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Jan Finster

Interesting Youtube videos on China, Chinese, etc

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Jan Finster

Every now and then I find interesting, funny, inspirational, controversial or other videos on Youtube on China or learnning Chinese.

 

I thought I would start this thread so we can collect such videos. 

If you post a video link, please mention in a few words, what is interesting about it or why you thought you wanted to share it.

 

 

Here are some random videos I watched this week:

Speaking Chinese in America! Plus: Doing Chinese TV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HJ7DS0coTI

 

(I thought the first part of the video on Chinese classes in Arizona was interesting. I never would have expected that there are bilangual classes in English and Chinese in Arizona.)

 

 

The following 3 videos are about Chinese humour, especially the last one was quite insightful:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jan Finster
Added name of videos
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edelweis

maybe copy/paste the title and channel name.

it might become difficult to remember which URLs are about what when there are bunches of them.

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mungouk

They're not guaranteed to be "interesting", but user jschuur on Reddit r/ChineseLanguage has built a website using the youtube API that finds recently-posted videos relating to Mandarin. 

 

https://videos.learnchinese.club/

 

"It updates automatically every 30 minutes and draws content from a list of (currently) 105 YouTube channels via their API."

 

Could be a way to discover new channels that you didn't know about already.

 

 

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joostschuur

Thanks for mentioning my new site, @mungouk! I put this together to help others discover new videos from YouTube, especially from a lot of the smaller channels that might otherwise get overlooked.

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mungouk

It looks pretty useful, and should be required reading for anyone who's thinking of launching their own youtube channel!

 

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suMMit
On 6/3/2020 at 2:47 PM, Jan Finster said:

Here is a Chinese girl that is analysing foreign Youtuber's Chinese and also teaches some grammar. Quite funny and useful IMO:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lp6zhXu1SVk&feature=emb_rel_pause

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2YZJpOG3WA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTA1LV1yk3s

Intersting videos.

 

I recognized Chris in video number 2. I was pretty surprised because I remember a few years ago in Beijing me and a friend spending an evening out drinking with him.  I wasn't studying Chinese back then, but I don't remember him speaking much Chinese to people, showing off or mentioning his ability. What a humble guy! I also thought he was easily the best of these 3.

 

One thought I had watching these videos...why does everyone seem to be so over the top? I mean why does it seem like they are all injecting Red Bull directly into their veins? I guess because these are "entertainment" videos on Youtube, but overall I do think that kind of energetic comedy goes down very well with Chinese(Asians). Unfortunately I'm not good at that. For example, I remember playing a video of Chris Parker(a different Chris) for a Chinese friend to ask her what she thought of his Chinese:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2JYYZV0Ndk&list=PL_u9I1Cv30iv6RrRdROG3_RPKkxsY13ah&index=6&t=0s

 

Her answer was "He's boring". Whereas she enjoys videos like the 3 above. To me it's exactly the opposite.

 

The videos were interesting though. It might be nice to see her do the same with a some learners who are at a more intermediate level, where she could give some useful feedback rather than just nitpicking.

 

 

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Balthazar
15 minutes ago, suMMit said:

One thought I had watching these videos...why does everyone seem to be so over the top? I mean why does it seem like they are all injecting Red Bull directly into their veins? I guess because these are "entertainment" videos on Youtube, but overall I do think that kind of energetic comedy goes down very well with Chinese(Asians). Unfortunately I'm not good at that. For example, I remember playing a video of Chris Parker(a different Chris) for a Chinese friend to ask her what she thought of his Chinese:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2JYYZV0Ndk&list=PL_u9I1Cv30iv6RrRdROG3_RPKkxsY13ah&index=6&t=0s

 

Her answer was "He's boring". Whereas she enjoys videos like the 3 above. To me it's exactly the opposite.

 

 

Yeah, I don't like it either. My impression is that some of these people (Afu in particular) are catering their content mostly to a Chinese audience, though.

 

I have a hypothesis that the "hyperactive" persona is a way to mask language imperfections. Like somehow slower speech and more intense intonation looks less stupid (and mistakes are not as noticeable) when your "character" is in an intense/manic mode.

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Jan Finster
19 minutes ago, suMMit said:

like they are all injecting Red Bull directly into their veins? I guess because these are "entertainment" videos on Youtube, but overall I do think that kind of energetic comedy goes down very well with Chinese(Asians).

 

I do think the audience of these videos are mainly foreigners. She is quite smart, because she knows that entertaining videos get more views and subscribers than merely educational videos. Xiamanyc (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pouKIooZS8U) has over 2 million subscribers, laoshu505000 (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63hB5ZthbP0) used to have over 1 million subscribers. Both are not educational, but purely pranking or entertaining videos. On the other hand, an educational channel such as for example MandarinCorner (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2fAiRQHRQT9aj9P_ijYeow) has less than 100.000 subscribers.

