7 Best YouTube Channels for Studying Mandarin Chinese on Your Own

June 30, 2022

Did you know that YouTube has over 14,000,000 videos on learning Chinese?

If you want to pick up Chinese on your own, having that many options can turn even a simple task such as choosing the right channel into an overwhelming undertaking.

So, I scoured the internet for the best YouTube channels for learning Chinese. In this article, I boiled the list down to my top 7 recommended YouTube channels to learn Chinese (in no particular order of rank).

Mandarin Corner(Beginner to Intermediate Chinese Level)

Immersion is the best way to learn a language. Mandarin Corner offers an immersive alternative to Chinese language learners without necessarily flying to China. The courses are taught almost entirely in Mandarin Chinese, with a minimal amount of spoken English. The videos have subtitles in Chinese characters, Pinyin, and written English displayed on the screen.

This channel is great for improving two things: your listening skills and your vocabulary repertoire.

In their Listening Practice videos, the host, Eileen, either discusses interesting topics such as plastic surgery and bullying with the audience, or interviews Chinese people with different accents.

As for the vocabulary, they have a video on every single HSK vocabulary word, from HSK 1 to HSK 6, along with sentence examples. If you are looking for an effective way to perfect your pronunciation and memorize all the words you need for your HSK exam, this is a resource goldmine!

Additionally, the channel has many courses captioned in 6 different languages: Thai, Hindi Indonesian, Spanish, German, and Vietnamese making it accessible to learners from different language backgrounds!


Check out the Mandarin Corner YouTube channel here.

ShuoshuoChinese说说中文(All Levels)

This is yet another Chinese YouTube channel that understands that immersion is key for a language learner to progress. It features your usual grammar, vocabulary, and cultural classes, as well as casual talks.

In the “Slow and Clear Short Story” series, the host, who is a fantastic storyteller, shares some personal stories with the viewers, making it feel like a one-on-one authentic exchange. The stories, all in Chinese, can help any Chinese learners improve their listening. They are also conveniently captioned with Chinese characters, pinyin, and English subtitles, are crafted around specific HSK vocabulary words, which can help better understand the real-life application of new vocabularies.


Click here to check out ShuoshuoChinese说说中文.

ChinesePod (Beginner to Upper-Intermediate)

ChinesePod offers a variety of structured video lessons, through entertaining, engaging formats, presented by both native and non-native Chinese-speaking hosts. If you are looking to upgrade your Chinese in general, without the need to focus on HSK exam materials, then this channel will be invaluable to you.

Moreover, seeing all the non-native hosts speak Chinese can be a great motivation boost because if they can do it, I believe we all can do it, too! (Right?)

I find their Chinese idioms, Chinese slang, and daily Chinese characters series the most interesting. Unfortunately, their HSK lessons only focus on HSK 1, so unless you are a beginner, you won’t benefit much from them.

Most of their videos are quite short, spanning anywhere from 15 seconds to 10 minutes, making them very easy to binge-watch!


Click here to find out more about ChinesePod.

理查老师的中文直播课-Richard Chinese Language(All Levels)

Immersion, immersion, immersion. I will always recommend all language learners include some form of immersion in their study plan.

I know that the channel name is a mouthful, but I honestly believe that when it comes to long-distance immersion in Chinese, this YouTube channel is such an underrated hidden gem.

You may think that you have to be in China in order to have an immersive Chinese environment, but this channel is proof that you don’t!

The teacher, Richard 老师, guides you through the usual grammar, vocabulary, and culture lessons, but what makes him stand out is that he offers weekly “live chit-chat” sessions that are open to anyone who wants to practice their Chinese in an interactive manner.

richard chinese language

If you're looking for someone to practice your spoken Chinese with, check out the 理查老师的中文直播课-Richard Chinese Language YouTube channel here.

Culture Yard HSK (All Levels)

This is Culture Yard’s very own YouTube channel. As you may or may not know, Culture Yard is a Chinese language school based in Beijing that focuses on HSK preparatory classes.

On the Culture Yard YouTube channel, you will find free full-length Chinese language classes on practical topics suitable for beginners (HSK1-HSK 2), namely “How to Order at a Restaurant in Simple Chinese”, as well as intermediate to advanced levels (HSK 5-HSK 6) like “How to Read your Employment Contract in Chinese”.

We also have videos on the basics of Chinese Mandarin (Pinyin, pronunciations, greetings, etc.), and for the more advanced learners out there, the “Current Affairs in Chinese” class discussions are made just for you! So, regardless of your level, we’ve got you covered.

And if you still have any shadow of doubt about joining our vibrant community of Chinese language learners, consider joining one of our free Chinese classes!


Don't be left out! Watch more practical Chinese lessons and HSK prep classes on the Culture Yard HSK YouTube channel.

HSK Test Preparation and Practice(All Levels)

As the name implies, this YouTube channel focuses on HSK test preparation and practice, covering HSK levels 1 to 5.

The lessons are led by professional and experienced native Chinese teachers, using mock HSK test materials so it can be a great resource to include in your exam practice. Their grammar lessons often compare the use of similar grammar structures that students can find confusing. Often, the teachers would provide students with practical Chinese learning tips as well.


Need help practicing HSK mock exams? Click here to watch the HSK Test Preparation and Practice YouTube channel.

Kevin in Shanghai(Advanced)

If your Chinese level is near-perfect and you are looking for something to casually practice your Chinese in a way that goes beyond textbook classes, you will certainly benefit from watching this channel.

Despite not being strictly a Chinese language learning YouTube channel, they produce just the right content for seasoned Chinese language students to maintain or improve their Chinese fluency through cultural topics. A lot of their videos highlight a wide array of cross-cultural differences in a fun, comedic way including “Western to Chinese culture”, “Southern vs Northern Chinese”, and “Real vs Fake!” to name a few.


Check out Kevin in Shanghai here.

Final Note:

YouTube has thousands of channels on learning Chinese that are worth checking and this article was my attempt at compiling a more digestable list covering all stages of our Chinese learning journey.

Most of the videos cover diversified topics addressing every aspect of the Chinese language including grammar, proper pronunciation, listening drills, and reading drills for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

While HSK preparation lessons are a common format, some channels also provide unique contents aimed at providing viewers with practical tips as well as immersive experiences.

Nonetheless, YouTube videos are merely a tool to support one’s self-study and in no way constitute a complete substitute for formal classes; signing up for Chinese courses should remain a priority. If you are ready to take your Chinese to the next level, you can learn more about our online HSK preparatory classes here.

About the Author

Juli Mboty has called China home for over 11 years where she became passionate about the Chinese culture, language, and history.

Juli Author Culture Yard