Learning Resources

Discover the incredible world of Chinese language, traditions and modern society, and learn Chinese (中文 zhōngwén) along the way. We welcome you to explore Chinese language and culture with CLI as your guide.

Chinese Language and Culture Learning Resources

Learn Chinese 学中文

Guide to Tone Changes in Mandarin Chinese

Guide to Tone Changes in Mandarin Chinese

You may have heard that Chinese is a tonal language, but did you know that in addition to the basic tones, there are many tone changes in Mandarin Chinese? Read on to discover the essential tone change rules that every language student needs to know.

A Brief Introduction to the HSK

A Brief Introduction to the HSK

If you’ve ever taken a Chinese class, you’ve probably already heard of the HSK. But what is the HSK, exactly? In this article, we’ll take you through the history of this popular Chinese proficiency exam, help you decide whether this test is right for you, and give you some…

Top 10 Chinese Podcasts for Language Learners

Top 10 Chinese Podcasts for Language Learners

Using podcasts is an incredibly versatile way to improve your Chinese level. Not only will you improve your listening skills, but you will also learn a lot of new vocabulary along the way. Podcasts provide you with exposure to a variety of different topics and access to content designed…

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Chinese Characters 汉字

The Fundamentals of Chinese Stroke Order

The Fundamentals of Chinese Stroke Order

Many people are often fascinated and attracted by Chinese characters. At first glance, characters may look like bizarre pictograms, randomly drawn at will. But did you know that Chinese characters all consist of different stroke orders and follow a specific set of rules.

Introduction to Simplified Chinese Characters

Introduction to Simplified Chinese Characters

Most Chinese characters look complicated to the outside observer, but not all characters are created equal. There are two main Chinese writing systems, traditional and simplified. Traditional characters are based on historical Chinese writing systems with roots...

How Many Characters are There in Chinese?

How Many Characters are There in Chinese?

We know there are quite a few Chinese characters (汉字, Hànzì), but how many, exactly? The answer depends on perspective. Are we considering all characters in existence throughout China’s long history or “just” those used in modern times? The number of unique Chinese characters…

How do you type Chinese characters?

How do you type Chinese characters?

Given that the Chinese language (汉语, hànyǔ) contains over 3,000 Chinese characters in daily use, you might wonder how Chinese speakers are able to type and use the language digitally.You may have noticed that in the above paragraph, the word meaning “Chinese language”…

Introduction to Traditional Chinese Characters

Introduction to Traditional Chinese Characters

If you learned Chinese characters in Mainland China, you may be surprised to find that you can’t understand most text you see when traveling in Taiwan or Hong Kong. There isn’t anything wrong with your eyes. The simplified Chinese characters people in Mainland China...

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Chinese Culture 中国文化

The Culture and History of Chinese Bamboo

The Culture and History of Chinese Bamboo

In this article, we are going to explore the different uses of bamboo in modern Chinese agriculture, its impact on the environment as well as its history in Chinese culture!   The Bamboo Kingdom China produces and uses so much...

The Qing Dynasty: China’s Last Imperial Age

The Qing Dynasty: China’s Last Imperial Age

Founded by Manchu warriors, the Qing dynasty was once a continental force to be reckoned with. Stretching across the entire eastern half of Eurasia, it had tributary states from Siam to Sikkim. By the time that the last Qing emperor sat on the throne, however, it had...

An Introduction to Traditional Chinese Clothing

An Introduction to Traditional Chinese Clothing

What comes to mind when you think of traditional Chinese clothing? In this article, we are going to explore the different styles of clothing that have existed throughout each of China’s major dynasties, the traditional dress of China’s ethnic minorities, and the…

What Languages are Spoken in China?

What Languages are Spoken in China?

China is a vast country with a long, complicated history, and this complexity is reflected in the stunning level of linguistic diversity still present in the country today. Read on to learn more about the many hundreds of dialects and languages in China.

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Chinese Holidays 中国传统节日

What is Singles’ Day and how is it celebrated?

What is Singles’ Day and how is it celebrated?

Whilst we are bombarded with images of love and romance through the media and holidays like Valentines’ day, thousands of Chinese people gather every year on November 11th to celebrate the joys of being single. Chinese “Singles’ Day” (光棍节 guāng gùn jié) or “Double 11”…

A Brief Guide to the Chinese New Year (春节 Chūnjié)

A Brief Guide to the Chinese New Year (春节 Chūnjié)

Chinese New Year, also called the Spring Festival (春节, Chūnjié), celebrates the beginning of the Chinese year based on the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar. The Chinese calendar starts each new year with 立春 lìchūn, which officially marks the first day of spring.

China’s Qingming Festival, Explained

China’s Qingming Festival, Explained

Qingming Festival (清明节 or Qīngmíngjié in pīnyīn), also called Tomb Sweeping Day or Pure Brightness Festival, is an important traditional Chinese holiday. The festival is celebrated both in China and among members of Chinese communities around the world. The main...

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Traveling in China 环游中国

Beijing Summer Palace: The Essential Travel Guide

Beijing Summer Palace: The Essential Travel Guide

Beijing. When most people think of this city, they immediately think of the Forbidden City or Tiananmen Square. While these places are certainly worth your time, your trip won’t be complete unless you also visit the slightly less well-known Summer Palace. This grand...

