Resources to Improve Your Chinese Listening Skill When Living in China

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When moving to a new country to live and work, it is necessary to learn its language since it makes it easier for you to make friends with locals and solve some daily events. As we all know, mastering Chinese is not an easy task. Maybe you have been learning Chinese for a while, but you have discovered a strange thing: you know what your Chinese teacher said most of the time, but you can't understand any Chinese TV programs at all.

In fact, there are many useful resources for you to choose from which can effectively improve your Chinese listening.


Free Resources – Intermediate to Advanced


You can download a large number of free TV series, movies, variety shows, etc. as your listening materials from many video websites in China, such as iQiyi, Tencent, and Thunder. You will learn about different Chinese accents from these videos, but only if you have a certain level of Chinese listening comprehension, otherwise this method is not suitable for you. Of course, just select the parts you are interested in to watch, after all, boring programs will quickly make you lose the enthusiasm for watching.


Moreover, if you prefer to listen to some talk shows or music programs directly, some free radio applications are your best choices, such as Fenghuang FM and Ximalay FM. These applications have a powerful function, you can adjust the audio playback speed according to your Chinese listening ability, such as 0.5x speed or 0.75x speed.


The next step is to use these free resources efficiently. First of all, take 5-10 minutes to do an intensive listening and force yourself to understand the content as much as possible. Second, prepare a white paper and write down what you have heard from the programmes. The lucky thing for is most of Chinese programmes have subtitles which is of great help for you to write down something. Third, repeat the video many times until you can totally or understand most of the contents.


(Tips: Watching a video is easier than listening to the audio directly for you can infer what the actor is saying based on the plots.)


Paid resources – Beginner to Advanced


There are some useful Chinese listening resources that require a certain fee to use. Chinesepod. With this software you can test your Chinese listening ability for it is able to record your conversation, and intelligently evaluates your pronunciation and gives a score. Besides, you can also find a number of listening resources for daily life on it, such as how to order meals over the phone, negotiate with your landlord, and so on.


(There is also a free version of this application, but you cannot test your Chinese listening ability online.)

Yabla, is another very useful application I’d like to recommend. You can watch various videos about China on it, such as documentaries, advertisements, and celebrity speeches, and decide whether to view the subtitles. At the same time, you can also click on a word in the subtitle to view its English translation. And these new words will be stored in the online dictionary, which is convenient for you to directly log on to review them next time.


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