You’re on the prowl for a path to learning some of the basics of Mandarin? Bet you didn’t think “best Chinese shows to learn Chinese” would be a viable option!
Just because something serves the purpose of educating, doesn’t mean you have to subject yourself to bad Chinese TV shows— we’re here to make sure you don’t.
How Chinese TV Shows Can Help You Learn Chinese
This isn’t some bogus fly-by-night method to learning a new language. Many people have found that by consuming entertainment in the language of their choice, they find themselves more adept at comprehending and speaking the language.
Nonetheless, here are the best shows in Chinese that’ll have you learning Mandarin in no time.
This romantic comedy series centers around a ne’er-do-well named Dong San Chai who is accepted into the most prestigious university in the country. Dong San Chai begins to clash with a clique of popular boys in school, known as F4. However, this animosity blossoms into something more of a friendship.
The show touches on issues of class, romance, identity, etc. If that’s something that piques your interest, then this might be a good Mandarin drama to help you learn the language.
This Chinese TV show has 49 episodes streaming on Netflix.
Eternal Love follows the love story between Bai Qian and Ye Hua, two deities who fall in love. The power of their love for one another transcends time and goes on to become a legend.
The series presents an engrossing tale of romance within a beautiful ancient Chinese milieu. If this is something that will hold your attention, it just might be the trick to get you learning Mandarin.
The show has 58 episodes to boot. It’s also considered the most-watched Chinese TV series, having amassed a staggering 50 billion views by August 2018.
The Disguiser is a espionage Mandarin drama set during the era of Japanese occupation in China.
The plot of the series is set around the Ming family, a household of siblings tangentially involved in the current political sphere of the country. Their covert operations and affiliations congeal to help free their nation from its occupation.
It’s a great historical series that takes place during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). If you’re a fan of espionage thrillers and 20th century period pieces, this might be just right for you.
The series has 48 episodes, of which 41 are available for streaming on Amazon Prime.
Day & Night is a crime drama that centers around the story of a former police captain who returns to solving crimes while suffering from a severe case of nyctophobia (fear of the dark). Unbeknownst to his fellow colleagues, he swaps places with his fugitive twin brother every night in an attempt to solve murders and eventually clear his brother’s name.
The show takes heavy inspiration from the mind-bending films of director Christopher Nolan, (Insomnia and The Prestige). If you’re a fan of Nolan’s work or psychological crime thrillers in general, this is the show for you.
All 32 episodes are available to stream on Netflix.
Love 020 is the story of an aspiring game developer who is asked to work alongside the number one player of her favorite online role-playing game. They instantly hit it off and a romance between the two begins to blossom.
The show serves as a great entry point into learning Mandarin for anyone interested in video games and youth culture. It’s more of a contemporary love story, as it explores love through the lens of modernity and technology.
Love 020 was tremendously successful in China, having amassed over 25 billion views online. All 30 episodes are currently available to stream on Netflix.
Hopefully, this list has given you a good idea of where to start if you’re looking to use a popular Chinese TV show with English subtitles to learn Mandarin. You want something that will gradually help you to learn Mandarin, but it needs to hold your attention, otherwise, you won’t stick around long enough to learn anything.
Now go out there and give our list of the best Chinese shows to learn Chinese a whirl. You’re sure to be speaking some Mandarin in no time!