Learn Chinese on YouTube – Your Not So Secret (FREE) Tool

How Can You Learn Chinese on YouTube?

Learn Chinese on YouTube - LTL Mandarin School
Don’t forget we’ve got YouTube too!

Sure, recommending YouTube doesn’t appear to be much of a hack but WAIT – follow this guide on how to Learn Chinese on YouTube and discover things you never knew.

So… why should I learn Chinese on YouTube?

Well firstly, and probably most importantly it’s free… everyone’s favourite price. No catches, no strings, sit and watch videos 24 hours a day if you desire.

We aren’t just talking about rote memory 24/7 though, YouTube is the home of opportunity.

IN FACT DID YOU KNOW – YouTube is the world’s SECOND biggest search engine behind, of course, Google.

That means YouTube gets more search traffic than Bing, Yahoo and Baidu.

So how can we exploit YouTube to learn Chinese…?

Here’s how

Learn Chinese on YouTube || Music Videos

Learn Chinese on YouTube || TV Shows

Learn Chinese on YouTube || Movies

Learn Chinese on YouTube || Vocab Videos

Learn Chinese on YouTube || Slang and Culture

Learn Chinese on YouTube || Channels to Follow

Learn Chinese on YouTube || FAQs

Learn Chinese on YouTube – Music Videos

Going back to yesteryear, when YouTube was a little smaller, it was music videos that drove people into using YouTube.

Of course nowadays, every man and his dog has or wants their own channel but music was where it all began.

In keeping with it’s rapid rise, so has the availability of music.

There are a TONNE of Chinese songs you can listen to, with subtitles, and learn Chinese.

You can even go one step further and learn your favourite songs in English, in Chinese… as we illustrate with two popular Disney songs here.

If you want to stick to authentic Chinese songs, it doesn’t get more Chinese than this Chopstick Brothers (great name, right) classic from 2015 which is blared out around pretty much every KTV in China to this day…

Introducing the weird, wonderful, downright wacky xiǎo píngguǒ 小苹果, or Little Apple in English.

There’s some fantastic lingo for you to learn in there and an even better video to enjoy.

Alternatively, you could also consider theme tunes dubbed in Chinese from our favourite English tv shows, such as SpongeBob and Peppa Pig!

Songs and Music are also a great way to understand spoken slang in any language.

Speaking of which… Chengdu is home to China’s hip-hop hotspot… try saying that fast three times.

Learn Chinese on YouTube – TV Shows

YouTube is host to a growing number of TV shows from around the world which means long gone are the days of dodgy downloads.

Head to YouTube, search the show and chances are you’ll be in luck.

Fortunately for us, there are a tonne of options to help us learn Chinese, many of which we’ve reviewed to give you a taste of what they’re about… here’s a few of our favourites.

Love O2O

Love O2O (微微一笑很倾城 wēiwēi yīxiào hěn qīngchéng) is one of the most watched Chinese modern dramas in modern history

Our main star is Bei Weiwei (贝微微 bèi wéiwéi) a computer science major who is amazing at playing the online role-playing game A Chinese Ghost Story.

See what all the hype is about below

Well Intended Love

Well-Intended Love (奈何老板要娶我 nàihé lǎobǎn yào qǔ wǒ) is a romantic comedy drama, first airing in 2019.

Xia Lin (夏林 xià lín), a struggling actress, is sadly diagnosed with leukaemia. She needs a bone marrow transplant but the only donor match is Ling Yizhou (凌异洲 líng yìzhōu). Unfortunately for her, Ling is a rich arrogant man who doesn’t want to help her.

Does it work out?

Yanxi Palace

Yanxi Palace: Princess Adventures (金枝玉叶 jīnzhīyùyè) is a Chinese period drama set during the Qing Dynasty.

At the centre of this series is Princess Zhaohua (昭华公主 zhāo huá gōngzhǔ).

This is just 3 of many you can get stuck into. If not on YouTube, then for sure on Netflix or China’s Netflix, iQiyi, if you want to be absolutely certain!

We’ve reviewed a whole load of excellent TV Shows and Movies in Chinese here if you want to discover more.

Learn Chinese on YouTube – Movies

Pretty much the same as above applies here.

Whether it be movies or TV shows you are spoilt for choice on YouTube.

Here’s our best selections for you:

Wolf Warrior

Wolf Warrior (2015), 战狼 zhàn láng in Chinese, is an action movie, often described as the “Chinese Rambo”. It’s pretty intense from start to finish!

The main character is Lengfeng 冷锋 (lěngfēng) who works for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).


The movie Adoring (宠爱 chǒng’ài) is a romantic comedy which was released in 2019.

