Learn Chinese Language Online

If you are still confused, or have doubts about our course please see commonly asked questions and answers listed below.

About Operation

There are so many online Mandarin courses, why should I select Handy Mandarin?

You are right to think carefully before selecting a Mandarin course provider. Hopefully our website has outlined ample reasons why Handy Mandarin is a good choice. In summary, Handy Mandarin is committed to providing an effective way to learn Mandarin. Our approach is different in that we teach you how to quickly master Mandarin grammar (but not in a dry academic style) such that you can structure any sentence you want, rather than repeating textbook phrases perfectly; and hence express yourself freely, precisely and confidently. It is a little hard to describe, but once you don't have to think about how to say what you want to say, the only remaining challenge is building up your vocabulary.

We have created an innovative online study platform that provides an interactive study experience incorporating listening, speaking, reading and writing. Our professional teachers give continuous personal instruction; around your schedule. To demonstrate what we say, we provide a fully comprehensive, no obligation, one-month trial (with no need to provide credit card details and cancel later). Use a full month to make your own mind up. The effectiveness of our teaching and operations, demonstrated through the rapid progress you will make is, how we retain customers. This is reflected in our pay as you go approach if you do select to say with us after your free trial.

What can I expect to cover in the trial month to help me decide to join?

First, we give you a chance to tell us what you want to achieve and any issues you have had learning Mandarin in the past (if applicable). This allows us to tailor your program of study.  You will then have chance to experience our comprehensive online training, including listening, speaking, reading and writing. There are few providers which cover all these aspects over the Internet. We wish to share our rich experience developed in our academy, having taught over 5000 students, with global learners. The classes delivered to you via our APP, are supported by constant instruction from a professional teacher. We hope you will be impressed by our explanation of Mandarin grammar as we link it to Chinese logic borne out of Chinese culture. By the end of the month we hope your progress is the true measure of our effectiveness.

What do you mean by tailoring the course to my unique needs?

Just like in our Shanghai academy, our courses are all customised. Based on your study objectives and previous study experience, we arrange a bespoke course and exercises. This including speaking, listening, reading and writing and as you progress any specific weaknesses will be overcome using specifically created exercises and training materials. By customizing each students’ course, we can easily account for different students’ aptitude and amount of time they can dedicate to their studies.

I have my own teacher in my own country, is it still useful to join Handy Mandarin's online course and do you have a tailored package for this case?

We believe so, so why not give our trial a go and decide for yourself? In general, the more you study, and practice, the faster your progress will be. As our academic team is based in China, our study material is updated regularly to catch up with the latest trends and vocabulary being used in China. We believe this can be of great benefit to learners overseas who may be using more traditional textbooks, as is the ability to raise questions whenever they occur to you and get a “second opinion” if something is bothering you. If you are only taking one or two lessons a week that is a long time to wait to address your concerns. Also, all our practice partners are locals living in China. They are willing to share information about our society directly with you. As such we think our online course can work as an effective supplement to your studies in your home country.

We also offer specific packages for HSK preparation and you can also take one on one lessons with one of our professional teachers, without enrolling into our communication Chinese course. In these lessons, you dictate the content and can even provide your own study materials.

I saw “online students may be allocated to a class”, why is that?

Each student has a unique perspective which may inform fellow classmates who may be struggling to understand concepts that other class members have just grasped. Handy Mandarin’s students can share their tips, and request advice, from other students in their class. We believe being part of a class brings a social dimension to your studies which helps students to feel a sense of community. A community can be a powerful motivator when we, naturally, hit a low on our learning journey. Our teachers moderate the class discussion to ensure the discussion is technically accurate and appropriate.

Why aren't my one to one lessons with my Mandarin teacher?

This is our deliberate arrangement with teachers and practice partners playing different roles in your online study. Teachers focus on explaining grammar and culture while practice partners help strengthen and test your understanding by forcing you to combine your growing knowledge in real conversations; just like in the real world. However, your teacher and practice partners work together (for example if weaknesses are observed) to effectively support you.

What tools do you use for one to one practice sessions?

A variety of options are available. All are free of charge, provided you have access to a broadband internet connection.

I'm concerned that the time difference between China and my location may make it difficult to contact my teacher or schedule practice with my practice partner?

You can contact your teacher anything by using social media tools and your class teacher will endeavour to respond the same day (working day in China is Monday to Friday). Due to the time difference between China and your location, it may be that it is the next day before you get a response. The form of that response may be written, a recording or an invite to discuss. You can ask questions 365 days a year as we do not have any closure periods. We ensure that you always get a timely response.

The one-hour weekly practice hour included in our study package does have some restrictions due to the time zone difference between your location and China. However, this one-hour practice is available 7 days a week and you can also split each hour lesson into several shorter durations to provide as much flexibility as we can (for example, 30 minutes during your lunch break). One of the motivations for our month-long trial is for you to ensure that our teaching works with your schedule.

