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jenny@yoyochinese.com

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1 (626) 408-5334
Office Hours: 9am - 5pm (PST) Monday - Friday
Yoyo Chinese
3579 E. Foothill Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91107
U.S.A.
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Office Hours: 9am - 5pm (PST) Monday - Friday

FAQ

Getting Started
Billing & SubscriptionsBilling
General
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Studying with Yoyo Chinese
Chinese Language
Do you have an app?
We currently don't have an app. But our team is hard at work developing one, so stay tuned!
Will you have an advanced course in the future?
It's a possibility in the future. Right now, we don't have a timeline in place to create one yet.
How does Yoyo Chinese teach Chinese?
Sounds like you're doing your due diligence! ;) Yoyo Chinese makes sure our students understand key language concepts first through clear and easy explanations.

Our lessons are tailored to meet the needs of Western students. All lessons are delivered through an English speaker's perspective. Yoyo Chinese uses a powerful mix of different learning mediums like videos, audios, lecture notes, etc. to make learning easy and fun.
Can I sample a few of your lessons before I commit to a purchase?
Way ahead of you! Our free, basic account gives you access to more than a month's worth of lessons at no cost.

Go explore our "Courses" page to see what lessons are free for our basic members.
How are you different from other language learning companies like Rosetta Stone?
Well, for one thing, big language learning companies like Rosetta Stone rarely provide their students with clear, detailed explanations. Their emphasis is on rote memorization rather than understanding how the language works.

If you watch our lessons, you'll find we don't skimp on the actual teaching part! We go through each key language concept point by point. That's what sets Yoyo Chinese apart.

Want to learn more about how Yoyo Chinese is different? Head on over to our Yoyo Chinese v.s. Alternatives page.
Do you have a specific course that preps students for HSK exams?
We don't have a course that's tailored specifically for the HSK exams. But here's where you'll be (HSK-wise) after you complete our programs:

  • Beginner program: HSK Level 1-2
  • Intermediate program: HSK Level 3-4
  • Chinese character course program: HSK Level 1-2
Will I be getting any physical study materials mailed to me with a subscription?
All of the studying you'll do happens on our site. We don't offer any physical study materials at the moment.
Why should I pay for Yoyo Chinese when there are so many free resources on the internet?
Good question! There are 3 reasons why you would pay for Yoyo Chinese:

a) Quality Teaching: It's easy to find free Chinese lessons online but the quality ranges from average to terrible. Yoyo Chinese has successfully taught global executives and millions of online users like yourself. You shouldn't waste your time looking for content when you can learn with 400+ quality video lessons at your fingertips.

b) Structure: When you study on your own, you spend half your time and energy trying to figure out how to study Chinese. But with Yoyo Chinese, we have a structured curriculum that takes you from beginner to intermediate with absolutely no guesswork on your end. You'll be able to study with reassurance and confidence, knowing you're on the right path.

c) Reinforcement: In addition to our quality lessons and guidance, we help you reinforce what you've learned with downloadable lecture notes, audio reviews, support from teachers, and more. You won't find that kind of quality and commitment to your language learning on free, low-quality sites.

What content is unique to Yoyo Chinese?
All our content features high-quality teaching rarely found on other sites. On top of that, we have special courses that aren't offered anywhere else. Our students rave about 2 courses in particular -Chinese on the Street & Chinese Grammar.
Is there a limit to how many video lessons I can watch per day as a premium member?
There is no limit. As a premium member, you can watch any video at any time of the day in whatever quantity you wish.
What if I'm unable to complete the lessons I want to learn within my subscription period?
If you're unable to finish what you want to learn within the subscription period, you can always renew your membership through the "Renew" option on the "My Account" page.
You promised bonus gifts when I upgrade to premium membership. Where can I find them?
The bonus gifts are available in our "Download Center". You can also find the bonus gifts in your welcome e-mail, which is sent to you once you subscribe.

If you use Gmail, Yoyo Chinese emails sometimes get lost in the "Promotions" tab of your inbox, so be sure to check there if you can't find it in your primary inbox.
Tell me about your refund policy
Oh no :( Are you thinking about leaving Yoyo Chinese? We understand our program may not be the best fit for all Mandarin learners. After all, different people study in different ways! So, if you're not happy with what you get, we'll give you a full refund within the first 15 days. No hassle. No questions asked.

