Nov 14 2017

Good TV Shows to Improve your Chinese

This blog will discuss a couple of Chinese TV shows that I have seen lately that may help your Chinese. In my opinion, watching TV is the most effective way of practising your listening, as well as talking to people of course. In my own experience, as little as 20 minutes of television a day will show great improvement in just a few days to a week.

爸爸去哪儿(baba qu naer)

If you’re a beginner and are worried about not understanding 90 percent of the programs, this first show is for you. The name translates to “where is dad going?”, and is about kids doing different activates with their parent and other kids. As the show is about kids and therefore the vocabulary they use is simple, the only complicated part is the commentary. But it’s a very cute nice show and will have you rooting for your favourite contestant.

世界青年说(shijie qingnian shuo)

In 世界青年说 12 millennials from 12 different countries discuss random topics usually about Chinese culture and being a foreigner. The newer episodes however a little eccentric and bizarre, but the first couple of seasons is surely worth a watch. Each of the 12 (TK十一) have phenomenal Chinese and a lot of character. This show is good for around Chinese as they discuss a wide range of topics.

天涯厨王(tianya chu wang)

天涯厨王 is about an English cook travelling China, searching for authentic Chinese dishes (and in one coffee). He has outstanding Chinese and it is entertaining watching him interact with the locals of random Chinese villages. Personally, this is my favourite show on today’s list because it suits my kind of humour. For me it’s the perfect blend of a Chinese and a western show. Perfect for intermediate Chinese learners. Particularly good for food some great food terminology.


CCTV news is great for the advanced Chinese speakers as they delve into some really specific terminology covering a range of subjects. The anchors speak quickly and use formal terminology. For me this is the ultimate test of your Chinese, if you can handle the news comfortable, you know you’re in good shape as it doesn’t get much more difficult than that!

Here are just a few TV shows that are worth a watch, even if your Chinese is not good enough to grasp them it is worth having them on in the background just to train your ear. If you’re wondering where you can watch these shows and are in China, Youku is a site to watch them. If you’re not in China, Youtube has all of the above, except the news which is a bit harder to find live, can probably find fragments though. Stay tuned until next time for more shows!

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