Classical Chinese - Online Course Pack – Outlier Linguistics

Learn to read the Chinese Classics in the original!

Two full-length university-level courses on Classical Chinese will take you from zero to Classical Chinese Hero!

Over the course of 32 lessons, we'll take you from the basics of classical Chinese syntax, all the way through reading lengthy passages! Along the way, you'll read some of the most famous works of Classical Chinese philosophy and history.

Following Michael Fuller's excellent Introduction to Literary Chinese, each course is equivalent to a semester-length university course. But unlike a university course, you can go at your own pace! You get lifetime access for a single one-time purchase—no subscriptions!

Each course includes over 48 hours of video lessons and Q&A sessions, plus you get access to regular live Q&As so you can ask any questions you may have.

Equivalent to a yearlong university course, just $598!

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Rated 4.8/5 by 1000's of Chinese learners


The Early China Scholar Course Pack: Get both Classical Chinese courses and the Early China History course!

Just $897!


The Historian Bundle: Intro to Classical Chinese + Early China History

Just $598!

Student Testimonials


Netherlands (living in NZ)

Taiwan (living in Australia)

USA (living in China)

USA (living in Finland)


Introduction to Classical Chinese

A 16-week guided introduction to reading Classical Chinese. Intended for those with knowledge of at least a few hundred Chinese characters (in either modern Chinese or Japanese), following Michael Fuller's Introduction to Literary Chinese.

This course is self-paced, and includes regular live Q&A sessions. By the end, you'll have a solid grasp of the fundamentals of reading classical Chinese, and will be able to read basic texts yourself (and know which resources to use if you get stuck).

Intermediate Classical Chinese

In this comprehensive online course, read some of the most famous passages of classical Chinese. By the end of the course you should be equipped to approach most mainstream Classical and Literary Chinese texts, and you'll have the tools and skills to be able to read them for yourself, and to know where to look for help when you get stuck!

This course is self-paced, and includes regular live Q&A sessions. By the end, you will have read some very challenging and famous texts, and will be able to venture out into the world of pre-modern Chinese literature on your own!

Intro to Classical Chinese

    1. Unit I: Basic Grammar
    2. Lesson 1: Nominal and Verbal Sentences (論語・困學)
      Lesson 2: Parts of Speech (韓非子・宋國富人)
      Lesson 3: Coordinate Verbs (韓非子・守株待兔)
      Lesson 4: The Modifier 所 and Nominalized Verbs (呂氏春秋・刻舟求劍)
      Lesson 5: Negatives (韓非子・矛盾)
      Lesson 6: Pivot Verbs, Auxiliary Verbs, and Classical Commentary (列子・楊布)
      Lesson 7: Coverbs (戰國策・狐假虎威)
      Lesson 8: Embedded Sentences (孟子・揠苗)
  2. Unit II: Intermediate Texts
  3. Lesson 9: 說苑・晉平公問於師曠
    Lesson 10: 新序・兩頭蛇
    Lesson 11: 戰國策・曾參殺人
    Lesson 12: 說苑・趙簡子問子貢
    Lesson 13: 戰國策・趙簡子舉兵攻齊
    Lesson 14: 莊子・鵷鶵
    Lesson 15: 莊子・曳尾於塗中
    Lesson 16: 史記・石奢

Intermediate Classical Chinese

        1. Unit I: Intermediate Texts (II)
        2. Lesson 17: 史記・晏子之御
          Lesson 18: 說苑・吳王欲伐荊
          Lesson 19: 韓非子・和氏之璧
          Lesson 20: 孟子・施仁政
          Lesson 21: 莊子・髑髏
          Lesson 22: 史記・漢高祖
          Lesson 23: 孟子・熊掌
          Lesson 24: 史記・淳于髠
      2. Unit II: Advanced Texts
      3. Lesson 25A: 梁惠王,上,一
        Lesson 25B: 公孫丑,上六
        Lesson 26A: 逍遙遊A
        Lesson 26B: 逍遙遊B
        Lesson 26C: 齊物論
        Lesson 27A: 伯夷列傳A
        Lesson 27B: 伯夷列傳B
        Lesson 28: 蘭亭集序

Your Instructor

John Renfroe
Co-founder, Outlier Linguistics

Before co-founding Outlier, John studied Linguistics and Paleography in the Graduate Institute of Chinese at National Taiwan Normal University. He co-founded and later ran the Taipei Classical Chinese Reading Group, a weekly reading group consisting mostly of graduate Sinology students from western universities. He also taught classical Chinese to members of the group who had no previous instruction in the language. His coursework and research focused on excavated Warring States bamboo texts, historical Chinese character morphology, and the Shuowen Jiezi 說文解字 and its commentaries and criticism.

Equivalent to a yearlong university course, just $598!

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Rated 4.8/5 by 1000's of Chinese learners