After extensive research, we’ve determined that the nine providers listed below are your best options for online Chinese tutoring. This guide will also give you some tips on picking which tutor to use and how to get the most out of these services as well.

How to Pick an Online Chinese Tutoring Service

Before you decide on which provider you will use for Chinese tutoring, you should consider your budget, availability, reasons for learning the language and other personal needs. Indeed, the right choice for you very well might not be the right choice for others — there is no one-size-fits-all solution here.

Learning a new language for travel

While Mandarin is the most popular variation of Chinese overall, it’s not the most dominant dialect in every part of the country. For example, most people speak Cantonese in Guangzhou and its surrounding areas. Before you pay for any lessons, you should make sure that your tutor is familiar with the primary dialect in the area where you will be traveling. Using a marketplace-style service that allows you to choose from hundreds of different tutors, such as AmazingTalker or Preply, will help you find a good match.

Learning Chinese for work

Those who are learning Chinese for work will need to find a provider that offers more advanced classes than someone who is just looking for help with a couple weeks of travel. Without a highly nuanced understanding of the language, you might make mistakes that end up damaging your career, such as offending a foreign client or agreeing to a deal you don’t fully understand. We’ve found that Mandarin Time is one of the best options for advanced Chinese classes, and they even offer courses that are designed for specific industries (e-commerce, public relations, etc.).

Help with studying Chinese for school

Some providers, such as PandaTree, offer Chinese classes for young children — they use elements such as music and cartoons to keep kids engaged. For high schoolers, there are also prep courses available for the AP Chinese exam and other standardized tests.

How We Picked the Best Online Chinese Tutoring Services

To determine which Chinese tutoring providers most deserved to be featured in this guide, we first put together a list of the most popular services available. We then narrowed down our list by looking for the providers with the best recommendations and reviews. Finally, we narrowed it down even further by only choosing services that offer a significant advantage over their competitors, such as unique courses or particularly low prices.

The 9 Best Online Chinese Tutors

The nine providers featured in our guide stand out as the absolute best online Chinese tutors based on our research. No matter your budget or reasons for wanting to learn Chinese, you should be able to find a great match for your needs here.

 

Mandarin Tutor

  • Mandarin Tutor
  • Mandarin Tutor_2

We found that this platform is quite easy to use.

You can get a discount by purchasing multiple lessons at a time.

One feature we really like about Mandarin Tutor is their easy-to-use booking system — once you’ve created an account, you’ll be able to view instructor availability and schedule lessons directly through their website.

Mandarin Tutor provides you with a selection of 10 highly experienced Chinese tutors. Each tutor sets their own rates, and they offer different specialities as well (Chinese for children/teenagers, Chinese for business, etc.). It’s also worth noting that, in addition to Mandarin, some of their tutors teach Cantonese.

Price One lesson: $8.45 – $25.92

Bulk purchase of five lessons: $8.33 – $25.56 per lesson

Bulk purchase of 10 lessons: $8.16 – $25.03 per lesson

Bulk purchase of 20 lessons: $8 – $24.53 per lesson

Free trial 25-minute free trial
Device  Desktop, mobile device
Format  Skype, Zoom
Certificate of completion  Yes
Knowledge level  Beginner to advanced

Learn more about Mandarin Tutor.

 

Chinese Hour

  • Chinese Hour
  • Chinese Hour_2

Chinese Hour offers both email and phone support.

Over 20 unique course options are available on Chinese Hour.

Chinese Hour is an excellent option if you’re learning Chinese to pass an exam, as they offer courses that are designed for specific tests such as the AP Chinese exam as well as the HSKK and HSKE tests. They’re also a good choice if you’re interested in employee training; their past corporate clients include Microsoft, IBM and other Fortune 500 companies.

It should be noted that Chinese Hour requires you to pay for an entire course upfront, so if you’re on a tight budget you might need to choose a provider like Mandarin Tutor that only charges you by the lesson.

Price Standard Course: $779 to $1,080

Immersion Course: $998

Test Prep Course: $1,199

Free trial Free trial available
Device  Desktop, mobile device
Format  Skype
Certificate of completion  Not Listed
Knowledge level  Beginner to advanced

Learn more about Chinese Hour.

