Hundreds of resources to help you teach yourself


Beginner's Chinese: A Friendly Introduction

4 Mandarin, Books, Multimedia

This book by Yong Ho is for beginners, but I decided I needed to do a bunch of Pimsleur Chinese audio lessons first, before starting it, and I’m glad I did. Despite its inviting name, Beginner’s…

Reducing the Intimidation Factor of Learning Chinese Characters

Mandarin, Books

According to the highly enthusiastic book Learning Chinese Characters, it represents “a revolutionary new way to learn and remember the 800 most basic Chinese characters.” That’s a lot. There are thousands of characters, but 800 would be an…

Action Shot, Fluenz Mandarin Language-Learning Software

4 Mandarin, Books, Multimedia

Fluenz Mandarin is an interactive multimedia product, with audio, writing, reading, and speaking instruction. I am as of this writing on lesson 57 out of 75 lessons. When I first started using Fluenz Mandarin, I was surprised to discover that my…

I Think There Really Is Something to Some of This Stuff

4 Mandarin, Books, Sports/Fitness

Since I am interested in health and fitness, reading about Traditional Chinese Medicine was one of the things I did to try to get a better sense of Chinese culture. This book did not in any way enhance my language…

A Mostly-Picture Book on New York's Chinatowns

3-5 Mandarin, Books

Chinatowns of New York City by Wendy Wan-Yin Tan is principally a book of photographs, and I got a lot out of it. I did, however, get a lot more out of it…

Intermediate Chinese with Audio CD

Mandarin, Books, Multimedia

Intermediate Chinese with Audio CD by Yong Ho is the successor to Beginner’s Chinese with 2 Audio CDs, which I liked. This intermediate book looks good, too, but I can’t evaluate it, because I…

There Are More American Chinatowns Than Most People Realize

5 Mandarin, Books

In American Chinatown, author Bonnie Tsui examines the five most famous American Chinatowns—in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Honolulu, and Las Vegas. Discussions of demographic trends are complemented by personal stories of people who live…

The Web That Has No Weaver: Good Bedtime Reading

3-5 Mandarin, Books, Sports/Fitness

The Web That Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine by Ted Kaptchuk will not teach you Chinese, but it has Chinese words in it! I read it as part of my foray into Chinese culture. I am…

A Beverage History: On the Drink That Changed the World

4 Mandarin, Books

While studying Chinese, I decided to read this tea history, as a window into Chinese culture. Five thousand years of culture is a little overwhelming, and I thought picking a small corner might be more manageable. Thus, a tea book,…