Learn Chinese Podcast | Teach Yourself

I contemplated some time ago to start a “Learn Chinese” podcast. Basically as this would force me to actually study harder myself.

Well, my idea never materialized, at least not by me. Too busy doing unimportant things I guess:)

Yesterday I visited Chinesepod and these guys, actually a woman and a man to be exact, have done a great job. Already 17 many podcasts available so whoever wants to jump in the Learn Chinese hype, this is the moment.

I am very curious how they will evolve as after the basics it will get harder to create good intermediary casts. They are on their way though.

I downloaded all 17 lessons and if you see a laowai with a headphone walking in Shanghai shouting out Chinese words to nobody in particular it might be me.

You can find the podcasts here


I signed up for a free account to check out their premium features. As mentioned before the podcasts themselves are nice. I have listened to 20 of them by now and I really like the format of short, focused lessons. Compared to the Pimsleur learn Chinese tapes, especially the fact that each lesson is only about 10 minutes is very useful.

The premium features are a bit disappointing though. Besides being able to download all the previous lessons there is something called “The learning centre”.

It consists of a word bank and a glossary. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. The glossary can be used to search for a word after which you can add it to your own word bank. This step you have to repeat for each addition. First the glossary, then add, you see your word bank and you have to click the glossary again to add more words. Too many clicks involved and too slow.

I actually expected a lot more of the premium features, also more innovative tools to learn Chinese. Hopefully they will be added later on but right now it is too thin to convince me to pay for it.

Update 2

Chinesepod reacted and I had yet another look at their website. Suddenly I noticed that each Blog/podcast post has two links on top of it where premium members can get access to the transcript of the lesson as well as some related exercises.

Even more, while I was adding one word at a time in the word bank I just now found out I can go the specific blog post, click transcript and then at the bottom add all the words of the lesson to the word bank. I guess it’s a matter of having a clearer user interface, adding this features to the Learning Center and the whole thing is a lot easier to handle.

I have to adjust a bit my opinion though. The overlooked features are not bad at all, especially for beginners. I would suggest getting a free account, try whether the premium features are useful for you and after that decide about payment.

Start with a one month subscription though, I would suggest. During that month, keep track how much time you are actually spending on learning Chinese. You wouldn’t be the first one starting enthusiastically and loosing interest after a while.

Chinesepod told me they are working on a new version of the website so once it’s there I’ll review it again.

Hopefully the Learning Center will be extended with some new innovative tools.

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7 Responses to “Learn Chinese Podcast | Teach Yourself”

  1. Marshall
    October 13th, 2005 12:45

    Great find! I was searching the web for exactly something like this and wasn’t able to find it!


    – Marshall

  2. Mandarin Chinese Podcasts Serge Melnyk Review | Shanghai China | Snippets & Views
    June 6th, 2006 00:24

    Previously I reviewed the website of Chinesepod which offers some great podcasts and tools to learn Chinese. In my quest to find more sources for learning Chinese (more fun that actually learning it myself:) I recently found a new site that uses the podcast format for Mandarin learners. …

  3. Learn Chinese Sites | Shanghai China | Snippets & Views
    July 17th, 2006 07:35

    I suggest, but it’s up to you of course, to read my review of Chinesepod and Serge’s Melnyck Learn Chinese podcasts. If you like to read annotated articles from the China daily you may like to try out NewsinChinese. Another option is to check out a whole bunch of learn chinese websites. In case you only want to translate some words try Chinese dictionaries which has listed the best ones available. …

  4. marilyn
    July 21st, 2006 22:55

    I found another very nice learn chinese pod. Chinesepod is better than pimsleur, but found Learnchinesepod.com is easier to follow, I listen to several classes and I don’t feel that I would have to hit pause button even once. It’s really very well done.

    It worth to take a look www.learnchinesepod.com

  5. bake_the_vote
    October 6th, 2008 05:38

    ChinesePod has good production quality, but their Shanghai accent is so irritating it makes me want to plunge my head into a rotating fanbelt every time I listen to one of their shows. I see their ads everywhere, but don’t understand how they can survive when their own teachers can’t enunciate the difference between jin and jing.

    Right now I’m listening to CSLPod, the Learn Chinese Online guys and Popup Chinese. I like the latter two better, but LCO doesn’t publish very often and PC is new and doesn’t have much material.

  6. Rui
    February 22nd, 2009 11:23

    Here is another one you would like to try: iMandarinPod.com

    a great site.

  7. Learn Chinese Podcast | Teach Yourself
    July 21st, 2021 07:48

    Olga Sutulovich…

    I contemplated some time ago to start a [tag]Learn Chinese[/tag] podcast. Basically as this would force me to actually study harder myself. Well, my idea never materialized, at least ……

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