Basic Mandarin Chinese – Level 1

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8/10 stars
based on  31 reviews
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edX online courses
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Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

Provider Subject Specialization
Sciences & Technology
Business & Management
22646 reviews

Course Description

Introductory Mandarin is the first in a series of six courses designed to teach you how to speak Mandarin Chinese. This course will introduce you to the basic language you will need to eat, live, and get around in Mandarin speaking countries.

Since this is a language course, we recommend taking this course with a friend or group of friends. Practicing with others by speaking the language will help you learn it more effectively. Additionally, Mandarin is a tonal language, which means that in order to truly master it, you will need to say the words out loud! Join the community of over 900 million native Mandarin speakers and start learning today! 

Reviews 8/10 stars
31 Reviews for Basic Mandarin Chinese – Level 1

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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

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Student

2/10 starsDropped
4 years, 4 months ago
It's really unclear what we're supposed to be studying and in what order. The material in the videos is presented in a really odd order: a word is presented, then some aspects of its pronunciation are explained, but the word not repeated. I've studied a good number of languages (French, German, Latin, Greek) before at school, so I've experience with learning languages, but the material presented in this course is done so in a really baffling way. I haven't got a clue how to begin reading the symbols, yet the homework requires recognition of them. Really needs more tips on how to learn the material.
Was this review helpful? Yes7
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Karima Aiman profile image
Karima Aiman profile image

Karima Aiman

10/10 starsTaking Now
2 years, 3 months ago
this is the best Chinese Course I have Ever Taken I have Tried A lot In Others But This is The Best
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Francisco Jimenez profile image
Francisco Jimenez profile image

Francisco Jimenez

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 7 months ago
This is a very good course. It shows a correct progresion from zero knowledge in chinese language; you can learn basic vocabulary, useful grammar and cultural notes divided in six lessons. The methodology is based in: videos, textbooks and workbooks. Both kind of sinograms (simplified and traditional) are offered. I think it's a perfect option if you are looking for a way to start learning chinese. I enjoyed very much doing this course and I hope to continue my learning with the next level in the future.
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Nathalie Libier profile image
Nathalie Libier profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
2 years, 10 months ago
Bonjour from France Estella ! ni hao My son is currently living in Taiwan , i took that course because he recommended it to me before coming to Taiwan to visit him, i watched all the videos, your videos are great, they are lively , and i also did almost all the quizzes . I am now able to recognize most of the basics characters and it also helped me to improve my listening skills. i used a notebook to write the new vocabulary and the new sentences, mostly in Pinyin . i brought that notebook with me during that trip, i stayed there 3 weeks , it 's such a unique experience ,i loved it ,and when my son was not there, i made a cuple of visit ,talked a lit bit with local people , i not only use (wo shi fa guo ren , wo xiang yao chi,wo shi laoshi ,wo yao qu ) but also few times i used the grammar (ru guo , zhe ge kanqilai) . i want to take level 2 as well ! i d like to suggest some topic you can introduce In the future in your lesson ... Bonjour from France Estella ! ni hao My son is currently living in Taiwan , i took that course because he recommended it to me before coming to Taiwan to visit him, i watched all the videos, your videos are great, they are lively , and i also did almost all the quizzes . I am now able to recognize most of the basics characters and it also helped me to improve my listening skills. i used a notebook to write the new vocabulary and the new sentences, mostly in Pinyin . i brought that notebook with me during that trip, i stayed there 3 weeks , it 's such a unique experience ,i loved it ,and when my son was not there, i made a cuple of visit ,talked a lit bit with local people , i not only use (wo shi fa guo ren , wo xiang yao chi,wo shi laoshi ,wo yao qu ) but also few times i used the grammar (ru guo , zhe ge kanqilai) . i want to take level 2 as well ! i d like to suggest some topic you can introduce In the future in your lesson , "the way to take a taxi, pharmacy in case someone has stomach ache" fei chang xiexie ni ! your content is really helpful ,all the effort and the love you put on it is great!! Thank you !!
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Emma C profile image
Emma C profile image

