Your day is coming to an end and you want to squeeze in a bit of Chinese practice, but you can’t muster up the energy to study on your own. Why not try a new YouTube channel to relax and learn at the same time?
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Below are 35 YouTube channels for learning Chinese at any level—tested and approved by us. Whether you want to learn for a minute or an hour, we’re sure you’ll find something to enjoy.
If you’re looking for some structured learning on YouTube, ChinesePod has got you covered. Beginner to upper-intermediate learners can enjoy a series of video courses split into 5 levels. The hosts combine cartoons, dialogues, and funny interactions to break down vocabulary and grammar.
But don’t worry—if you don’t feel like following the video course, you can learn about Chinese characters, idioms, and slang in their other videos. They also have a channel with identical videos for those who are learning traditional characters.
If you enjoy these free videos, check out our full review of the ChinesePod subscription.
With Angel’s guidance, you don’t have to worry about sounding like a broken record in Chinese. Gone are the days of saying “谢谢“ to every kind gesture, or “不客气” when the roles are reversed.
Mandarin HQ will help you express yourself like a native Chinese speaker, teaching you hundreds of useful idioms, slang terms, and common expressions. You’ll be able to politely end a conversation in five different ways or choose from seven different ways to respond to good news.
Whether you’ve been studying Chinese for a week or a decade, Mandarin HQ will surely give you some new words to use in conversation.
You’ve been studying Mandarin for a while now. But when you listen to a Chinese Movie or talk show, you hear your brain yelling, “what!?” Well, Mandarin Corner might be the answer. The host, Eileen, bridges the gap between real-world Chinese and the Chinese you learn in school.
She interviews a variety of Chinese speakers to train your ear to different accents. Plus, she will help you understand the nuances of the language, must-know sentence structures, and even spend an hour helping you understand the many different measure words. The best part is, most of her videos are entirely in Mandarin.
We like Chinese Zero to Hero’s online courses, and we also like their YouTube channel. Learners at any level tackling HSK material will find clear grammar explanations and examples of how to use key concepts in multiple contexts.
The hosts vary their presentation media and include videos, skits, stories, and images. They also have some listening comprehension exercises with poems from the Tang dynasty.
Miss Lin (from Taiwan) is a Chinese teacher in France. Instead of just talking about real-life situations, she will take you through them in real-time. Prepare for your next adventure abroad by watching her check into a hotel or buy things from a convenience store in Mandarin.
Through these types of situations, interviews, movies, and more, you can enjoy her content wherever you are in your Chinese studies. Each video is well structured and contains simple but thorough explanations. Also, many of her videos have English subtitles, and you can support her on Patreon to get Chinese transcripts and download the audio.
Check out over 200 videos that teach you useful Chinese slang that you won’t find in your textbook. Each video, which is entirely in Mandarin, engages you with funny skits and explanations (with English subtitles). Learn how to tell someone off for arguing for the sake of arguing or for crossing the line. While you’re at it, you can add that they don’t have a conscience or that they’re speaking nonsense.
Beginner to advanced learners will probably get the most out of the “Beyond Class” and “Chinese Listening Practice” playlists.
Read our full review of GoEast Mandarin’s online classes here.
Hanbridge Mandarin offers online and in-person courses. Their beginner videos teach basic writing, pronunciation, and introductory phrases. But, the videos that stand out address “the difference between the words:” These videos, usually for HSK 5 learners, identify words with similar characters or pronunciation, giving you examples of the subtle nuances between them.
Also by Handbridge is the channel, HSK Test Preparation and Practice, which has lectures and exercises for HSK 2-5 learners.
This channel takes a systematic approach to teaching Chinese through movies. If you find yourself unmotivated, you can count on Wenyu to create a fun and practical experience. He will help you improve your Chinese grammar, vocabulary, and listening comprehension with all types of films.
Wenyu highlights different aspects of the language through one or several movies. First, you’ll watch specific scenes with Chinese and English subtitles. Then, you’ll analyze the dialogue. Wenyu breaks down both basic and advanced concepts in many of the videos, making it accessible to learners at any level.
The lessons in Everyday Chinese are filmed with actors of all ages. This way you’ll be able to train your ear to different vocal ranges and accents.
You can explore idioms, cultural nuances, HSK content, and more. Most of the videos contain valuable tidbits or comprehensive grammar explanations. For beginners, they have 40 free intro lessons that seem to lead up to the Everyday Chinese 101 course (a paid product on their website). They use English up until the HSK 3 videos but then switch to Chinese in HSK 4.
If you can get past the spammy advertisements, ChineseClass101 has some helpful videos for all levels. There are listening comprehension and reading exercises, plus tons of videos with common phrases and vocabulary words. If you enjoy these videos, you can check out our full review of ChineseClass101 to see if you want to pay for a subscription to their website.
