Seattle Polyglots Wiki

Seattle Polyglots Wiki / Mandarin

Mandarin is the official language of Mainland China and Taiwan. It is spoken by approximately one billion people. The English name for the language comes from a Portuguese word for a type of minister. 官话 In English it is also commonly called Chinese. However, there are many Chinese dialects (languages).

See Also: Cantonese, Chinese Characters,, Chinese Culture

This page is intended to list resources for people learning Mandarin in Seattle, Washington, USA, and link to general resources, and host or link to study materials and curriculum for Seattle learners of Mandarin Chinese.

We can Add a link with a '+' or '*' pointing to our user pages (User:YourUserName) to express your thoughts about the resource.

Chinese writing is based on meaning and has limited phonetic help. Study is required to connecting words with symbols and with meaning. This provides an opportunity for many learning aides to excel at different areas and why so many are listed below

Also, Mainland China has censored internet access and scrambled GPS for mapping. They have developed their own social media and have blocked many that foreigners are accustomed to. A dedicated phone for China related activities is a possible strategy for a user who is concerned about privacy.

Chinese apps and websites have many innovative and important features for navigating in China, however, many are only available in Chinese characters. There are screen reading tools such as Pleco and pop-up dictionary browser extensions that can allow novices to use Chinese material.

These, because reading and writing are difficult, and the programs we are used to using are often not available


On your user page, include a wiki link to Category:Language for languages that you wish to interact with, and a list to the level you want. Hopefully technology will allow a list to be shown for each language. That way individuals won't have to edit each page to include themselves in a list of languages. AirOp is working on this convention.

For now one can put your user tag into the page for your level. If someone makes curriculum appropriate for a level post it there. We may wish to refactor the groups into native, advanced, intermediate, novice, day1. But we made the links for HSK levels. It's OK to throw stuff to the wall and see what sticks.


Seattle has a number of groups for people who are learning Chinese.

Levels and Testing


A number of people are preparing to take HSK tests at the University of Washington. October 2019 is the deadline for signing up more details will hopefully get filled in

Mandarin Native , Mandarin HSK 5-6 , Mandarin HSK 4 Mandarin HSK 3 , Mandarin HSK 2 , Mandarin HSK 1 Mandarin PinYin , Mandarin 0

Education Institutes

There are a number of language schools that teach mandarin in the area. If you are involved with them, you are encouraged to list them.

Colleges and Universities

Private Schools

Tutor Companies

Individuals who Tutor

Popular Material

If you want to form a study group with people who are studying the same material as you, or if you need an idea of what material to study, this will be a prominent feature of the wiki.

Du Chinese app

Duolingo and YouTube

Text Books

Text Name Dialog complexity New Words Grammar AudioMaterial Workbook Translation Instruction Qualities Apps and 4th Party Help Answer Key Ruby Text Simplified Traditional Who Uses It?
HSK Standard Course 4lines with clear context with dialog a few points per dialog (after, but translation goes along with) CD included Yes With Dialog (very good) English and Chinese (very good) Most Yes, PinYin Yes No Confucius Institute, HanBan,
Integrated Chinese 15 lines+ events are not clear even in English after dialog, requires page flipping or a second copy of the book. Not upto date with current language usage, you will insult people. Many with complex highlighting of the dialog and reference notes (after the dialog) Download with authentication Yes in the back of the book (hard to use) English only (doesn't expose learners to important concepts gradually) Teacher PDF, sometimes baffling answers NO Yes Yes UW,WSU,Shoreline CC, Seattle Central
Easy Chinese 2-6 lines before (page flips required) Notes on the side MP3s and DVD included No *Exercises included on the side English and Chinese unsure unsure Yes* Kinda --easy to see pinyin Yes No
Chinese Grammar Wiki Book

HSK Standard Course , Authorized by Hanban, is developed under the joint efforts of Beijing Language and Culture University Press and Chinese Testing International (CTI).  +++ User:AirOp Short Manageable Dialogs, Logical progression of vocabulary. --- Only available in Simplified

Integrated Chinese  [Unfortunately] it has become the leading Chinese language textbook series in the United States and beyond.  It appears that the 4th edition may have handled a few of the most egregious of faults. including section titles that were longer than the lesson (audio material example:example: Integrated Chinese level 1 part 2 chapter 11 part 3 section a, driving the wrong way to Chinatown, 1 )

Poor Dialogs (overly complex and not realistic) Poor usability (required flipping pages to go between dialog and definitions and pronunciation, text with traditional characters has been blotchy on earlier editions as to be hard to read. 2nd Edition had a good character workbook because it was hand written, so it is possible to guess the flow of writing with a ballpoint pen, but 3rd edition has computer font.

