42 Brilliant Chinese Podcasts to Improve Your Chinese Skills
Chinese Podcasts // 42 You Should Listen To Immediately
Listen up! Listen up! Chinese Podcasts and everything audio-related have gotten significantly more popular.
The growth of podcasts can certainly say something about today’s society in which people have increasingly less and less time for reading and hobbies.
But, having said all of that, we cannot ignore that podcasts are a convenient (or should we say 方便) and fun way of learning new things.
In this blog post we will talk about interesting China podcasts, meaning podcasts on Chinese culture, language, history, economics, even bar culture (yes, yes, you read that correctly).
After all, we should take advantage of every opportunity to learn new things, right?
So let’s get started, we’ve separated our podcasts by level so skip to your preferred section below:
Best Chinese Podcasts || Beginner
Best Chinese Podcasts || Intermediate
Best Chinese Podcasts || Advanced
Best Chinese Podcasts || BONUS PODCASTS
Best Chinese Podcasts || FAQ’s
BEST CHINESE PODCASTS || Beginner
Podcast #1 || Chinese Pod
ChinesePod is one of the longest-standing and most comprehensive Chinese language podcast series.
It has over 300 episodes featuring a dialogue between two presenters, who teach a handful of words and expressions and apply them in context.
The lower-level episodes use both English and Chinese, while the upper intermediate and above levels are entirely in Chinese.
Topics include everything from basic conversation to cultural differences and trends.
All episodes are free to listen to, but if you want the accompanying dialogue and vocab list, you’ll need to subscribe to their premium account.
Podcast #2 || Coffee Break Chinese
Coffee Break Chinese is presented by Mandarin teacher Crystal, and language learner Mark — who’s actually learning with you.
Lessons are only 15-20 minutes long, making it ideal for a quick blast of Chinese before or after work.
Note that you might want to listen when you’re alone to pronounce the words along with Mark!
With only 42 episodes, starting from very basic Chinese, it’s ideal for anyone looking to master basic topics like greetings, family members, directions, visiting the pharmacy, etc.
Basic Mandarin 📣 105 Simple Phrases To Make Your Life Easier
Basic Mandarin Phrases – Learn the Chinese greetings and other basic phrases in minutes with our pocket guide for Chinese beginners,
Podcast #3 || Melnyks Chinese
You won’t find Melnyks Chinese on your podcast provider, but you will find a wealth of great audio lessons on their website.
Episodes are split according to level, ranging from complete beginner to advanced topics.
Each one follows logically from the last, allowing you to easily build a bank of useful grammar and vocabulary.
While you can access some lessons for free, you’ll need to sign up for a paid account to benefit from their full range of content.
Podcast #4 || Mandarin Blueprint
Mandarin Blueprint is hosted by Phil, an American who lived in China for 11 years before moving to Belgrade.
He shares his own experiences, insights and strategies, having learnt Chinese himself.
He mostly presents in English, talking you through different characters, pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar.
It’s great for beginners looking to grasp the basics of Chinese with a friendly, knowledgeable teacher who has been where you are now!
Podcast #5 || Learning Chinese Through Stories
Learning Chinese through stories offers lessons for learners of all levels, teaching grammar and vocabulary through stories.
Unlike many podcasts, which use English at the beginner level, Learning Chinese through stories prides itself on speaking in Mandarin 99% of the time.
That might sound intimidating, but don’t worry!
The speed adjusts according to the level, so you can keep up. It’s a great way to familiarise yourself with Chinese pronunciation from the start.
Basic Mandarin 📣 105 Simple Phrases To Make Your Life Easier
Basic Mandarin Phrases – Learn the Chinese greetings and other basic phrases in minutes with our pocket guide for Chinese beginners,
Podcast #6 || Talk Chineasy
Although Chineasy made its name for its character reading method, the start-up has since expanded into audio lessons.
Its podcast is hosted by the founder ShaoLan, who releases daily episodes focusing on a whole host of topics.
Each episode is just 7-minutes long, making it easy to tune in and learn something new about Chinese culture in very little time.
ShaoLan invites special guests to join her, including rockstars, artists, CEOs, professors, scientists and more.
Pretty impressive lineup if you ask us!
TOP TIP | This might not be the best option if you’re looking to practise your listening skills.Although each episode includes Chinese words and phrases, a large proportion is in English.
Podcast #7 || MandarinBean
You won’t find MandarinBean on Apple Podcasts or Spotify because it’s not strictly speaking a podcast.
However, it offers free podcast-style lessons on its website, which run in line with the HSK levels.
