With more than one billion speakers, Mandarin has the most speakers in the world. If Mandarin is the language you’re learning or about to pick up, you’ll have plenty of people to speak to. As you move through your language learning journey you may be wondering what tv shows you can watch and enjoy while you pick up some vocabulary words. We’ve compiled a list of the best Mandarin TV shows for you no matter what language journey you’re on. Grab your notebook and pen (for writing down new vocabulary) and let’s watch some tv!
Mandarin TV Shows for Beginners
大头儿子小头爸爸 (Big-Headed Kid and Small-Headed Father)
Yes, it’s a funny name but this animated show is easy to understand for beginners. It’s a kid’s show that uses simple sentences and simple vocabulary. The show is over 25 years old and the videos are accessible on YouTube.
中国唱诗班 (Choir of Chinese Poems)
This is another animated show but it’s so visually appealing. The storylines are made from Chinese poetry and there is simple vocabulary as well as subtitles.
爸爸去哪ㄦ（Where Are We Going? Dad)
Don’t worry this is not another animated show, this is actually reality tv. In this show, fathers are talking to their kids so naturally they’re speaking slowly and aren’t using difficult vocabulary words. That’s why this show is perfect for Beginners.
小猪佩奇 (Peppa Pig)
Before you roll your eyes, bear with us here. Peppa Pig dubbed in Mandarin comes very highly recommended for people just starting out with Mandarin. Remember it’s made for children who also don’t know complex vocabulary so it will definitely be great for beginners.
命中注定我爱你 (Fated To Love You)
This is a romantic drama that will keep you entertained. The main character was involved with a man who was constantly taking advantage of her. She accidentally got knocked up by someone else and that someone else just happens to be her boss. If you’re looking for something entertaining while you learn, this is it.
家有儿女 (Home with Kids)
This drama follows a family with three kids set in Beijing. This story represents a blended family. Xia Donghai returns from the US with his two kids and happily lives with a woman who also has a son. You’ll learn daily expressions and slang which are essential for communication while being entertained by the plot.
舌尖上的中国 (A Bite of China)
If you love food, this is the show for you. A Bite of China is a documentary that educates about cooking, eating and the history of Chinese food. Not only will you be learning about culture, you’ll pick up important vocabulary and probably rumbling in your tummy.
下一站，幸福 (Next Stop, Happiness)
This love story will tug at your heartstrings. The main character, after witnessing his parent’s failed marriage is not so trusting. Even though he’s wealthy, he wasn’t happy. That is until he met a delivery girl, who used to be wealthy but now has to work odd jobs to survive. After a brain tumor ravages his memory, including his love for the delivery girl. Watch to see what happens next. You can catch it on Netflix.
Mandarin TV Shows for Advanced Learners
远方来客 (The Guest From Afar)
This is a show that is made to teach Chinese so they use relevant phrases and sentences that you’ll need to know. It’s primarily geared towards advanced learners and keeps its viewers entertained with its storyline.
白夜追凶(Day and Night)
If you love crime dramas then you’ll like this one. A retired police captain with a fear of the dark returns to solving mysteries with his two accomplices by his side. It turns out that the retired captain is actually just trying to clear his identical twin brother’s name from allegedly murdering a family.
金星秀 (The Jin Xin Show)
Are you a fan of talk shows? Then you’ll like the Jin Xin Show. This talk show is pretty typical with its comedic elements, commentary on current affairs and social trends. If you’re learning Mandarin because you want to take a trip to China or speak to Chinese people, you’ll like this talk show. You’ll be able to understand conversations on current affairs and be able to add your own opinion.
还珠格格 (My Fair Princess)
This is an imperial drama that is very popular in China. It’s set in ancient China and involves the illegitimate daughter of an incumbent Chinese emperor and a friend who happens to be a street performer/con woman. Due to a mix-up, our street performer character is sent to the palace instead. All that drama and comedic relief make for some good tv.
Learning Mandarin can be pretty difficult for English speakers but it’s totally doable. While watching entertaining tv shows won’t make you fluent, hiring a language tutor can. A tutor can even help you with some of those words or phrases that you hear in these shows that a dictionary can’t help you with.
The truth is, conversation is very important to language learning and, currently, you can’t talk to your tv (well, you can, but you know what I mean). Coupled with your own efforts at home, a language tutor can help you learn Mandarin for whatever reason you wanted to learn it for, whether for work or just for fun. If you are looking to hire a language tutor who can steer you on the path to complete mastery of a language, contact us and take advantage of our $35 trial class today!