Emma C

5/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 1 month ago
I live in Taiwan, but I am American so I'm still learning Mandarin. I have learned quite a lot being here, and I think the best way to learn the language is to go to the country. I know this isn't the best option for many, so they take courses such as this one. I feel as though this course was meant for people in between a VERY basic beginner's level(too hard) and my level(too easy). For a basic beginner this might be hard since the instructor barely goes into depth with Chinese characters and reading/writing. So the quizzes will probably be difficult to take as they require a bit of skills (recognizing characters and reading pinyin). For my level, I feel like it is too easy. I went through all of the quizzes, including the final quiz easily. The course feels rushed in many ways. So many topics in one video!! It would have been nicer if it was more organized. (Particularly) Lesson 6 felt like the instructor was - last minute ... I live in Taiwan, but I am American so I'm still learning Mandarin. I have learned quite a lot being here, and I think the best way to learn the language is to go to the country. I know this isn't the best option for many, so they take courses such as this one. I feel as though this course was meant for people in between a VERY basic beginner's level(too hard) and my level(too easy). For a basic beginner this might be hard since the instructor barely goes into depth with Chinese characters and reading/writing. So the quizzes will probably be difficult to take as they require a bit of skills (recognizing characters and reading pinyin). For my level, I feel like it is too easy. I went through all of the quizzes, including the final quiz easily. The course feels rushed in many ways. So many topics in one video!! It would have been nicer if it was more organized. (Particularly) Lesson 6 felt like the instructor was - last minute - adding a bunch of random words so we could complete the quiz. If you are a BEGINNER BEGINNER I would suggest learning from a more basic and organized class. I feel like if I took this when I just started learning Chinese, I would be clueless. Apart from the rushed-ness and how confusing it seems, there is another thing I would like to point out. I feel bad saying this but I felt like the examples in some of the sentences were just not suitable for teaching. For example : "My house is bigger than your house" or "My ex-girlfriend is prettier than my current girlfriend". And even more like "My car is more expensive than yours". Is this really necessary? I'm only thirteen and I find this wrong.. I have a lot of Taiwanese relatives and I feel like this is apart of the Taiwanese culture. (Comparing, contrasting) Overall, I learned a few things I already knew from this course. I don't suggest this course for beginners. Maybe if you already get how to read Pinyin, and can recognize a few Chinese characters. This course was more for speaking, less for writing and reading.
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Trisha Collins-Dunbar profile image
Trisha Collins-Dunbar profile image

Trisha Collins-Dunbar

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 3 months ago
I am taking part in the #add1challenge /fluent in 3 months. In June this year I decided to learn Chinese Mandarin. It is end of July and I have just passed this course and feel a lot more confident now. I aim to contuinue with second Mandarin course and the business Mandarin one that starts in August.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 4 months ago
I took level 2 before level 1 lol , i'm not doing quizzes seriously because i prefer watch videos , and i enjoyed the Level 1 videos as well ! i'm ready to travel to china !!! many thanks ! Renee
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Futaki Nakata profile image
Futaki Nakata profile image

Futaki Nakata

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 6 months ago
A really good start on chinese language. Personally I'm the type person who enjoys self-learning and this course helped me greatly.
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Ravely Sebuyoya profile image
Ravely Sebuyoya profile image

Ravely Sebuyoya

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 7 months ago
The best course ever,so helpful.Estella and the actors were so professional,i recommend anyone who wanna improve or learn chinese to take this course
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Pascale Penicaud profile image
Pascale Penicaud profile image

Pascale Penicaud

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 7 months ago
NIN HAO , I am so grateful for the opportunity i have to study that class ! Your class is pretty much the only support i'm using to learn chinese! I'll go to visit my son in Nanjing in three months ,i feel much more confident, I can't wait to use my chinese there jaja!! Thank you Estella for your videos and your enthusiasm ! many thanks also to all the team !
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Josh Feng profile image
Josh Feng profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
3 years, 7 months ago
A very well put together Mandarin Chinese course with lots of helpful examples and videos. Great introduction to the language. Estella brings lots of experience to the class and is a fantastic professor. Learned a lot and can't wait for Part 2!
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Aaron Miller profile image
Aaron Miller profile image