Adoring tells the stories of six different people, their pets, and their journey to find love.

Farewell My Concubine

Farewell My Concubine (霸王别姬 bàwáng bié jī in Chinese) is an acclaimed movie from way back in 1993! 

The movie received huge recognition globally and even won the Golden Palm Award at the 46th Cannes Film Festival.

There are no shortage of options on YouTube to get stuck into, what are you waiting for!

Mulan (2020) || Feminist Remake and Cultural Homage Thumbnail

Mulan (2020) || Feminist Remake and Cultural Homage

This is it, Mulan 2020 the live action movie will be out in theatre soon. Find out how Mulan is a feminist movie and important for Asian representation.

Learn Chinese on YouTube – Vocab Videos

Coming back down to earth away from the media, movies and what not!

It’s time to get stuck into some proper vocab, but don’t worry, we aren’t taking the fun away!

In fact, many find vocab videos, with audio and a little light music in the background is a much calmer, enjoyable way to take in vocab than sitting silently with a book, going blurry eyed at the same text over and over.

When learning languages, there is no escaping the fact we all need to expand our vocab, it’s just the way it is, so why not do it using videos like this…

There’s a video for pretty much any set of vocab you want out there somewhere.

We’re just scratching the surface here. You get our drift!

Learn Chinese on YouTube – Slang & Culture

Hmm, a topic students get the biggest kick out of? Topics students want to learn the most?

Chinese Proverbs - 守株待兔 (shǒu zhū dài tù)

Of course – it’s slang.

Why though?

Even if we boast average to lower skills in a language, there is nothing more impressive to a native than a foreigner who manages to slip in some slang/dialect into a conversation.

It makes us feel good, and it shows the native speakers we’ve taken genuine care when learning their language.

Now where can I learn slang in Chinese?

It doesn’t really get much better than YouTube for something like this.

“Teaching you things your teacher at school wouldn’t teach you” is the slogan we’ve seen banded around quite often and it draws people in.

For some reason, it’s just more fun to learn the word for “douchebag” than it is to learn “table”.

EXAMPLE – there’s a common idiom in Chinese which in English literally translates to hit the horses butt. What the heck does that mean? Let our very own Alex demonstrate…

What about asking someone out in Chinese?

Well here our friend Zoe teaches us the importance of learning Chinese the right way (and trusting your friends), something that Ben pays the price for:

… and last by not least one of our favourite channels, Mamahuhu show us how Chinglish can solve everything!

Learn Chinese on YouTube – Channels to Follow

Take your pick, whether you want formal, lessons, vocab, funny, quirky… there’s a huge variety, but here are some of our team’s favourites:

  • Mamahuhu – as mentioned above. Generally funny, relatable videos if you’ve been to, or lived in China.
  • LearnChineseClass101 – more formal classes to help teach you various aspects of Chinese.
  • Everyday Chinese – a mixed of culture, classes and grammar.
  • LTL Language School – of course, we’ve got to recommend ourselves right? We’re getting better every year, trust us! If you’ve gotten this far we hope you enjoyed the videos you saw above, if so, you might want to drop us a subscribe for more!

So then, YouTube, learning Chinese – have you tried it before?

If so, what tips can you give? Have we missed anything out? Any good channels you want us to link to? Drop us a comment below and tell us more.

Learn Chinese on YouTube || FAQs

Can I watch Chinese TV Shows on YouTube?

You can indeed, there are many Chinese TV shows you can enjoy on YouTube.

Can I watch Chinese Movies on YouTube?

Yes you can, there are plenty you can watch, we’ve listed our favourite Chinese movies here.

Can I listen to Chinese Songs on YouTube?

Of course, there are a huge database of Chinese songs on YouTube, with subtitles also.

Is YouTube a good way to Learn Chinese?

Yes it is for a number of reasons…

Well firstly, and probably most importantly it’s free… everyone’s favourite price. No catches, no strings, sit and watch videos 24 hours a day if you desire.

We aren’t just talking about rote memory 24/7 though, YouTube is the home of opportunity.

IN FACT DID YOU KNOW – YouTube is the world’s SECOND biggest search enough behind, of course, Google.

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BONUS || Want to study Chinese with us in Chengdu? Why not check out our group courses or individual Chinese classes.



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  1. Best way to learn Chinese bar none (except being in China obviously). Use it every single week without fail.

    1. Max Hobbs

      Well said Tim, it’s amazing how much stuff there is available on there.

      ANY question you can answer with a quick Google/YouTube these days!

  2. Sara Croft

    Thanks for posting such an informative article, I really liked it. Thumbs up!

    1. LTL Team HQ

      Always a pleasure Sara