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Videos and audio lessons are brilliant for learning Chinese, especially when you’re on-the-go. You might already know how to say you already know how to say ‘我喜欢打篮球‘ (wǒ xǐ huan dǎ lán qiú) ‘I like to play basketball’ and really want to get to grips with the Chinese vocabulary of your hobbies, interests and lifestyle choices, this is the place to start!
The video lessons listed in this article come from ChinesePod’s vault of video and audio files especially created for all Chinese levels, from Newbie to Advanced. I’ve labelled each lesson with their target level, but these are only a select few from each topic area, and there are plenty more to be found on Chinesepod.com. Also, just to let you know that there are affiliate links within this post, which means if you decide to upgrade to one of ChinesePod’s subscriptions, Written Chinese will get a small fee.
So, whether you’re a lover of music, a food connoisseur or a Trekkie, here are some lessons you can learn from our friends, ChinesePod! After all, you’re more than just a Chinese student…
1. 减肥达人 (jiǎn féi dá rén) Fitness Junkie
Getting into shape and eating healthy 健康 (jiàn kāng) is becoming an important lifestyle choice for many people. Not only can you learn the Chinese names of anatomical features 人体部位学名 (rén tǐ bù wèi xué míng), but also how to get your organic veggies 有机蔬菜 (yǒu jī shū cài). If you take part in a yoga class 瑜伽课 (yú jiā kè) learn the basics from breathing techniques to more difficult vocabulary like pose names. All in all, live a more zen life using the Chinese language!
Videos and Audio for Fitness Junkies
2. 科幻爱好者 (kē huàn ài hào zhě) Sci Fi Enthusiast
If you love comic books 动漫 (dòng màn) , superheroes 超级英雄 (chāo jí yīng xióng) and Star Trek 星际旅行 (xīng jì lǚ xíng) then you need to learn how to talk about your favourite characters 最喜欢的人物 (zuì xǐ huan de rén wù), plot spoilers 剧透 (jù tòu) or whether you prefer Deep Space 9 over Next Generation (yes, it’s a thing). Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten those of you obsessed with blood, guts and TV shows like The Walking Dead 行尸走肉 (xíng shī zǒu ròu), there’s something for you too!
Videos and Audio for Sci-fi Fans
The Comic Book Convention (Intermediate)
A Gamers Collectibles (Upper Intermediate)
Star Trek (Upper Intermediate)
中西僵尸比一比 – The Difference between Chinese and Western Zombies (Advanced)
平行宇宙 – Parallel Universe (Advanced)
3. 手工爱好者 (shǒu gōng ài hào zhě) Art and Crafting Connoisseur
DIY 手工 (shǒu gōng), or do-it-yourself, has become a popular pastime recently and so it’s pretty essential that you know how to ask for wool 毛线 (máo xiàn), pipe cleaners 毛根 (máo gēn) and googly eyes. If you’re in China and have access to Taobao, those DIY-ers amongst you will be have a field day!
You can also learn vocabulary to talk about works of art 美术 (měi shù) and traditional Chinese art 国画 (guó huà).
Videos and Audio for DIY-ers
4. 乐迷 (yuè mí) Music Lovers
Learn to order concert tickets 音乐会票 (yīn yuè huì piào), buy an instrument 乐器 (yuè qì) or learn how to play guitar 弹吉他 (tán jí tā) – all in Chinese! Of course, you also need to know how to talk about different genres 类型 (lèi xíng) of music such as jazz 爵士乐 (jué shì yuè), pop and heavy metal 重金属 (zhòng jīn shǔ)!
Videos and Audio for Music Lovers
Music Lovers (Elementary)
Lots of Music Instruments (Elementary)
Jazz Music (Elementary)
Learning to Play the Guitar (Intermediate)
Booking Tickets for a Concert (Intermediate)
Finding Live Music (Intermediate)
Pop Music and Pop Culture (Intermediate)
Piano Class (Upper Intermediate)
Band Practice (Upper Intermediate)
音乐祭 – Music Festival (Advanced)
5. 书蠹 (shū dù) Bookworm
If you prefer to stay at home with a good book then you can also learn some great vocabulary words to talk about your favourite works of literature 文学 (wén xué)! You also need to give your opinions and be able to discuss the narrative 故事 (gù shi), characters and whether you would recommend it to your bestie.
Videos and Audio for Bookworms
6. 园艺爱好者 (yuán yì ài hào zhě) Greenthumb
Some people love the outdoors 露天 (lù tiān) and enjoy spending the day in the park 公园 (gōng yuán), hiking a mountain 爬山 (pá shān）or camping 露营 (lù yíng). Whilst others enjoy the good life (there’s a nice idiom to describe this: 老婆孩子热炕头 (lǎo pó hái zi rè kàng tou) ) enjoy growing their own vegetables 蔬菜 (shū cài) and talking to their plants 花卉 (huā huì). Learn Chinese names of plants and flowers, tools and other outdoorsy words to help you on your adventures.
Videos and Audio for Gardeners
7. 美食家 (měi shí jiā) Foodie
Some food lovers love to eat, others enjoy spending hours in the kitchen mastering a new dish. It’s important to know your ingredients 配料 (pèi liào), flavours 味道 (wèi dào) and most importantly, what tastes good! You can learn vocabulary for eating in a restaurant, buying from your local market 市场 (shì chǎng) and also how to make a certain dish 菜谱 (cài pǔ)! Your Chinese friends will definitely be willing to teach you special dishes 拿手菜 (ná shǒu cài) from their hometown!
Videos and Audio for Foodies
8. 影迷 (yǐng mí) Movie Buff
Any film fan needs to know how to give their opinion about brilliant cinematography, scores 乐谱 (yuè pǔ) and wooden actors. You also need to know how to talk about whether you’re into romantic comedies 爱情喜剧 (ài qíng xǐ jù), fantasy 奇幻 (qí huàn) or Westerns. Finally, knowing some actors names in Chinese would definitely help your discussion. Did you see 约翰尼·德普 (yuē hàn ní dé pǔ) Johnny Depp in that movie…?
Videos and Audio for Film Buffs
9. 极客 (jí kè) Tech Savvy
If technology is your thing, then China (and speaking the lingo) is the place to be! Learn how to talk about computer hardware 硬体 (yìng tǐ), the internet 网络 (wǎng luò) and the skills 功底 (gōng dǐ) you need to use technology 技术 (jì shù). This vocabulary is also useful when coping with broken products 制品 (zhì pǐn) and upgrading ram 内存 (nèi cún)!
Videos and Audio for Technophiles
10. 驴友 (lǘ yǒu) Seasoned Traveller
Many people who come to China love to travel 旅行 (lǚ xíng). They are the ones who find the deepest darkest locations of China and know how to get great deals for flights 机票 (jī piào), and where the best hostels 宿舍 (sù shè) and sightseeing spots 景区 (jǐng qū) are.
Videos and Audio for Travellers
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!