Each episode also comes with a transcript, which you can choose to follow with or without the pinyin.
You can also adjust the speed of the audio, making it easy to progress through the levels without getting overwhelmed.
While MandarinBean’s free lessons make for great reading and listening resources, you don’t get a lot of free content.
You’ll need to sign up for a paid account to benefit from their full range of resources, which has a monthly subscription fee.
Podcast #8 || Chinese Class 1010
Chinese Class 1010 is best for complete beginners looking for audio lessons taught in English.
The episodes are hosted by two native English speakers who have learnt Chinese to a high level, so they’re easy to follow along — but a little slow for intermediate learners and above.
IMPORTANT | While you can listen to Chinese Class 1010 podcast episodes for free, you can’t access their additional resources without paying for an account.
They offer a 7-day free trial via their website. If you decide to subscribe, you’ll be able to download a wealth of Chinese lessons and study resources.
Podcast #9 || Slow Chinese
Entirely in Chinese, this podcast is great for beginner to intermediate learners looking to immerse themselves in the language early on.
It covers topics like language, tradition, culture and society and is read by native Chinese speakers — although they’re not teachers and don’t claim to use correct grammar 100% of the time.
We’re guessing that’s simply a get-out-of-jail-free card and not cause for concern!
The podcast does exactly what its name suggests, slowing the audio down to 2-3 characters per second (which, believe it or not, is slow), allowing you to follow along more easily.
Slow Chinese hasn’t been updated since 2018, so don’t expect new episodes to be released. But you can take advantage of its existing bank of 224 episodes.
Podcast #10 || You Can Learn Chinese
If you want to learn about effective study strategies and gain confidence in what you can achieve, this could be the podcast for you.
You Can Learn Chinese is an English language podcast run by Jared Turner and John Pasden from Mandarin Companion.
It explores how to learn Mandarin rather than actually teaching it.
It offers a brilliant insight into learning the language, and it answers some of the most burning questions we Mandarin learners have! Like, should you really take the HSK exam?
We’ll let you listen to find out!
Podcast #11 || I Love Learning Chinese
Hosted by native Chinese speaker Ashley, I Love Learning Chinese is a dialogue-based podcast series aimed at beginner to lower intermediate learners.
Each episode focuses on a different grammar pattern, which Ashley explains in English before using it in a dialogue — often with a guest.
All Chinese is translated into English, making it easy to follow along if you’re not ready for a pure Chinese conversation.
Ashley breaks her lessons into levels, but these aren’t to be confused with the HSK!
Her Level 6 episodes, for example, are more suitable for intermediate than advanced learners.
Podcast #12 || One Chinese Word a Day
Desperate to improve your Chinese but have no idea where you’ll find the time? Teacher Lin has got you!
He’s mastered the art of teaching you something useful in virtually no time at all.
His episodes are no more than 2-minutes long, and he shares one useful word along with heaps of examples of how you can use it to form different words and phrases.
The words aren’t ideal for complete beginners, but if you’ve already got a foundation in the language, it’s great for topping up your vocabulary on the move.
Podcast #13 || Mini Mandarin
Mini Mandarin is specially designed to help beginners learn new words and phrases one step at a time.
Amy’s approach is great for anyone who’s just starting out and is looking to complement their studies with some authentic audio exercises.
Podcast #14 || Maayot Learn Mandarin Chinese with Stories
Maayot’s podcast covers all HSK levels, making it ideal for learners of all levels.
Episodes are short. Like, really short — they don’t usually exceed 3-minutes.
So, if you’re pressed for time and want a quick dose of Mandarin conversation, tune in and listen to one of their many stories on anything from elderly people’s health to Chinese social media.
In other words, no matter what level you’re at, you’re sure to pick up some new vocab!
BEST CHINESE PODCASTS || Intermediate
Podcast #15 || MaoMi Chinese
This podcast consists of Chinese language episodes, covering various current topics.
The speed is perfect for intermediate learners, giving you the perfect opportunity to improve your listening skills without stressing out!
If you want to follow along with the transcripts, good news!
You can visit the MaoMi Chinese website to access them in full in English and Chinese.
Podcast #16 || Chinese Colloquialised
Run by Kaycee Gu, Chinese Colloquialised is another brilliant choice for intermediate to advanced learners ready for an immersive experience.
Through her podcast, Kaycee aims to improve her listeners’ understanding of the Chinese language and culture in an effort to stamp out racism.
She works towards this goal by sharing information and insights into her native culture in 15-minute episodes.
Each one focuses on a hot societal topic, such as feminism in China, Chinese dating culture and the country’s adjusted holiday system.
