• thetaiwaneseway

4 Tips on Learning Chinese with podcasts (2021)

Updated: Jun 27

Are you bored of your Chinese textbooks and all those tedious grammar rules?

Don't worry! It is time to try learning Chinese from listening to podcasts!

But before you do so, here are 4 tips that will enhance your Chinese learning experience with podcasts.


1. Study with a podcast that provides transcripts


Instead of blindly listening to the audio and guessing which words you hear, it is always better to have something you can refer to. Simply reading the transcript while listening to a podcast can already make your Chinese learning more effective.


Every episode of my podcast, "台味中文 Learn Chinese, the Taiwanese Way," comes with its transcript, so why not give it a try if you are interested in learning Chinese in a natural way.


Later in this article, I will give an example of how I usually study a language with podcasts.


2. Use a dictionary that does not require keyboard input


This will not only make your study more efficient but also help you concentrate more. Why switch to another application or webpage to look up a word while you can just do it on the same page?


If you are an Apple user, the built-in Dictionary application should do most of the job.

Download 譯點通英漢雙向字典(Chinese, Traditional-English), and then just simply one click on the word you want to look up, and the definition will pop up.

If you don't know how, follow these guides: Look up words on Mac & Dictionary User Guide


Apple Dictionary

To be even more effortless, try this Chrome browser extension out:

Zhongwen: Chinese-English Dictionary


In my opinion, the reading experience is better than Apple Dictionary as you only need to hover over a word, and it will show you its meaning and Pinyin right away.It supports both Traditional and Simplified Chinese.


3. Listen, Listen, and Listen Again


This might be a little bit obvious, but it is definitely important to listen to your materials more than once so that you can train your ears and remember useful words and phrases naturally.


As a fellow language learner, here is my study flow:

  1. Pick part of a podcast episode, normally 3-5 minutes.

  2. Listen without the transcript. See how much I can understand.

  3. Read and study the transcript. Look up the words I don't understand.

  4. Listen with the transcript.

  5. Listen again and again without the transcript. (I like to repeat at least 10 times. Of course, not all at once) If there is still something you don't understand, go back to ② and ③.

However, for those who would find the repetition tedious, my suggestions are:

  • Study a material you are interested in.

  • Don't listen to a material too many times all at once.

  • Create a playlist so you can switch between materials easily.


4. Don't listen to only one podcast.


If you have ever wondered why you understand some people in Chinese while not others, maybe you are relying too much on one certain type of input, and it is time for you to diversify your learning materials.


Everyone has its own way of talking, such as their choice of words, tone, and speed. Because of the combination of all these parameters, when you, say, watch a movie or news in your target language, you would find it hard to understand what they say. Your ears are still not used to all kinds of voices you have encountered, so it is important to make sure you do not stick to just one voice or one type of input while you are learning.


In future articles, I will gather all the podcasts that are suitable for Chinese learning and hopefully help you diversify your learning materials. So make sure you come back to check out my blog again!

Ok, that's it! I hope these tips will help you with your Chinese learning, and don't forget to check out my podcast "台味中文 Learn Chinese, the Taiwanese Way!"


If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments, please feel free to contact me at

thetaiwaneseway@gmail.com


I will see you again soon! 掰掰(bye-bye)!

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