pinyin practice game

4 Pinyin Practice Games to Jumpstart Your Mandarin Speaking Skills

If you’re a native English speaker, you’re enjoying a luxury.

Not only do many non-English speakers say that learning English is incredibly difficult, but native English speakers also don’t have to deal with tones.

If you’re an English speaker learning Chinese, then you probably know firsthand that learning Mandarin tones is no walk in the park.

To really master Mandarin tones and 拼音 (pīn yīn) — Chinese romanization, you have to undo everything you think you know about language.

But don’t fret! It doesn’t have to be difficult to learn pinyin and tones in Mandarin. In fact, you can spend time playing some fun (and free) online pinyin practice games to improve your pinyin skills.

We made a list of some great games for you to play right now!


How Can Pinyin Practice Games Improve My Chinese?

  • Pinyin is a core part of learning Chinese, so using association games to match pinyin with 汉字 (hàn zì) — Chinese characters and English can only improve your Mandarin. Pinyin, hanzi and their English definitions all go hand-in-hand to achieve fluency. Pinyin practice games can help you hone in on your association and comprehension skills.
  • Tones can be a tricky part of learning Mandarin, and some of these pinyin practice games focus on listening and speaking pinyin words. Any Mandarin language learner knows that Chinese tones are one heck of a foreign concept, especially if English is your native language. Pinyin practice games are a great way to not only figure out how tones work but also to perfect your speaking and listening skills. Tones don’t have to be scary!
  • Making Chinese fun through games and other forms of media, rather than strict adherence to lessons, can help you improve your fluency in your leisure time. Lessons and other concrete forms of language learning are essential to mastering Mandarin Chinese, but playing a fun pinyin practice game here and there is a great way to improve your language skills without being bored out of your mind. Learning Mandarin can definitely be fun!

Searching for more fun ways to learn Pinyin? Check out FluentU.

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4 Pinyin Practice Games to Jumpstart Your Mandarin Speaking Skills

Mandarin Chinese Tone Drill — PC


This simple, user-friendly pinyin practice game from Arch Chinese is part of my personal Mandarin practice plan! This game focuses on matching spoken words with their correct tone. Simply select single or multiple syllables (we suggest single syllables for beginners), press play and match the word you hear to the correct tone.

This pinyin practice game is free to use and ideal for all levels of learners, especially those who are struggling to memorize how tones sound.

You technically won’t be learning any written pinyin words with this game, but you’ll be able to practice the tones associated with particular pinyin. If you really want to master the listening aspect of Mandarin, this is the pinyin practice game for you.

Chinese Pinyin Game — iPhone


Chinese Pinyin Game from Majestech LLC is a free, must-have app for learning pinyin. This app trains your ear by comparing similar-sounding pinyin words to each other.

Here’s how it works: Choose from three different games: “Choose One,” “Syllable” and “Word.” While they differ slightly, all three games focus on pinyin reading, listening and comprehension. For the most part, each game involves listening to an audio file of a word and selecting the correct pinyin from a list to match it with. You also have the option of exploring the games’ pinyin charts.

Chinese Pinyin Game looks like it’s designed for beginner learners, but intermediate and advanced learners can definitely use this app to brush up on their pinyin skills. Plus, if you love cute graphics, this app has those covered.

Learn Pinyin — Android


Learn Pinyin from Unik Edu Solution Education is an app that’s free to use and offers premium paid features.

This app is designed for kids, making it great for beginners. It uses simple gameplay to help learners understand how tones, consonants and pinyin work. You can also learn how to associate certain pinyin with their respective hanzi through the “Pinyin Chart” game.

This app is unique in that there isn’t a staunch focus on vowels, the part of pinyin where tones usually reside. Instead, the focus is directed at learning consonants in Mandarin, which may be difficult for newbies to figure out. If you want to start from the absolute beginning with pinyin and tones to build a solid foundation, this is a great app to try out.

Tone Practice Game — PC


We’ve been covering a lot of beginner-friendly practice games in this list. Here’s something for the intermediate and advanced learners out there.

Guihuazhu’s Tone Practice Game is an in-browser, quiz-style pinyin practice game. Like many of the games we’ve covered, it’s an uncomplicated game that’s easy to access and free to use.

To play, follow the instructions of each question. For example, the first question is “How to say 你好? (Hello)” and a multiple-choice box provides four different pinyin options. Select the correct one to move on to the next question. This pinyin practice game becomes increasingly difficult with each question and includes surnames, adverbs and more difficult grammar.

This isn’t ideal for beginners because you’ll need to have a decent understanding of tones before playing this game. However, if you’re an intermediate or advanced learner who wants to memorize written pinyin, you can definitely benefit from this game.


Did you find some of these pinyin practice games enticing? Why not add one or two to your daily Chinese practice regimen?

After all, it certainly doesn’t have to be a chore to learn Mandarin. Everybody needs to have a little fun to keep learning a new language fresh!

And One More Thing...

If you want to continue learning Chinese with interactive and authentic Chinese content, then you'll love FluentU.

FluentU naturally eases you into learning Chinese language. Native Chinese content comes within reach, and you'll learn Chinese as it's spoken in real life.

FluentU has a wide range of contemporary videos—like dramas, TV shows, commercials and music videos.

FluentU brings these native Chinese videos within reach via interactive captions. You can tap on any word to instantly look it up. All words have carefully written definitions and examples that will help you understand how a word is used. Tap to add words you'd like to review to a vocab list.

FluentU's Learn Mode turns every video into a language learning lesson. You can always swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you're learning.

The best part is that FluentU always keeps track of your vocabulary. It customizes quizzes to focus on areas that need attention and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a 100% personalized experience.

Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store.

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