Unlock Mandarin: Top Chinese Shows to Learn Chinese

Unlock Mandarin: Top Chinese Shows to Learn Chinese

Publish date
Oct 6, 2023


The Benefits of Watching Chinese Shows for Learning Mandarin

Unleash the power of entertainment in your language learning journey. Watching Chinese shows to learn Mandarin is not only fun but also an incredibly effective way of immersing yourself in the language and culture. The advantage of this learning methodology lies in the authentic exposure it provides to the Mandarin language as it's used in real life. From casual dialogues to more formal exchanges, TV shows offer a wealth of practical examples that can significantly enhance your listening, reading, and comprehension skills. Plus, they're a goldmine for picking up new vocabulary, idioms, and expressions.

How Traverse and Mandarin Blueprint Can Enhance Your Learning Experience

But learning Mandarin doesn't have to stop at the end credits. With platforms like Traverse and Mandarin Blueprint, you can take your language learning to the next level. The Mandarin Blueprint course, for example, employs a unique method that simplifies character learning, enabling you to learn Mandarin more efficiently and effectively. Meanwhile, Traverse supports importing your existing Anki decks, so you can keep your learning progress intact while taking advantage of their unique learning techniques. These digital tools not only support your Mandarin learning journey but also supercharge it, turning your favorite Chinese TV shows into effective language lessons. So, sit back, relax, and let's dive into the world of Chinese entertainment!

The Importance of Immersion in Language Learning

Immersing yourself in a foreign language is akin to diving headfirst into a sea of new sounds, characters, and expressions - it's a thrilling voyage of discovery that can significantly boost your language acquisition process. When it comes to Mandarin Chinese, TV shows can provide you with an immersive learning environment, exposing you to authentic language usage and cultural nuances.

How Chinese Shows Provide Authentic Language Exposure

Chinese TV shows offer a treasure trove of real-life Mandarin usage, presenting the language as it is spoken in everyday situations. This authentic language exposure helps fine-tune your listening skills and can significantly improve your pronunciation and understanding of Mandarin tones. From the comical dialogues in Xiang Sheng (相声) that exaggerate Mandarin's tonal nature, to the complex dialogues in dramas like "Day and Night" (白夜追凶), these shows offer a wide range of linguistic content to cater to learners at various proficiency levels.
When you watch Chinese shows, you get to hear the language spoken at a natural pace, complete with idioms, slang, and colloquial expressions that are often omitted in traditional language courses. This exposure to diverse vocabulary and sentence structures can considerably enhance your grasp of Mandarin, preparing you for real-life conversations.

The Role of Chinese Shows in Understanding Chinese Culture

Beyond language acquisition, Chinese shows act as a window into the rich tapestry of Chinese culture, traditions, and thought processes. Each TV show, whether it's the light-hearted "Take My Brother Away" (快把我哥带走) or the emotionally charged "A Love So Beautiful" (致我们单纯的小美好), offers glimpses into different facets of Chinese society.
These shows can help you appreciate the nuances of Chinese etiquette, understand cultural references, and even gain insights into Chinese history. For instance, watching an imperial drama like "Empresses in the Palace" (后宫·甄嬛传) can introduce you to ancient Chinese customs and political intrigues, deepening your understanding and appreciation of China's rich cultural heritage.
In essence, Chinese shows are more than just entertainment – they are powerful immersion tools that provide authentic language exposure and cultural insights. By incorporating these shows into your Mandarin learning journey, you can unlock a more holistic, engaging, and effective language learning experience. So, why wait? Dive into the world of Chinese TV shows and let the sounds, sights, and stories of China guide you on your Mandarin learning journey.
notion image

Top Chinese Shows for Beginners

Injecting some entertainment into your language learning journey isn't just fun—it's also highly effective. Let's explore some of the best Chinese shows for beginners that you can start watching today.

Day and Night (白夜追凶)

This captivating crime drama is considered one of the best suspense shows ever produced in mainland China. It follows the story of a brilliant investigator who has a phobia of the dark and solves murder cases with his identical twin brother, a fugitive. The characters in this show predominantly speak with a Beijing accent, which is based on Mandarin, China's official dialect. This makes the language used in the show easy to follow and provides a great opportunity for beginners to familiarize themselves with Mandarin in a natural setting.

Take My Brother Away (快把我哥带走)

"Take My Brother Away" is a comedic sitcom about a high school girl's relationship with her younger brother. The show revolves around the duo navigating the challenges of growing up without their parents around them. The Mandarin used in this show is conventional and easy to understand, making it an excellent choice for beginners. Moreover, as the series focuses on the day-to-day lives of a high school girl and her brother, you can pick up a lot of beginner phrases that are frequently used in daily conversations.

