any serious Chinese learner.

Anki (Free, iPhone app has 1 time fee)

SRS flashcard software, plenty of shared decks to use, but always more beneficial to use your own. I use this every day

Pleco (Free with paid upgrades)

Great dictionary. Worth buying at least the basic package for the handwriting recogniser and flashcards. I haven’t bought any of the additional dictionaries yet but will in the future.


Great app for working on your pronunciation by getting real feedback on your recordings. Read my review of WaiChinese

Hello Talk (Free)

Talk to hundreds of native Mandarin speakers for free, just speak a little English back to them to make things fair. Type and send voice messages. I’ve used this on and off for the past month, I think it’s a great app but I don’t have time to use it as much currently.


I hope to create a video guide soon about how I use this freeware audio software to create my Anki flashcards and also how I use it to improve my speaking abilities

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