8 Best Chinese Podcasts for Learning Chinese from Experts
Need another Chinese learning resource? Try podcasts! They are great to listen to while at home or on the go. The best part is that most of them are free 😉.
We asked 9 experts for their favorite Chinese podcast for learning Chinese and why they recommend it.
Without further ado, let’s start with:
1. "Beginners' Chinese - Audio": Tones Mastery
My favorite podcast for learning Chinese is called "Beginners' Chinese - Audio" from The Open University. I recommend it for getting the tones down for the basics.
I still struggle with tones, but my Chinese in-laws can at least understand my numbers clearly enough, thanks to the constant repetition I did while listening to this podcast.
Available on Apple Podcast.
2. "Slow Chinese": Clarity through Pace
Slow Chinese stands out for its deliberate pace and clear pronunciation, making it ideal for language learners. The host precisely articulates each word and phrase, helping listeners to appreciate the intricacies of Mandarin pronunciation.
Everything from common small talk to fascinating cultural insights is included, making for a rich and varied educational experience.
3. "Coffee Break Chinese": Conversational and Digestible
Coffee Break Chinese takes a conversational approach with a concentration on useful words, making it ideal for learners on the go. The short, digestible lessons are perfect for on-the-go study.
The hosts make the audience feel welcome, strengthening the sense that they are a part of a language-learning group.
4. Chinese Sayings Podcast
Two experts separately recommended this podcast, so you know it has to be good.
a) "Chinese Sayings": Deep Dive into Idioms
My favorite Chinese podcast for learning Chinese is 'Chinese Sayings.' This unique podcast focuses on exploring Chinese idioms and proverbs, offering a deeper understanding of both the language and culture.
By learning idiomatic expressions, learners can gain insights into Chinese history, philosophy, and customs, beyond just grammar and vocabulary.
For example, an episode discussing the idiom '' (lit. 'Drawing legs on a snake') not only explains its meaning but also delves into the symbolism of snakes in Chinese culture and the importance of simplicity.
This podcast helps learners connect with the nuances of the language and appreciate the rich cultural heritage it represents, making it my top recommendation for those seeking a more profound language-learning experience.
b) "Chinese Sayings Podcast": Idioms and Cultural Value
The Chinese Sayings Podcast is my favorite podcast for learning Chinese. It focuses on exploring Chinese idioms and proverbs, providing explanations of their meanings and origins.
This podcast not only helps learners expand their vocabulary and improve their language skills, but also deepens their understanding of Chinese culture.
For example, in one episode, they discuss the idiom 'pěngfù dàxiào,' which means 'laughing heartily.' They explain its origin and usage in different contexts, connecting it to the cultural value placed on humor in Chinese society.
By delving into these idiomatic expressions, learners gain a unique insight into the language and cultural nuances that textbooks may overlook. Therefore, I highly recommend the Chinese Sayings Podcast for its educational and cultural value.
5. "Learn Chinese Insights": Expert Guidance
Learn Chinese Insights is a podcast that offers interviews with Chinese language experts, teachers, and learners, providing valuable tips, strategies, and resources for mastering the language.
Unlike other podcasts, it focuses on in-depth discussions and expert advice, giving learners a deeper understanding of Chinese learning techniques. For example, in one episode, they interview a linguistics professor who shares insights on language acquisition and effective study methods. This unique approach sets Learn Chinese Insights apart, making it a valuable resource for learners seeking expert guidance and a more comprehensive learning experience.
6. "Popup Chinese": Humor and Real-Life Lessons
My absolute favorite podcast is "Popup Chinese." I am into humorous and engaging content, and I like the atmosphere it creates for Chinese learners. The lessons are based on dialogues and real-life situations, and they do an exceptional job of explaining complex language concepts in an easy way.
7. "ChillChat": Engaging and Approachable Learning
ChillChat, also called Learn Chinese and Chill, is my favorite Chinese podcast by far.
It has a really engaging structure, with one host who speaks fluent Chinese and another host who speaks English but is a Chinese beginner, like the rest of us. The framework makes the podcast super approachable.
You've got a newbie Chinese learner like you, who you can relate to, as well as a native speaker who is bilingual and can break things down for you. They spend most of their time speaking English, which is great for me as a Mandarin beginner.
Plus, it makes me feel better about myself when the guy, who is the newbie, butchers his pronunciation. That always makes me laugh.
8. "Mandarin Blueprint Podcast": Practical and Fast Learning
As a business owner in China, I've had to quickly learn the language in order to become proficient and fluent. After researching extensively, my favorite Chinese podcast for learning Chinese is The Mandarin Blueprint Podcast.
This podcast contains interviews with many well-known figures within the language-learning industry, as well as native Chinese speakers who provide information on how to quickly and effectively learn the language.
The primary reason why this podcast stands out amongst others is because of its focus on practicality over theory. It provides useful advice from experienced professionals about topics such as pronunciation and conversation strategies, so you can begin speaking faster with confidence.
| Mark Fong, General Manager, CEO, hexagon lights
Frequently asked questions
How do you learn Chinese with podcasts?
You can learn Chinese through podcasts by choosing the correct content for you. That will depend on your language level and interests such as culture, history, art, or language grammar. By establishing a consistent listening routine, you can improve your Chinese comprehension and increase your Chinese vocabulary.
Does Spotify have Chinese podcasts?
Yes, Spotify has a lot of Chinese podcasts ranging from grammar and Chinese tones learning, cultural insights, and idioms, to life lessons. Our favorite Chinese podcasts include Slow Chinese, Coffee Break Chinese, Learn Chinese Insights, and ChillChat are all on Spotify.
What is “podcast” in Chinese?
播客 (bòkè) means podcast in Chinese.
Where can I listen to podcasts in China?
If you are in China and want to listen to podcasts, then the best place to listen to them is Apple Podcasts, Ximalaya FM, and NetEase.
Whether you are on the go or studying at home, Chinese podcasts offer another way of Chinese language and culture. These experts recommend a variety of Chinese podcasts, so no matter what level you are or your interests, there is a podcast for you to try!