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Duolingo Wiki

Mandarin Chinese is spoken natively by an estimated 960 million people[1] predominantly in China.

Input methods[]

Main article: Guide to keyboard layouts and input methods

Pinyin input methods[]

Pinyin is a phonetic romanization of Mandarin Chinese that is also widely used for inputting Chinese characters. Pinyin input methods generally let the user type a word or phrase in pinyin and show the user a list of possible words or phrases using Chinese characters that match that pinyin, from which they can choose the correct one. This last step is often necessary because many Chinese characters share their pronunciation, and therefore their pinyin representation, with other characters. For example, the characters 是 (to be) and 事 (thing, matter) are both pronounced the same and written in pinyin as shì.

There are a variety of pinyin input methods and implementations available. Major operating systems include their own pinyin input methods, which can be installed using these instructions. Pinyin input is also available using some Google Input Tools and via the Google Pinyin Input app for Android devices.

Grammar tips[]

Note that many characters have the same pronunciation or same meaning

External resources[]


Learning characters[]

  • Chineasy - A course on the Chinese writing system
  • Du Chinese - Another course on the Chinese writing system
  • HSKabc - Very helpful for people learning Chinese characters and trying to pass HSK test (similar to TOEFL or IELTS). Trying a playful approach with games available, characters and words
  • HSK Academy - Also helpful for those learning Chinese characters. Aimed mainly for those seeking the HSK (similar to TOEFL) tests, but still good to learn new words, phrases. There is a short introduction to Chinese grammar also.

Learning Pinyin[]


Grammar references[]

General/multiple resources[]

Chinese-language content[]

  • Chinese Wikipedia
  • Sublearning - Movie subtitle flash card quiz in Chinese and many other languages
  • WeChat - a free Chinese app for smartphones that you can use to find native Chinese speakers to talk to. Can type using characters with a downloaded keyboard or use it as a walkie-talkie where it saves messages to be listened to and replied to. Basically a delayed phone call but will give practise speaking and listening.


  1. "Mandarin Chinese". Wikipedia. Retrieved 2014-08-16.