Du Chinese: A Comprehensive Review (2024)

February 03, 2024

Du Chinese is a popular language learning app designed to help users improve their Chinese reading and listening skills. The app offers a wide range of lessons and features to cater to learners at all levels, from beginners to advanced learners.

What Is Du Chinese?

Du Chinese is a reading app that allows users to quickly look up word and sentence translations with a simple tap. The app offers lessons ranging in difficulty from newbie to master, covering topics like everyday life in China, business, and the latest trends in China. The lessons not only include full translation, but also have full human voice recordings which are synchronized with the text.
Du Chinese is available on both iOS and Android platforms, as well as accessible via the Du Chinese website on desktop computers.

How Does Du Chinese Work: Features and Design

The design of Du Chinese is highly praised for its smooth and well-made interface. It packs all the features a learner could want into a clean interface that can be customized to fit the user's needs.
The app offers over 2,500 texts, categorized into “Current Lessons” and “All Stories”, which are stories in multiple chapters (a very popular one is called the Three Kingdoms).
One of the key features of Du Chinese is its Spaced Repetition Flashcard System (SRS), which makes studying unfamiliar words more efficient. The system keeps track of how well you know each word and schedules reviews at optimal intervals to ensure you remember them.

How to Use Du Chinese?

To use Du Chinese, you first need to download the app from the Google Play Store or the App Store. Once you've installed the app, you can navigate to the Discover tab to find lessons that interest you.
You can use the filter option to select lessons relevant to your level, from Newbie all the way to Master. After selecting a lesson, you'll be taken to the lesson overview page that has a short description of the lesson you're about to read.

Who Is Du Chinese For?

Du Chinese is suitable for anyone looking to improve their Chinese reading and listening skills. It caters to learners at all levels, from beginners to advanced learners.
However, there’s a potential shortage of advanced content, which might leave more proficient learners yearning for more.

How Can Du Chinese Help Improve My Chinese?

Du Chinese can significantly improve your Chinese reading ability by providing exposure to a variety of sentence structures, vocabulary, and situations that you would come across if you lived in China. The app also allows you to save words and idioms as flashcards for review, helping to reinforce your learning. It also benefits your listening skills, as all lessons have their audio recorded by humans and allow you to adjust the speed.

What Are the Levels Of Du Chinese Reading?

Du Chinese offers articles across six different levels, in accordance with HSK levels (Newbie, Elementary, Intermediate, Upper Intermediate, Advanced and Master). This ensures that learners at all levels can find content that is suitable for their current proficiency level.

How Many Lessons Are There In Du Chinese?

Du Chinese offers over 2,500 texts, providing a wealth of content for learners to choose from. New lessons are added on a regular basis, ensuring that there is always fresh content for users to engage with.

Does Du Chinese Include Flashcards?

As we mentioned before, Du Chinese includes a feature that allows users to save words and idioms as flashcards for review. This can be a powerful tool for reinforcing vocabulary and improving recall.

Pros: What Makes Du Chinese So Great for Learning Chinese?

Du Chinese is praised for its high-quality content, user-friendly interface, and useful features. The app's content is well-graded and accessible even for beginners, and it covers a wide range of topics, from everyday dialogues to original stories.
The app includes features like a built-in dictionary, reliable translations, grammar explanations, and flashcards.

Also, its bite-sized content makes it ideal for short study sessions.

Cons: What Is Du Chinese Lacking for Learning Chinese?

One significant downside is the lack of advanced content (Advanced and Master levels), which leave advanced learners craving more. Moreover, while the lessons are enjoyable, they are often brief, occasionally not surpassing a few pages.

Du Chinese Pricing: Is Du Chinese Free?

Du Chinese is free to download, and a variety of lessons are available for free. However, with a premium subscription, you get access to all the lessons in the app.

The price for one month is $14.99, but if you buy a yearly subscription, the price decreases significantly. The good thing is that they offer a 50% discount to students! You can contact them for more information at info@duchinese.net.

Du Chinese Pricing: Is the Du Chinese Subscription Worth It?

The value of a Du Chinese subscription can depend on the individual learner's needs and goals. The app offers a wealth of high-quality content and useful features, making it a valuable resource for those serious about improving their Chinese reading skills.
However, it is recommended to try out the free content first to see if the app suits your learning style and needs, as well as other learning apps like The Chairman’s Bao, Dot Languages, Niu Chinese or Du Shu.

Du Chinese vs. The Chairman’s Bao

Both Du Chinese and The Chairman’s Bao are popular apps for learning Chinese. They both provide interesting articles written at varying levels of difficulty. Nonetheless, The Chairman’s Bao distinguishes itself as a simplified Chinese news site. With a vast archive of articles surpassing 9,000, it guarantees a constant flow of engaging content. Also, their subscription starts at 10$ per month, cheaper than Du Chinese.

Du Chinese vs. Du Shu

Both apps cater to a range of learners, from beginners to advanced, but they differ significantly in their features, design, and user experience. Du Shu takes a more minimalist approach, focusing on reading practice with extensive support for learners to understand and analyze texts. It offers thousands of sentences for each HSK level, with the complexity increasing at higher levels.
Pinyin can be shown or hidden for individual characters or sentences, and tone colors are added for pronunciation guidance. Also, the app can automatically create exercises to practice grammar, writing, and reading skills.

Would I Recommend Du Chinese to Chinese Language Learners

Personally, I would highly recommend Du Chinese for Chinese language learners. With its high-quality content, user-friendly interface, and useful features, it is a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their Chinese reading and listening skills.


In summary, Du Chinese stands out as an exceptional resource for learners. Its well-crafted design, combined with a vast library of over 2,500 texts, caters to a broad spectrum of learners. The app's intuitive interface, complete with human voice recordings and a Spaced Repetition Flashcard System, provides an immersive learning experience that is both engaging and effective!

Note: Du Chinese focuses on reading and listening comprehension. Those seeking to improve their speaking skills may need to supplement their study with additional resources.

About the Author

Sara Tao is a Chinese language and culture enthusiast who enjoys sharing her learning journey via Instagram (@saratao_chinese).

SARA TAO author profile