Top 5 Podcasts for Mandarin 

Learners

Mandarin Podcasts

Podcasts are a great way to practice your Mandarin listening and comprehension skills. With the growing popularity of Chinese language study over the past decade, there has also been a wealth of podcast content created to meet the needs of Mandarin students. 

Below is our list of the absolute best podcasts to follow if you're interested in improving your language skills. Each one is broken down by level with sample episodes for you to listen to.

Happy exploring. We hope you find something useful!

5. 听故事学中文 - Learning Chinese through Stories

Length: 5 - 30 minutes

Level: Beginner / Intermediate


Educational Content: ️️️️️


Cultural Elements:

Sample Episode:

1.2.27AB《小蜻蜓》Sample Episode
00:00 / 09:46

As the name suggests 听故事学中文 is all about learning Chinese by listening to stories. Not only does this give listeners a fascinating insight into many traditional stories and folk tales told all over China, it also provides an opportunity to drill down and understand the language used within them. 

This particular podcast has been running for a long time now and in addition to traditional stories, they have also created content around people's personal stories within China. This gives listeners hours of podcast to choose from and guarantees everyone will find something of interest to them!

While the language used is quite advanced in places, the narrators often provide useful explanation and insight into new terms and concepts discussed within each story. In short, this is a great podcast for practicing your Mandarin listening skills and learning about Chinese culture.

4. 慢速中文 - Slow Chinese

Length: 5 - 30 minutes

Level: Beginner / Intermediate


Educational Content: ️️️️️


Cultural Elements:

Sample Episode:

Slow_Chinese_203Sample Episode
00:00 / 06:13

Slow Chinese is a very popular podcast among Chinese learners, and for good reason. The concept is very simple, to listen to a native speaker talking Chinese slowly and slowly build up your comprehension skills so you can understand talking at a faster pace. 

Episodes discuss all number of topics and there are many of them to choose from, meaning you're unlikely to run out of suitable material any time soon. The episodes also vary in length so you can pick the one to suit your mood and get learning. 

While this is a very useful practice tool, there is no part of the podcast that explains grammatical concepts or tries to help you understand the language being used and for that reason we recommend this one for upper intermediate learners who simply need to hear more Chinese on a day-to-day basis.

3. 大鹏说中文 - Speak Chinese with Da Peng

Length: 3 - 20 minutes

Level: Intermediate / Advanced


Educational Content: ️️️️️


Cultural Elements:

Sample Episode:

你们国家什么职业最吃香? -「吃香_ Sought-after」 DaiSample Episode
00:00 / 06:07

大鹏 has a unique approach to teaching his listeners Chinese. Where some podcasts set up specific lessons or discuss useful concepts, he prefers to just talk about interesting things and engage with his audience via email and social media.

 

The podcast consists of 2 main types of content - general discussion and daily expressions. General discussions are often prompted by user requests or current events and are usually around 15 minutes long and interesting. However, the real value of this podcast is in the daily expression audio files, which average around 4 minutes long. These are essentially useful phrases that are often used by Chinese native speakers in day to day life but are very unlikely to appear in textbooks. Colloquialisms, idioms and internet slang are all discussed in an informative and interesting way with plenty of examples, leaving the listener feeling like they've taken away something genuinely useful.

The short form of these recordings also makes them very easy to digest and remember. The language used is somewhat advanced; students around HSK4 and above should be able to understand most of what's going on. 大鹏 is also very active in replying to his listeners' questions so be sure to get in touch and let him know he's doing a great job!

2. Talk Chineasy - Learn Chinese every day with Shaolan

Length: 3 - 10 minutes

Level: Beginner


Educational Content: ️️️️️


Cultural Elements:

Sample Episode:

096 - Dissertation in Chinese with SSample Episode
00:00 / 07:22

Shaolan is the brains behind ChinEasy; a popular series of Mandarin learning resources geared towards helping users learn Chinese characters with ease (you can check out her app on our list of all time best Mandarin learning apps here). 

While most of Shaolan's content is focused on the learning of characters, her podcast is tailored towards helping students learn useful phrases in Chinese. Each episode discusses a particular phrase in detail, delving into the meanings, uses and origins of each. Every episode also has a guest, ranging from experts in a certain field to other Chinese language learners, with whom Shaolan discusses the phrases.

The strength of this podcast is that most of it is actually in English, meaning that both beginners and more advanced learners can easily soak up all the relevant information. Furthermore, the content is easy to listen to and concise enough that you can get through several episodes in your lunch break!

1. Learn Chinese - Easy Situational Mandarin Chinese Audio Lessons

Length:  10 - 25 minutes

Level: Intermediate


Educational Content: ️️️️️


Cultural Elements:

Sample Episode:

L99Sample Episode
00:00 / 15:26

Easy Situational Chinese does exactly what it says on the tin, discussing hundreds of useful concepts, phrases and study tips for those who want to improve their Mandarin. 

While the other podcasts in this list can be thought of as useful insight into natural Chinese speaking or elements of culture you may not cover in a classroom setting, Easy Situational Chinese can be thought of as a podcast version of a textbook, systematically tackling the many lessons a student needs to go through to progress from a beginner to a more advanced learner. 

Concepts are explained in English and each recording is around 15 to 45 minutes long, giving the narrator scope to discuss lesson content in a lot of detail. While cultural elements are discussed, the focus is very much on language learning and for the incredibly useful way that is covered, we have given this podcast our number one spot! This is a great tool for any student to use alongside language lessons with a native speaking teacher.

Now you know which podcasts best suit your needs and learning styles, why not explore some of the other ways we can help you improve your Mandarin Chinese?

Our teachers are available for online or face-to-face lessons in Central London. Group and private tuition is available for all levels. Contact us today!

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