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Chinese languages resources list

Are you keen to improve or teach yourself a Chinese language but unsure where to start? This list is for you.

Close up on rubber stamps with Chinese lettering on them

Caption

Chinese heritage type collection at Wai-te-ata Press, 2021. Photo by Daniel Crichton-Rouse. Te Papa

We’ve also included some articles and resources about language-related issues and conversations happening within the local and global ethnic Chinese diaspora for those of you who are simply keen to learn more.

We hope to add resources to this list over time. Our main criteria are that the resources included are a) reliable in quality and b) freely accessible. They range from the new and popular to the old but reliable and comprehensive.

Feel free to make a suggestion at asianlanguages@tepapa.govt.nz with the subject title ‘Chinese languages resource list’.

Cantonese

Language resource hubs and courses

  • Cantonese Alliance, particularly the Language Resources section which includes apps, dictionaries and various romanisation and Chinese character converters. This website is managed by Sik Lee Dennig, who is best-known for her research, teaching and promotion of Cantonese at Standford University.
  • Chinese University of Hong Kong self-learning resources (Jyutping romanisation).
  • Foreign Services Institute course (Yale romanisation), hosted by LiveLingua. A rather old-fashioned course, but one of the few freely accessible full courses in Cantonese available on the web which can take a learner through from beginner to advanced level.

Conversations on Cantonese from around the world

Hokkien

Language resource hubs

Dictionaries

Hakka

Thanks to Henry Liu for these suggestions. Please note that many of these resources are not in English, but may be useful if you are already familiar with Mandarin.

Mandarin

Mandarin has, by far, the largest volume of language resources which are freely available and easily located on the web. Instead of linking to these, here is an interesting article on the internal variation that exists within varieties of Mandarin – far beyond what is often taught in textbooks.