In a previous post, I wrote about the enormous volume of free learning content on now available for learners of Mandarin Chinese.
YouTube provides an enormous collection of Mandarin learning content.
If you’ve been looking for a good channel on YouTube to learn Chinese, you might have sorted through some total crap before you found something you liked. If you don’t have time to do that, then don’t worry because I’ve done it for you.
The following is a very large collection of YouTube channels that will help you learn Mandarin Chinese.
Because the number of suggested channels is quite large, I’ve divided them into Educational channels (channels which actually try to teach you Chinese) and native material channels, which are more useful for intermediate speakers and above.
EDUCATIONAL CHANNELS – MY TOP 8
The following channels are educational channels, as opposed to the native content channels which will feature later. I shall start off by listing which channels I think are the best.
My favourite YouTube channel for learning Mandarin Chinese and the one I’ve watched the most.
This channel has HSK vocabulary lists, grammar videos, and sentence lists, as well as interviews for those at an intermediate level and beyond. Loads of free downloadable transcripts are on the website as well.
Seriously, if I was starting to learn Mandarin from scratch again and I was only allowed one YouTube channel to watch, it would be this one.
This channel has different HSK playlists. Non-native speakers interested in taking the standardised test will find a lot to learn on this channel.
Their courses are structured according to the level of difficulty. There are videos for beginner-level Chinese, level 1 Chinese, level 2 Chinese, and level 3 Chinese.
In addition, there is also skill-based content. For example, you can learn Pinyin, as well as Chinese tones and characters.
Yoyo Chinese is really good for beginners who are also native or fluent English speakers. Yang Yang’s explanations are really thorough, but they might be complicated if your English isn’t great.
Lots of different learning content, with the highlights being the situational dialogue videos as well as the ‘phrase of the day’ series.
The Chinese Class 101 podcast courses aren’t quite as good as Chinesepod, but they make up for it somewhat with their YouTube channel.
There is a crazy amount of free learning content on their channel in a range of different formats. It’s all laid out sensibly in playlists and you can really get a feel for what their course content is like before you subscribe.
Probably more geared towards intermediate learners, this channel is incredibly underrated. Why? It’s the only channel out there that dissects Chinese movies and TV shows line-by-line.
This makes it perfect for people who want to sentence mine or learn genuinely natural Mandarin dialogue.
True to its name, this YouTube channel focuses on everyday life situations using the Mandarin Chinese language.
Learn useful language focussed on grocery shopping, friendly conversations, holiday greetings, storytelling presentations, etc.
While you probably never thought of learning about Santa Claus’ origins in Mandarin, it is a really interesting way to learn a new language.
Katrina Lee is a licensed Mandarin Chinese teacher who makes videos for beginners, so you will not have difficulty following through with her lessons. Katrina’s channel covers various content, from idioms, student life, tones, translation, and much more.
Perfect for those at a high beginner/lower intermediate level of Mandarin who are looking to level up and learn in a more immersive environment.
Richard focuses on comprehensible input, and puts out daily livestreams on small sets of vocabulary or a particular language point.
He will often collaborate with another YouTuber called Keren who is pretty funny and has a lot of useful learning content, too.
- FluentU Chinese
- Harbin Mandarin
- Grace Mandarin Chinese
- Learn Chinese Now
- Yimin Chinese
NATIVE MANDARIN CHANNELS
The following channels are all in Mandarin and for learners at an intermediate level or above. I’ve divided them into their respective topics, although there might be an overlap with some channels.
HEADS UP! I have collected big lists of movies, TV shows, and podcasts, many of which are available on YouTube.
– Learn Mandarin with Film | 101 Awesome Chinese and Taiwanese Movies
– 101 TV Shows for Chinese Learners | Drama, Action, Comedy, and More!
– 100+ Podcasts for Learning Chinese | Beginner to Advanced Material
Chinese Football League – This channel live streams football matches and offers highlights from the Chinese Super League, all with commentary in Mandarin.
Chinese Baller Vision Highlight – Basketball discussions and highlights.
Movie/TV Show Review and Analysis
Lessons from Movies – This channel breaks down some of the best movies of all time in Mandarin Chinese.
There are also closed captions or subtitles for you to follow if you also want to practice reading.
Cara Lee – A fairly new channel, Cara Lee breaks down her most recently watched TV programs, giving thorough commentary and analysis on parts she finds interesting.
谷阿莫 – Taiwanese guy doing short reviews and summaries of TV shows.
