Saturday, February 24, 2024
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Yoyo Chinese: Finally a Way to Improve My Mandarin

Best Way to Learn Mandarin is part of the TPOL in Shanghai Trip Report.

Disclaimer: If you use my affiliate link, I get paid. 

Since 2010, I’ve been trying to become fluent in Mandarin. It started when I lived in Shanghai for my MBA exchange and came home embarrassed because I could not even say beer in Chinese. From there, I had the bright idea to try to learn Mandarin in three months and take the oral proficiency test, a prerequisite for graduating. To no one’s surprise, I came up short and had to take it again four months later. Since then, I’ve been off and on with my Mandarin studies. Fed up with the lack of progress from studying on my own, I hired a Skype tutor. That didn’t work out as most of those tutors proved unreliable.

After returning to Shanghai this past summer (see TPOL in Shanghai), everything had changed except me. Without Technology, I was The Creepy Old Guy in Shanghai. Without improved Mandarin, I couldn’t say much more than I could nine years ago.

Luckily, I now use Yoyo Chinese, the best and most organized software I have found for learning Mandarin. It starts off very basic but is comprehensive. Unlike Pimsleur, my favorite way of learning new languages, it progresses from intermediate to advanced. Notably, the creators admit that it will take years to improve and do not boast about immediate fluency.

Next time I return to Shanghai on my expat assignment, I am confident of two things: 1) I’ll be older than last time. 2) I’ll be speaking and reading at a much higher level.

Now if I could only find a good program for Arabic!

a stair with blue writing on it
Pretty sure that’s not what that means.

Best Way to Learn Mandarin is part of the TPOL in Shanghai Trip Report.



  1. pimsluer works well with arabic,would like to hear more about yoyo course.I have studied 15 languages and have used pimsluer all the way.

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