CLI Coronavirus Updates

CLI Coronavirus Updates

Due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many students may find their study plans affected. While CLI is currently open and the situation in China has stabilized, other countries may be experiencing surges. To help students understand their options during this confusing time, we will post frequent updates to this page.

A Definitive Travel Guide to All Things Shenyang, China

A Definitive Travel Guide to All Things Shenyang, China

Shenyang (沈阳 Shěnyáng), formerly known as Mukden, is a city located in northeastern China’s Liaoning Province (辽宁省 Liáoníng Shěng). This bustling Chinese provincial capital with a complex past is a great destination for Qing dynasty history buffs. CLI’s Shenyang...

Your Guide to Taking the Shanghai-Beijing Bullet Train

Your Guide to Taking the Shanghai-Beijing Bullet Train

Shanghai (上海 Shànghǎi) and Beijing (北京 Běijīng) are the two biggest cities in China, and as such, they’re highly connected. Whether you’re visiting for business, to pursue your studies, or just to get to know the country better, knowing how to travel between these cities is very…

The 10 Best Places to Visit in China

The 10 Best Places to Visit in China

China is vast. In fact, it’s off-the-scale massive, and its diversity is really second to none. Choosing this country as your next travel destination will provide you with an almost limitless scope for exploration. This article offers CLI’s recommended 10 best places...

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Guilin 桂林

A Brief Overview of the History of Guilin

A Brief Overview of the History of Guilin

China is well-known for its long and complex history. Looking at this history from the perspective of one city or region can not only make it more accessible, but can also provide valuable insight into China's overall development. Guilin has been a significant area of...

The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Guilin (2021)

The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Guilin (2021)

Nestled along the banks of the Li River, speckled with tens of thousands of individual karst peaks, and bustling with the arts, customs, and songs of southern China’s thriving ethnic minority groups, Guilin is a destination like no other. Read our Guilin Travel Guide to discover…

Beautiful Photos from Guilin

Beautiful Photos from Guilin

Guilin is a sightseer’s dream, a photographer’s oasis, a nature enthusiast’s playground, and for the language learner’s of the world—Guilin is an unparalleled treasure trove. This post is a shout out to a few of the…

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Learning Chinese Online 在线学汉语

Learn Chinese on Zoom

Learn Chinese on Zoom

It’s the twenty-first century and the era of online learning has arrived. Thanks to Zoom and similar video conferencing platforms, advancing your education from anywhere in the world is easier than ever. Among other subjects, foreign languages, particularly Chinese,...

Top 8 Ways to Learn Chinese Online

Top 8 Ways to Learn Chinese Online

Although ideal, it’s not always possible to learn Chinese in China. While complete Chinese immersion is the best way to go, it’s amazing how much Chinese you can learn online. The internet connects us! Here are CLI’s top 8 methods to learn Chinese online…

Top 5 YouTube Channels for Studying Mandarin

Top 5 YouTube Channels for Studying Mandarin

Anyone who has searched “learn Mandarin” on YouTube might agree that the sheer number of results is overwhelming. We have good news for you: it is possible to learn Chinese on YouTube! A handful of channels consistently deliver…

An Official Review of Yoyo Chinese (2021)

An Official Review of Yoyo Chinese (2021)

Have you heard of Yoyo Chinese, a popular online platform for learning Mandarin? Established in 2012 by native Chinese speaker and expert teacher Yangyang Cheng, the Yoyo Chinese curriculum utilizes videos, flashcards and an extensive range of…

What is Skritter?

What is Skritter?

Skritter is a fresh, inventive way to master Chinese characters. If you’re not a current user, take the following steps to get hooked up immediately—trust us, your Chinese skills will thank you. Because each platform offers its own study mode, the first move is to decide if you want to use the tool…

Why Learn Chinese With CLI

Personalized Instruction For Every Student

CLI provides personalized care and attention wherever and whenever you need it. From pre-departure planning to study objectives, program logistics and your safety and well-being, we put forth our full energy and expertise to deliver the ultimate experience learning Chinese in China.

aerial shot of Guilin

Our Programs

Chinese Language and Culture

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Chinese Immersion

One-on-one instruction and complete immersion within a safe, friendly language environment is among the most direct paths to Chinese fluency. Begin your stay in Guilin anytime and improve your Chinese each day in a focused and welcoming community of learners.

Learn Chinese Online

CLI’s online Chinese lessons bring the classroom directly to you, providing the flexibility to continue your school or work commitments while learning Chinese. Our online lessons are held to the same high standard as courses taught at the CLI Center in Guilin.
travel in china

Immersive Travel

Each year, CLI partners with a select number of schools and associations worldwide to organize customizable study experiences throughout China. Explore this section of our site to learn more about joining a travel group or arranging a custom program of your own.

Contact Us

Reach Out Anytime

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learn chinese in china
CLI is dedicated to helping students from around the globe learn Chinese and explore China’s incredible culture and traditions. Reach out to us anytime, day or night, and we’ll respond within two weekdays.