SyS Mandarin started up with short lectures on Chinese sentences and stories, but now it also teases you with short movie and song clips to teach you Chinese. Each clip passes in a matter of seconds and is followed by a thorough vocabulary and grammar explanation. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or advanced student—if you struggle to understand everyday spoken mandarin, you’re in the right place.
Not only is Chinese For Us our highest-rated course for Chinese learners, but it also has an excellent YouTube channel. You will learn from Lili, who has taught Chinese at several universities in China and the United States.
She has a master’s degree in Chinese Linguistics and is also a certified HSK and YCT examiner. Her experience teaching Chinese is obvious in the design and presentation of these lessons.
If you want a structured and in-depth approach to learning Chinese from day 1, this is an excellent place to start. Check out our full review of the Chinese For Us courses to continue learning with Lili—and for a discount.
YoYo Chinese’s creator, YangYang, is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable Chinese teacher. Her presentation skills were fine-tuned by years of experience as a TV host and reporter. On her channel, you will learn Chinese from an English-speaker’s perspective and engage in effective exercises for learning Chinese pronunciation. Plus, YangYang will introduce you to stories and mnemonic devices for 300 of the most common Chinese characters.
You can check out the beginner and intermediate lessons, plus authentic interviews with locals on the street. Many of the YouTube videos are live streams with current students of the YoYo Chinese Courses (check out our review here), and they contain a wealth of helpful tips to help you speak Mandarin.
Yimin provides free HSK 1, 2, and 3 video courses with movie clips, slideshows, and funny GIFs to provide context for each lesson. You’ll be sure to enjoy these videos with Yimin’s sunny personality and notable knack for organization.
If you’d prefer to learn Chinese through songs or movies, Yimin does that, too. She’ll also help you identify common mistakes and nuances in Chinese.
This channel may not stand out at first glance. But, for anyone who wants a solid introduction to Chinese pronunciation and pinyin, look no further.
The host, Zheng Tao, dedicates almost 2 hours to pinyin alone. He provides excellent explanations for key grammar concepts and introduces you to basic Chinese characters. HSK 1 and 2 learners can engage in listening comprehension exercises as well.
If you like these videos, you can buy their online courses for more videos and quizzes.
Grace doesn’t have a step-by-step approach to teaching Mandarin, but she provides techniques and tips to improve your studies. You can learn important expressions, improve your pronunciation, or explore practical resources for improving your core language skills.
In this 100-episode series by CCTV News, you can learn Chinese through a combination of lessons and TV-show-style videos. First you’ll watch a short English introduction, then you’ll observe a short skit with Chinese-speaking actors. The host will then explain the vocabulary and grammar points. Though it may feel a bit dated, these videos provide an excellent introduction to the Chinese language.
Every week, Shuo uploads YouTube videos exploring Chinese vocabulary, grammar, and culture. She understands Chinese learners’ potential missteps and explains how to avoid them. Even the beginner videos contain concepts that advanced learners may not have considered.
Shuo shows you how to use simple concepts to advance your Chinese. She diversifies her videos by adding video clips and images, dressing up as different characters, and reenacting scenes from her life. She makes the lessons fun—and if you pay close attention you’ll notice that she also has an excellent sense of humor.
In Hit Chinese, Mia uses comprehensible input to teach Mandarin Chinese. She uses props, images, drawings and acting to effectively deliver her message. The videos cover a range of topics with both basic and specialized vocabulary. Although the channel doesn’t have a lot of videos yet, those that are available seem most appropriate for beginners with a basic understanding of Chinese.
Slow & Clear Chinese is most suitable for learners with a basic foundation of Chinese vocabulary. The site combines text and audio to provide listening comprehension practice. Listen to the audio alone, or read the pinyin, traditional and simplified characters, and English translations with the narration. In many of the videos, the narrator will first read the text slowly and then again at a faster pace.
Ben Hedges is an established talk show host in Taiwan and a Chinese teacher on Learn Chinese Now. Though he is a native English speaker, he provides clear explanations for tricky grammar particles, like 被, 才, 了, and 就. He also introduces idioms, new vocabulary in context, and teaches you about Taiwanese and Chinese culture.
That’s Mandarin is actually a Chinese language school in China, but they also have a fun YouTube channel with quick videos to teach you basic phrases and homonyms, usually in under a minute. It’s a great place to get quick and structured explanations for common topics, such as how to differentiate between 的, 得, and 地, or how to use 把.
We rated Hello Chinese as one of the best apps to Learn Chinese in this review. The app is free, as are the videos on its YouTube channel. You’ll finally understand the Chinese nicknames for American celebrities and familiarize yourself with popular expressions. If you don’t have much time, take only a minute or two to learn a new word in the Minute Mandarin series.
For anyone looking to learn more about Chinese culture, you will also find a podcast on the channel. This is mostly in English, but the hosts do introduce some useful Chinese phrases.
Peggy is an enthusiastic Chinese teacher from Taiwan, and her videos are great for beginner and intermediate students. She tries to use as much Mandarin as possible, but you’ll hear her use English translations to convey main ideas. Joining her live YouTube classes will feel like you’re hanging out with a Taiwanese friend while practicing your Chinese at the same time.