If you visit the Chinese Colloquialised website, you can access the full transcript in both English and Chinese.
That’s right — a podcast that helps with your listening and reading!
Podcast #17 || Speak Chinese Naturally
Speak Chinese Naturally is an independent podcast run by native speaker and qualified teacher, Jiajia.
Jiajia aims to help learners overcome their fear of speaking Chinese and gain confidence in their ability to speak naturally.
She does this by immersing listeners in ‘real’ Chinese.
That is teaching idioms, colloquial language, slang and speaking about Chinese culture and customs.
If you’re an upper intermediate to advanced learner looking to improve your listening, pronunciation and even reading (her episode descriptions are all written in hanzi), this is a must-download.
Tune into Jiajia’s podcast regularly, and you’ll quickly improve your listening skills and get closer to that elusive native-speaker level.
Podcast #18 || iMandarinPod
iMandarinPod doesn’t have a ton of episodes, but the ones they do have are great listening resources for advanced learners interested in current affairs, traditional culture, history and language.
They speak in Chinese, and you can download the full transcripts from their website to follow along more easily.
Podcast #19 || Mandarin Monkey
Run by hosts (and partners) Tom and Ula, this podcast is the only one out there that advertises itself as a Chinglish podcast!
Don’t worry — that doesn’t mean you’ll learn broken Chinese.
What it means is that each episode is in both Chinese and English. Tom, who’s from the UK, speaks in and translates to English, while Ula, who’s from Taiwan, speaks in Mandarin.
It’s a high-energy series that covers everything from news and entertainment to business and study hacks — and you’re almost guaranteed to laugh your way through each hour-long episode.
This podcast is especially good for any intermediate learners who want to hit the ground running with Chinese listening on more complex topics but aren’t quite ready to let go of the English.
Podcast #20 || Chinese Explained
Chinese Explained is run by Chinese teacher Kate, who produces bite-sized episodes divided between culture and expressions.
Kate’s podcast episodes are both informative and insightful, teaching you more about the authentic language and the reasons behind certain aspects of Chinese culture.
Ever wondered how to choose your Chinese name?
Or how to greet people in everyday Chinese? Kate’s got the answers!
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Podcast #21 || Teatime Chinese
Teatime Chinese is another podcast that targets intermediate learners
It uses the comprehensible input method, using slightly more advanced language than the listener’s level that they should still be able to understand based on the words they know and the context.
Episodes are released weekly and discuss topics relating to the Chinese language, culture and current affairs.
If you’re hovering around the intermediate level and you’re not sure how to progress to advanced, Teatime Chinese is a great place to start.
Podcast #22 || 大鹏说中文 Speak Chinese with Dapeng
As the name suggests, Dapeng is the host of this podcast.
He focuses on teaching listening and pronunciation through common words and phrases.
In addition to 30-minute long episodes on interesting topics and trends (ever heard of the Facekini!?), he also releases a daily expression.
These are shorter episodes that focus on teaching intermediate to advanced expressions and giving examples of how they’re used in context.
Podcast #23 || Inspire Mandarin
Inspire Mandarin is hosted by Taiwanese Joyce, who uses Taiwanese Mandarin to discuss topics related to current affairs.
Speaking relatively slowly, Joyce makes her podcast accessible to lower intermediate learners looking to expand their vocabulary and get used to hearing native pronunciation.
Episodes are no longer than 15-minutes, making for a great addition to your study routine.
Podcast #24 || Haike Mandarin
Haike Mandarin is hosted by two Taiwanese friends, Liyi and Xianxian.
They speak entirely in Chinese about lighthearted topics, such as their pet peeves, using these topics to teach useful Chinese words and expressions.
It’s easy, casual and fun to follow for intermediate to advanced learners.
The pair also offer full episode transcripts on their website — for free!
Podcast #25 || Chill Chat
Grab your headphones, sit back, relax… and study with Shenzhen-based hosts Karen and Baiwei.
They pride themselves on using real language (not the robotic kind you hear on textbook audios) and teaching in a chilled-out way — hence the name.
This show focuses on teaching different words and phrases in context.
It’s mostly in English, but they take you through vocabulary lists and phrases and explain how each one is used before putting it to practice in a short dialogue.
With episodes averaging at less than 30-minutes each, it’s a great way to cram in a decent amount of learning into a short amount of time.
Grab the transcript from their website to follow along and access the corresponding vocab list.
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Podcast #26 || Chinese Learn Insights
Produced by language school Chinese Learn Online, Chinese Learn Insights takes a different approach to its episodes.