 

 

20 minutes ago, suMMit said:

The videos were interesting though. It might be nice to see her do the same with a some learners who are at a more intermediate level, where she could give some useful feedback rather than just nitpicking.

 

She is basically copying what this guy is doing with Japanese speaking foreigners. That guy, however, is more analytical and less focussed on entertaining:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzLBf7l5G-g

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杰.克
11 hours ago, suMMit said:

One thought I had watching these videos...why does everyone seem to be so over the top?

 

Actually I think this is more of a process, and most content creators do not tend to start out like this. Over time you realise, that creating good content is very important but this is only one half of the equation. Firstly, you have to think of a sensational click-bait title, an attention drawing thumbnail that elicits an emotional response (think a photo of you laughing, or open mouthed in shock), an energetic or emotive first 10 seconds to hook the viewers attention with a promise of interesting content to follow (think a movie trailer), and consistently engaging content throughout to ensure the viewer doesn't click off (which would display as poor viewer retention and throttle the promotion of your video via the algorithm). This is done through turning your personality up to 11 out of 10 (although still based on who you are), cutting out any pauses or erms in the editing process. And making sure your meaning is understood through exaggerated body language (because the viewer doesnt have time to learn your personality and nuances of communication style, you only have a short window, so you have to make sure you emphasise what your communication, ie if its a joke, make sure you laugh) 

 

If you didn't do the above, people wouldn't click on you. And so ultimately your good content would go unwatched

 

At first, when starting out posting a few videos, all of this seems unnatural, forced, and uncomfortable. Over time though, you realise this is what your audience wants. And driven by a desire to produce content that is watched and enjoyed you soon get use to it. At the end of the day a content creator doesn't want his or her content not to be viewed. And a viewer doesnt have the time or energy, have a dialogue with you like in real life (where this exaggerated personality would seem false and tiresome) where you have more time.

 

Ultimately it leads to people slightly amping themselves up.  

 

In some cases that leads to personalities and conversation styles that i personally find annoying - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHQH8iMPUJc ie Brian here. Ultimately though, he is doing the right thing and many do like him! (but my god he speaks frustratingly speedy- and i mean no criticism in this - im sure he is a cool dude, and i am not his intended demographic anyhow)

 

 

 

P.s teacher mike is quite chilled for a Sino/Western content creator - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FprZbUfS3yU although he will still be doing all of above  

 

 

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mungouk

Well, a lot of this is very culture-specific, I think.  

 

Personally if I start watching a youtube video and the presenter starts by yelling *** HEY EVERYONE!  WHAT!! IS!! UP!!!!  *** and gesticulating wildly, I abandon it immediately.

 

Disclaimer: I'm British. 

 

It's an interesting problem actually... if you're making content for a global audience, is there really a "sweet spot" you can hit that caters for everyone, or do you need to tailor the content to a more specific audience?

 

 

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xinoxanu
1 hour ago, mungouk said:

Disclaimer: I'm British.

 

lol

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Flickserve

I would have been impressed if they could order dim sum using Cantonese.

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roddy
9 hours ago, mungouk said:

Disclaimer: I'm British

You're also a full-grown adult. I'd wager the audiences for that kind of style skew young. 

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杰.克
11 hours ago, mungouk said:

Well, a lot of this is very culture-specific, I think.  

 

I think its less to do with culture actually. Heres a youtube from Britain called Morgz https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBwSufNse8VMBvQM_rCSvgQ and he is insanely over-energetic ( to the point of annoying for me , a 30 year old brit)

 

His content is designed with children/young teens/teens in mind. I don't think there is a sweet spot at all. Content creation is about finding a niche and being successful in it. Look at pewdiepie, he is weird as fuck, and his content is highly niche, but he is the most successful youtuber. So my opinion is content has to be tailored. Aside from pop songs, and sport productions, and perhaps Marvel, noone really has the  influence ability to create content for the Globe

 

 

 

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杰.克
11 minutes ago, Jan Finster said:

What do you guys make of his Chinese?

 

I find him quite unpleasant to listen to, quite nasally, and with poor pronunciation!  (although im not the target audience im sure)

 

He seems like a suave dude though and his videos are succesful so good on him! respect his grind, 

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889

"What do you guys make of his Chinese?"

 

Almost unintelligible. Painful, in fact. Not just his pronunciation, but he runs everything together.

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Flickserve
8 hours ago, 杰.克 said:

his videos are succesful

 

Lots of gullible girls out there!

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Lu
21 hours ago, Jan Finster said:

What do you guys make of his Chinese?

He sounds like what an average Chinese person would expect a foreigner to sound like. Perhaps that's part of his appeal.

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