You seem to offer a very generous trial period compared to other providers, is there really no catch or obligation?

There really is no obligation, we want you to experience our method and feel comfortable with our operation. Our desire is for a long-term relationship, so the trial is a great way for both of us to get to know each other. Absolutely no credit card details needed up front!

What is the procedure to join your online course?

You can simply click on the “Free Month Long Trial” link at the Home page. If you have special requirements, or concerns, simply tell when we contact you. We can always be contacted at [email protected] or Message Board.

How does your online subscription service work?

Handy Mandarin’s online communication Chinese course uses a very simple subscription model. Students pay monthly, in advance, for access to a teacher (anytime), as well as all of the customized teaching materials needed to progress. Also included in the monthly fee are four hours of one on one practice with a local and assessments as required. If students decide not to continue with their studies, they simply give notice during the month and can walk away with no more to pay.

Full details are found in our “Terms of Use” section.

What forms of payment do you accept?

All payments are processed using PayPal for your piece of mind. Our preferred currency is the USD. If you prefer to use some other payment method, or payment currency, please contact us to discuss.

About Course Package

I'm a corporate customer. Can I expect a custom package for my group?

Of course, for organization customer, we can create a custom offering and pricing. Handy Mandarin has over a decade of experience serving corporate customers in Shanghai, hence we are very used to tailoring our offering to the specific needs of such clients.

I like the sound of your approach, but your packages don't quite match my needs. What should I do?

Please get in touch, we are happy to try to accommodate your needs. One of our strengths is the ability of our operations to support customization for multiple customers and organizations. In any case, our “standard” offering is highly customized for individual students; depending on their needs and learning objectives.

I've already been learning Mandarin for a while, do you cater for me too?

Yes, we can.We first need to assess your level and then we can create a suitable program. We have helped many advanced students to achieve even greater proficiency.

I prefer not to do one to one practice with local practice partner as I'm nervous/self-conscience, is that possible?

We firmly believe in the power of one to one practice lessons to develop your practical communication skills. That’s why they are an integral part of our online package. This is a great opportunity for you to test out your new knowledge with a local, as well helping you to understand locals’ thinking and attitudes.

All practice partners are carefully chose by Handy Mandarin and undergo extensive training before they begin practice classes. They all have passion in helping others to understand China and its language. They know how to encourage students to express themselves and will patiently work at the right pace for each student. Some students prefer to have a friend (fellow student) in their practice session and this option is available if you prefer it.

I'm already fluent in Mandarin. Do you offer anything for me?

Yes, we have a range of advanced courses, including reading, listening, writing and speaking. If you need further improve your Mandarin, we are willing to give some advice after you explain your specific needs clearly. We can also provide specific training for different industries with specialist vocabulary.

I only want to learn to read/write Chinese Characters is that possible?

Yes, but, we have some advice. In Handy Mandarin, we regard the Chinese Characters course as the elementary part for our reading comprehension course. It means, in this course, you start to read Chinese sentences from very beginning, rather than learn individual characters. Students are required to translate the text they read. Due to this unique operation, we suggest you have already understood some basic grammars and vocabulary before learning characters. In our experience, this approach is the most effective way to learn to read Mandarin. Please contact us to get more advice.

How can I measure my progress?

You can very easily see your progress with Handy Mandarin. Not only are in regular assessments, but in your weekly one on one practice sessions.You will quickly be able to feel your progress, as you gain confidence in expressing your opinions in Mandarin in more and more contexts. We also encourage (and support) our students to take external qualifications; for example, the HSK (China’s officially recognized language proficiency exam) which is available in 120 countries.

What is the HSK?

The HSK or Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (Chinese language standard exam) is a series of 6 exams which measure Mandarin proficiency for foreigners i.e. the Chinese equivalent of TOEFL. The exam is accepted by universities and employers inside China and can be taken around the world in 120 countries. Try typing HSK exam into your preferred search engine to learn much more.

I'm studying for my own country's exam qualification (for example in the UK GCSE and a specific exam board) with its own syllabus. How can you help me?

We are happy to tailor a course for your specific exam syllabus. Please approach us with your syllabus and we will create a package for you (see pricing section).

Do you teach any specific dialect of Chinese, like Cantonise?

Sorry, our focus is solely Mandarin. Although, like in any country, there are different “regional” languages spoken in China, Mandarin is China’s official language and for most foreigners is the natural choice to be understood throughout China.

Do you operate loyalty or referral programs?

We do operate a simple referral program. Refer a friend and if they enrol in our communication Chinese course then we will credit 50% of their first month payment to your account. You are free to refer as many friends as you like. You can only refer a friend once you are a paying subscriber of our service.