Recommended books

Recommended books to begin learning Mandarin Chinese (HSK 1)

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Just started your Mandarin Chinese learning journey? Here is a list of books to help you build a solid knowledge base and pass the HSK 1 exam or other Chinese language examinations such as TOCFL and CEFR.

Pick the perfect books for you

Have you recently decided that learning Mandarin Chinese is something you want to do and don’t know where to start? We are pleased to tell you that you have come to the right place.

We invested time researching the marketplace for the best Mandarin Chinese textbooks and other printed materials, so you don’t have to. Just scroll, read and pick the ones you like or need the most. 

Before you start browsing, we want to let you know that for a complete and solid foundation in Mandarin Chinese, we recommend that you pair your printed or other online learning resources with our Online Mandarin Chinese Dictionary for HSK for the simple reason that it is the only online dictionary that you will ever need to learn Chinese both thoroughly and quickly.

Enjoy your Mandarin Chinese learning journey and feel free to return to us anytime; our doors are always open. 

HSK Standard Course 1 is designed for beginners who must acquire basic Chinese language abilities and students who aim to take the level 1 test. It has summed up the test’s focuses, difficulties, language points, topics, functions, and situations. Even though the HSK level 1 test only involves listening and reading sections, the HSK Standard Course 1 book provides listening, reading, speaking, and writing training. The book suggests it can be finished in 34 class hours and allow students to pass the HSK level 1 test. Apart from the textbook, there is also a supporting workbook of exercises that focuses on improving students’ listening, reading, and writing skills to refine their language abilities. the 

There are 15 lessons in this book. The first and second lessons mainly focus on pronunciation, which includes all basic Pinyin concepts. These two lessons also create a substantial foundation for further study. Afterwards, each lesson provides corresponding drills to expand and strengthen pronunciation skills.  

There are 15 lessons in this course. The topics are as follows:

Lesson 1 你好 nǐ hǎo Hello

Lesson 2 谢谢 xièxie Thank you

Lesson 3 jiào 什么 shénme 名字 míngzi ? What’s your name?

Lesson 4 shì de 汉语 Hànyǔ 老师 lǎoshī She is my Chinese teacher

Lesson 5 女儿 nǚér jīn Nián 二十 èr shí suì Her daughter is 20 years old this year

Lesson 6 huì shuì 汉语 Hànyǔ   –  I can speak Chinese

Lesson 7 今天 jīntiān háo What’s the date today

Lesson 8 xiǎng chá I’d like some tea

Lesson 9 儿子 érzi zài 哪儿 nǎr 工作 gōngzuò Where does your son work

Lesson 10 Néng Zuò 这儿 zhè r ? Can I sit here?

Lesson 11 现在 xiànzài diǎn ? What’s the time now?

Lesson 12 明天 míngtiān 天气 tiānqì 怎么 zěnme yàng ? What will the weather be like tomorrow?

Lesson 13 zài xué zuò 中国 Zhōngguó cài ne He is learning to cook Chinese food

Lesson 14 mǎi le 不少 bù shǎo 衣服 yīfu She has bought quite a few clothes

Lesson 15 shì Zuò 飞机 fēijī lái de I came here by air


54 Essential Chinese Grammar Wiki grammar points

Part of the larger Chinese Grammar Wiki Book series, this volume focuses specifically on the grammar points required for the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) Level 1 standard test of Mandarin Chinese proficiency.

HSK 1 Chinese Grammar includes:

  • 54 grammar points aligned with the HSK 1 test
  • Over 600 simple example sentences illustrating the grammar points
  • Pinyin and English translation for all word and sentences 
  • Simple grammar explanations that any learner can understand
  • Extensive interlinking of similar grammar points
  • Full keyword index (with pinyin)
  • Learner-centric design.