To request a refund, email us at info@yoyochinese.com with the subject line "Refund." We'll process your request the moment we receive your email.
If I decide I want to change the length of my subscription, will I be able to do that?
You can pay the difference (if you're switching to a longer subscription time), or be refunded the difference (if you're switching to a shorter subscription time) within 15 days of purchase.

Let us know what you want by emailing info@yoyochinese.com with the subject line "Change subscription plan" so we can make the changes.
Will I have access to everything on your site with any subscription plan?
Yup. Any premium membership plan grants you full access to all videos and study materials on the Yoyo Chinese site.
What do I get with premium membership?
Here's what you'll get with your premium membership:

  • Full access to a comprehensive, day-by-day study plan to keep you on top of your Mandarin studies
  • 400+ high quality, HD video lessons
  • 100+ video interviews of people from China, featuring authentic, unscripted dialogue to prepare you for real-world conversations.
  • 300+ audio lesson
  • 500+ printable lecture notes
  • Access to the comments section, where our team of experienced teachers will answer your language questions
I don't have time to study right now. Can I put my premium membership on hold?
If you're going on vacation, or just don't have the time to study, we can put your subscription on hold for any period of time you'd like. During that time, you won't have access to premium content. But any progress you make on the study schedule will be there when you continue your studies with us.

If you want to put your subscription on hold, email us at info@yoyochinese.com
What payment options do you have?
We accept all major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express) and PayPal.
How do I renew?
If you'd like to renew your subscription, please go to your "My Account" page, located at the upper right corner of the site, and click the "Renew Membership Now" button.
If I renew in the middle of my subscription plan, will I lose the days I haven't used up yet?
Nope. We wouldn't do that to you! If you renew before your subscription expires, whatever plan you choose to renew with will add onto your current plan.
How much is it to learn with Yoyo Chinese?
We currently offer several subscription plans:
  • 1 month: $45
  • 3 months: $75
  • 6 months: $99
  • 12 months: $159
Will my subscription automatically renew when it expires?
We don't automatically renew subscriptions. Once your current subscription expires, you will no longer have access to premium content.

If you are interested in renewing your subscription, you can do that through your "My Account" page.
Can I pay for my subscription in installments?
We'd like to offer installment plans, but our payment system currently doesn't allow us to do that. For now, all purchases are done through one-time payments only.
Do you offer discounts for group subscriptions?
If you're interested in a bulk purchase, please let us know how many accounts you are thinking about opening so we know what type of discount we can offer you.
What happens after my subscriptions expires?
When your subscription expires, you will no longer have full access to the site. But don't worry! We'll let you know through email a few days before your premium membership runs out. From there, you can choose to renew if you want. Renewal is also available through your "My Account" page or the plans and pricing page.
Where should I start learning?
Good question! It really depends on what kind of learner you are. If you're a casual learner, you can just choose a course on our Courses page and watch whichever lessons that interest you.

If you're trying to reach conversational fluency within a certain amount of time, we'd recommend studying with our Study Schedules. You'll find study plans for becoming conversationally fluent, achieving basic Chinese literacy, and even a 1-month Crash Course for students who are on a time crunch and need to learn some “survival Chinese” quick.
Which study schedule should I study with?
That'd depend on your Mandarin level: If you are an absolute beginner, you should start with the beginner study schedule to achieve basic conversational fluency before you begin anything else.

If you have the basics down already, you can either learn with the intermediate study schedule, the Chinese character course, or both at the same time (if you're ambitious enough!).

The one-month crash course is for people who are only interested in learning survival Chinese. So if you're traveling to China and need to learn some basic phrases quick, the crash course would be perfect for you.

Do I have to stick with the study schedules?
You can learn at your own pace. If you pick things up quickly, and you want to finish three days' worth of lessons in one day, you can definitely do that! If you'd like time to go over what you've just learned, you can spend an entire week on a day in the schedule. Pacing's all up to you!

