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

Great Chinese Songs for Learning Chinese

Great Chinese Songs for Learning Chinese

Using music to learn Chinese is one of the best and most fun ways to improve your listening and reading skills. It is a great way to acquire more vocabulary and to experience Chinese culture at a deeper level. It also helps with memorization and makes it easier to learn and remember new words.

A Brief Introduction to Chinese Grammar

A Brief Introduction to Chinese Grammar

Perhaps you’ve already committed to learning Chinese and are wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into. Maybe you’re simply curious to know how Chinese grammar works. Whatever your motivation, if you’re interested in discovering the basics of Chinese grammar, you’ve...

Every Country and Territory Name in Chinese

Every Country and Territory Name in Chinese

As a student of the Chinese language, country names are incredibly useful to know. Chatting about world travels and the geopolitical issues of the day is a common occurrence when meeting Chinese friends and colleagues at home and abroad. How many countries and...

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Chinese Characters 汉字

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…

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...

The 100 Most Common Chinese Characters

The 100 Most Common Chinese Characters

Have you ever wondered what the most common Chinese characters are? In a language of approximately 50,000 individual characters, mastering the most commonly used Chinese characters—and knowing their order of frequency—will benefit you along your path to language...

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Chinese Culture 中国文化

Ultimate Guide to Social Media in China

Ultimate Guide to Social Media in China

Utilizing China’s home-grown social media platforms is an excellent way to gain insight into the complex and always fascinating world of modern Chinese culture. This is particularly true if you find yourself traveling or living in China. However, it is not always easy...

An Introduction to Chinese Numerology

An Introduction to Chinese Numerology

Chinese homophones have a profound influence on Chinese culture. In Chinese numerology, certain numbers are considered to be auspicious (吉利 jílì) or inauspicious (不吉 bùjí), mainly due to their pronunciation. The numbers 2, 8, and 9 are…

Journey into the World of Chinese Tea

Journey into the World of Chinese Tea

China is synonymous with tea, and tea with China. In fact, the history of tea in China is almost as long as the history of China itself. Despite the recent rise of coffee, tea continues to enjoy great popularity. Read on to learn about the past, present and future of...

The Guilin Opera: A Storied Chinese Tradition

The Guilin Opera: A Storied Chinese Tradition

Guilin Opera is a beloved artform celebrated in southern China. In fact, it is one of country’s ten major opera styles. Utilizing Guilin dialect (桂林话, Guìlín huà) and other regional languages (方言, fāngyán), this traditional performance art…

What is the Chinese Calendar?

What is the Chinese Calendar?

Modern China, like the vast majority of countries in the world, utilizes the Gregorian calendar—our standard solar-based calendar—as its primary means of tracking time throughout the year. That means January 1 in Paris is also January 1 in Beijing. Yet as with…

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Chinese Holidays 中国传统节日

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, chūn jié), 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...

A Brief Guide to the Seven Major Chinese Holidays

A Brief Guide to the Seven Major Chinese Holidays

Holidays are an essential part of Chinese culture. Most are festive, and all involve family. The vast majority of Chinese holidays stem from local traditions that have existed for thousands of years, while others were born of modern political and cultural movements....

Tips and Insights About

Traveling in China 环游中国

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...

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

An Insider’s Guide to Guilin

An Insider’s Guide to Guilin

Guilin is one of China’s most beautiful locations. In fact, an ancient Chinese proverb claims “Guilin’s mountains and rivers are the best under heaven” (桂林山水甲天下, Guìlín shānshuǐ jiǎ tiānxià). With magnificent karst mountains reflecting on its many rivers and lakes, Guilin has a breathtaking…

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 many talented photographers who enrich the IG-sphere...

Guilin Featured on CNN.com

Guilin Featured on CNN.com

Yesterday CNN featured an article on Guilin’s Princes’ City. You can also read more about 王城 (Wáng Chéng), the “Princes’ City”, in CLI’s recent article on the topic. Guilin is steeped in thousands of years…

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Learning Chinese Online 在线学汉语

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 (2020)

An Official Review of Yoyo Chinese (2020)

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 other educational...

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 online or via your mobile device.

What is Anki?

What is Anki?

If your goal is to memorize lots of new information (think: Chinese characters), consider utilizing a spaced repetition system. Studies show that doing so can dramatically improve one’s retention and recollection of information. Anki packages this system into an easy-to-use interface in which users can create original flashcards or download…

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

learn chinese in china

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

learn chinese in china
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.