Unlock Mandarin Mastery: Best Chinese Shows Revealed

Publish date
Oct 5, 2023
Welcome to the fascinating world of Mandarin Chinese! If you're on a mission to master Mandarin, you're probably already aware of the incredible benefits it can bring: opening doors to new cultures, enhancing your cognitive abilities, and even boosting your career prospects. But how can you learn this complex language more effectively and enjoyably? Well, have you considered the power of Chinese TV shows in learning Mandarin?
That's right. Chinese TV series are not just for entertainment, they are a treasure trove of language learning. They can be a potent tool in your Mandarin learning journey, helping you to immerse yourself in the language in a fun, engaging, and authentic way. Watching Chinese shows can significantly enhance your listening skills, expand your vocabulary, and improve your reading skills through subtitles. Moreover, it offers you a unique window into Chinese culture and everyday life, helping you learn conversational Chinese and understand the nuances of the language.
In this article, titled 'Unlock Mandarin Mastery: Best Chinese Shows Revealed', we will delve deep into the best Chinese shows to learn Mandarin. Whether you're a fan of historical dramas, science fiction, romance, or talk shows, we've got you covered. We will also provide information on where to find these shows and how to utilize the Traverse app to further enhance your Mandarin learning experience. So, let's get started and unlock the power of Chinese TV shows in your quest for Mandarin mastery.

The Benefits of Watching Chinese Shows for Mandarin Learning

With a backdrop of riveting plots and captivating characters, Chinese TV shows can turn your Mandarin learning journey into an enjoyable adventure. But the benefits of this method extend well beyond entertainment. Here are some of the key advantages of watching Chinese shows for Mandarin learning.

Enhancing Listening Skills

One of the greatest benefits of watching Chinese shows is the enhancement of your listening skills. It's one thing to study Mandarin vocabulary and grammar in a textbook, but it's an entirely different challenge to comprehend spoken Mandarin in real-world contexts. Chinese shows offer an excellent opportunity to tune your ears to the rhythm, intonation, and pronunciation of the language. The more you listen, the more familiar these sounds become, improving your comprehension over time.

Expanding Vocabulary

Chinese shows can introduce you to a wealth of new vocabulary. From formal language used in historical dramas to the latest slang terms in modern sitcoms, shows offer an authentic window into the richness and diversity of the Mandarin lexicon. By watching shows, you can learn how words and phrases are used in context, which is crucial for understanding their meaning and usage.

Improving Reading Skills through Subtitles

Most Chinese shows come with subtitles, allowing you to read along as you watch. This is a fantastic way to improve your reading skills and familiarize yourself with Chinese characters. Reading subtitles can also help reinforce the connection between spoken and written Mandarin, accelerating your overall learning progress.

Gaining Insight into Chinese Culture

Language learning isn't just about mastering words and grammar—it's also about understanding the culture that language embodies. Chinese shows can offer invaluable insights into Chinese society, traditions, and ways of thinking. Whether it's family dynamics in a drama series or social issues discussed in a talk show, watching Chinese shows can deepen your cultural understanding, making you a more proficient and nuanced Mandarin speaker.

Learning Conversational Chinese and Slang

Lastly, Chinese shows can help you learn conversational Chinese and slang, which are often overlooked in traditional language courses. By watching shows, you can pick up the casual language that native speakers use in their daily lives. This can make your Mandarin sound more natural and fluent, and help you communicate more effectively with native speakers.
In conclusion, watching Chinese shows can provide a comprehensive, engaging, and effective approach to Mandarin learning. So why not start exploring the exciting world of Chinese TV shows today? It could be the key to unlocking your Mandarin mastery.

Top Chinese Shows for Mandarin Learners

Looking to jumpstart your Mandarin learning with some captivating Chinese TV shows? We've got a list of ten highly recommended Chinese TV series that are not only entertaining but also beneficial for your language learning journey.

"Empresses in the Palace": A Historical Drama

This period drama, known as 后宫·甄嬛传 in Chinese, provides a captivating glimpse into the Qing dynasty and the Imperial Chinese harem system. Its rich dialogue, filled with historical terms and classical Chinese expressions, can significantly expand your vocabulary. Plus, you can watch it for free on YouTube!

