BBC Languages Chinese provides solid learning resources for beginning Mandarin Chinese learners. They have created a short introductory course called "Real Chinese" that teaches basic, practical Chinese for ordering food and drinks, shopping, asking directions, etc.

The BBC has done an amazing job of providing free learning resources for many of the world's languages, including French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and others.

This is a great site for total beginners to start learning basic Mandarin Chinese that for practical use while traveling in China and Taiwan.

From Website

A lively introduction to Mandarin Chinese in 10 short parts.

Follow our introductory online video course in Chinese.

For starters, Introducing yourself, Family introductions, Saying a bit about yourself, Ordering drinks, Ordering a meal, Doing some shopping, Asking for directions, Public transport, Finding and booking a hotel

Visit BBC Languages Mandarin Chinese.

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Mandarin Chinese Learning Resources