Hacking Chinese

A better way of learning Mandarin

31 Twitter feeds to help you learn Chinese

This week’s topic is fairly straightforward: How can we use Twitter to help us learning Chinese? This can be divided into three separate categories:


  1. Learning how to learn Chinese
  2. Language learning or general learning
  3. Chinese input

Generally speaking, the first two categories are more interesting because it’s much harder than you might think to find people who write mostly about how to learn. Thus, this post is the result of hard work.

Naturally, this doesn’t mean that I have managed to find everything of interest on Twitter! In fact, part of the reason I write this article is to expand my horizons, so don’t hesitate to recommend more/better Twitter feeds, please leave a comment! I’m mostly interested in suggestions belonging to category one and two.

To view all these lists, please check my Twitter account here.

Learning how to learn Chinese on Twitter (view all on Twitter)

Hacking Chinese
(keywords: language learning, learning strategies, learning Chinese)
Naturally, I’m going to put myself as number one, simply because if you like what I do in general, it makes sense to follow me on Twitter since I share most of what I read online and offline. I also follow all users listed in this article and retweet the best.

All Japanese All the Time
(keywords: language learning, Japanese content, learning strategies)
Even though Khatzumoto writes mostly about Japanese (there is some Chinese in there, too), this doesn’t mean that what he writes is only for students of Japanese. He tweets quite a lot and not everything is useful, but the really good tweets make it worth it anyway.

Chinese Hacks
(keywords: about China/Taiwan, language learning, vocabulary and grammar)
Although superficially similar to Hacking Chinese, Dave actually covers a wider range of topics than I do, including living in Taiwan, actual Chinese grammar and vocabulary plus anything else of interest he finds related to Chinese. Excellent!

Peckish Laowai
(keywords: learning Chinese, about China, vocabulary)
Generally worthwhile Twitter feed with a mixture of personal comments, notes about vocabulary and occasional links to awesome articles. Don’t miss articles on the website, which are of a very high quality indeed.

(keywords: learning Chinese, about China, Chinese media)
John Pasden’s Twitter feed is a must for any Chinese learner. He provides a mixture of commentary on China, Chinese and language learning, along with more personal thoughts and observations.

East Asia Student
(keywords: about China, vocabulary and grammar, about East Asia)
As the name implies, this twitter feed provided by Hugh Grigg is mainly concerned with East Asia, but I think China and Chinese are much more in focus than other countries. Frequently comments on current events.

Confused Laowai
(keywords: language learning, learning Chinese, Chinese content)
Niel de la Rouviere doesn’t tweet often, but when he does, it’s worth looking at. Most tweets are about learning Chinese in some way, but he also talks about language learning in general, along with some personal commentary.

Critical Owl
(keywords: learning Chinese, teaching Chinese, language learning)
Jacob Gill tweets about something I think is almost unique, namely teaching Chinese. Most people will tell you what or how to learn, but Jacob will let you know what it’s like teaching Chinese. He also tweets about language learning and his life in Taiwan.

(keywords: learning Chinese, about China, Chinese media)
Brandon tweets about a wide variety of topics, not all related to learning Chinese, but most of them still interesting. When he tweets about Chinese, it’s most likely to be about language learning or Chinese media. He also writes about life in China.

(keywords: podcasts, about China, learning Chinese)
ChinesePod was my favourite source of audio (especially the advanced lessens) for a few years. This twitter feed provides much more than that, though, mainly tweeting about China and Chinese language.

(keywords: learning Chinese, about Chinese, language learning)
This is Steven Daniels twitter feed, which sadly isn’t updated very often, but often contains interesting links about language learning in general and learning Chinese in particular, along with insights into the Chinese language.

Chinese Teacher’s Blog
(keywords: learning Chinese, teaching Chinese, about Chinese)
Even though it says “teacher”, most of these tweets are actually about learning Chinese. Sure, the angle will sometimes be a little bit different, but most things found here are relevant for students and teachers alike.

Living Taipei
(keywords: learning Chinese, learning languages, Taiwan)
Again, this feed isn’t really about living in Taipei, but more about learning Chinese and teaching English. This means that although some links are irrelevant, most are still about language learning in general or Chinese in particular. Good stuff.

The Mandarin Review
(keywords: about Chinese, grammar, vocabulary and word usage)
This feed isn’t updated very often, but when it is, the links are usually worth following. Topics are mostly about grammar or word usage, but language learning also pops up now and then. Few reviews though, so the name is a bit misleading.

Chineese SE
(keyword: q&a, discussion, about Chinese)
This is the twitter account linked to Chinese Stack Exchange (a website for questions and answers about Chinese). The twitter feed merely updates with new questions, but following on Twitter is probably easier than subscribing to the website.

Zhongwen Movies (keywords: TV and film, learning Chinese, about China)
Even though TV and film are prominent features of this feed, it’s actually about much more than that, including language learning, vocabulary, idioms and much more. Belongs both in this list and the one below about Chinese content.

The World of Chinese
(keywords: about China, about Chinese, Chinese culture)
An aptly named feed that keeps track of what’s going on in China, but focusing on things that are language related. Mostly posts about website updates, but is still worth following.

Language learning or general learning on Twitter (view all on Twitter)

Scott Young
(keywords: productivity, general learning, life)
As far as I know, Scott has never learnt Chinese, but I include his feed here anyway, simply because he posts so many useful links, both to his own website and to others. A must, both for learning and other purposes.

Aaron G. Myers
(keywords: language learning, learning strategies)
Even though almost none of Aaron’s tweets are related to learning Chinese in particular, most of what he tweets about is still relevant for Chinese learners. I particularly like his unconventional, hands-on language learning tips.

