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What Chinese Content Do You Watch or Listen to?


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Dr Mack Rettosy

I also struggle to find compelling content. Materials that hold my interest (independent of language learning qualities) are gems in the rough.

 

One show I've really enjoyed is 我是老板. There are a plethora of mainland accents, and the vibes of China mid-2000's is fun. The main actor is Jiang Wu and is absolutely hilarious, he's a younger brother of Jiang Wen. I'll share the wikipedia description because I don't think I could do any better:

 

Quote

Ma Yiming is a likable character, selfless, reliable, studious, hard-working, rigidly principled and full of righteousness, yet extremely unsuccessful; his often hilarious misfortunes highlighting the disconnect between the Communist-Party-propagated ideal and the capitalistic reality in modern Chinese society.

 

The full show is available with hard-coded subtitles on youtube:

 

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4P1OCiJ7Wk9v6DsKSTlNXYjslCFX2vIr

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Woodford
On 4/26/2021 at 9:11 AM, Apollys said:

I tried a few more 李永乐 videos and I have to say I'm sticking with my original impression. 

 

I can definitely see the clickbaity-ness of many of his videos. It's as if his videos are entitled, "Have alien UFOs been discovered?" Then you click on it. Then he mentions aliens for the first 10 seconds of his video. Then he says, "When alien spaceships lift off from a planet, they have to escape gravitational pull." Then he spends the rest of the video cranking through basic Newtonian physics, and the UFOs/aliens are never mentioned again.

 

Something about his delivery style entertains me and holds my interest. I might be getting dumber, but at least my Chinese listening skills are improving! 😀

 

This summer, I'll be setting my reading practice aside and focusing on this sort of listening practice (my reading skills are too far ahead of my listening skills). So based on this very useful thread, I think I'll spend the summer months listening to a cocktail of IC实验室, 小叔TV, 一席 (the Chinese equivalent of TED Talks), Guancha News, and, yes, Li Yongle!

 

The "Mr. and Mrs. Gao" channel appears highly interesting to me, but I can't read the 繁体字 of the Taiwan-based content (at least very well). