Unlock Mandarin Mastery: Good Chinese TV Shows to Learn From

Unlock Mandarin Mastery: Good Chinese TV Shows to Learn From

Publish date
Oct 18, 2023
Unleash the power of entertainment for language learning with Chinese TV shows, the hidden gems for mastering Mandarin. This engaging and immersive method of language acquisition is not only enjoyable but also scientifically backed. As a lifelong learner, you understand the efficiency of contextual and active learning. Chinese TV series offer you the perfect blend of entertainment and education, allowing you to learn Mandarin in context, while also providing you insights into Chinese culture.
Learning Mandarin is no less than climbing a high mountain, and Chinese TV shows can serve as your cable car, taking you to the peak while you enjoy the breathtaking views. The dialogue, storyline, and cultural nuances in these shows are valuable resources that can significantly boost your Mandarin learning journey.
So, say goodbye to the traditional and monotonous language learning methods and embrace the world of Chinese TV shows to accelerate your Mandarin mastery. The next sections will guide you on how to effectively use Chinese TV shows for Mandarin learning, recommend some of the best shows to start with, and suggest where you can watch these shows. Stay tuned to unlock Mandarin mastery!

The Benefits of Watching Chinese TV Shows for Mandarin Learning

Ready to turn your binge-watching habit into a productive learning experience? Yes, it's possible. With Chinese TV series, you can accelerate your Mandarin learning journey while enjoying engaging storylines and captivating performances. Let's dive into the benefits.

Enhancing Listening Skills

One of the most significant benefits of watching Chinese TV shows is the improvement of your listening skills. As you watch the shows, you'll get to hear diverse pronunciations, accents, and intonations used by the actors. This exposure to authentic spoken Mandarin helps you grasp the natural rhythm and flow of the language. Over time, you'll find it easier to understand Mandarin speech during real-life conversations.

Expanding Vocabulary

Chinese TV shows are a treasure trove of new vocabulary. Whether it's a modern drama or a historical epic, you'll come across a wide array of words and phrases used in different contexts. These shows often use colloquial language and slang, giving you a chance to learn Mandarin as it's spoken by locals. Jot down new words and phrases as you encounter them in the shows, and make a habit of reviewing them regularly.

Understanding Chinese Culture

Beyond language acquisition, watching Chinese TV shows offers a rich source of cultural insights. These shows portray various aspects of Chinese society, traditions, and norms, helping you understand the cultural context behind the language. This cultural learning enhances your communication skills and deepens your appreciation of Chinese culture. From the elaborate rituals of imperial courts to modern Chinese family dynamics, every show offers a unique cultural lesson.

Improving Reading Skills through Subtitles

Subtitles can be a powerful tool in your Mandarin learning journey. Start with English subtitles to help you understand the context and plot. As your familiarity with Mandarin increases, transition to Chinese subtitles. This will aid in character recognition and boost your reading skills. Eventually, challenge yourself to watch without subtitles to test your comprehension.
In the next section, we'll delve into some of the best Chinese TV shows that can help you boost your Mandarin skills. So, keep reading and get ready to add some exciting shows to your watchlist!
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Top Chinese TV Shows to Learn Mandarin

Ready to dive into the world of Chinese television and supercharge your Mandarin learning journey? Below, we present a curated list of eight top Chinese TV shows that are not only entertaining but also effective for learning Mandarin.

Day and Night (白夜追凶)

Kickstart your Mandarin learning adventure with Day and Night (白夜追凶), a gripping thriller that aired in 2017. The plot revolves around a detective and his twin brother investigating a mysterious case. This show is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the intricacies of the Mandarin language while enjoying an exciting storyline.

Chosen (杀无赦)

Chosen (杀无赦), aired in 2018, offers a thrilling journey of survival. This action-packed series is filled with suspense and drama, providing an exciting backdrop for Mandarin learning.

Take my brother away (快把我哥带走)

If you prefer comedy, Take My Brother Away (快把我哥带走) is a heartwarming series that revolves around the misadventures of a brother and sister duo. Aired in 2017, this show offers a rich context for learning colloquial Mandarin expressions.

Ode to Joy (欢乐颂)

Ode to Joy (欢乐颂), a two-part series from 2016, follows the lives of five modern women living in a Shanghai apartment complex. This series offers insights into modern Chinese society, making it an excellent choice for beginners looking to learn Mandarin.