Wiktor Kostrzewski
(keywords: language learning, language teaching)
This is Polish guy who tweets about learning English, but like most of the articles on Hacking Chinese, what he writes is relevant for any language. Make sure to check out his website, too.

Language Mastery
(keywords: language learning, general learning)
As the name implies, this user tweets about learning languages in general, so even if few links or tweets are about Chinese in particular, I’ve found lots of interesting stuff here. Also pretty good for catching things from the polyglot community.

Chinese input on Twitter (view all on Twitter)

(keywords: idioms, vocabulary, learning Chinese)
I hesitated long before putting FluentFlix here rather than in the first category. However, I decided to make it number one here because I follow FluentFlix mostly because of the Chinese content. The most interesting tweets deal with idioms and vocabulary. A must!

Carl Gene Fordham
(keywords: translation, about Chinese, exercises)
Translation is one of my favourite ways of learning languages and therefore, I really enjoy Carl’s feed. He tweets about translation, posts exercises and discusses Chinese in general. Probably more interesting for advanced learners.

Chinese Sentence a Day
(keywords: sentences, pinyin, translation)
Carl Gene Fordham maintains this tweet, providing Twitter with daily Chinese sentences, including Pinyin and translation. In difference to many other similar feeds, this isn’t necessarily only for beginners, I find interesting stuff here sometimes myself.

Social Mandarin (keywords: Chinese media, vocabulary, about Chinese)
This feed is mostly filled with media, vocabulary and the occasional link about Chinese language. It’s mostly directed towards beginner or intermediate students, but it’s worthwhile for more advanced learners as well.

VOA Chinese
(keywords: news, headlines, sentences)
This is the Chinese version of Voice of America, which contains news in Chinese. Most tweets are actually links to articles, but simply reading the summaries or headlines is quite good practice as well. This just one feed among many similar feeds.

(keywords: vocabulary, dictionary, word of the day)
This is simply automatically generated links to dictionary entries, posted once a day. I like having it my feed because sometimes, interesting vocabulary or word usage pops up.

Daily Chinese Words
(keywords: vocabulary, word usage, sentences)
Brandon (see above) tweets about word usage, posting example sentences that can often be read only on Twitter (you don’t need to follow the links). Mostly for beginners and intermediate students.

Transparent Chinese
(keywords: sentences, vocabulary, grammar)
Tweets suitable mainly for beginners or lower intermediate students. word of the day style. Occasionally also tweets about language learning and things related to China in general.

Abu Chinese
(keywords: sentences, vocabulary, translation)
Word/sentence of the day style, with occasional links to language related articles. A weird mixture of very boring and fairly interesting sentences (some automatically generated, others not?).

Chinese to Learn
(keywords: Chinese media, music, Chinese culture)
Mostly tweets about music, but sometimes also about other cultural activities. The only tweet I know about that focuses almost exclusively on music (there should be more like this).

Is anything missing on this list?

Please let me know! Any suggestions will be put on my watch list and added later if I think that they provide something which is not represented above or do it better than those I have already introduced. Thank you!

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  1. Geoff Wilson says:

    A great list, and I’ve now followed many of them. It would be really useful if you did a similar thing for Sina Weibo accounts that are good for learning Chinese.

  2. An excellent list of Twitter feeds to follow. I’ve missed some of them. Definitely gonna follow them now.

    Thanks for the mention too!

  3. Chris says:

    Very nice overview, thanks!

  4. Dianne says:

    I enjoy Tom’s posts on Seeing Red in China about teaching in China. He has unique insight, I think. (@SeeingRedChina)

    Great list. I don’t follow more than half of these. Will have to poke around a bit more. 谢谢您!

  5. Thanks for sharing. Try also @AomenTV for mix of Simplified Chinese and English input

  6. It is a great list – I am certainly going to follow those Twitter accounts I am not already following. So thank you for compiling and sharing.

    I am but a small fish in a big pond. However – thank you for including me. 🙂

  7. chezdor says:

    Great list, thanks!

  8. Thank you for the double shout-out, Olle! I knew of some of the folks you listed, but thanks for brining so many great new language learning feeds to my attention.

  9. Thank you for the list, found some new ones to follow!

  10. A very nice list! Thank you for including me.
    I like your article – Why learning Chinese through music is underrated. Learning Mandarin through singing songs is an enjoyable and effective way to learn Chinese! Sing to learn:)

  11. How about @BasicMandarin?


  12. Ed Bockelman says:

    Since you wrote your article, I’ve started tweeting Chinese vocabulary:

    @VocabChinese a new Chinese word each day.

  13. Since this article has been published we started to post a lot of China and Chinese language related information our twitter @LiveTheLanguage

  14. Brandon Wang says:

    I like to follow @ChineseGrammar (run by John Pasden’s company) and @Nciku!

  15. Hugh Grigg says:

    Thanks for the mention, Olle.

    “but I think China and Chinese are much more in focus than other countries. ”

    I would it’s about 99.5% China / Chinese. I don’t actually *really* learn Japanese or Korean, just meddle with them and admire the look of the writing 😛

    To address that, I’ve actually set up a new presence which I’ll shamelessly plug here. Chinese Boost ( https://twitter.com/ChineseBoost ) focuses entirely on Mandarin Chinese, without all the random stuff I’ve tended to put up on East Asia Student over the years.

    1. Olle Linge says:

      Hi Hugh! Shameless boosting is cool. Thank you for the recommendation, I will definitely keep an eye on you. 🙂

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