Yes, I know it’s terrible to listen to yourself, but it’s a great way to improve your spoken Chinese! If you’re having trouble with your tone, use our tone training tool. Of course, I still study flashcards with written Chinese vocabulary every day, but it’s extra fun for me to practice with both physical and digital tools. One way to motivate yourself is to find an aspect of Chinese culture that interests you and study it! Perhaps you remember Nora’s calligraphy classes? Nora said it helped her a lot with her Chinese because she understood the language better. An online dictionary, a mobile app on the go, or a good old pocket dictionary are all essential for learning Chinese! There is a wide variety of online dictionaries and apps, many of which have extra features such as line animations and sounds. We also have a list of our favorite books consisting of textbooks, calligraphy and Chinese character writing books that have been used and reviewed by a team of Chinese writers and ambassadors in our Facebook group. If you’ve been learning Chinese for a while and want to take it to the next level, check out our friends at Mandarin HQ, who offer a video platform guaranteed to improve your listening and speaking skills in Chinese, bringing you closer to your native language. Can you just go online, find a few sites, and write down a few words? You might find videos on YouTube called “Learn Chinese in 5 Minutes” or buy a glossy edition of “Chinese for Dummies” at your local bookstore. Although I just talked about the usefulness of 田字格 for writing characters, there’s another great pair: a water pad and a Chinese brush! These notepads are actually Chinese notebooks in the form of cloth. TIP: If you want to learn Chinese well, avoid online translators, they will only confuse you, especially if you are new to the language. If you want to learn Chinese, feel free to repeat phrases on the bus, subway or on the street! There are some great tools, but one of our favorites is ChinesePod. As I mentioned earlier, having a Chinese “teacher” can be very important when you’re trying to learn a language. One of the best and most interesting ways to learn Chinese is through Chinese movies, TV shows and music. Holly joined the Writing China team in July 2014 and is one half of the British podcast Two White Chicks in China. Recording your voice during a conversation in Chinese and listening to it can help correct difficult problems later on.