"On Children": A Science Fiction Show

Award-winning Taiwanese show, 你的孩子不是你的孩子, is akin to a Taiwanese version of Black Mirror. The series addresses social pressure and parental oppression, providing a thoughtful exploration of modern Chinese society. It's a great option for those looking to understand the societal nuances of Mandarin-speaking cultures, and it's available on Netflix in certain locations.

"The Brightest Star in the Sky": A Romance Drama

夜空中最闪亮的星, a popular Chinese romance drama, is another excellent pick. Not only can it help you improve your Mandarin listening skills, but it also offers a look into contemporary Chinese youth and pop culture.

"Nirvana in Fire": A Historical Drama

琅琊榜, or Nirvana in Fire, is a historical drama that has taken China by storm. This show can provide a deep dive into the ancient Chinese language and culture, making it a valuable resource for Mandarin learners interested in China's history.

"Ode to Joy": A Slice-of-Life Drama

欢乐颂, or Ode to Joy, is a modern drama that follows the lives of five young women living in Shanghai. This show is an excellent choice for learning natural, spoken Mandarin and gaining insights into the modern Chinese lifestyle.

"When a Snail Falls in Love": A Crime Drama

If you're interested in crime dramas, 如果蜗牛有爱情, or When a Snail Falls in Love, could be a perfect fit. This show offers suspenseful storylines and dialogues and is an excellent way to pick up legal and crime-related vocabulary.

"A Bright World": A Talk Show

世界青年说, or A Bright World, is a talk show that features young people from around the world discussing various topics. This show can help you learn more colloquial Chinese expressions and learn about diverse perspectives in the Mandarin-speaking world.

"Informal Talks": A Talk Show

非正式会谈, or Informal Talks, is another talk show that can help improve your Mandarin listening and speaking skills. This show invites guests from different countries to discuss hot topics, providing a wide range of vocabulary and language styles.

"Day Day Up": A Variety Show

天天向上, or Day Day Up, is a popular Chinese variety show. It features celebrity interviews, games, and performances, making it an entertaining way to learn Mandarin while getting a taste of Chinese pop culture.

"Mr. Zhou Live Show": A Reality TV Show

壹周立波秀, or Mr. Zhou Live Show, is a reality TV show that can provide a fun and engaging way to improve your Mandarin listening skills. The show features comedic skits and celebrity guests, offering a mix of humor and language learning.
Each of these shows offers a unique take on the Chinese language and culture, providing a fun and engaging way to learn Mandarin. So why not make some popcorn, get cozy, and start your Mandarin learning journey with these top Chinese TV shows?

Where to Watch Chinese Shows

Now that we've unveiled some of the best Chinese shows for learning Mandarin, the next step in your language learning journey is figuring out where to watch these shows. This section will guide you through the top platforms for streaming Chinese TV shows, each offering a unique selection of content to help you unlock Mandarin mastery.


As a global platform, YouTube houses a vast collection of Chinese shows. From game shows like 非诚勿扰 (If You Are the One) to talk shows like 康熙来了 (Kangsi Coming), you can find a diverse range of Mandarin content. Plus, many of these shows come with subtitles, which can further aid your Mandarin learning.


Netflix is another excellent place for watching Chinese TV series. With a massive library of Chinese films and TV series across genres, you can select from a variety of shows to match your language learning goals and personal interests. Not to mention, you can download series and watch them offline, helping you learn Mandarin on-the-go.


Owned by Alibaba Group, Youku is one of China's leading video streaming platforms. It offers a wide array of Chinese TV shows, movies, and other content. While it's predominantly in Chinese, you can utilize this as an opportunity to immerse yourself fully in the language.


iQiyi is another popular Chinese streaming platform, often referred to as the "Netflix of China". It offers a vast selection of Chinese TV shows, films, animations, and documentaries. Some content is free, but for full access to all videos and premium features, a subscription is required.


Sougou is a search engine that also provides access to a plethora of Chinese TV shows and films. It's an excellent resource for finding shows that may not be available on other platforms.

