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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Chinese for Beginners by Peking University

4,839 ratings
1,455 reviews

About the Course

Nowadays, there is an increasing number of people who are interested in Chinese culture and language. And it is useful to know about the language when coming to China for travel or business. This is an ABC Chinese course for beginners, including introduction of phonetics and daily expressions. After taking this class, learners can have a basic understanding of Chinese Mandarin and make basic conversations of daily living such as exchanging personal information, talking about daily arrangements and food, asking about price, introducing the city and the weather, telling your hobbies etc. Selected topics and situations come from real life scenarios and can be used for everyday communications. In addition to the dialogues, the selection of reading materials and practice activities will make the content as rich and varied as possible, in order to stimulate the learners’ interests. This is an elementary course on Chinese speaking. The learners don’t need to study Chinese characters, so it is easier to follow and complete this course....

Top reviews


Sep 17, 2016

Thanks for this course. I like it and this language really so necessary for me and my job. My company in New Zealand - ESKA Ltd (, and we are work with aliens from China.


Mar 02, 2016

This course is excellent. It gives thorough introduction into language without going into too much unnecessary details. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to start learning Chinese from scratch.

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Feb 27, 2016


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Feb 19, 2016


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Oct 06, 2015


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Sep 29, 2019


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Jun 19, 2018


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May 12, 2017


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Oct 08, 2016


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Jan 21, 2016


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Dec 02, 2015


By Laura F

Feb 17, 2020

I thought this course was fantastic for beginners just looking to be able to say stuff quickly without too much effort, for example if you were going to a Chinese-speaking area and wanted to be able to communicate simply. It's also great for beginners who are going to learn it more seriously, and would like to expand their vocabulary quickly over a range of basic areas. However, there is not so much grammar - you don't necessarily understand why you're saying what you're saying! But in terms of what most people use it for, it's perfect. If you want more grammar explanations and structures, I recommend doing the Chinese for HSK 1 course that's also offered by Peking University. I've combined these two courses and added an HSK 1 grammar workbook, and feel like that's a good place to start for a beginner learner.

By Boris R

Nov 14, 2015

Good course for beginners. In my opinion, its strong point is simplicity (it does not require much effort and yet allows you to learn something useful, and also makes you think that Chinese is not unbearably complex language after all) and broad range of topics (probably gives you all words necessary to survive short trip to China). What I didn't like in this course is lack of explanation: student is required to memorize entire sentences, but nothing was said about word ordering, personal pronouns and other basic structural features of language. I would also like to have more tests/ exercises with feedback, probably some review tests covering previous lessons.

By Katherine B

Oct 30, 2016

The course provided a solid, clear, and friendly introduction to the basics of speaking & understanding spoken Mandarin, as well as to how Mandarin is written in the Roman alphabet. Vocabulary and grammar points were introduced at a pace that was never too overwhelming. I'd have liked the quizzes to be based on listening to a dialogue or watching a video and then testing comprehension, rather than just on vocabulary. But on the whole, I was pleased. It was exciting, right as the course was ending, to see that I could have a tiny conversation of the "Do you like autumn?" and "We are taking the subway to school" variety with a Chinese colleague.

By Walid H

Jul 14, 2018

Quizzes were very easy. I was expecting more questions and some more Chinese / English sentences in the quizzes. I mentioned a mistake in the quizz concerning 'numbers' but nobody bothered to answer me. It was a teacher mistake and / or computer but definitely it was not mine. I hope that in the future the course will be improved, the quizzes more difficult and some sentences be included in these quizzes whether in English or in Chinese (pinyin). The teacher could have included at least two Chinese ideograms in each course in order to get familiarized with them, such as : exit / pull / push / toilet / taxi stop / etc... Thanks.

By Andrea

Jun 20, 2018

It's a good course to learn chinese for beginners. The skills you learn/improve the most in the course are pronunciation and vocabulary, which I think are the most important for a beginner, because them allow you to speak with some fluency. I missed a little explanations about gramar and syntax, but I asked in the forums about them, the problem is that often doubts aren't answered there. I also missed characters, but it's perhaps understandable that in a beginners course they aren't already introduced. Chinese is so difficult and it requires many years of study, so I think in general it's a complete course for a beginner.

