Mandarin from Scratch with Lingq

This is a post I put on the ‘ask Steve’ forum but also am interested in knowing what has worked for other students of Mandarin

I’m really enjoying learning Spanish with Lingq and am wanting to start Mardarin. I seen some other posts about Mandarin but I think my question is a little different.

With Spanish I pretty much count a word as ‘known’ when I can recognize it with my eyes and know how the word sounds. However with Mandarin I believe lingq still uses the Charaters.

Should I only mark them as know if I can understand (recogonize) the character and the way it’s pronounced? This way I wouldn’t be using pinyin.

Or should I just learn to read pinyin and the sound. (not use charaters at all with linq)
I hope this doesn’t sound confusing and stupid.

I’m also thinking of trying out
Thanks for the help


My advice Chris is to do the characters from the beginning even if it is a long grind. LingQ really only works based on characters.

Nothing prevents you from enjoying our content just with the audio and pinyin, but I recommend going with the characters as soon as you have had a little exposure to the language.

Yes, and use other resources to help you with the characters.


doesn’t sound stupid at all. I always felt that learning the characters (recognizing, not necessarily writing them out) is very helpful, because with pinyin alone I felt I couldn’t remember all these homophones, that have different meaning (and characters) but sound almost the same. If you use a software dictionary, you can read very fast even if you don’t immediately recognize many characters. The key to improving character recognition is a lot of reading. In the beginning I used graded content with both characters and pinyin but then moved on to authentic content on the web.

As for the dictonary I recommend the MDBG chinese reader which is a commercial product, it costs about 60 US$ I believe and is such a great tool. I wish I had it when I started out.

Hope that helps, good luck!