Mango TV

Operated by Hunan TV, Mango TV offers a wide variety of popular Chinese shows and films. Not only can you stream content, but you can also enjoy live TV, making it a great platform for catching up-to-date Chinese programs.


Finally, Viki is a video streaming website that specializes in Asian TV shows and movies, including a substantial selection of Chinese content. The platform's unique feature is its volunteer community of subtitlers, making content accessible to non-native speakers.
In conclusion, these platforms offer a wide range of Chinese shows, catering to all learning levels and interests. Now, all you need to do is choose a show, sit back, and immerse yourself in the captivating world of Mandarin Chinese.

How Traverse App Enhances Mandarin Learning through Chinese Shows

Just as binge-watching Chinese shows can supercharge your Mandarin learning, integrating the right tools can take your mastery to the next level. Enter the Traverse app - a revolutionary learning tool that turns your favorite Chinese shows into an interactive language learning experience.

Importing Anki Decks for Continued Learning

While watching Chinese TV shows on platforms like Netflix or YouTube, you can use the Traverse app to import Anki decks specifically created for Mandarin learners. These decks include words, phrases, and sentences often used in the shows, along with pronunciation guides and example sentences. This way, you can reinforce and review what you've learned during your binge-watching sessions. Traverse is the first 100% Anki-compatible learning app, meaning you can import any Anki APKG deck into Traverse. Your scheduling information is preserved, allowing you to pick up exactly where you left off with your language learning.

Partnering with Mandarin Blueprint for Effective Learning

Traverse has also partnered with Mandarin Blueprint, a comprehensive Mandarin learning system. This partnership creates a powerful trifecta for Chinese language learning, combining the interactive learning from watching Chinese shows, the spaced repetition flashcards of Anki, and the efficient course structure of Mandarin Blueprint. Using these three tools together, you're not just learning Chinese; you're immersing yourself in a complete learning ecosystem that propels you towards Chinese fluency.

Utilizing Features of Mind Mapping, Spaced Repetition Flashcards, and Connected Note-Taking

Traverse isn't just about flashcards; it harnesses the power of mind mapping and connected note-taking to provide a holistic learning experience. You can create visual mind maps to understand how different words, phrases, and ideas connect, making Mandarin learning more intuitive and brain-friendly. The connected note-taking feature allows you to add notes and upload all your study materials in one place, making it easier to organize and access your resources.
Moreover, Traverse uses Anki's spaced repetition algorithm, a scientifically backed method that schedules reviews based on your learning performance. This ensures you study only what needs reviewing, making your learning process more efficient.
In conclusion, the Traverse app is a game-changer in Mandarin learning. It transforms your Chinese TV show binge-watching sessions into an engaging and effective language learning experience. So, why wait? Start your Mandarin journey today and unlock Mandarin mastery with the power of Chinese shows and the Traverse app.
In the realm of Mandarin learning, Chinese shows are not just a source of entertainment, but a treasure trove of knowledge. They expose you to the authentic language, enhance your listening skills, expand your vocabulary, and provide valuable insights into Chinese culture. From historical dramas like "Empresses in the Palace" and "Nirvana in Fire" to talk shows like "A Bright World" and "Informal Talks," each show offers a unique perspective and an exciting learning opportunity. And with platforms like YouTube, Netflix, Youku, iQiyi, Sougou, Mango TV, and Viki, the best Chinese shows are just a click away.
But the journey of unlocking Mandarin mastery doesn't stop at watching Chinese shows. The Traverse app takes it a step further, with its science-backed features that enhance Mandarin learning. Import Anki decks, partner with Mandarin Blueprint, and utilize mind mapping, spaced repetition flashcards, and connected note-taking to deepen your understanding and retention.
The path to Mandarin mastery is an exciting one, filled with compelling stories, intriguing characters, and profound insights. As you immerse yourself in Chinese shows, remember that every episode, every line of dialogue, every Chinese character you come across is a stepping stone towards your goal. Embrace the journey, enjoy the shows, and let the fascinating world of Chinese television guide you towards Mandarin mastery.
So go ahead, turn on your preferred Chinese show, open the Traverse app, and embark on the exciting journey of unlocking Mandarin mastery. The world of Chinese language learning awaits you. Happy watching, happy learning!
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