By Cristina F

Aug 23, 2018

La profesora explica muy bien y en muy buen inglés, mucha importancia a la pronunciación y aprendí. Curso básico, aunque se quedan muchos cabos sueltos en la versión gratuita (ejemplo, solo da las horas en punto, nunca llega a decir los pronombres ni explicar si hay tiempos verbales y otras cosas muy básicas que son el primer estadio de todos los aprendizajes de idiomas). Punto negativo: nadie revisa a los "subtituladores" y en el español se pueden leer cosas como "[coreano]" "esto no lo entiendo" o algo raro en una lección que decía "papá, ¿esto qué significa? Está en coreano". O similar.

By Deleted A

Sep 22, 2015

The course is a very practical approach to the language. The main goal of it being to help you get by in the country. It's title should be Surviving in China 101. Although misleading for people wanting to learn the language to an extensive level, it's definitely a good base to have and to build on. The material is presented in a very accessible manner and the quizzes help you master the key elements acquired within each session. Overall, great class if you plan visiting the country and want to be able to get by without a translator as we all know that not all Chinese natives speak English.

By Yulia B

Nov 08, 2015

Everything is very well! Ilike the material and the professor who is teaching us. She is very good. Thank you very much. But the only problem for me is that the wrong pronunciation is given by the professor. For me it wasa psycological issue. Because, I would remember the variant how you should not do! AndI think it is better to make an example only the right variant and repeting this several times as a tongue twister. During the course I am trying to avoid this wrong examples, trying to scroll later and not to hear them. Everything else I like very much!

By Cornelia H

Aug 23, 2015

This course includes major topics of daily life. After having completed all lessons with Professor Xiaoyu Liu, the student will be able to express himself/herself in many useful situations. This fast result of some basic Chinese is very motiviating to complete the course and to continue studying this fascinating language. The only drawback may be the lack of some corresponding Chinese characters. However, this may exceed the scope of this Coursera course. Maybe there will be a course Chinese for Beginners 2 in future. If so, I would certainly participate.

By Brendan

Oct 06, 2015

Excellent course for a beginner or post-beginner as the fundamentals of pronunciation are dealt with slowly in the first half and then it races ahead with useful language and vocabulary for everyday contemporary situations like talking about hobbies, using the internet, etc etc. Stylistically, the Professor may seem dry and mechanical to some but I liked her. No fluff. She moves at quite a pace. For false-beginners, would have bene nice to ave had access to the Chinese vocabulary during the course not at the end. Looking forward to the next course.

By R. L H M E a R L H E

Aug 06, 2017

This was a great beginner's Chinese course and therefore a great review for me. Although I had studied Chinese before, there were some lessons that I had never learned academically, but had acquired from everyday life living in China, and therefore, those lessons were interesting to sit through to see how the sentences are created This was very useful for understanding the structure, which goes beyond merely acquiring a language through daily conversation. It provides for a better understanding of the functionality of the language.

Thank you.

By Nina F

Feb 29, 2020

This was an excellent course for learning Beginner's Chinese. I really thought the instructor did a good job in teaching Mandarin. She spoke in a way that could be understood. She pronounced the words in a clear way and did a good job of explaining how to pronounce them. My only suggestions for the course would be to improve the subtitles for the lecture videos and to maybe improve the extended exercises a little bit. Other than that, the course is great. I would totally recommend this course to anyone wanting to learn Beginner's Chinese.

By Alberto F O

Jun 08, 2017

El curso ha sido increíble. Una verdadera aproximación al idioma chino en su sentido mas básico.

Me interesa la filosofía, la historia y las costumbres del pueblo chino. Y este curso ha sido un verdadero regalo.

Aunque los subtitulos los he elegido en español, Xiaoyu Liu se dirige en inglés, lo cual para algunos puede ser un problema, tanto en las lecciones como en los exámenes. En mi caso, me ha servido -además- para mejorar mi idioma ingles -escritura y dicción. La profesora habla muy bien el ingles.

Saludos y muchas gracias.

By Bianca S

Jun 17, 2017

As a person that has had some Chinese exposure before and after some of these lessons, I find them informative, yet still much in want. Some things the instructor explain was done poorly, others in good understanding. I can't complain about the lack of hanyu writing, but to randomly have them in the notes in the self studies was less than helpful towards the self lessons. Overall, I still consider this a good course to start off anyone and easy and simple enough to break them into bigger and better studies with it.

By John C

Jan 16, 2017

The course is just brilliantly structured. I imagine that this is a set of expressions to start a journey of love with the Chinese language and culture.

I did miss a bit explanations on the gramatical structure of chinese sentences. I.e. position of verbs, times, places, pronouns in the sentences. I kind of figured them out, being them different to the structure of western languages. Google Translate helped often to understand this structure and words.

The teacher is JUST lovely. Many thanks for a lovely work!