ChinesePod - Beginner



ChinesePod makes learning Mandarin fun and easy. It isn't your typical language learning resource - we think you'll be entertained as well!

If you’re just trying to learn some survival Chinese or looking to start a lifelong relationship with the language, this ChinesePod - Beginner Level Podcast Channel is where to start.

Expand your Mandarin Chinese learning experience by also SUBSCRIBING to ChinesePod - Intermediate and ChinesePod - Advanced Podcast channels.

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407 episodes

Newbie | The Characters of Ma

This is a breakdown of the characters or hanzi behind "Ma!" This lesson pairs nicely with the newbie lesson "Tones of Ma!" Episode link:

Dec 02
Elementary | Traveling around China

So you've enjoyed some travels in China of late, but part of the fun is getting to go home and brag to everyone about what you've seen. Listen to this podcast and learn how to use Mandarin Chinese to tell someone about what you've seen and done whilst adventuring in the "Middle Kingdom." Episode link:

Nov 30
Newbie | Please let me through!

No China experience would be complete without the “stuck in the middle of a giant mass of people” part. But you really need to get through. Not willing to just PUSH, you have to know what to say. In this podcast, you learn how to say “let me through” in Mandarin. (Getting the crowd to actually take you seriously is up to you.) Episode link:

Nov 28
Elementary | Washing the Sheets

It's time to get those chores done! In this lesson, learn how to talk about doing house work, from washing dishes and doing laundry to tidying up your room. Episode link:

Nov 25
Newbie | Just Looking

OK, so you’re in a little Chinese shop, or checking out a vendor’s stand, and the clerk is super excited. She’s trotting out a seemingly endless line of products, not a single one which arises an iota of your interest. So how do you tell her that you’re really “just looking?” In this podcast you can learn the Mandarin to do just that. Episode link:

Nov 23
Elementary | Shut up!

Don’t you hate it when you want to know how to tell someone off in Chinese, but you just can’t find the words? Which results in your usual strong words: you bad! Well, leave it to ChinesePod to teach you the phrases you really want to know, like “shut up!” In this podcast, listen in as two friends have a little exchange of words. (Later, we’ll teach you how to kiss and make up). Episode link:

Nov 21
Newbie | Do you have wifi?

Ever been on the hunt for wifi? Here's how to ask! Episode link:

Nov 18
Elementary | Annual Meeting

So much of life if consumed with planning for the things that we want to do. In this lesson, two coworkers talk about an upcoming annual meeting at work and whether or not one of them can attend. Learn how to talk about participating in big events like weddings, meetings, etc., as well as plans to return home. Episode link:

Nov 16
Newbie | Wrong Number

You know that guy that keeps calling your home number at 3am and asking for “Lao Li” in Chinese? You’ve tried screaming, you’ve tried threatening, you’ve tried begging. But he just KEEPS CALLING. With the help of this podcast you can learn how to finally tell the guy “wrong number” in Mandarin Chinese. (That’ll show him.) Episode link:

Nov 14
Elementary | Goodbye to a Co-worker

Co-workers come and go in offices throughout the world. In this lesson, learn how to say goodbye to your Chinese co-workers and wish them the best. Episode link:

Nov 11
Newbie | Emergency Call

Emergencies happen. Buildings catch on fire. Here at ChinesePod, we prefer to think of these unfortunate incidents as “opportunities”--for you to start causing a ruckus about it in Mandarin. If your Chinese is not yet up to the task, then it’s time to tune into this podcast. You’ll learn not only how to tell people there’s a fire, but also how to dial the appropriate emergency number. Episode link:

Nov 09
Elementary | The Clogged Toilet

Though your instinct may be to scream and run, a clogged toilet just isn’t going to go away, as we all know. Since you insist on throwing your toilet paper into the toilet (unlike the locals, who know better!), you will likely shortly be in need of this lesson. In this podcast learn how to use your Mandarin Chinese to beckon for your property manager’s help to deal with this delicate task. Episode link:

Nov 07
Newbie | The 5 "W" Questions

Asking Questions you need to know these five pronouns: who, what, when, where, and why. Episode link:

Nov 04
Elementary | Leaving a Tip

How much should you leave as a tip after a meal in China? The answer is nothing! In China, it is not customary to give tips. In this lesson, two friends learn what happens when you try to give a tip in China after a meal. Episode link:

Nov 03
Newbie | What Does This Word Mean?

