TOP 5 Mandarin Chinese Learning Podcasts : Review and Comparison

The verbal component of language is very important. With language instruction podcasts, you can improve you pronunciation and boost listening comprehension skills.

Here are 5 reasons to use podcasts for learning Chinese languages:

  1. Podcasts are more likely to addresses your niche interests than a textbook.
  2. Podcasts are mobile and portable. You can download a podcast to your mp3 player and enjoys all the benefits of its functionality.
  3. You can listen to Chinese podcasts when jogging, travelling, commuting – actually, anytime, anywhere!
  4. Podcasts are often free. There is vast majority of podcasts for Mandarin learners. Some are completely free. Others offer a great amount of free stuff.
  5. Podcasts are just trendy.

5 Best Mandarin Chinese Podcasts:


Melnyks Chinese provides 250+ easy-to-follow lessons in Mandarin. Each lesson in this podcast has a topic. The content is very relevant. There are many useful words and phrases to learn. Melnyks Chinese is one of the most overwhelming learning courses but don’t expect a lively dialogue.

melnyks - chinese podcast

This may either be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on your studying goals and personality.
Unfortunately, full explanations and grammar notes are not available in the audio lessons. To read them, you need to download a transcript.

Learn Chinese Online

The problems with above podcast can be solved by Chineselearnonline. This podcast’s interface is very user-friendly. You can listen to the record and look through transcript at the same time. You can even choose between pinyin, traditional and simplified characters. This feature, as well as “Review vocabulary” and other learning activities, makes CLO really valuable and helpful.

I also like that they gradually increase the amount of Chinese speech in their podcast lessons (depending on your level). For beginners and elementary students almost everything is explained in English. Intermediate and advanced students have a great opportunity to test their comprehension skills by listening great amount of Mandarin content.


Chineseclass101 is another example of a well-structured podcast Mandarin course. The number of lessons is pretty big. They also have a flexible policy of access to their new podcasts, e. g., all newly published lessons are free for 3 weeks!


CLO and Chineseclass101 are a good choice by all means but there is also Chinesepod which has even more interactive exercises for learning new words and phrases. Podcast lessons are sometimes quite short, especially in comparison with CLO and Melnyks Chinese. However, they contain the most up-to-date lexical items. Grammar tips, dialogues, discussion summary and multiple exercises are integrated in the interface so it is very easy-to-browse.

In ChinesePod the amount of Mandarin speech in each lesson is increased step-by-step. Even lessons for Upper-Intermediate students have some explanations in English which is quite helpful! Advanced students may enjoy Mandarin-only podcast lessons.

Chinesepod review


Finally, there is an amazing podcast called Popupchinese. Here you can not only learn the language but also learn more about current political situations, social problems and other news from China. The discussions are vivid and lively (credit trisha). However, you may find lack of interactive exercises and lesson transcripts.

There are my Top 5 Chinese Learning Podcasts. Do you have any other recommendations? Share your experiences with us!

Oksana Ermolaeva

Oxana Ermolaeva is a freelance writer, editor and translator from Russia. She loves studying new languages and cultures. Her special interest is Chinese language. She owns a page on Facebook and a website about learning Chinese. Now she is also running a channel Hacking Chinese Characters at Dig Mandarin.

  • andrews_seat

    The only one of these sites which regularly produce new lessons is ChinesePod. Even Popup Chinese seems to have now died.

  • Mason

    It had been 6 months since I learned Chinese in Hanbride Mandarin. I just can’t believe I can speak so fluent Chinese. You should know it is regarded as one of the most difficult languages in the world!!! I just want to say thanks to Hanbridge Mandarin school and my teacher Lisa!

  • Josh

    This list is directly focused on Chinese learning podcasts, which is great…but there is more available. Sometimes – especially for intermediate and advanced users, it’s great to hear podcasts that are geared toward the Chinese audience as opposed to the Chinese learner. If that’s what you’re looking for, you should check out this list of the best Chinese podcasts for learning Chinese.

  • Jones Beach Mike

    Xie, xie ni! Great info Oksana