We do recommend that you learn lessons in the order they're given. We've found that the way we've got the lessons organized is one of the most efficient ways for students to achieve conversational fluency.
Where can I ask my language related questions?
We have a team of highly qualified Chinese teachers who'll be more than happy to answer your language questions within 24 business hours. You can post your questions, thoughts, random musings (talk about your favorite Chinese restaurant!), etc. in the comments section of any video lesson page. The lesson doesn't have to be related to your question.
Your site is displayed incorrectly with missing images. What's going on?
If our site appears strangely formatted, then it's likely you're using Internet Explorer. For the best viewing experience, use one of the following browsers listed below:

- Google Chrome
- Safari
- Firefox
Will I be able to use Yoyo Chinese in China?
You will be able to use Yoyo Chinese in China with a VPN. But beware the Great Firewall of China! Some of our students have experienced slower downloading and buffering speeds.
I've got a new email address I want to use with Yoyo Chinese. How do I change it on your site?
You can change your email address through your "My Account" page. All you have to do is click on the "edit information" button of that page to make your changes.
Help! I can't log-in!
Did you change your email address on the Yoyo Chinese site recently? If so, you'll want to use your new email address to log-in.

If your username and password look right, but you still can't log-in, email us at info@yoyochinese.com. We'll see what we can do to get you back into your account!
Can I download your video lessons so I can study offline?
Okay, so here's the bad news: At the moment, we don't allow our video lessons to be downloaded from our site.

Now here's the good news: Video downloads will be available on our upcoming Yoyo Chinese app, so you can study on your mobile devices even when you're offline. Hurray!
Anki isn't working right for me. What am I doing wrong?
If you haven't read our "Anki for beginners" instructions manual, be sure to check that out here. Chances are, it'll answer most of your questions.

If you're still having trouble getting Anki to work, let us know at info@yoyochinese.com. Our team will be more than happy to help you out!
How long does it take to achieve conversational fluency with Yoyo Chinese?
Students who follow our study schedules day-by-day generally achieve basic conversational fluency within 6 months and conversational fluency within 12 months.

But keep in mind that everyone studies at a different pace. It's just like asking "how long does it take to lose 10 pounds?" It's different for everyone. When calculating how much time you'll need to achieve conversational fluency, don't forget to factor in your study habits! :)
What are the differences between the beginner and intermediate levels?
We've got the gist of how they're different explained below. But if you want to know about these programs in more detail, head over to the "Beginner Study Schedule" and "Intermediate Study Schedule".

Beginner program: Teaches students pinyin pronunciation. It also covers basic keywords, phrases, and simple sentence structures that commonly occur in everyday conversations.

The intermediate study schedule takes it further: Students go beyond the basics to develop their vocabulary and speak in more complicated sentences. After completing the intermediate program, students will be able to express their opinions more fully and discuss their preferences and experiences in greater detail.
Is there a certain order I have to follow to watch your lessons?
You don't have to watch things in a certain order. But we strongly, strongly recommend that you follow the Study Schedules if you want a clear path to conversational fluency. Think of your Study Schedules as your trusty, new study buddies! Check off lessons and tasks as you complete them day by day.

And if you are just starting out, we highly recommend that you complete the beginner study schedule first before you move onto the Intermediate Study Schedule or Character Course Study Schedule.
How do I know if I'm good to move on to the next lesson?
If you are able to follow along with the audio review, you're okay to move on to the next lesson.

If you find you can't keep up with the audio reviews, then you need more practice! Re-watch the video and listen to Yangyang's explanations to soak it all in again.
How do you define "intermediate" in your Intermediate Conversational Chinese course?
Completing the intermediate program means becoming conversationally fluent. You'll be able to converse at length with Chinese speakers. You'll also be able to clearly articulate your opinions and experiences on a wide range of topics.
Is there any way I can test my learning progress?
Yes, our audio reviews were designed to do just that! They're interactive, and will ask you questions on what was covered in the lesson. They're a great way to gauge how well you're grasping the material.

For character course lessons, use the quiz sheets to see how well you're remembering those characters.
How will you correct my pronunciation?
Yoyo Chinese would love to be able to hear all our students' beautiful voices and fine-tune their pinyin pronunciation. But at the moment, we don't have the resources to do that.