A Love So Beautiful (致我们单纯的小美好)

A light-hearted and heartwarming romantic comedy, "A Love So Beautiful" follows the story of a cheerful high school girl who has a crush on her intelligent and athletic neighbor. This show is a great way for beginners to learn Mandarin as it uses simple and easy-to-understand language. Moreover, it provides an insight into the casual and colloquial language used by young people in China, which can be incredibly useful for anyone looking to learn Mandarin.
Watching these shows will not only give you a fun and enjoyable way to learn Mandarin, but it will also help you understand the culture and lifestyle of the Chinese people. Don't forget to actively engage with the shows, take notes, and review any new words or phrases you come across. Happy watching and learning!
notion image

Top Chinese Shows for Intermediate Learners

Congrats on making it to the intermediate level of Mandarin! Your learning journey is about to get more exciting as you dive deeper into the language and culture. Here are some top Chinese shows that are perfect for intermediate learners who are ready to take their Mandarin skills to the next level.

Ode to Joy (欢乐颂)

Set in the modern era, Ode to Joy is a TV show about five women living on the same floor of an apartment complex in Shanghai. The captivating storyline is easy to follow and provides an insightful look into the lives of modern Chinese women navigating through their daily struggles and joys. This popular Chinese TV series also delves into various sensitive topics such as money, being raised as an orphan in Chinese society, and feeling like an outcast. With plenty of everyday conversations, this show offers a perfect opportunity for you to pick up essential Mandarin words and phrases.

A Bright World (世界青年说)

A Bright World is a Chinese reality show that features panel discussions among foreigners living in China. Each episode provides a unique perspective on life in China and explores contentious issues in a refreshingly engaging way. While the show doesn't have English subtitles, making it more suited for advanced or upper-intermediate learners, it's a fantastic resource for immersing yourself in natural Mandarin conversations. It's a perfect way to challenge your listening skills and learn more about the world from different perspectives.

Go Ahead (以家人之名)

Go Ahead is a heartwarming family drama that tells the story of three non-biological siblings navigating through life's ups and downs. As you follow the characters' journey, you'll learn a great deal about Chinese family dynamics, societal expectations, and the importance of resilience. This show's conversational Mandarin is relatively easy to follow, making it ideal for intermediate learners. The emotional and relatable storyline will undoubtedly keep you hooked, providing an enjoyable and effective way to enhance your Mandarin skills.
Remember, watching Chinese shows isn't just about passive consumption. Engage actively with the content, take notes, and constantly review new vocabulary and phrases you encounter. This will ensure that you get the most out of your viewing experience and continue to make significant strides in your Mandarin journey.
notion image

Top Chinese Shows for Advanced Learners

For those who have already built a solid foundation in Mandarin Chinese, taking a deep dive into more advanced Chinese shows can unlock a new level of language mastery. These shows will not only expose you to a rich vocabulary and complex sentence structures, but they will also immerse you in intricate plotlines that reflect Chinese culture and history. Let's dive into some top-notch Chinese shows that advanced learners can leverage to further sharpen their Mandarin skills.

Chosen (杀无赦)

Chosen is a Chinese drama series that has gained international attention. It's a thrilling crime drama set in contemporary China that revolves around a mysterious box and a series of eerie murders. The dialogue in Chosen is complex and fast-paced, making it a great pick for advanced learners eager to challenge their listening and comprehension skills. As you follow the suspenseful plot, you'll be exposed to a wide range of vocabulary, including law enforcement and legal terminology. This will not only expand your Mandarin lexicon but also provide insight into Chinese society and legal system.

Love till the End of Summer (夏至未至)

Also known as Rush to the Dead Summer, Love till the End of Summer is a Chinese drama based on a novel by Guo Jingming. This show follows a group of high school friends over a decade as they follow different paths after graduation. Each character faces various obstacles such as difficulties, broken bonds, promises, legal troubles, and even the deaths of friends and family. The dialogue in this drama is sophisticated and emotional, offering a great opportunity for advanced learners to familiarize themselves with more complex sentence structures and expressions. Plus, the drama's rich narrative gives you a glimpse into the challenges and aspirations of modern Chinese youth.

