a year ago

I want to learn Mandarin. What's the best way/tool to start with?

Are there any apps which make it easy to learn Mandarin. And what learning methodology should I follow?
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I used the Hello Chinese App (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hellochinese) to learn vocab, reading writing. Its got a good way to learn the words, review, and it really helps you be fluid in your thinking when using the language.

Otherwise, hellochat is perfect for practice. I used these for 6 months before coming to china, and after that is was so easy to keep picking up the language organically.

Also pleco for looking up characters and stroke order.

The best program for Learning Mandarin. Once you’ve used it for a while you’ll know why. It’s an SRS Flashcards program and it just does everything right:

  • Fairly easy to get started.
  • Completely customisable and very powerful for more advanced users.
  • Free.
  • Open source.
  • Multi-platform (I use it on Android).
  • Syncs between devices.
  • Easy to import and export data.
  • Large community.

I would recommend to try Learn Chinese Free - ChineseSkill app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.chineseskill)

  1. Major of the content is completely free
  2. Game based curriculum, multiple test modes
  3. Offline learning supported
  4. Competing with friends, thus making the learning more addictive and fun
The best way to start learning Mandarin is by communicating with people who speak it. Coz sometimes those on content that is written in some books or google translate is not giving you the right translation.
One of the Best tool to Learn MANDARIN is the ED-WONDERLAND APP

We designed an iOS app called “Ed-Wonderland” - a game-based and super efficient way of learning basic Chinese!
In Ed-Wonderland, you can - learn Mandarin by passing through scene-based educational levels, - learn vocabulary conforming to HSK 1-3 proficiency tests requirements, - take lessons on the Chinese Zodiac and pinyin, - click on cute 3D objects to see what they are called in the Mandarin language, - play with well-designed interactive mechanisms in multiple scenes, - use the Mandarin language knowledge learned to complete different missions, - achieve higher challenge levels, and - use the knowledge you learned to save animals from enemies in the Animal Valley!
We are still working very hard on designing fun educational games and lessons. If you have any suggestions or needs, please feel free to contact us at  edwonderland.contact@gmail.com . We really care about what you think.
I prefer watching chinese drama with subtitles and dictionary beside incase that i did not understand something. You can try Lingodeer. It is now the editor's choice
Watch videos
For me, watching videos like drama and movies help you learn the language you want to learn because aside from learning their language you can also improve your accent as of hear how they pronounce their dialect.

Have a self-learning with the language. Sharpen your learning method by using tools and medium. Finally, watch movies and series to test what you have learned.
Best teacher is to talk with a Chinese yourself. It's better than reading vocabulary books or just listening to a recording. Talking with an actual person using Mandarin language is the effective tool to learn.
It would be a good start off to buy a Mandarin-English Dictionary first as it will be easier to learn from those apps if you can pick up the basic words or phrases.Try reading those out aloud so you can have a hang out of it. Usually when learning Mandarin, you first study how to read characters and how it is pronounced properly (since a slight difference in the tone can mean a different word). I gotta say you have to reserve your patience as it will be difficult for first timers but you'll get a hang of it soon.

Ps. it'll be a lot easier to take classes than to study alone using some app because your teacher can guide you with how reading, writing, and speaking should be in Mandarin.