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Language Learning Resources


Learn Chinese (Mandarin) – Full Video Series

Bringing our practical and lovable approach to language, we’re bringing this same energy to our video series on Mandarin Chinese. With over 30 episodes covering tones, structure, pinyin and more, we'll touch on everything you need to know about speaking and reading (and writing!) in Mandarin.

Basic Chinese Mandarin with Mango Languages: Official YouTube Series
Mango is beloved by users all over the world for our practical and lovable approach to language. Now, we’re bringing this same energy to YouTube with our series on Mandarin Chinese. Covering tones, structure, pinyin, writing characters and more, we'll be working through everything you ever wondered about Chinese in bite-sized chunks that make learning this fascinating language a breeze.
What You Need to Know About Initials, Finals, and Tones - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep.1
In this first lesson of our Basic Mandarin Chinese series, we cover the components of every Chinese syllable: initials, finals, and tones.
The Four Tones - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 2
Chinese is a tonal language, meaning the way you pronounce a syllable can change its meaning. In this lesson, we cover the four tones you need to know so you don't accidentally call your mom a horse. At the end, we'll go over a tongue twister to really drive the point home.
What are Compound Finals? - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 3
We've already discussed finals, but not everything is so simple in Chinese. In this lesson we put individual finals together to form compound finals.
Pronouncing Compound Finals with Tones - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 4
In this lesson, we bring back tones and explain how they sound when combined with the compound finals we've already learned. At the end of the lesson, you'll learn how to determine which vowel receives the tone mark when writing pinyin.
What are Basic Initials? - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 5
Every Chinese syllable has an initial, a final, and a tone. In this lesson, we'll go over how to pronounce the basic initials you'll hear again and again.
What are Nasal Finals? - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 6
With basic and compound finals out of the way, Jinyi and Jason practice nasal finals and discuss why they're called nasals in the first place.
Pinyin Spelling Rules for "i" - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 7
In Chinese, you can't play the game if you don't know the rules. When spelling pinyin, there are some not-so-obvious changes you must make involving the letter 'i'. Jinyi and Jason go over them together in this lesson.
Pinyin Spelling Rules "u/ü" - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 8
As with the letter 'i', pinyin requires some special changes when spelling syllables with the letters 'u' and 'ü'. Pay special attention in this lesson so 'u' don't get lost when writing your next great pinyin novel.
Pinyin Spelling Rules (Drop it like it's Hot) - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 9
In our final entry on pinyin spelling, Jinyi and Jason drop some serious knowledge about when you should drop the middle letter of a syllable.
What are Tricky Initials? - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 10
You've got basic initials down, but let's talk about when things get tricky. Jinyi and Jason talk about pronouncing "j" "q" "zh" and "ch" with finals.
Practicing Tricky Initials (j, q, ch, zh) - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 11
We weren't kidding when we called last lesson's initials "tricky." Practice along with Jason and Jinyi as they compare the tricky initials they discussed in Episode 10.
Practicing Tricky Initials (x, sh) - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 12
In this lesson, Jinyi and Jason cover "x" and "sh" and do their best to make them as not-tricky as possible.
Tricky Initials (z, c, and s) with Tones - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 13
In this lesson, Jason and Jinyi cover the last set of tricky initials and introduce tones into the equation. While they may have been "initially" hard, by the end of this lesson you'll have those tricky initials under control.
Is there a 5th Tone? - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 14
You might have read or heard discussions about the existence of the elusive '5th' (or neutral) tone. Do you think it exists? Jinyi and Jason settle the debate once and for all.
What is Tone Sandhi? - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 15
All the way back in the second lesson we learned about the four basic tones, but how do tones change when they're combined? In this lesson, Jinyi explains tone sandhi and tone change rules every Mandarin learner needs to know.
Tone Sandhi for 一/yi/yī (one) - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 16
To fully master Mandarin Chinese tones means knowing special rules. In this lesson we go over tone change rules specific to "一 (yī)."
Tone Sandhi for 不 /bu/bù (no/not) - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 17
To fully master Mandarin Chinese tones means knowing special rules. In this lesson we go over tone change rules specific to "不 (bù)."
Practicing Tone Sandhi - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 18
If you're anything like Jason, you might need more practice applying the tone change rules we learned in Episode 15? Jinyi has you covered with this quick review lesson!
The Third Tone & Tone Sandhi - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 19
In Episode 15 we learned about tone change rules, including for the 3rd tone. However, 3rd tone is a diva and doesn't always play by the rules. In this lesson, Jinyi and Jason explain why.
"To Be" or "Not to Be"... That is the Question - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 20
After this short and sweet lesson, you'll walk away knowing how to respond by formulating an 'is/am/are' statement and how to negate it. To be or not to be... that is the question!
How to Pronounce the Letter "R" - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 21
In this lesson, Jinyi and Jason do their best pirate impressions while discussing the flat-lip and final "R" sounds.
Practice Pronouncing Two-Syllable Words - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 22
Need more practice with pronunciation? Jinyi has you covered with this quick review video focusing purely on pronouncing two-syllable words.
Tricky Pinyin and Multisyllabic Practice - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 23
In episodes 11, 12, and 13 of this series, we covered some of the tricker parts of pinyin. Reflect on all of your knowledge of tones and syllables and follow along with Jinyi as she reviews how to pronounce j, q, ch, zh, x, sh, and r.
Hearing Differences Between Tones - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 24
Understanding tones is crucial to conversing in Mandarin. Practice along with Jinyi and Jason to sharpen your hearing skills, and don't hesitate to play it again if you need more training.
Listening Practice - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 25
Hone your listening skills and challenge yourself to correctly identify the pinyin initials and finals as Jinyi speaks. Grab something to write with and fill in the blanks, pausing and replaying as much as you need.
What are Radicals? - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 27
The humble 'radical' - a building block of many Chinese characters. In this lesson, Jinyi breaks down the five main categories of radical placement and their influence on words.
How To Write Characters - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 28
The Mandarin writing system can be intimidating. How do you know where to start? In this lesson, Jinyi goes over the basics of stroke order and direction. Grab a pen and start writing!
How to Write the Numbers 1 - 10 - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 29
Learn how to write the characters for the numbers 1 through 10, as Jinyi helps us follow the stroke order rules.
Pronunciation Review - Basic Chinese Mandarin Ep. 30
It's time to see how much you've learned from our Chinese Mandarin series! Practice along with as Jinyi and Jason make their way through the four tones, tone sandhi, and the neutral tone.

Start learning Mandarin Chinese

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