 

Mandarin Time

  • Mandarin Time
  • Mandarin Time_2

Mandarin Time offers a self-paced course that allows you to learn Chinese through pre-recorded videos and AI-powered exercises.

Compared to your other options, Mandarin Time’s prices are rather expensive.

After registering on their website, you’ll be able to pick from Mandarin Time’s wide selection of different course options, including classes for children and classes for adults as well as private classes and group classes. One feature we found especially useful is that the adult tutoring options include courses for particular industries, such as finance and hospitality.

We were impressed by Mandarin Time’s reputation among former and current users. “I’ve been very satisfied with the course and Mandarin Time’s services,” wrote one reviewer on Language International. “All teachers are very patient, professional, and always keen to explain and expand our vocabulary beyond the course materials.”

Price One-month plan: $150 per week

One-year plan: $500 per month or

$5,000 per year

Level 1 to 6 courses: $1,600 – $2,400

Free trial Free trial available
Device  Desktop, mobile device
Format  Video chat, pre-recorded video, AI exercises
Certificate of completion  Yes
Knowledge level  Beginner to advanced

Learn more about Mandarin Time.

 

PandaTree

  • PandaTree
  • PandaTree_2

PandaTree’s camps are a great option if you’d like to schedule classes for every day of the week.

You’ll be able to create separate accounts for you and your children.

PandaTree is designed for ages 2-17, so it’s somewhat limited compared to many of your other options. If you need to learn Chinese for work, you should find a provider that offers adult classes, such as Mandarin Time.

But if you are looking for a Chinese tutoring solution for children, this may be the best choice available — PandaTree uses songs and cartoons to make learning fun for young children, and it can also help high schoolers prep for the AP Chinese exam.

PandaTree has a strong online reputation, with a near-perfect 4.9 out of 5 average rating on Reviews.io. “My 11 year old struggles with speech, but she absolutely LOVES learning Chinese with her PandaTree tutor,” wrote one user. “The tutor is very kind and patient, and there are lots of fun games to help her learn! She has learned almost 200 words in only 10 lessons. I highly recommend this program!”

Price One-on-one lessons: Start at $16 per lesson

Group lessons: Start at $10 per lesson

Free trial Free trial available
Device  Desktop, mobile device
Format  Video chat, pre-recorded videos
Certificate of completion  Yes
Knowledge level  Beginner to intermediate

Learn more about PandaTree.

 

TutorMandarin

  • TutorMandarin
  • TutorMandarin_2

In addition to your tutoring sessions, students also get access to original articles, curated YouTube videos and flashcards.

You can create an account with your email address or sign up by simply entering your Facebook credentials.

This provider takes a highly personalized approach to online Chinese tutoring. Indeed, TutorMandarin designs a custom learning experience for each of their users, which includes individual class notes and badges that recognize your educational achievements.

“Have been learning Chinese with TutorMandarin for some time now,” wrote one student on Trustpilot. “Professional teachers and a cool virtual classroom make it easy to learn.”

Price 25-minute class: $6 – $10

50-minute lesson: $12 – $20

Free trial One free trial class
Device Desktop, mobile app
Format Video chat, pre-recorded videos, flashcards
Certificate of completion Not listed
Knowledge level Beginner to advanced

Learn more about TutorMandarin.

 

Italki

  • Italki
  • Italki_2

 There are over 1,000 teachers available on Italki.

You can use the calendar tool to quickly see when an instructor will be available.

In order to help you find a good fit for your needs, this platform allows you to filter your search for a tutor by factors such as availability, nationality and specialities (conversation practice, test preparation, etc.).

With rates as low as $4 per lesson, anyone who is concerned about their budget should strongly consider this option. It’s much more affordable than relatively pricey providers such as Chinese Hour and Mandarin Time. Just keep in mind that it might take a couple tries to find a tutor who really works for you. “Everything depends on your teacher,” wrote one Italki user on the r/ChineseLanguage subreddit. “I tried to study with 7-10 different teachers until I found two I really like and stick with them all the time now.”