A Bright World (世界青年说)

A Bright World (世界青年说) is a must-watch talk show from 2015. Bringing together young foreigners living in China, each episode explores different topics, offering a diverse range of perspectives. This show is not only entertaining but also highly motivating for beginners learning Mandarin.

A love so beautiful (致我们单纯的小美好)

For those who enjoy romance, A Love So Beautiful (致我们单纯的小美好) from 2017 offers a sweet love story. The simple yet engaging narrative makes it a perfect choice for beginners to learn Mandarin effortlessly.

Go Ahead (以家人之名)

Go Ahead (以家人之名), a heartwarming series from 2020, explores the concept of family beyond blood ties. Following the intertwined lives of three individuals, this show enables you to pick up Mandarin phrases and vocabulary in a natural setting.

Love till the end of summer (夏至未至)

Finally, Love till the End of Summer (夏至未至) from 2017 is a coming-of-age series that follows the journey of three friends from high school to adulthood. This series provides an engaging context for learning Mandarin while offering a glimpse into Chinese society's dynamics.
With these shows at your disposal, you are set to make your Mandarin learning journey both fun and effective. Remember, these series are not just a source of entertainment, but a doorway to a richer understanding of Mandarin and Chinese culture. Happy watching and learning!

Where to Watch Chinese TV Shows

Armed with the knowledge of top Chinese TV shows for Mandarin learning, the next step is exploring the platforms where you can stream these series. Here are six popular platforms where you can watch Chinese TV shows and fuel your Mandarin learning journey.


This globally recognized streaming platform has a wealth of Chinese TV shows available. From dramatic love stories like "Fated to Love You" to the fun variety show "If You Are the One", Netflix offers a diverse selection of shows to cater to your learning needs and entertainment preferences.


YouTube is a free platform that hosts a variety of Chinese shows. Shows like "China’s Got Talent", and "Kangsi Coming" can be streamed on YouTube, making it a cost-effective tool for your Mandarin learning journey.


Often referred to as the "Netflix of China," iQIYI offers a vast range of Chinese series, from classic dramas to modern reality shows. Its user-friendly interface and extensive library make it a fantastic platform for immersing yourself in Chinese content.

Rakuten Viki

Rakuten Viki is an international streaming service that provides a variety of Asian dramas, including those from China. What sets Viki apart is its active community of volunteer translators who provide subtitles in multiple languages, making it easier for non-native speakers to understand and learn new Mandarin phrases and vocabulary.


AppleTV is another platform that hosts a variety of Chinese shows. While the selection may not be as extensive as other platforms, it does offer popular Chinese dramas and movies that can be beneficial for Mandarin learners.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video also offers Chinese shows like "If You Are the One". Its library may not be as extensive as other platforms, but it's a viable option if you're already a Prime member.
Remember, the goal here is to immerse yourself in the language, absorb its rhythm, and embrace the culture it represents. So, pick a platform, choose a show, sit back, and let the Mandarin seep into your subconscious. Happy streaming!
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How to Maximize Mandarin Learning with Chinese TV Shows

Mandarin mastery is not just about watching Chinese TV shows passively. There are several strategies that can help you absorb and retain more of the language while you enjoy the storylines. Let's delve into three effective techniques that can help you get the most out of your TV time.

Active Watching and Note-Taking

Immerse yourself in the show by actively engaging with the content. This means paying attention to the dialogue, the expressions of the actors, and the context in which words and phrases are used. When you encounter a new phrase, pause the show, and note it down. Jotting down new vocabulary, phrases, or interesting grammatical structures will help reinforce your memory. These notes can later be used for speaking and writing practice. Practicing active listening can help you pick out familiar words and phrases, and understand new ones from the context.

Using Subtitles for Reading Practice

Subtitles can be a potent tool in your Mandarin learning journey. Start with English subtitles to help you understand the context and plot. As your familiarity with Mandarin increases, transition to Chinese subtitles. This will aid in character recognition and boost your reading skills. Eventually, challenge yourself to watch without subtitles to test your comprehension. The goal is to gradually train your brain to understand Mandarin without needing to translate everything.

