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Mandarin online or for purchase listening

  Tags: Listening | Mandarin
 Language Learning Forum : Specific Languages Post Reply
Bilingual Heptaglot
Senior Member
Joined 3306 days ago

869 posts - 1363 votes 
Speaks: Spanish*, English*, German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Mandarin
Studies: Korean

 Message 1 of 6
22 April 2014 at 6:39am | IP Logged 
While I have been studying Mandarin for two years (not during that whole time and always splitting time with my other TLs), I am now finally going to dedicate my entire language time to Mandarin, at least for the next 3-6 months.

I recently watched several youtube videos on the tv coverage of the 2011 Japan Earthquake by the Japanese networks. I had never even picked up a Japanese coursebook, dictionary, or anything else. I have heard Japanese in the past but never made any effort to listen carefully. I found it amazing that even with ZERO knowledge of the language, after a few listens I started picking up the pronunciation better as well as some few words!, a couple I managed to decipher the meaning based on the context (the context being the word "Tsunami" and what came before or after this word repeatedly ("high" and "warning").

This showed to me how important, at least in how I learn, it is to listen to the target language early on, even if I don't understand anything at all. It gets your ear training going and it helps in ways you cannot judge and whose only way of improving is by listening.

Thus, I would like to listen to Mandarin content, especially since I'm not a full-fledged beginner, and I need help to find sources of content. I am looking for a couple of preferences (not requirements):

1. That this content is ever changing (i.e. radio), or at least many episodes to keep me busy and not become repetitive.
2. That it is fairly standard Mandarin pronunciation (mainland or Taiwan)
3. That it is not overly technical or complicated (of course children would be ideal, but my point is mostly to listen to the language, so adult content is fine to for my current purpose)

I hope you guys have links because I would like to start fairly soon. Thank you for reading and for your responses in advance!
3 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 2801 days ago

747 posts - 1122 votes 
Speaks: Cantonese*, English, Mandarin
Studies: French

 Message 2 of 6
23 April 2014 at 6:37am | IP Logged 
I focused my learning with online videos for about 8 months. Now I reduced my video viewing. I still
listen to the radio frequently and tend to divide my time between a local Chinese radio station
and English networks. I like to hear discussions on politics. You get different viewpoints from the
Chinese on many local issues of concern.

I like Chinese drama series from Singapore, especially those with only 20 episodes. You finish a series in
about 2-3 weeks. If you like movies there is 1 from Singapore: "Ilo Ilo" or "爸妈不在家" (Parents Are Not
Home) with director Anthony Chan. Last year the movie won the Gold Award from the Cannes Film
Festival. Recently found a full version already on YouTube.

Other available videos on YouTube with Chinese captions:

From China:
1. 中国达人秀 (Zhōngguó dárén xiù): The last 3 characters are English loanwords for "Talent Show". This
is the Chinese equivalent of "America's Got Talent" & "Britain's Got Talent". You can find uploaded videos
up to Season 5. Once you get into it the show gets very addictive.

2. 大耳朵图图 (Dàěrduo Tútú): the literal translation is Tutu with big ears. This is a cartoon series with
adult subjects seen through the eyes of a young boy. The way he responds to his parent's questions are
simply funny.

From Taiwan:
1. 大學生了沒 (dàxuéshēng le méi): this is a reality show involving university students discussing various

From Singapore:
1. 好好说 慢慢讲 Say It! (hǎohǎoshuō mànmànjiǎng): this is a show with subtitles / captions in both
Chinese & English. The 2 main characters were a man trying to improve his Chinese and a lady trying to
improve her English. The dialog goes both ways so if you are more proficient in 1 language, you'd have
no trouble picking up the other.

2. 梁细妹 (Liang Xi Mei): a comedy series (1/2 for each episode) based on 2 teens raised by a single
mother (a man playing a woman's role). Each show is centred around a single subject presented in
different contexts in a humorous way. Unfortunately couldn't find videos with subtitles / captions.
梁婆婆 (Liang Po Po) is a continuation of the comedy series where the man playing the role of a woman
became a grandmother.

3. 我们等你 Don't Stop Believin' (wǒmen děng nǐ): this is a drama series in 20 episodes involving a school
with students from low-income families and how they made it to their graduation. Some episodes get
rather emotional. I recommended the series the series to somebody recently because it has both English
subtitles & Chinese captions so following the dialog won't be a problem.

Start with these ones and see how you like them. Good luck...

Edited by shk00design on 24 April 2014 at 4:45am

5 persons have voted this message useful

Joined 2700 days ago

20 posts - 41 votes
Speaks: Japanese*, Korean, Galician, GermanC2, SpanishC2, Portuguese, Mandarin, English
Studies: Russian, Old English, Armenian

 Message 3 of 6
24 April 2014 at 2:04am | IP Logged 
If you are interested in dramas and films, I will leave here some links. I cannot
recommend anything in specific because I am not sure about your personal taste. You can
take a look on the title and look for more information on Google or any other website.
If it interests you, then, watch it. Be aware that some of the dramas or films are not
in Mandarin, but in Cantonese. You will need to check one by one.

Besides those Mr. shk00design has suggested, I will leave some links. Drama Drama pular
Since I mentioned “dramafever”, this is very easy one: r_and_People/

You can look for some videos by yourself using one of these websites below:


I have almost all the material from, imandarinpod, Chineseclass101. I
listened to all of them few years ago when I was trying to maintain my Chinese at a
very satisfactory level for me. I used to listen to them while driving the car, working
out at the gym, waiting at the bus stop, cooking, showering etc. I also used to review
taking a look at the PDF material provided. I think it has improved a lot my listening
skills. I also used HSK and Taiwanese proficiency test materials in order to get used
to specific tasks required for those exams. Unfortunately I lost all data because my HD
has broken.

PS: I have not checked any link above. All of them used to work until last month, last
time I have watched something.

I also used to use a program called “PPS” and “PPTV”. Nowadays I don’t have much time
anymore. Actually my free time has not changed at all, it is just that my priorities
have changed and I need to adapt to my new reality. If I am not wrong, some PPTV had
subtitles in Chinese and I used to understand more than 80% after a while.

There were some Youtube channels that helped me a lot for listening skills. They
provided videos in all levels, but I could not find it anymore. Anyway, there must be
still good channels explained by other native speakers.

I personally think that the links I will leave here will not be necessary what you have
asked for. However, I do believe that if you keep listening like I did, you will get
more used to the intonation, tones, speed etc.

4 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
United States
Joined 4316 days ago

1032 posts - 1233 votes 
Studies: Mandarin

 Message 4 of 6
24 April 2014 at 5:22am | IP Logged 
Some children's content....look these up in YouTube
There's tons more there. Good luck!
1 person has voted this message useful

Bilingual Heptaglot
Senior Member
Joined 3306 days ago

869 posts - 1363 votes 
Speaks: Spanish*, English*, German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Mandarin
Studies: Korean

 Message 5 of 6
27 April 2014 at 5:29pm | IP Logged 
Thank you very much guys. That should be more than enough to keep me busy for a long long time to come.

Thanks again!
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 3690 days ago

156 posts - 271 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*
Studies: Mandarin, French, English, Italian, Spanish, Persian, Arabic (classical)

 Message 6 of 6
28 April 2016 at 3:06am | IP Logged 
Search video sites for 國語版 國語配音 中文版 中文配音 to find content dubbed in Mandarin. I like to add 第12集 to limit multiple results from the same series. For audiobooks try 有聲書 , 有聲小說 there are sites for download, and there a are many on video sites.

1 person has voted this message useful

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