What to Consider When Choosing Sites to Learn Chinese Online

The development of Pinyin Romanization has made it easier for Westerners to study Chinese online through a widely accepted and easy-to-learn system of transcribing Mandarin sounds using the Roman alphabet. Most importantly, Pinyin includes tone marks or numbers to indicate the four different Mandarin tones and clarify the meaning of transcribed words. The main disadvantage of Pinyin is that its sounds are different from English, which may lead those who are unfamiliar with the system to mispronounce them. This minor drawback has not hindered the wide adoption of Pinyin; it has become the official Romanization system of China and Singapore, as well as the US Library of Congress.

Because of Pinyin, there is now an extensive range of options for learning Chinese online using a variety of modalities ranging from videos to one-on-one online tutoring. However, because of the sheer number of choices available, it can be difficult to find the site that best suits your particular needs. The first step in deciding which site to use is to browse their different lesson offerings to see if they have a package that is most suitable for your requirements. For example, if you are learning Chinese because you are planning to visit China or other Chinese-speaking country, do they have a simple course that will teach you to quickly converse in Mandarin? If you are planning to apply for college in China, do they have a learning package that will help you build your vocabulary and Chinese-reading and -writing skills?

The next step is to look at the learning tools that they offer on the site. The wider the selection of tools available the better, since every person has a different way of learning. For example, some people might prefer to learn on their own using self-guided audio lessons with occasional supervision from a tutor while others might feel more comfortable being taught live by a teacher through Skype or Adobe Connect – an advance e-education software used in the universities and professional bodies for interactive online classes. The best sites may even offer assistance in preparing you for Chinese language proficiency exams that are a requirement before you are allowed to study or work in China.

Price, of course, is an important consideration. The best sites for learning Chinese online will offer a selection of pricing options, ranging from monthly subscriptions for unlimited lessons to one-time fees for particular lesson packages. In addition, they may even offer you free trial periods or sample lessons that you should take advantage of, as this will give you the flavor of how the site teaches Chinese so that you can decide if you feel comfortable with their approach. And of course, a good site always guarantees the satisfaction of its users by offering a money-back warranty if you’re unsatisfied with their services.

Finally, the best sites have responsive customer service and technical support in case you encounter any problems accessing their lessons. You can even test how good their customer service is by asking to speak to a customer representative or e-mailing them, just to see how fast they get back to you to address your concerns.

Source by Chuang Wei Zhang