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The 3 Best Chinese Podcasts For Learning Mandarin

Are you looking to improve your Chinese?
If so, the best way to get your language skills up to speed is through meaningful content, as polyglot Steve Kaufmann always says.
Today, I’ll go over my favorite Chinese podcasts that are geared towards learners of all levels and provide a high-level of interesting content so you won’t get bored out of your mind.
Also, using LingQ, you can access these podcasts in our lessons library (I’ll link them throughout the post). This way, you’ll have the audio, the transcript, and be able to improve your language ability faster than ever.
Now, let’s go over these three podcasts so you can have a better understanding of which one is right for you.


The 3 Best Chinese Podcasts For Learning Mandarin

Mandarin Bean

Around since the late 2000s, Mandarin Bean is an interactive Chinese language learning website that includes free language lessons and downloadable content.  Because the site includes free podcasts for just about every skill level, Mandarin Bean has garnished a lot of popularity amongst teachers and other users.  

The site is free
The site is very easy to use
The site has a podcast for just about any topic at any level
The site has a pinyin option for those who are not familiar with any of the words mentioned in any of the podcast scripts
The topics are very engaging(i.e. “Seating Position Can Affect Grades”)
The site lets you hover over the words so you can know both the meaning and the HSK level of the word  (HSK1, HSK2, etc.)

The voices used to create some of the podcasts are very robotic sounding. While this may not be a problem for some users, it can, however, be a nuisance for some.
None of the transcripts used in the website have a section for studying grammar

Overall impressions:
This site is an excellent starting point for those looking for some free Chinese podcasts that include both English and Chinese transcriptions.
Learn Chinese online at LingQ

Slow Chinese

Created by a ragtag team of teachers and volunteers, Slow Chinese is a free, interactive site where users can listen to cultural podcasts spoken by native Chinese speakers.

The site is free
The topics are very engaging(i.e. Politically Correct)
The voices used in the podcasts are not very robotic sounding

Not all of the transcriptions for the podcasts are in English
None of the podcasts include a Chinese grammar section
You can’t hover over a word in order to figure out its meaning or HSK level


Learn Chinese online at LingQ

Overall impressions:
While the site is pretty basic, it is nevertheless a great resource for students and teachers to use.

Study Slow Chinese using LingQ

Learn Chinese on the LingQ mobile app

Learning Chinese Through Stories

As the name suggests, Learning Chinese Through Stories is an interactive website where students can choose the types of stories that they want to read, listen to the podcasts, and learn some interesting vocabulary along the way.  This is similar to how our platform is operated.

Learn Chinese with the LingQ podcast

The site is very user-friendly
The site includes both native Chinese stories and stories translated into Chinese
The site includes podcasts that are tailored to all types of Chinese language learners(novice low to advanced high)
The site includes a ton of free resources from blog posts to “one-minute Chinese survival” videos

None of the podcasts include word-for-word transcriptions

Overall impressions:
Out of all the Chinese podcast sites that exist throughout the web, this one happens to be my favorite. Not only does this podcast include a wide variety of stories to choose from, it also includes recordings done by native speakers. Not once have I come across a recording that sounds like it was done by a robot. As a reader and as a writer, this podcast especially speaks to me. So I definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to improve their reading, writing, and listening skills.

Learn Chinese Through Stories with LingQ

Learn Chinese on the LingQ mobile app

Content besides Chinese podcasts

As mentioned earlier, there are tons of free Chinese podcasts all over the web to help you study and this blog has many helpful articles that provide tips for learning Chinese that you should definitely check out. If you enjoy listening to Chinese, you may also want to check out our post on Chinese audiobooks. Finally, LingQ Co-Founder, Steve Kaufmann, has made numerous videos on how he learnt Mandarin. Be sure to watch those too!


Enjoyed this post? Check out polyglot and LingQ cofounder Steve Kaufmann’s blog post for some tips on how to learn Mandarin!

Check out LingQ to discover how to learn Chinese!


Athena Zhang Baker has been studying Mandarin Chinese since she was 11. As of now, she is learning bits and pieces of other languages in addition to Chinese and creating Japanese anime-themed glossaries on the side.

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