Free course

Beginners' Chinese

Free statement of participation on completion

Learn about Mandarin Chinese as a tool for communication and gain insights into Chinese society and culture. This free course, Beginners’ Chinese, provides a brief introduction to the Chinese language, its scripts and sounds, and how words are formed. You will hear short conversations where people greet each other, introduce themselves, describe where they come from and what they do for a living. You’ll hear them talk about their daily activities and order food and drinks in a restaurant. This OpenLearn course will be easily accessible for those with some basic knowledge of Chinese.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand varieties of the Chinese language
  • understand the sound system of Mandarin Chinese (pinyin and tones)
  • understand simplified and traditional forms of Chinese characters and how they are combined together to form new meanings
  • demonstrate an improved vocabulary and pronunciation related to names, nationalities, professions, age, daily activities, languages and ordering food and drinks
  • demonstrate a cultural understanding of how professional titles are used to address people
  • understand how characters are combined together to form new meanings.