Aaron Miller

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 7 months ago
The material was really helpful for beginners. It teaches you the basic things you will need to know to survive in a Chinese speaking country. The information you need is all readily accessible. From these roots, self-study is much easier.
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Marlies Stienstra profile image
Marlies Stienstra profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 5 reviews
  • 5 completed
3 years, 10 months ago
I really liked this course. One thing I didn't liked was the parts that you need to here what they are saying in Mandarin and translate that in Pinyin language. That was really hard and some parts didn't came in the videos. That's one of the reasons I didn't do level 2 of this course. Estella can bring this course very well as a instructor. And I learned a lot of it.
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Jenny Brown profile image
Jenny Brown profile image

Jenny Brown

1/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 10 months ago
Be aware that the instructor has Taiwanese accent, which means the way she speaks are not practiced in mainland China. The way they express themselves in Mandarin could be different from how people in mainland speak. If you would like to visit or work in Taiwan, the course is helpful. However if you will visit or stay in any part of country in mainland China, what you learned from this course might cause confusion when you communicate people in mainland China. I am hoping edX will have Mandarin courses taught by professors from mainland China.
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10/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
3 years, 7 months ago
Hi I'm Renee from Japan , my mother is Taiwanese but I've grow up in Japan , I took this course to improve my basics ,I ve learn a lot of basic things thank you so much and I was a good practice for my English too ! Estella is incredible ! I almost watched all her video and never feel tired of it ! I ll definitely watch your next course !!!
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Maureen Moss profile image
Maureen Moss profile image
6/10 starsTaking Now
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
3 years, 8 months ago
I'm struggling. I agree with other students that the video dialogues are difficult to follow; also that Estella is a motivating teacher. I don't feel as if I'm making much progress. I am a multi-lingual languages teacher with lots of experience and I really like the methodology, but I think the course needs to be thought out a bit more as regards to the amount of support given before students attempt to follow dialogues, and in building up a vocabulary base gradually.
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Nicholas Thomas profile image
Nicholas Thomas profile image

Nicholas Thomas

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 1 month ago
I really enjoyed the course. Stella did a great job of reviewing, and hammering home the tones. I was very pleased with this course and cannot wait for Part2!
Was this review helpful? Yes5
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Hermione profile image
Hermione profile image
2/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 1 month ago
I didn't really like the method of teaching: listening and reapiting a page of words, and suddenly had to understand really difficult dialogues, without explanations about a sentence is formed, where to put the negation, etc. I studied and studying many languages (english, spanish, german, latin, greek) and it's the first time I'm not involved to study more. Nice and hard language, bad method.
Was this review helpful? Yes4
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dawn villaruz profile image
dawn villaruz profile image

dawn villaruz

6/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 1 month ago
I think I will learn a lot in this course and I believe the instructor will help me in this expectation of mine.
Was this review helpful? Yes2
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Maria Rodriguez profile image
Maria Rodriguez profile image

Maria Rodriguez

10/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 12 months ago
really is a new language for me, is very important for know something cultures the work, so i like the know country ,
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Luznery Vera profile image
Luznery Vera profile image

Luznery Vera

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 3 months ago
I definitely loved the course. I will confess that I had no time to complete and was thinking of abandoning but saw two videos of Professor Stella and motivated me to continue and complete it, successfully. 谢谢... Xièxiè
Was this review helpful? Yes6
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Patrick  profile image
Patrick  profile image

Patrick

7/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 3 months ago
Overall a really good introduction to Mandarin Chinese. Good structured lessons and interesting topics. Two flaws however. Firstly the content is in Taiwanese Mandarin, which differs in many ways from Mainland Mandarin, so it is really only useful if you plan on visiting Taiwan. Secondly you are really only taught to memorize and regurgitate phrases, and there is not a lot of content about actually LEARNING the language, such as grammatical points. However I acknowledge the limitations and constraints of online learning and think the team have done a great job considering the medium. I will definitely participate in the future courses, the teacher Estella is fun and friendly and the course can only get better with time.
Was this review helpful? Yes5
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Student

10/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 4 months ago
I wouldn't usualy comment so early into a course but thought the previous reviews were quite unfair and I don't want people to be put off by them. I'm finding the material very good for a beginner like me. A few notes: Approch the course as a useful source for self learning (which it essentially is), a web language course cannot be what you'd get from being with and talking with a teacher as you would at school. This can also be a good thing since it forces you to make an effort yourself and this itself can be rewarding. Also you don't need to understand everything in the lessons all at once, a good program should always offer a little more to explore for the good student. If you are struggeling then suplement your self learning with other sources (you should end up doing this anyway). Enjoy.
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Student