Rather than teaching the Chinese language through its podcast, the company interviews guests who have learnt Chinese as a second language to a high level.
While the podcast is mostly in English, guests often introduce themselves in Chinese before speaking about their motivations and experience learning Chinese.
It’s definitely worth a listen if you’re looking for inspiration to reach the same level as the guests, but probably not something you’ll want to include in your weekly listening schedule.
Podcast #27 || Learn Taiwanese Mandarin
If you’re looking to learn Taiwanese Mandarin, it goes without saying that this is the podcast you want to listen to.
Hosted by Taiwan native speaker Abby, the podcast not only teaches conversational Taiwanese language but also offers insights into the local culture.
It’s most suitable for intermediate to advanced learners, although the speed is very manageable for the latter group.
If you’re an advanced learner looking to challenge yourself with speed, you might be better off with another podcast.
Podcast #28 || MelonChinese
Short and sweet, MelonChinese is ideal for busy learners who struggle to squeeze studying into their schedule.
Episodes are no more than 3 minutes long, but they’re packed with information on Chinese news and business, as well as stories and dialogues.
Since there’s little you can really learn in such a short space of time, we recommend this podcast as an upper intermediate to advanced listening tool when you’re pressed for time.
That said, you can also access the transcript and translation from the episode descriptions.
Podcast #29 || Learn Chinese with Ju
Ju offers an immersive learning experience for intermediate learners.
She encourages listeners not to look words up as they listen but instead to try and guess the words through context.
This might sound a bit intimidating at first, but it’s a very effective way to gain confidence and improve your listening skills.
Ju starts each episode by introducing her topic in Chinese before teaching a handful of keywords and phrases, which she explains in English.
Speaking at a relatively slow pace, her episodes are easy to follow.
Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to find the podcast transcript, which would be very helpful for anyone looking to use this as a learning resource rather than a listening tool.
Nonetheless, it’s good for challenging your listening skills.
Podcast #30 || 藕！中文 – Oh Chinese!
If you’re an advanced learner looking to listen to natural conversations about hot topics and trends in China, Oh Chinese! is ideal.
Its two hosts debate about various topics, including social media platforms and music — great if you’re interested in what’s popular in Chinese society.
It’s a bit rougher around the edges in that the audio quality isn’t as good as most of the other podcasts on the list, but it’s still listenable.
Podcast #31 || 聊聊东西 – Talk to Me in Chinese
In 聊聊东西, hosts Candice and Yifei explore some of the main differences between Chinese and western cultures.
They chat at a natural speed in 20-45 minute-long episodes, giving intermediate to advanced learners the chance to immerse themselves in real Chinese and hear higher-level words and expressions used in context.
Podcast #32 || Takeaway Chinese
Takeaway Chinese offers weekly lessons on common Chinese words and phrases.
Episodes are around 30-minutes long and dive into everyday topics (like ordering at restaurants) and their related expressions.
Chinese teacher FeiFei hosts the podcast alongside Tony, who’s learning the language with you.
You’ll find the dialogue with the hanzi, pinyin and English translation in the description of each episode, so it’s an easy series to follow along with and learn from.
BEST CHINESE PODCASTS || Advanced
There comes a point in your Mandarin learning journey when you can’t get much more out of dedicated learning resources.
When that happens, your best bet is to turn to native-speaker content.
Thankfully, Chinese podcast creators don’t disappoint! Here are some of the best series out there that’ll help skyrocket your skills.
Podcast #33 || Culture Potato
Advanced learners looking to immerse themselves in lengthy listening activities, this one’s for you!
Unlike most of the other podcasts on this list, Culture Potato is not a language learning podcast.
Rather, it consists of dialogue between the podcast’s three hosts, who discuss topics related to all kinds of art — from Chinese TV shows and books to museums and history.
Through engaging in discussion with guest speakers, they offer an interesting insight into Chinese culture and how it differs from that of the west.
Great for advanced learners looking to step up their listening skills!
Podcast #34 || 发发大王 King Fafa
If you’ve got about all you can from Chinese teaching podcasts and you’re looking to level up your listening by following native-level content, King Fafa is a great option.
Hosted by two banterous Beijingers, the podcast explores various real-world topics through the eyes of 百姓 (bǎixìng) — ordinary people.
It’s a very popular podcast among native Chinese speakers, and it’s sure to offer you insight into different aspects of life in China while pushing your listening skills to a new level.
Podcast #35 || 迟早更新 Sooner or Later
With an aim to make the familiar new and the new familiar, 迟早更新 explores topics such as technology, business, design and everyday life — and how they all connect.