Incorporating Vocabulary into Flashcards

Transform your TV time into an effective learning session by incorporating new vocabulary into flashcards. After watching an episode, review your notes and pick out new words and phrases. Create flashcards using these new vocabulary items. This method, known as spaced repetition, is a proven learning technique that involves reviewing information at increasing intervals over time. This can help cement your recall of Mandarin words and phrases, making them part of your long-term memory.
Incorporating these techniques into your Mandarin TV time can transform a leisure activity into an effective language learning session. Remember, learning Mandarin is a journey. Every TV show episode you watch is a step forward, no matter how small. So, sit back, enjoy the show, and let the Mandarin seep into your subconscious.

Using Traverse for Mandarin Learning

Unlock the full potential of your Mandarin learning by leveraging the power of Traverse, a state-of-the-art language learning platform that offers advanced features for an immersive and effective study experience. In this section, we will explore how Traverse can transform your Mandarin learning journey.

Overview of Traverse and Its Features

Traverse is a revolutionary language learning tool that turns your Mandarin characters into interconnected facts rather than isolated pieces of knowledge. By helping you see the connections and relationships between Mandarin characters, it makes them much easier to remember, enhancing your understanding of Mandarin patterns and structures.
One of the key features of Traverse is the visual mind maps which allow you to organize all of your decks and cards. This interconnected note-taking and mind-mapping feature mirrors the structure of your brain, leading to improved comprehension and retention. Traverse also offers an efficient and seamless process to import your Anki decks, providing a highly customizable and user-friendly interface.

Partnership with Mandarin Blueprint

The partnership between Traverse and Mandarin Blueprint takes your Mandarin learning to new heights. Mandarin Blueprint focuses on character learning and immersion learning, making it an excellent complement to Traverse's science-based approach to language learning. Through this collaboration, Mandarin Blueprint students can benefit from Traverse's superior flashcard experience, saving time and enhancing learning efficiency.

Importing Anki Decks for Continued Learning

To supercharge your Mandarin study, import your Anki decks into the Traverse app. Traverse is 100% Anki-compatible, enabling you to import any Anki APKG deck with ease. Your scheduling information, along with all media including images and audio, is preserved, allowing you to pick up exactly where you left off.
Importing your Anki decks into Traverse is straightforward. Simply upload the Anki APKG file to the app. Remember to keep the file size below 300MB for optimal performance. If you have larger decks, consider exporting the subdecks from Anki and importing them into Traverse one by one.
Traverse and Mandarin Blueprint, in synergy with Anki, have made learning Mandarin more accessible, efficient, and engaging. By combining these powerful tools, you set yourself up for success in your journey to master Mandarin. So, start creating your flashcards in Anki, import them into Traverse, and let Mandarin Blueprint guide you towards Mandarin mastery.

Conclusion: Unlocking Mandarin Mastery through Chinese TV Shows

Embracing the power of Chinese TV shows as part of your Mandarin learning strategy can be a game-changer. It offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the rhythmic flow of the language while enjoying an entertaining storyline. The diverse range of shows mentioned, from the thrilling "Day and Night" (白夜追凶) to the heartwarming "Go Ahead" (以家人之名), provides a rich tapestry of vocabulary, idioms, and cultural nuances.
Just as you've enriched your language skills through these shows, you can also reinforce this learning using Traverse. This cutting-edge app, designed with scientific-based learning methods, is tailored for lifelong learners like you, who value efficiency and effectiveness in their learning journey. By integrating Traverse into your Mandarin learning strategy, you can consolidate the vocabulary you've picked up from the shows, improving both your understanding and recall.
The partnership between Traverse and Mandarin Blueprint further amplifies your learning potential. The robust structure and guidance offered by Mandarin Blueprint paired with the advanced flashcard system of Traverse creates an optimal learning environment. It allows you to keep track of your progress and systematically review the material, ensuring that your learning is both effective and enjoyable.
The journey to Mandarin mastery may be challenging, but with these powerful tools at your disposal, you're well-equipped to conquer it. By smartly leveraging Chinese TV shows, Traverse, and Mandarin Blueprint, you'll not only learn Mandarin but also gain a richer understanding of Chinese culture and society. In the end, it's not just about learning a new language, but also about gaining a deeper appreciation of a different world.
So, get ready to unlock your Mandarin mastery through Chinese TV shows and embark on your enlightening journey to becoming a fluent Mandarin speaker. It's time to turn your entertainment into education and your passion into proficiency. Happy learning!
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