Coyote Chinese: Free Mandarin and Cantonese Courses

Open Chinese Audio and PDF Courses

  • Course One: Lessons 00 - 30 - Basic DLI and FSI Courses Part I (Audio with PDFs)
  • Course Two: Lessons 31 - 54 - Basic DLI and FSI Courses Part II (Audio with PDFs)
  • Course Three: 20 Lessons - Refresher Course (Audio with JPEGs)
  • Course Four: 81 Lessons - Basic and Intermediate Reading and Writing (PDFs only)
  • Course Five: 15 Lessons - Basic Cantonese FSI Course (Audio with PDFs)
  • Course Six: 46 Lessons - Mandarin Maintenance Course (Audio only)

The sources for these courses are various Mandarin and Cantonese courses, in the public domain, from the Defense Language and Foreign Service institutes in the United States. (All original project materials here are released under the Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 License.) These sources are available elsewhere on the Net as complete courses. Lots of sites sell them. A few give them away for free. Over time, free sites go away. The purposes of this project are 1) to reduce and refine about 4 gigabytes of Chinese resources down to the equivalent of several (5+) semesters of University-level Chinese suitable for independent study; and 2) to preserve the result for free public use.

Courses One and Two are based on the DLI/FSI courses which use mp3 audio and pdf files. These have been refined and reduced to weekly lessons for a primarily audio approach. Each week's lesson contains about six thirty minute audio tracks. Just load them into a cheap mp3 player and they will cycle through in the correct order. PDF textbooks have been reduced to vocabulary, pinyin, and Chinese character sections. Each lesson has a text file which briefly describes it. Course Three is a refresher course and uses mp3 audio with JPEG files which can be viewed with or printed from a browser. Course Four is PDF only, independent of the other courses, and covers basic and intermediate reading and writing of Chinese characters. Course Five is the Basic FSI Cantonese course in its entirety. Course Six is for maintaining your comprehension of Mandarin and is a collection of dialogs and stories from the Basic Course's audio.

Important Note:

This project's courses are not just for English speakers. Understanding spoken or written English would help. But anyone can use these materials with a little effort. In Courses One and Two, the FSI relies heavily on English. But the DLI material requires only that the vocabulary list be translated from English into your own language. With either one, you can translate the vocabulary from English to your language using the pdfs and ignore the English on the audio. Course Three and Course Four again would only require the translation of each individual character's English definition into your language as you work through them. Course Five is pure FSI and relies heavily on aural English comprehension. Course Six is pure Chinese.

Android Apps and Source

There are apks and boilerplate source for the first lessons of the Course One series here. They go through about Lesson 13 in the DLI, an equivalent distance in the FSI, and are based on directories 1-5 of Course Six. These are the five apps of the Scholar Chinese series which used to be available on a somewhat monopolistic site for Android apps. Instructions for building more apps in this series are in the gnuDroiderSC zipfile. Everything in this Android download directory is released under the GNU GPL.

Also available: Coyote Russian