Price $4 – $80 per lesson
Free trial 30-minute free trial
Device Desktop, mobile device
Format Skype, Facetime, Zoom, WeChat
Certificate of completion No
Knowledge level Basic to advanced

Learn more about Italki.

 

AmazingTalker

  • AmazingTalker
  • AmazingTalker_2

This provider’s matching tool will help you find a great tutor for your specific situation. 

Each instructor’s profile displays their proficiency in both Chinese and English on the CEFR scale. 

AmazingTalker is another platform that allows you to choose your own tutor. With hundreds of potential options available, you should have no problem finding someone who can meet at a convenient time for you and go over all the topics that you want to cover.

We were impressed by their user-friendly interface, which makes it especially easy to search for instructors, book your lessons and start learning.

Price $10 – $30 per hour
Free trial Free trial lesson
Device  Desktop, mobile device
Format  Zoom
Certificate of completion  Yes
Knowledge level  Beginner to advanced

Learn more about AmazingTalker.

 

Verbling

  • Verbling
  • Verbling_2

This Silicon Valley-based provider offers a particularly polished user experience.

Many of Verbling’s instructors have already taught thousands of lessons on this platform.

There’s no need to use third-party teleconferencing software with Verbling, as their integrated platform allows you to schedule lessons and meet with your tutor directly through your browser window.

Are you looking for a solution for teaching Chinese to your employees? We found that this is one of the best options for business users (some of the most prominent organizations in the world, including Volkswagen, trust Verbling with teaching their employees Chinese).

Price Average rate of $27 per hour
Free trial 30-minute trial lesson
Device Desktop, mobile device
Format Custom app
Certificate of completion Yes
Knowledge level Beginner to advanced

Learn more about Verbling.

 

Preply

  • Preply
  • Preply_2

In addition to lessons for individuals, Preply also offers corporate training services.

When you try out a tutor for the first time, you’ll get a 20% discount on their hourly rate.

If you’d like to be matched with a tutor, Preply offers a quiz that will ask you about your current proficiency level and reasons for wanting to learn Chinese in order to find someone who’s a good fit.

You can also browse through their selection of 2,000+ tutors and select whomever you want on your own. Some of the tutors on Preply charge rates as low as $1 per hour — along with Italki and TutorMandarin, this is another strong option for anyone who is primarily concerned about cost.

Former students mostly report having positive experiences on Preply (their average rating on Trustpilot is 4.3 out of 5), though some users complained about technical issues as well as the quality of their tutors.

Price Average rate of $14 per 60-minute session
Free trial One free trial lesson
Device  Desktop, mobile device
Format  Custom app
Certificate of completion  Yes
Knowledge level  Beginner to advanced

Learn more about Preply.

 

Other Chinese Tutoring Services to Consider

The providers listed above are all dedicated exclusively to language tutoring, but you may also want to consider additional educational platforms. For example, Skooli is a particularly good option if you need help with a Chinese class at high school or college. We also recommend Varsity Tutors and Wyzant.

What to Expect When Using An Online Chinese Tutoring Service

Generally, using an online Chinese tutoring service involves meeting with your instructor over video chat so that they can teach you the language and provide you with feedback on your performance in real-time.

It’s worth noting that each provider uses its own variation of that general format, though. For example, some services will assign a tutor to you, while others allow you to choose whoever you would like to use. Also, while most providers rely on third-party teleconferencing software such as Skype or Zoom, some tutoring services have developed their own online platforms that you can use to schedule and attend your lessons.

What you need to learn Chinese using an online tutor

To use an online tutoring service, you need a high-speed internet connection and a reliable computer (if your computer doesn’t have a built-in camera and microphone, you’ll need these items as well). We also recommend that you set up a dedicated study area in your home where you can avoid distractions and stay focused.

Free vs. Paid Online Chinese Tutors: What’s the Difference?

The free resources available for learning Chinese online are usually based on written study guides, pre-recorded videos and other on-demand materials — this can be an effective way to learn vocabulary and key concepts, but it’s unlikely that you’ll ever become fluent through these methods. Most people need live assistance from an experienced teacher to truly learn Chinese, and these instructors will almost always charge you at least a small fee in exchange for their time and expertise.

Interested in a degree instead?

Learn more about online degrees, their start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Other Language Tutors