Learning Chinese is not something that you can do without help. We highly recommend coming to China to learn Chinese, but if you aren’t able to travel halfway across the world, here are some of the best Chinese websites to learn Chinese on your own wherever you are right now.
This free online dictionary is an extremely useful tool to have on hand when you are trying to learn new vocabulary as you can copy and paste Chinese words or paragraphs and the site will provide the English definition, the pinyin and information about the Chinese characters. You can use MDBG to dig in deeper than other translation sites and look up the specific meaning of each word including a character decomposition and the individual meanings of each part of the character. You can even listen to audio to get the correct pronunciation of a word and even see the stroke order, which is the primary focus of this next website.
Memorizing Chinese characters and knowing the correct way to write them is one of the most difficult aspects of the language. Luckily, there’s an app for that. Skritter helps you memorize Chinese characters by teaching you how to correctly draw each character. You can save new words and test yourself to make sure you are constantly learning more and more new characters. Skritter also works with MDBG to allow you to save new words you look up on MDBG to your Skritter vocabulary lists. Skritter is not a free service, but is reasonably priced.
As you might be able to tell from the name, ChinesePod is primarily a podcast service which began in 2005 based out of Shanghai. The site provides useful audio lessons recorded by native speakers which helps to improve your pronunciation by providing different vocabulary for real life situations based on your Chinese level. ChinesePod is not free, and has three levels of membership for various budgets.
If you choose one or all of these three websites to assist you on your journey to becoming fluent, you should be able to learn a great deal of Chinese on your own. Happy Mandarin learning!