Fantastic Resource for all the Visual Learners out there

This Mandarin picture dictionary covers the 1500 most useful Mandarin Chinese words and sentences. Each word and sentence is given in Chinese characters with Hanyu Pinyin pronunciation and English definition. The words are grouped into 37 themes or topics. Each theme has 25 to 35 words and 5 to 8 sentences and is richly illustrated with colour photographs. 

A free CD contains audio recordings by native Mandarin speakers of all the vocabulary and sentences. A brief introduction to Chinese pronunciation and tones is included and indexes at the back allow you to quickly look up any of the words or characters in the book. Since this dictionary covers all the words for the AP Chinese Language and Culture Exam and the Chinese HSK Levels 1 & 2, it is an ideal test prep resource for a visual learner.


Learn to write 100 characters in Chinese

Chinese students quickly and efficiently learn how to write and remember Chinese characters. This workbook includes the fundamental characters needed to pass the international HSK 1 exam, as well as over 300 additional vocabulary words in which these fundamental characters are found.

With over 500 practice pages, including individual character practice pages and word combination practice pages, this book will equip you with the knowledge and confidence needed to write Chinese characters and successfully pass the HSK 1 exam.

Key features of Learn to Write Mandarin Chinese Characters (HSK 1) Volume 1 include:


  • A simple step-by-step process of the correct stroke order, making it easier to remember how to write each character.
  • Adequate boxes which have a cross-style guide to guide you as you practice free-hand writing
  • Over 150 essential Chinese characters, helping you build a strong foundation for future learning

Learn to write 100 characters in Chinese

Billions of people worldwide speak Chinese—and now you can learn to write 100 characters in the world’s most-spoken language! Whether you’re taking a course, looking to get ahead at work, or just want to up the ante when you’re communicating with Chinese-speaking family and friends, Chinese Character Writing For Dummies gets you up to speed fast.

This workbook will guide your first steps in learning Chinese characters. It contains 100 basic characters, including 44 simple characters (pictograms and symbols) and 56 composite characters (ideograms and ideo-phonograms). It helps you little by little to familiarize yourself with the pieces of the puzzle most frequently used, as well as some basic Chinese writing rules.  

An Amazon best-seller

  • Offers online bonus content that includes instructional videos, downloadable flashcards, and printable writing pages
  • Shows you how to write 100 Chinese characters
  • Provides instruction for beginners, students, and lifelong learners
  • Gives you helpful tips on how to memorize characters

This series also contains a Chinese for Dummies Textbook which teaches basic grammar, as well as the necessary vocabulary to make introductions and greetings, use proper etiquette, make small talk, make transportation arrangements, order food and beverages, ask directions, deal with money, shop, access recreation, and handle an emergency.

  • Concentrates on Mandarin Chinese and features new and revised content
  • Includes major updates to all the necessary foundational information needed to speak Chinese
  • Covers grammar, verb conjugations, and pronunciation
  • Offers a refreshed mini-dictionary complete with even more vocabulary
  • Find free conversational audio tracks online

Learning Mandarin Chinese Characters Vol. 1 & 2

Volume 1: Reinforce your written Chinese with this practice book for the best-selling Tuttle Learning Chinese Characters. Learning Mandarin Chinese Characters helps students quickly learn the basic Chinese characters fundamental to the language. Intended for self-study and classroom use, this character workbook presents 178 Chinese characters and over 534 common words using these characters.

Key features of this Chinese workbook include: Designed for HSK Level 1 and AP exam prep, Learn the 178 most basic Chinese characters, Example sentences and over 534 vocabulary items, Step-by-step writing diagrams and practice boxes.

Volume 2: Reinforce your written Chinese with this practice book for the best-selling Tuttle Learning Chinese Characters. Learning Mandarin Chinese Characters helps students quickly learn the basic Chinese characters fundamental to the language. Intended for self-study and classroom use, this character workbook presents 171 Chinese characters and over 513 common words using these characters. The meaning and pronunciation are given along with the key vocabulary compounds and an example sentence. 