Peggy also interviews locals on the streets of Taiwan to give you a taste of authentic Taiwanese Mandarin. If you want to see more of Taiwan, she also has travel videos that take you to famous tourist locations and teach you important vocabulary along the way.
Are you struggling to concentrate on your HSK 3 and 4 material? Is it because you’re bored? If that’s the case, then Chinese Podcast is here to make your day a little better. In many of these videos, the host introduces 5-8 new HSK words and a grammar point, then incorporates them into an original story. You can follow along with the text at both a slow and a fast speed. Other times you may be asked to answer comprehension questions.
This channel can support any intermediate learner, but it’s probably most helpful to those following the HSK curriculum.
Happy Chinese is a Chinese-immersion sitcom-like series for Chinese learners. It follows the story of an American woman staying with her Chinese friend’s family. Two or three times per episode, an elaborate cartoon will interrupt the story to provide examples and explanations of key concepts—but that won’t stop you from getting immersed in the plot. The series is most suitable for intermediate to advanced learners, but with English subtitles, anyone can enjoy it.
In this series, 杨老师 provides insights into teaching Chinese for parents and teachers. But, the structure of many of these videos allows advanced learners to follow along as if they themselves were taking the class. You will learn nuances between words, like 有一点 and 有点儿, and differentiate between different synonyms and homophones. This is a channel for anyone who wants to engage in subtle analyses of the Chinese language.
Are you an advanced learner interested in learning, or at least understanding, the Beijing dialect? Wordy Klay can make it happen. He produces dozens of videos that help both native speakers and Chinese learners identify Beijing-specific pronunciation and vocabulary. Each video is quite short, but Wordy Klay provides clear explanations and multiple examples of how to use each word in context. You’ll be able to start using your new vocabulary right away.
This hilarious sketch comedy group from Taiwan is the closest thing you’ll find to College Humor in Chinese. They depict relatable situations in everyday life—such as going to the doctor, the dentist, or school—and then let comedy ensue. With both English and Chinese subtitles, learners at any level will forget that they arrived at this channel for studying rather than fun.
Are you looking for a Chinese TV series but don’t know where to start? Well, you can start with YoYo Television Series Exclusive. It has dozens of Chinese TV shows available for your enjoyment—涩女郎 (Brilliant Girls), 暴风眼 (Storm Eye), or 庆余年 (Joy of Life), just to name a few. Viewers can contribute to community subtitles, which means that sometimes you’ll find subtitles in 15 different languages.
家有儿女 (Home With Kids) was a popular Chinese sitcom in the early 2000s. It’s reminiscent of many North American sitcoms from the same time period. The characters encounter a clash of personalities and misunderstandings when two divorced families join as one. Through hundreds of episodes, you’ll grow attached to these endearing characters as they navigate their new relationships.
Imagine that you like movies, but not enough to watch them all the way through or listen to any of the dialogue. In fact, you’d rather watch a 10-minute summary of a movie. In Chinese.
Now if this is true, 轻风乍起 is an excellent channel to meet your needs and help you improve your Chinese at the same time. This is a channel for native speakers, but the host, 轻风乍起, articulates clearly enough that advanced speakers won’t have a problem following along.
Thomas is a major celebrity in China—and a genuine people person. Originally from Germany, he now lives in China full time and speaks fluent Mandarin.
With him as your guide, you can explore the food, culture, and sites of China (and Europe!). A major focus of the channel is on food, but he also spends a lot of time with locals—whether it be driving with a taxi driver to his hometown seven hours away or interviewing people at 3 in the morning. Sometimes he challenges himself to try different diets or do absolutely nothing for an entire day.
His videos are entirely in Chinese with English and Chinese subtitles.
Jared may not be a native Chinese speaker, but his Chinese will inspire you. He grew up in Hainan but had to relearn Chinese as an adult after moving back to Canada. Now he lives in China full time and produces entertaining sketches about the differences between North American and Chinese customs. Sometimes he will take you to interesting sites in China, pull pranks on his friends—or take 5000kg of snow from Northern China to an elementary school in Southern China.
His videos are all in Chinese, but they have both English and Chinese subtitles. Sometimes he collaborates with or prank calls Thomas阿福.
Kevin is a Chinese YouTuber who depicts cross-cultural differences within and outside of China. You’ll have lots of opportunity to hear different dialects and accents, and listen in on conversations between groups of people. You might notice that Kevin’s videos have a lot of similarities with 杰里德Jared’s channel. These two friends often collaborate to make cross-cultural comedy sketches.
These videos are mostly in Mandarin, but many of them have English subtitles.
These are only a handful of the many YouTube channels for learning Chinese, but we think we captured some of the best. If you’re looking for something to structure your Chinese studies, you can explore our favorite online Chinese courses. Or, if you want to get away from the screen, we recommend you check out our list of Chinese podcasts.