Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Foreign Language Learning: Chinese

Online Dictionaries

CJK-English (Duke only)

Chinese Characters Dictionary Web allows searching of multiple online dictionaries

Chinese English Center : search in Chinese, English and pinyin

A dictionary of Chinese characters : accessed by phonetics (Duke only)

MandarinSpot : search in Chinese, English and pinyin. Pronunciation can be shown as Hanyu Pinyin, Zhuyin Fuhao, etc.

MDBG Dictionary: search for single character and phrase in Chinese only

Nciku Online Dictionary : search in Chinese, English and pinyin

Oxford Language Dictionaries Chinese Resources (Duke only)

Yellow Bridge Chinese-English talking dictionary : search in Chinese, English and Pinyin; advanced search in radicals, handwriting recognition, etc.

Find Chinese Language materials in the Library

  • Pinyin is the still the best way to find Chinese language materials
How to search in Pinyin? Leave a space between the pinyin of each character, exceptions include personal names and place name,
for example:
 Person Names
  • 毛澤東
  • 無名氏
  • 惠能
  • 尼克森
  • Mao Zedong
  • Wumingshi
  • Huineng
  • Nikesen 
 Place Names
  • 揚子江
  • 廣州市
  • 安徽省
  • 廣西壯族自治區
  • Yangzi Jiang
  • Guangzhou Shi
  • Anhui Sheng
  • Guangxi Zhuangzu Zizhiqu

Online resources


Forvo an audio wiki for word pronunciations. Hosting hundreds of recordings of word pronunciations by native speakers.

Hello World provides games and activities to develop a foreign languages.

Open Culture : has an extensive list of free resources for learning Chinese.

Study More Chinese : a social network of Chinese learners. Users can write blogs, share vidoes, photos & start discussions about learning Chinese.

Video Clips of survival Chinese : 20 real life videos for beginners

WordSteps is a resource for learning the vocabulary. Select the language then choose a set of vocabulary words in that language.


BBC Languages Chinese :basic guide to pinyin and characters in multimedia format.

CAPL, Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon, is a project developed by Dr. Michael Shaughnessy at Washington & Jefferson College. The purpose of CAP is to provide images that demonstrate the true meaning and intention of the words in a language.

Chinese character practice website : aimed at helping beginning Chinese learners see the linguistic features of characters. Chinese Lessons Downloadable video lessons covering vocabulary and useful phrases.

Learning Chinese Online: collects different tools and websites for learning Chinese.

Online Chinese Tools: tools on learning and using Chinese language and culture.
Speak Chinese from China, : lessons on characters, idioms, allegories, poems, etc.

Read Chinese : developed at the National Foreign Language Center (NFLC) at the University of Maryland primarily to meet the needs of American high school students who want to learn to read Chinese and have already learned to recognize a few basic written characters

The Routledge Advanced Chinese Multimedia Course: Crossing Cultural Boundaries