Standard Chinese easily has the most number of native speakers of all languages, with a number of roughly one billion. Concentrated in China, Chinese is actually a very diverse language but the main form of Chinese which is predominant is known as Mandarin. Chinese itself uses characters for writing instead of an alphabet and is spoken in tones, both of which are features not existing in English. Additionally, two writing systems currently exist: Traditional and Simplified. For the most part, people who learn Chinese as a foreign language will study the simplified characters, as this is what often exists in study materials, although serious students might try and learn both systems. Either way, the differences in both writing and speaking make this a challenging(but not impossible) to learn language for native English speakers. With the economic and political rise of China this probably would be a good language to pick up!

Online Resources

FSI Chinese is a course offered by the Foreign Service Institute.

Learn Chinese Online is a website that has many free resources to take advantage of. chinese has free Chinese lessons split into multiple modules

Learn a Chinese Character a Day is a website which teaches you a new Chinese character everyday. Simple but powerful and fun.

Chinese Reading Practice, per the title, is a website that is dedicated to practicing the reading of the Chinese language. It is not for straight beginners but once you've gotten some basics down check out this resource. Really good stuff and includes translations as well.

Written Chinese has free and paid options. You can download an application and create a free account. They've also got a blog and some other random stuff as well. Take some time to navigate the site!

CSU Long Beach - Learning Chinese basically has a database of Chinese language resources. Jump on the site and see for yourself.

HelloChinese is a phone application for learning Chinese

Online News

Peoples Daily

BBC Chinese

Reference News

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Where Can I Study It?

Middlebury Language School has immersion programs in Chinese

San Francisco State University offers a BA in Chinese

University of Houston offers a BA in Chinese Studies

University of South Carolina offers a BA in Chinese Studies

University of Washington offers a BA, MA, & PhD in Chinese

Yale University offers a BA in East Asian Languages and Literatures - Chinese

University of Florida offers a BA in Foreign Languages and Literatures - Chinese

Famous Speakers

Easily wins the title as China's greatest philsopher.

Sun Tzu
Sun Tzu was a military general famous for writing The Art of War

Mao Zedong
China's most famous communist revolutionary who governed China for well over 30 years.

Xi Jinping
Current President of China

Liu Xiaobo
Won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. He is currently imprisoned because of his political views and was not able to collect the prize in person.

Mo Yan
Won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature

Ai Weiwei
This artist and activist has been an outspoken critic of human rights abuses in China.

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