2/10 starsDropped
4 years, 4 months ago
The major problem here occurring is that the dialogue part is too difficult. The sessions before were just words and the dialogue video is very fast and all these words (plus new words) are thrown into a conversation that cannot be followed easily. Further, there is no explanation regarding the dialogue and teaching. I liked the part about the vocals at the beginning. I also liked the saying of the words but complete sentences would be better in order to solve the dialogue video matter. The instructor is good. It is just a matter of how to teach the language in a technically perspective.
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EF Paisley profile image
EF Paisley profile image

EF Paisley

7/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 3 months ago
Much like the first comment I had some difficulty understanding how to pronounce or tie the symbols or letters in traditional Chinese to Hànyŭ Pīnyīn and English. I am guessing that it is simple memorization but haven't really been instructed to do so. I have studied other languages (i.e. Spanish, Turkish and Russian) and have been able to a correlation between the letters in the language, especially Russian, to those in English. That doesn't seem possible with Mandarin. On the other hand, for a basic course it is well laid out walking through typical words, phrases and situations a newcomer to China would experience. So far it has been an enjoyable experience & I wish I had more time to dedicate to learning it. I plan to go back and review each week before the final exam. I enjoy the Instructor and find it cute the way she emphasizes the tones, which I admit are very important in Mandarin, while she is using slightly off emphasi... Much like the first comment I had some difficulty understanding how to pronounce or tie the symbols or letters in traditional Chinese to Hànyŭ Pīnyīn and English. I am guessing that it is simple memorization but haven't really been instructed to do so. I have studied other languages (i.e. Spanish, Turkish and Russian) and have been able to a correlation between the letters in the language, especially Russian, to those in English. That doesn't seem possible with Mandarin. On the other hand, for a basic course it is well laid out walking through typical words, phrases and situations a newcomer to China would experience. So far it has been an enjoyable experience & I wish I had more time to dedicate to learning it. I plan to go back and review each week before the final exam. I enjoy the Instructor and find it cute the way she emphasizes the tones, which I admit are very important in Mandarin, while she is using slightly off emphasis on some American words. Again, I wish there was some connection between Traditional and Hànyŭ Pīnyīn but I think the class is valuable to those just starting to learn the language.
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Kevin Crittenden profile image
Kevin Crittenden profile image

Kevin Crittenden

10/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 4 months ago
First and foremost, I wish to thank everyone involved in putting this course together and offering it for free. A lot of work has gone into this effort with the hope that it can bring cultures closer together. I, too, am a beginner living in an area with increasing diversity and so hope to help bridge the gap between myself and people who are struggling to fit into this strange new country. I agree that it really is up to each student to seek out additional materials or people as needed to help augment this course.
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Anonymous Anonymous profile image
Anonymous Anonymous profile image

Anonymous Anonymous

10/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 4 months ago
I think this course is worth taking for beginners like me. The scenario of every lesson's dialogues are based on daily encounters that we'll face when going to a Chinese speaking country. Therefore, it's very helpful for someone who's just planning to work in Asia(like me).
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JulianYC Chen  profile image
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JulianYC Chen

10/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 4 months ago
The course includes professional contents! It is suitable for beginners to learn Mandarin.
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Renan Mendes profile image
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Renan Mendes

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 1 month ago
The point is: Are very many words to know! I think the only this course could improve is to make ANKI decks with de words and share them with the alums. But it's just this. The teacher is amazing and have a clear speaking. Online sesions are disponible and are drawn for who subscribes to participate ONLINe - but everyone can watch. Good material, I have it with me until today. Go into the difference between simplified/traditional chinese and tones. For me, was a great course - but a hard one, because the language works in a very different way that english do.
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Jing Zhang profile image
Jing Zhang profile image

Jing Zhang

10/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 4 months ago
Sorry about the technical issue. We have fixed it and now you can access all course content! Feel free to view all course materials, 谢谢 :)
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