Mandarin Chinese for Beginners – Learning Conversational Chinese 

Chinese is a fascinating language that can seem impossibly difficult to learn at first but is relatively easy if you focus on the spoken language. 

The revised edition contains new dialogues, cultural notes, IT, smartphone and social media vocabulary and new manga illustrations, as well as:

  • Real-life dialogues and situations help you to converse with confidence 
  • Sentence pattern exercises and drills help to reinforce what you are learning 
  • Native-speaker audio recordings teach you to pronounce 
  • Chinese accurately Interesting notes, idioms, sayings, and poems introduce you to Chinese culture 

Mandarin Chinese for Beginners contains lots of extra hints and tips drawn from the authors’ many years of experience in teaching the language in adult evening classes. Answer Keys to the exercise questions are provided, and an Extend Your Vocabulary section in each chapter helps you to remember and understand more words that you’d think possible. Photos and insider tips about China’s culture and its many unique places, add spice to the adventure! 

Learn Mandarin Chinese for Beginners Textbook 

✓ Have you ever been urged to learn Mandarin but have been put off by other people saying it looks too tricky?

Trust me, and it is not as difficult as other people say. We agree that learning Mandarin can be seen as quite a daunting experience, which is why books like this exist.

As soon as you know what to expect and some rules regarding how to read and write Mandarin as a beginner, you will be well on your way to mastering the language. WhWhat’sreat about L” in Mandarin Chinese for Beginners” i” is that it comes with a composite workbook that you can use to hone your Mandarin skills.

With this book, we will be explaining everything about Mandarin to you.

This will include some history and help you understand your learning style. This will ensure that you will perfect Mandarin in the quickest amount of time possible! You will find yourself understanding the four Mandarin tones, the different ways to master pinyin, and even learning some personal life lessons.

We have tailored this book to be unique for each student and not by using a one-size-fits-all approach.

It does not matter why you are learning Mandarin. As long as you have the passion and dedication to put time aside every single day and commit to learning the language, we will have you conversing with native Mandarin speakers in no time at all.

This book is your best guide!

By picking it up, you have taken the first step in learning Mandarin, and we are so excited to be on this unique, fun, and exciting journey with you.

Learn Mandarin Chinese for Beginners Workbook

✓ When learning Mandarin, you can learn all the rules, but you must practice. But where do you go to find the best resources?

You do not need to look any further because we are here to help!

With this workbook, you can expect to make great strides toward becoming proficient in Mandarin. You will learn how to read and write essential Mandarin words and phrases.

Upon completing this workbook, you can converse with a native Mandarin-speaking individual. You will learn about the weather, how to tell time, how to count, how to order a meal, and even how to ask about another person’s occupation.

You cannot learn Mandarin without ensuring a degree of culture embedded into your work. We have included some Chinese idioms for you to practice reading. According to history, these specific idioms inspire you to continue on your journey to becoming fluent in Mandarin.

As you immerse yourself in this book’s content, you will begin to feel the joy of correctly translating your first pinyin word into Chinese characters. When you can shuffle your knowledge between English, pinyin, and Chinese characters, you will be ready to tackle the next hurdle of Mandarin.

For now, remember how you felt when you started learning Mandarin. Keep that passion burning, as it is going to make the process of learning Mandarin that much easier!

A Boy and his Dragon

Once upon a time, a Little Boy was living in a village near the woods. One day, a Dragon came out of the cave secluded in the middle of the forest and began to relentlessly follow the Little Boy, always breathing on the back of his neck, burning the young boy at his slightest misstep.

The child received refuge in an old Temple where there were no mirrors allowed, and it was forbidden to speak of life before entering the sanctum. Ancient books, hidden rooms with unimaginable treasures and beauty beyond comprehension, became part of the boy’s new life.

Time went by until, one day, the now old young boy accidentally glimpses his own reflection in a pond. The Dragon smiled back.

Come for Knowledge. Stay for Wisdom.

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