We may develop a feature on the site to test our student's pronunciation in the near future. In the meantime, visit our video-based pinyin chart and practice along to the pinyin pronunciation recordings to see if you're saying things correctly.
Do you have business courses? Or courses that tailor to specific needs?
At the moment, we don't have business courses. But once we finish producing our general courses, our team will start thinking about developing ones that cater to specific needs.
Do you offer private tutoring?
We don't offer private tutoring. But we have the next best thing! Our team of qualified Chinese language instructors will answer any of your language related questions within 24 hours.

Just pop into a lesson page (the lesson doesn't have to be related to your question), and ask away in the comments section!
Will I get some kind of certification upon completion of certain programs?
Yoyo Chinese currently doesn't offer certification for completing certain courses. But completing these courses is a reward all in itself, ya know? :)
How many vocabulary words can I expect to know after completing the beginner course? How many after the intermediate course?
In both the intermediate and beginner program, you'll learn around 650 vocabulary words each. That adds up to about 1300 words. Plenty to carry out a conversation with!
Is Chinese difficult to learn?
We get this question all the time! Here's the short answer: it's a myth that Chinese is too difficult to learn.

In fact, Chinese is easier to learn than most Western languages. What makes that true is the lack of tenses, plurals, and gender-specific nouns in the Chinese language.

Now you're probably thinking: "But wait. What about all those complicated looking characters we have to memorize?"

Here's the good news: you can put off learning characters indefinitely. "Pinyin", a way to spell out Chinese sounds using the English alphabet, makes that possible. In other words, you can be conversationally fluent without learning any characters at all. Betcha didn't expect that!

Long story short, it's easy to become conversationally fluent in Chinese if you do it with pinyin.
Do I need to learn Chinese characters?
Absolutely not. Sure, you need Chinese characters to become literate, but you don't need to know Chinese characters if your goal is to have conversations with Chinese people.

That said, you might want to consider learning characters once you hit the intermediate level. One sound in the Chinese language can represent several different characters and meanings. So if you learn characters, it makes it easy to distinguish identical sounds from their various meanings. But remember, it isn't necessary to learn Chinese characters to be conversationally fluent.

If you absolutely have to learn them, we recommend that you use pinyin to get the basics of Chinese down first before you move on to learning characters.
What's the best way to learn characters?
If you've been taught that rote memorization is the way to go, you've been duped!

Chinese characters have a highly logical and intuitive system built right into them. They all contain basic components that are recycled over and over again. Not only do these basic components form the building block nature of all Chinese characters, they're put together in highly logical and predictable ways.

In other words, the best way to learn Chinese characters is to learn the components that make them up. Check out the first lesson of our Chinese Character Course to learn more.
What's the best way to learn tones?
One of the best ways to learn tones is to realize that there are tone equivalents in the English language.

For example, when you say an emphatic "No!", you're essentially saying the Chinese fourth tone. Surprised? There are other English tone equivalents for the first, second, and third tones. Learn about them here in these two, free lessons:

How should I learn Pinyin?
There are a total of 407 pinyin sounds. Luckily for English speakers, you can pronounce almost half of them without any coaching.

For the rest of the more challenging ones, make sure you can see the shape of your teacher's mouth when you learn it.

We have the first ever video-based pinyin chart where you can learn ALL pinyin sounds with an experienced native speaker teacher through short, video tutorials. Best of all, it's completely free!
In what sequence should I learn Chinese?
The sequence of learning spoken Chinese should be:

1) Tones
2) Pinyin
3) Numbers: When you know how to count 0-10, you instantly know how to count from 0-99.
4) Expressions close to English
5) Expressions not close to English

The sequence of learning writing Chinese should be:
Learn Beginner Conversational Chinese → Learn Chinese characters OR
Learn Beginner Conversational Chinese → Learn Intermediate Conversational Chinese → Learn characters
How many characters should I learn?
The general consensus is that you need 3,000 to read a newspaper.

Here's what we say: Take a deep breath and relax! It's might be true that you need to know 3,000 characters if you plan to read The Economist in Chinese.

But if you want to be able to communicate with your Chinese friends by email or text message, and to feel comfortable with some basic Chinese street signs, then you can do that with less than 500 characters under your belt.

