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Mandarin Chinese Courses

Learn Chinese with online Chinese courses from top schools and institutions. Pick up a new language and discover Mandarin Chinese, the official language of China, with edX's online language courses today!

The Chinese Language

There are more than 1.3 billion Chinese speakers in the world. Mandarin Chinese is about as commonly-used as English, if not more so. 

The Chinese language comes from a rich history and culture. The spoken language is used across the world for business, travel, daily life, and more. Chinese has also had an enormous influence on other Asian languages, such as Japanese and Korean. 

Whether you're interested in learning Mandarin Chinese for business, picking up a foreign language for travel, or just looking for a fun online course, learning the Chinese language means taking your language skills to the next level and discovering a whole new world.

Learning Chinese Online

edX offers Chinese language courses taught by native speakers from top universities. Join thousands of language learners and engage with learning materials such as videos, vocabulary lists, and subtitles to learn:

  • Chinese characters

  • Common Chinese words

  • Popular Chinese phrases

  • Chinese speaking and Chinese listening skills

  • Chinese grammar

  • ​The four Chinese tones

Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language with many complex characteristics like sentence structures, conjugations, phonetic tones, a radical-based writing system, cultural idioms, and more. Chinese lessons on edX make learning the language easier for English speakers by teaching subjects like pinyin. (Pinyin is a Romanization of spoken Chinese that helps with Chinese pronunciation by spelling out words using the English alphabet.)

To enrich your Chinese learning experience and improve your Mandarin skills, you may find it useful to keep a Chinese dictionary on hand. Podcasts and flashcards are also helpful tools for memorizing new words, learning characters, and expanding your Chinese vocabulary.

Learn Mandarin Chinese for Business

China is a modern economic power. Big cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong have become hubs for modern business. To help you keep up and hone your Chinese skills, edX offers programs such as the Mandarin for Business Professional Certificate Program. The program is a five-part introduction to the Chinese language skills you need to communicate professionally in China. No previous Chinese language experience is required to start the course, and students can enroll and learn at their own pace.

Invest in language learning and pick up Chinese as a second language to advance your career and enrich your life. Start with basic Chinese characters and progress through three levels of coursework that combine vocabulary, grammar, and Mandarin conversation training. You will learn basic speaking and listening skills in Mandarin for daily interactions. You will also learn more specialized vocabulary and conversation skills for negotiating, networking, and building business relationships. In the process, you will also start to understand Chinese people, Chinese culture, and Chinese history.

Mandarin in China

The official language of China is Mandarin. In fact, Mandarin is known as "Putonghua" or "common language." It is used not only in the mainland, but also in other regions of Asia such as Singapore.

People in some parts of Asia like Hong Kong and Taiwan use traditional Chinese characters. Folks in different parts of China may also use regional dialects or languages like Cantonese. However, government and business officials in China will speak Mandarin. Plus, for most interactions in Chinese-speaking countries like Singapore, people will use simplified Chinese characters.