Chinese Language Resources

The Chinese tourism industry is booming, with 55 million visitors to the country in 2007. Landmarks such as the Great Wall and the Forbidden City mesmerize tourists, and the culture and cuisine of the country make for an unforgettable experience.

If you are planning a trip to the People's Republic of China, you may want to learn some basic phrases before you arrive. Although the English language is gaining popularity in China, the majority of the population does not speak it. Standard Mandarin is the official language of China, and it is considered a 'tonal language' because the words are distinguished by their tones. Foreigners often have difficulty with this concept because, depending on its pronunciation, one word can have four completely different meanings.

Resources on Learning Chinese:

Standard Mandarin – A history and overview of the official language of China

Speak Chinese – Beginner's guide for visitors to China

BBC Chinese – BBC's guide to Chinese including slideshows, videos, games, and quizzes

Chinese Pronunciation – Guide to the correct pronunciation of Chinese names, vowels, consonants, and tones

Mandarin Pronunciation – Guide to Mandarin pronunciation with audio clips

Pinyin – Overview of Pinyin, the Romanization of Mandarin

Pronunciation Guide – Audio clips of the correct pronunciation of numerous Pinyin words

Hanyu Pinyin Phonetics – Basic and advanced guides to pronunciation

Mandarin Tones – Audio clips and examples of the 4 tones used in Mandarin, how to discern between them, and how to combine them

Pinyin Tones – Video illustrating the 4 tones and how to properly use them

Chinese Characters – Origins of and information on the Chinese writing system

Chinese Websites – Directory of many resources on China

The Internet in China:

Internet Censorship – In depth explanation of the censoring of thousands of websites in China

Internet Filtering – Harvard study of Chinese internet policies in 2003

The Connection Has Been Reset – Article about “The Great Firewall of China”

Chinese Internet – A study of China's Internet use since 1996

Internet & Media – Compilation of resources regarding China's use of the Internet