With so much information out there on the web, it can be really tricky narrowing down your search to find the information that you really want, and that will benefit you the most. Seriously. You could spend an entire day online and not have anything to show for your time. So that's why I decided to make it a little easier for you guys by throwing together a list of resources, online and off, that I find to be extremely valuable. What's your favorite source for Chinese learning? Let us know!
1. Pleco- This dictionary is the single most useful tool out there, in my humble opinion, for learning Chinese. The free version is amazing, and honestly it's all you'll need, but they also have paid add-ons that are not only worth the money, but are a great way to support their continued efforts. They also have a great forum, so take advantage of it. Just download it now!
2. Chinese Forums- This is a great place for you to ask any questions you may have on Chinese, and have the opportunity to get your questions answered by advanced learners and native speakers alike. Get your questions answered here!
3. Live ABCs Illustrated Chinese-English Dictionary- This book is great, the illustrations are colorful and interesting, and help you to make a connection with the vocab that you're learning. The topics and vocabulary covered are more than enough to keep you busy for a long time. On top of all that, the book also comes with an interactive CD, and has both traditional and simplified characters, so it's a great resource for anyone learning Chinese, regardless of whether they plan to go to Mainland China or Taiwan. Get your copy here!
4. This website is great for translating Chinese Characters to Pinyin. It's a lot less painful than other sites out there, and has become my default translation site.
5. Here is a link to a pronunciation chart for Chinese Pinyin. It's not hard to learn, but spending a little time dedicated to it will definitely speed up the process.
6. Here's another site just filled with resources for learning Mandarin Chinese. It's got everything from games, to general information about China/Chinese, and even links to Chinese newspapers and videos for advanced learners. Check it out, I'm sure you'll find something useful.