Run by charismatic hosts, it’s fun to follow, although definitely a challenge even for advanced learners.
Each episode is between 20 and 90 minutes long, so if you try it out, make sure you do so when you’ve got the time and energy to fully commit!
Podcast #36 || 青春愛消遣
Advanced-level learning material can often be a drag, but 青春愛消遣 is anything but boring.
The hosts, Xiao Hua Bing and Xiao Bu, have a talent for turning any topic into an engaging discussion that’ll have you laughing — even if you don’t fully follow!
It’s arguably the most challenging podcast on the list, but if you’re an advanced learner who’s up for a challenge, it’s definitely worth a try.
Their infectious energy will surely keep you coming back for more — and your listening skills will thank you for it!
Podcast #37 || 不亦樂乎 — What a Joy!
You know you’ve mastered Chinese when you can laugh at the jokes the natives laugh at — and that’s exactly what 不亦樂乎 will help you achieve.
The podcast features jokes submitted by its listeners, giving you a unique insight into the culture from a different perspective.
Of course, this makes it a challenge to follow. But it’ll be worth it when you can join in with Chinese banter.
Podcast #38 || Learn Chinese with Kaela
It’s rare for Chinese learning materials to cover topics like anxiety, depression and feminism, but Kaela ventures into this rarely discussed territory — and does it very well.
Her podcast is great for advanced learners looking for English-free listening resources on real-world topics.
IMPORTANT | Her most recent episodes require a Patreon subscription, which starts from £4 per month.
You can listen to her earlier episodes to decide if it’s worth it!
Podcast #39 || 嘻谈录 Xitanlu
Another podcast that’s great for discovering Chinese humour, 嘻谈录, is one of the most popular series in China.
It releases episodes weekly, often with guests — many of whom are stand-up comedians.
Ready for a challenge?
Podcast #40 || 大人的Small Talk
大人的Small Talk is hosted by Taiwanese management consultants who explore work-related topics.
They might sound heavy — personal development and finance are two examples — but they manage to chat about them casually.
Episodes are only around 20-minutes long, so you can easily squeeze them in on your commute.
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BEST CHINESE PODCASTS || Bonus Podcasts
A couple more for you before we depart to let you listen away.
Podcast #41 || Sean’s Russia Blog Podcast
OK, OK, I know it is not directly related to China (although they touch upon China-related topics connected with Russia and Eurasia), but Sean’s Russia Blog podcast is an extremely interesting blog and podcast for all those interested in the Russia (and the former Soviet Union), Central Asia and Eastern Europe.
As we already mentioned, in their blog and podcast, they often touch upon the topic of China, Sino-Soviet relations and communism.
Podcast #42 || LTL’s 50五十 Podcast
And finally… we have to give a shoutout to our very own podcast of course!
We’ve recently re-branded our podcast and started it up again and we’re having a lot of fun!
Run by our Marketing Team, we will talk about a large range of topics, from how to order coffee and where to find the best Biang biang mian, to just talking about the weather and the latest slang we just learned in Chinese.
That’ll be enough to fill you with days, weeks, even months of Chinese podcast content.
42 podcasts in total! Which is your favourite? Tell us in the comments below. Happy listening.
BONUS || If you love podcasts and love languages (like us) why not check out our favourite Korean podcasts all available on Spotify too.
Chinese Podcasts || FAQs
Can I learn Chinese listening to podcasts?
Absolutely, this is a great way to learn Chinese either on the move, relaxing after work, or even at the gym.
How do you say podcast in Chinese?
Podcast in Chinese is 播客 Bòkè.
What are the best podcasts to learn Chinese?
There are so many to choose from but these are our favourites.
Do LTL Mandarin School have a podcast?
We do indeed, we recently re-branded our podcast and we’ll be releasing more details soon 🙂
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BONUS | Want to learn Chinese in China? Check out our lessons in Beijing.
[…] course, it’s not all in the name of self promotion, we also wrote another article on our ten favourite Chinese podcasts which stops you from having to filter through the rubbish to get to the […]
[…] Once again, OF COURSE, we’ve saved you hours of trial and error by producing a list of the best Chinese podcasts right now. […]
I found your fantastic post here and wonder if you would consider including my company’s podcast in your post as well
The Chinese LingQ Podcast is run by our host and in each episode she speaks with an interesting guest in clear, intermediate level Mandarin.
These episodes are perfect for Mandarin learners who want to learn from compelling and interesting content. Each episode has professionally edited closed captions in Mandarin as well.
I look forward to hearing what you think.
Thanks for the post Annie, we included LingQ on the other article you commented on 🙂