I’ve spent the past year and a half living in China without any prior experience speaking Mandarin.  It’s been a bit of a struggle, but its really not too hard.  Over at Haxlr8r.com, I’ve compiled a list of the top 8 tools I’ve used to get by and even learn a little bit on the way.  Even if you’re not planning on moving to China in the future, this list may be useful to you in some way.  Enjoy!