3rd edition still had Awkward level 1 part1 and level 1 part2. ..

The annotations for the new grammar constructs are just too complicated to all be put into one dialog.

Since this is standard at universities and colleges around seattle, you may have to get a account to practice your vocabulary before.

New Practical Chinese Reader is another book that some have used

Easy Chinese

Add your textbook to the list!



  • WeChat is the main instant messenger in Mainland China. Most others are blocked. Contents are assuredly available to the Chinese Government. It has a very convenient translation tool for messages, and it can send voice clips. When using this app to help practice be sure to speak slowly and clearly, and in short clips.
  • QQ This is another popular messenger application in Mainland China

Videos and YouTube:

Drill and Practice Apps:

Reading and Articles

  • Du Chinese -- Professionally recorded audio, well done, limited free content, expensive for full
  • Du Shu


  • Has an excellent screen reader and ability to purchase multiple dictionaries.
  • Can
  • It is very cumbersome switching between English and Chinese


Seattle has many Chinese newspapers available.

Epoch Times -- Traditional characters, freely available

China Daily has been competing with Seattle Times for curb space. It is often available for as little as 25 cents. It may be editorially influenced by the Chinese Government.

There are many other free newspapers available at Chinese grocery stores, some assembled by expats


99 ranch market in Kent


List restaurants where they are OK with us attempting to order in Mandarin.

Purple Dot in the International District - We've gone twice and ordered in Mandarin with some success.


Much of the Seattle Chinatown speaks Cantonese. Many people will speak a little Mandarin.

Chinese Get Togethers

There are a number of churches that meet in the area that speak Mandarin Chinese. is one.

There is a 1.5 Generation Asians Meetup group.


Seattle Public Library and King County Library Systems have many books and videos in Chinese Mandarin .

The Seattle Central Library has a Chinese section in their children's library, many have pronunciation help.

User:AirOp has 3 backpacks full of novice books and stories in Chinese with PinYin. If you would like to borrow one just ask. 十万个儿童为什么 ShiWan Ge ErTong Wei ShenMe 100,000 Children's Whys is my favorite book because I know about the topics and I can quickly pickup grammar and new vocabulary that I will need frequently. Others aren't as interested, but these are not abstract stories.

Another favorite book of mine is about Chinese Proverbs ((If cluttered, will moving to my User:AirOp page)


Classic Books


If you live in the Seattle area and have these books go ahead and make a + next to them. This is a living document.

HSK series +++

Easy Chinese +

Integrated Chinese +



amap (when used with Pleco, it is possible for a foreigner with 1 quarter of Chinese to figure out the bus system)


Browser Extensions:

This makes it so we can put a cursor over a word, and see the definition and pronunciation from within the web browser.

Perapera Chinese Popup Dictionaryby JorisKok

Screen Readers

Pleco (draw a box, or intercept text directly), works most of the time better than anything.

hanping ( drag a marker to the text, sometimes works better than pleco.

Google Translate -- Take a screenshot and you can use this

Translator Apps 翻译 fanyi

Bing -- works in China

Google -- can download offline tool, some blocked in China



  • Has excellent etymology resources and ties in with college curriculum.

Television and Shows:

Growing Up with Chinese (search YouTube, CCTV)

Firefly CCTV (use a screen reader)

Broadcast channel 46.1 AATV


Worldwide Facebook Groups:

Additional Overview Trivia and Notes

Other ways to say Mandarin Chinese: 国语 guoyu (country language) zhong1wen2(Chinese Language), 汉语 han4yu3(Han ethnicity language), 普通话 pu tong hua (common language)

Tones, Characters, Grammar,

The characters can be traditional (Hong Kong, Taiwan and expats often use them) or Simplified.. The simplified characters have less strokes.


There are a number of ways to romanize the words. Pinyin (Pinyin: pin1yin1, Trad: 拼音), ZhuYin, WadeGiles

The most common text book in colleges near Seattle (across the US?) is the Integrated Chinese series. Some learning, including AirOp do not like this book series, and prefers the HSK series of books (published by whom?).