Watching videos is one of the best ways to improve your Mandarin listening skills when you are not living in China. By watching videos, you can not only learn new words and listen to different accents, but also know more about Chinese culture. The advantage of these channels is that they all have Chinese subtitles (and actually most of them also have English ones), so you can not only listen but also try to read at the same time, and write down what you think is interesting to learn. Thus, your reading and writing skills will improve as well.
In this article, you will find 6 entertaining Youtube channels that will help you improve your Chinese skills and learn a lot more about modern China.
This funny Youtube channel was created by a multicultural group of people who are now living in China. In their videos, they like to compare the cultural difference between western countries and China. Also, a lot of their videos show you what it is like to be a foreigner living in China. Their content, which mixes English and Chinese, is really suitable for beginner learners (but advanced learners that have experienced life in China will also love these videos and find them very relatable).
Fact: The famous idiom 马马虎虎 mǎmahǔhǔ means “so-so”, “careless”. It is usually the first chengyu people studying Chinese learn.
Jared is a young Canadian 帅哥 shuàigē living in Shanghai. He is funny and his Chinese is annoyingly perfect. A lot of his videos use humor to compare the life of a foreigner when first arriving in China and after having lived in China for 10 years. Like Mamahuhu, he also has content that compares the differences between Western and Chinese culture such as childhood or university life. Even though Jared is not a native speaker, he is still a great asset to help you improve your Chinese skills since his Mandarin is on point.
3- 這群人 This Group Of People
這群人 (zhè qún rén), aka “This Group Of People”, is a famous Taiwanese Youtube channel very rich with funny content. Their most famous videos show different scenarios that occur in different moments of their daily life, such as going to the breakfast store or dealing with a phone scam. The comedians all have great acting skills and are incredibly funny. In addition, all of their videos have English subtitles.
4- Kevin in Shanghai
Knowing that you have a real interest in Mandarin, you are going to love Kevin in Shangai. Kevin likes to receive guests from different parts of China where they meet to chill and talk about the Chinese language and compare the different accents, dialects or slang. In terms of linguistic contents, Kevin’s videos are the best, and they all have English subtitles as well.
5- 雞脖子 GNeck
鸡脖子 jī bózi GNeck (meaning chicken neck, a famous dish in China), is a Taiwanese channel well known for its famous “10 types of annoying people” videos. It shows hilarious stereotypes of annoying people we can run into in our daily life such as in the bus or at the gym. With fairly quick speech and no English subtitles, this channel is perfectly suitable for all the advanced learners.
6- LIT 我的海漂时代
LIT 我的海漂时代 (wǒ dì hǎi piào shídài) is a really entertaining Youtube channel where ABCs (American Born Chinese) take up different challenges in Chinese or react to famous movies, songs or programs in China. By watching their videos, you can learn how is the life of overseas Chinese. This video is perfectly suitable for beginner learners as well as overseas Chinese who will find it funny and really relatable.
Youtube can definitely be your best friend to improve your language skills while relaxing in bed or taking the metro on your way to work or school. When watching videos in a foreign language, it is easy to give up when the content is too complicated to understand. However, most of the videos listed above not only offer Chinese subtitles but also English ones, which can definitely encourage you to keep watching and practicing in daily life.