Learn Chinese for Free—Introduction to the Free Lessons
360 Free Chinese Lessons
Learn Chinese Starting From
the MOST COMMON Words and Characters
Before starting Lesson 1, here is a brief explanation of what you're going to find in each lesson. Anyway, if you don't need it and just want to start, please click here for Lesson 1.
It might seem a big surprise to someone, but in all languages a relatively few words are spoken (and written) much more frequently than others.
Chinese language is no exception. Illustrious people and institutions have proven it over and over again. For example:
- 1988, The National Working Committee on Languages and Writing Systems of China;
- 1988, The Ministry of Education of China;
- 1996, Tsai;
- 1998, Da;
- 1998, He;
- 1999, Beijing Language and Culture University;
- 2002, Peking University;
- 2002, Tsinghua University;
- 2004, Jun Da;
- 2010, Cai, Brysbaert...
They studied a huge quantity of modern fiction's dialogues, as well as news reports, articles, books, websites, etc...
What did they find? Are you ready to thrill? (I did)
While Chinese language counts more than 50,000 characters...
Only 1 single character, the most frequently used, makes up as much as 4% of all spoken and written Chinese language;
Only 4 characters make 10% of the usage of Chinese language;
Only 107 characters make up 50% of whatever you say, listen or read in Chinese;
Only 1,000 characters make up over 90% of the usage of Chinese.
Can you see how all of that precious information positively affects you?
That is great information! You can be sure that everything you listen or read, or everything you will want to say or write in Modern Chinese, 90% of that is composed of a relatively small number of words and characters.
It means that with this free course you can focus your effort and time on those words and characters! (instead of words chosen AT RANDOM or 50,000 different characters!)—5,000% LESS effort and 5,000% LESS time.
Why would you want to waste time and effort trying to memorize words that, chances are, you'd never use again?
Amazing, isn't it?
This course guides you step by step, character by character, through the process of learning Chinese writing system, grammar and pronunciation.
This is a "daily" course, because I strongly suggest you study one lesson (no less, no more) each and every day.
Lessons' structure: The Meter
The "meter" quantifies your progress. Its value indicates the total percentage of occurrence of all characters you've already studied plus those included in the lesson of that day. For example, the box below is the one you find in the first lesson.
|Character Knowledge Meter|
It means that the four Chinese characters included in lesson 1 make up 1.73% of the usage of Chinese. Its value rises to 1.95% in the second lesson and 4.52% in the third. It will be thrilling to touch and go beyond 90%!
Lessons' structure: "Introduction" Section
You find here a brief preview of the content and objective of the lesson. The characters under the heading "Today's Chinese characters" need your full attention: even before knowing their meaning, try to memorize their shape, be imaginative, write them as soon as possible, associate them to whatever flashes into your mind that is similar in shape. Characters won't always be so easy to remember as those in lesson one!
Lessons' structure: "Characters' Essentials" Section
This section tells you what you really need to remember about each character. You can now give to each character a name (its pronunciation) and a personality (its meaning).
Lessons' structure: "Description and Examples" Section
The content of this section is kept simple and intuitive. New words and sentences are progressively formed only by those Chinese characters you've already studied. Grammar rules and sentence structures are introduced and explained with examples and variations.
IMPORTANT FEATURE: Click on any character and its pinyin would appear. For example try now and click on the following characters:
The various question marks in the tables link to the help page.
Click on the following links to read the help page now.
While I'm trying to make your learning as smooth and easy as possible, please don't misunderstand me. Chinese is NOT simple. So, please, try your best to keep pace with your daily lessons. 15-minute daily study sessions are much better than a single 3-4-5-hour weekly study session.
Now it's time to start! Click here for Lesson 1.