Some say "1.3 billion people," but we say "1.3 billion human dictionaries." That's right, why should you thumb through one of those new-fangled "book" thingies when you can rely on glorious oral tradition and just ask people what words mean? This lesson will equip you to do just that, in Chinese! Episode link:

Nov 02
Elementary | Drawing Suns

Little children do the strangest things, don't they? They bring us great delight, but also prove to be little monsters from time to time. In this lesson, a mother discovers that her precious child may have taken its drawing a little too far. Episode link:

Oct 28
Newbie | Colored Balls

You never know when you’ll end up in the colored ball room at Ikea and want to know how to have a conversation about colored balls, but, seriously, knowing about shapes and colors always comes in handy! In this podcast, Ken and Jenny use a graphic to help put you through the training. Learn the Mandarin words for six different colors, as well as how to describe big and small. Episode link:

Oct 26
Elementary | Flags and National Anthems

Now that China is your "adopted country", you had better make sure you know what your flag looks like. The national anthem? Hmm, that we'll leave for you to learn before 2008 (or you can just hum along). In this podcast, learn a little bit about the flag and national anthem of China, in Mandarin Chinese. Episode link:

Oct 24
Newbie | Does He Have Children?

Mr. Li is the talk of the town. He's dashing, he's witty, and... he's a father! In this lesson, the gossip turns to the subject of Mr. Li's children. If you're a parent (or maybe you're working on a complete inventory of everyone's children), you're going to find this lesson useful. Episode link:

Oct 21
Elementary | Easter and Chocolate Bunnies

Ever wondered what Easter has to do with chocolate bunnies? Well…you won’t find out in this podcast. You will, however, learn how to talk about this important holiday in Mandarin Chinese. Listen in to this podcast and learn how to discuss Easter in Chinese, and learn some words that have to do with the religious significance of this observance. Oh yes, and you will learn one of the most important words in any language: “chocolate”. Yes, don’t miss this one! Episode link:

Oct 19
Newbie | Riding the Elevator

Granted, you might get some stares for just being in an elevator, but your situation might improve if you could actually use your Mandarin Chinese to tell the attendant to which floor you're headed. Thus, the podcast. Next stop: Mandarin on Your Terms (obvious, yes, but we get away with it because we're cute). Episode link:

Oct 17
Elementary | Bounced!

Huge guys in black suits with icy stares, bouncers are the same everywhere. In this lesson, two friends try to check out a popular nightclub, only to find themselves stopped by a bouncer at the door. Episode link:

Oct 14
Newbie | Let Me Help You

Chinese people are often very gracious and helpful towards foreign guests, especially when traveling via train or plane. Having trouble stowing your heavy bag in an overhead compartment? Chances are you'll have someone offering to help you in no time. Learn how to accept such aid (and offer it!) in today's lesson. Episode link:

Oct 12
Elementary | Dumb Joke

Jokes are never as funny when they have to be explained, and it’s likely that a joke in Chinese is going to need an explanation. But what about a joke where there’s really nothing to get? Not only do you not feel dumb, but you actually get smarter, because you learn all the Mandarin associated with a “cold joke” in this podcast. Episode link:

Oct 10
Newbie | Coffee Shop

You want a coffee, and that nice Chinese employee in the cafe wants nothing more than to sell you one. So stop overthinking it and cut to the chase. It's time to learn how to order a coffee (a latte, let's say) in Mandarin Chinese. Sweet caffeine awaits. Episode link:

Oct 07
Elementary | Help with Housework

For the record, we're a clean podcast. But every now and then we make a mess. But does a podcast listed in Time Magazine clean up after itself? Absolutely not! We delegate.This is where you learn the Mandarin you need to get that Chinese housework done. Episode link:

Oct 05
Newbie | Lost Keys

Alicia has ‘em, so does Florida. But what happens when you lose yours? A lesson, that’s what! Learn how to express your panic, in Mandarin Chinese, when you can’t find your something. Episode link:

Oct 03
Elementary | No TP

Practically, it's a very important piece of knowledge to have: bathrooms in China often don't have toilet paper. The assumption is that folks will bring their own paper or tissues with them when doing their business. In this lesson, someone learns this piece of information the hard way... Episode link:

Sep 30
Newbie | Wait for Me Here

Oh sure, you can get ‘em over with a broad gesturing sweep of the arm, but it’s getting them to stay that’s causing some problems. I mean, you touch them and then point down to the sidewalk, which seems obvious--but it could also mean you want to buy concrete. How about a podcast teaching you how to say “wait here” in Mandarin Chinese? Episode link:

Sep 28
Elementary | Tone Rule: Changes for 'bu'

While the writer attempts to interject occasional humor into these intros, he knows there's nothing funny about the word ‘bu’, especially when you factor in the rules involved. Sorry, you don't know the rules? Oh, you'll thank us for this podcast that takes away the mystery of the changeable ‘bu’ in Mandarin Chinese, then. Episode link:

Sep 26