If you have basic conversational fluency already, then click here to start mastering 300 of the most common Chinese characters.
What should I know about Mandarin Chinese before I start learning it?
Chinese is inherently a building block language. The more you learn, the easier it gets. It's also very intuitive and logical. For example, the word for electricity is diàn (电). The word for computer is diàn nǎo (电脑), or literally "electronic brain". The word for movie is diàn yǐng (电影), or literally "electronic shadow".

The same goes for Chinese characters, which can be broken down by their components. For example, the character for "see" has a hand component over an eye component, much like how one would shade one's eyes from the sun to gaze into the distance.
When is it a good time to start learning characters?
Delay character learning until you have the basics of spoken Chinese down. Here's why:

Learning spoken and written Chinese at the same time is like tackling two different languages at once. It can become too overwhelming too early on.

Words that are useful to learn in spoken Chinese are not necessarily the easiest characters to learn. Take "thank you" for example. It's one of the first phrases you learn to speak, but the characters for "thank you" are one of the most complicated.

Many students quit Chinese early on because they're encouraged to learn writing and speaking at the same time. Unfortunately, this teaching approach creates a lot of unhappy students, who end up perpetuating the myth that Chinese is too difficult to learn.

Do tones matter?
Yes, tones matter a whole lot! To put it into perspective, that's like asking an English speaker whether vowels matter.

Here's an example of why tones are so important:

The Chinese word for "panda" and "chest hair" are homophones. They use the same pinyin: "xiong mao."

The only difference? Their tones. For panda, it's "xióng māo." For "chest hair" it's "xiōng máo". If you assign the wrong tones to "xiong mao", you could end up saying, "I want to see chest hair" instead of "I want to see pandas." It's scary how important tones can be!
What are Chinese dialects?
Chinese has 6 main dialects and a bajillion other sub-dialects (okay, more like 250). So, let's do a quick run through of just the main 6:

  • Mandarin
  • Cantonese
  • Taiwanese
  • Hunanese
  • Shanghainese
  • Hakka

Mandarin is considered "standard Chinese" and the official language of China. If your goal is to communicate with Chinese people, your best bet is to study the Mandarin dialect.
What's the difference between simplified character and traditional characters? Which should I learn?
There are two categories of Chinese characters: simplified (jiǎn tǐ zì) and traditional (fán tǐ zì). Originally, all characters were the same. But at one point, the government of Mainland China wanted to raise the literacy rate in China, and they came up with ways to make some of the more complicated characters a little simpler and easier to learn.

For example, this is the character for "horse mǎ" in simplified characters: 马. And here's how it looks in traditional characters: 馬.

About 80% of characters are the same in simplified and traditional, so there's not a huge difference between the two.

Do I need to learn how to write characters?
No, you don't need to learn how to write Chinese characters. Ask yourself this: when was the last time you actually had to handwrite English? Focusing on how to read and type is the key.

With our Yoyo 300 Chinese Character Course, we focus on developing our students' recognition skills for commonly and frequently used Chinese characters, so they can communicate effortlessly through email and text.
Are there any differences between the Mandarin in Taiwan and the Mandarin in Mainland China?
The language is the same, just the accents are different. The accent difference is comparable to British English and American English. A few words are different, too, the same way that "gasoline" and "petrol" are different.

Another difference is that Taiwanese writing is usually traditional characters, and Mainland China usually uses simplified.

Other than these differences, the languages are essentially the same.

How can I type pinyin and Chinese characters?
To type pinyin with the tone marks, we recommend this tool on the site mdbg.net. Simply type in pinyin and simply add the tone number after each pinyin word. For example, typing "wo3 ai4 ni3" into the mdbg tool will change it to "wǒ ài nǐ". Ta da! Easy, right?

To type in Chinese characters, take a look at the lecture notes in Chinese character course lesson 4.
Do you have any recommendations for online Chinese dictionaries?
There are a few online Chinese dictionaries our students like:

Learning Chinese seems like an overwhelming task. How can I make commitment to learn?
As cliche as it may sound, a journey of a thousand miles DOES start with a single step.

Like anything in the world that's worthwhile, becoming fluent in a foreign language takes time and effort, but when done right, you'll see progress every single day.

You can keep complaining about how much work it takes, or you can start learning today.