Yuan Tengfei – Yuan Tengfei is a historian from Beijing. His channel is great for those interested in history and world politics, as current events are analyzed alongside parallel or similar happenings in the past throughout most of his videos.
李永乐老师 – A Chinese physics teacher explores everything science-related for newbies. Also very entertaining to watch.
Chinese Bridge – Narrated videos of bridges. It might sound boring to some, but some bridges in China are pretty epic, and there are lots of them!
啾啾鞋 – This Taiwanese guy breaks down and explains loads of interesting topics, from the origin of Ponzi schemes to the hierarchy of drugs cartels.
NiceChord (好和弦) – A channel about music theory.
老司机出品 – Car reviews.
Papi – The YouTube channel of one of the most famous internet celebrities in China. She talks very quickly!
Cai Aga – Probably the most famous and popular Taiwanese vlogger. Videos are subtitled in traditional characters.
Idiot Princess – A female Taiwanese vlogger who gets up to all kinds of random stuff.
Mr and Mrs Gao – A very popular Tainwanese Mr. and Mrs.
Kevin in Shanghai – Lots of comedic skits and educational language style content too.
杰里德 Jared – Lots of comparisons between lifestyles of China vs. The West.
Thomas 阿福 – Food, culture, and Chinese traditions from a German’s perspective living in Shanghai.
Ku’s dream 酷的夢 – A French guy living in Taiwan.
Amanda Tastes – Loads and loads of tasty recipes and dishes as well as other cooking tips. Some videos are in English subtitles, but not all.
小高姐的 Magic Ingredients – A great cooking channel in Mandarin Chinese and without subtitles so you can really practice your listening skills.
老反骨. A jolly and smiley chef from Beijing who makes traditional Chinese dishes. He has a strong Beijing accent, and the videos are subtitled with simplified characters.
Fashion and Beauty
Krysti Naa – A vlogger focussing on beauty and fashion.
Rainie Tian – Toronto-based Chinese vlogger who reviews make-up and other beauty products in Mandarin.
Victorianme – Popular fashion vlogger.
Oh Emma – Focusses on make-up and skincare topics in Mandarin.
This Group of People – A very popular comedy group from Taiwan.
WACKYBOYS – A group of young guys from Taiwan getting up to all kinds of shenanigans. I’d describe them as the Taiwanese version of The Sidemen.
Testv – A tech channel but really funny and the chemistry of the team is really good.
Taiwan Bar – A channel with loads of funny videos about the history of Taiwan, as well as modern day cultural discussions.
Ling BigYong – A group of friends making funny (sometimes comically sad) skits and music videos.
敖厂长 – If you’re into the history of gaming, check this guy out.
Kouki – Probably the most subscribed to gaming channel in Taiwan. Uses traditional Chinese subtitles.
Tencent Video – The YouTube channel of the largest Chinese video streaming website.
YoYo Television Series Exclusive – A huge collection of recent TV dramas. Some have English subs, some only in simplified Mandarin.
Chinese Huace & TV Official – A large collection of modern dramas categorised by genre.
Caravan – Chinese dramas that are highly rated.
8TV Mandarin News – Malaysia’s top-rated Mandarin news channel. Daily bulletin uploads and sometimes live streams as well.
China Live – News clips and stories from China.
Lele Farley – An American guy banned from China who does a bilingual stream every week.
老雷 – A german who walked across China and then became a critic of the government.
Obviously, there are a bajillion YouTube channels out there today which attempt to teach you Chinese. There are loads of channels filled with Mandarin content aimed at a native-speaking audience, too.
The above is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should serve as a good place to start for those looking for interesting ways to spend time with the language of Mandarin.
If you’re looking for other Mandarin learning resources, check out the links below.
- 100+ MANDARIN LEARNING RESOURCES: THE FASTEST WAY TO FLUENCY
- LEARNING CHINESE: 15+ LISTENING TOOLS PERFECT FOR BEGINNERS
- THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO LEARNING CHINESE IN CHINA
- THE 24 BEST MANDARIN STUDY RESOURCES FOR BEGINNERS
- 14 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD LEARN MANDARIN CHINESE
- IS IT EASY TO LEARN MANDARIN CHINESE?
- THE 21 BEST APPS TO LEARN CHINESE
- STUDYING MANDARIN AT A UNIVERSITY IN CHINA: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- 100+ PODCASTS FOR LEARNING CHINESE | BEGINNER TO ADVANCED MATERIAL
- 101 TV SHOWS FOR CHINESE LEARNERS