Empresses in the Palace (后宫·甄嬛传)

Empresses in the Palace, also known as The Legend of Zhen Huan, is a Chinese historical drama set in the Qing dynasty. It revolves around the life of Zhen Huan, a young woman who enters the palace as a lowly consort and gradually rises to become the empress. The language used in the show is formal and classical, making it a valuable resource for advanced learners looking to explore the more traditional aspects of Mandarin Chinese. Moreover, the show is a treasure trove of Chinese history, culture, and palace etiquette, which can enhance your understanding of China's rich heritage.
When watching these shows, remember to engage actively with the content. Note down unfamiliar words and phrases, replay scenes to fully grasp the dialogue, and use the Traverse app to review and practice new vocabulary regularly. By doing so, you'll see a significant improvement in your Mandarin skills, making these Chinese shows an enriching and enjoyable part of your advanced language learning journey.
notion image

How to Maximize Learning with Chinese Shows

Just like a delicious Chinese dumpling, the real value of a TV show lies not just in its external appeal but in the rich mix of ingredients inside. With the right approach, watching Chinese shows can be a delightful and productive part of your Mandarin learning journey.

Active Watching Strategies for Language Learning

Transform your TV time into a powerful learning experience with active watching strategies. Instead of simply absorbing the story, engage with the language. Pause and replay scenes to grasp the dialogue, write down new words and phrases, and listen carefully to the pronunciation.
Perhaps most importantly, immerse yourself in the context and culture presented in the show. This can provide a deeper understanding of how Mandarin is used in real-life situations, helping you to use the language more naturally and effectively.

Using Traverse for Vocabulary Building and Review

As you encounter new words and phrases while watching Chinese shows, Traverse offers a highly effective way to review and retain this new vocabulary. Simply add the new Mandarin characters and their meanings to your mind map in the app. As you continue to add more characters, you'll start making connections and recognizing patterns, enhancing your comprehension and recall.
Moreover, Traverse’s flashcard feature allows you to create flashcards for specific characters or phrases you find challenging. The app intelligently schedules these flashcard reviews, ensuring that you're always reinforcing and building on what you've learned.

Importing Anki Decks for Continued Learning

If you've been using Anki, a popular flashcard program, to study Mandarin, you can seamlessly transition your learning to Traverse. Import your Anki decks into the platform without losing any progress, taking advantage of Traverse's unique learning techniques. This way, you can continue building on your vocabulary base while benefiting from a more personalized and efficient learning experience.
In conclusion, maximizing your learning while watching Chinese shows involves active engagement, smart use of learning tools like Traverse, and a continuous commitment to vocabulary building and review. Whether you're watching a dramatic love story or an exciting action series, you can turn your entertainment time into a valuable language learning adventure. After all, learning Mandarin doesn't have to be a chore — it can be as enjoyable as watching your favorite Chinese show.


Recap of the Top Chinese Shows for Learning Mandarin

As we've traveled through our list of top Chinese shows for learning Mandarin, we've covered a diverse range of genres and styles. From the thrilling crime series Day and Night (白夜追凶), the heartwarming family comedy Take My Brother Away (快把我哥带走), to the sweet and touching A Love So Beautiful (致我们单纯的小美好), these shows offer beginners an engaging way to immerse themselves in the Mandarin language and Chinese culture.
For intermediate learners, we explored the urban drama of Ode to Joy (欢乐颂), the illuminating reality show A Bright World (世界青年说), and the emotionally resonant family drama Go Ahead (以家人之名). These shows provide a more complex language environment to refine your Mandarin skills.
Finally, for advanced learners, we journeyed through the suspenseful Chosen (杀无赦), the coming-of-age saga Love till the End of Summer (夏至未至), and the breathtaking historical drama Empresses in the Palace (后宫·甄嬛传). These shows challenge you with authentic and sophisticated Mandarin, giving you a deeper understanding of the language.

Final Thoughts on the Effectiveness of Learning Mandarin Through Chinese Shows

Learning Mandarin through Chinese shows isn't just a fun and enjoyable way to spend your free time. It's a powerful and effective method to immerse yourself in the language, absorb new vocabulary, and gain a deeper understanding of Chinese culture. Remember, true language learning goes beyond mere memorization. It's about connecting with a different culture, understanding its nuances, and appreciating its richness.
Don't forget the role of active watching strategies and tools like Traverse and Mandarin Blueprint in your language learning journey. Combined with the immersion provided by Chinese shows, these resources can significantly enhance your Mandarin learning experience.
So, why wait? Dive into the captivating world of Chinese TV shows and unlock the secrets of Mandarin. Whether you're a beginner, intermediate, or advanced learner, there's a Chinese show waiting to take your Mandarin to the next level. Enjoy the journey — and remember, in language learning, the destination is just as rewarding as the journey itself.
10x your learning
Improve your memory and thinking skills with our science-based method
Try Traverse Today
Try Traverse Today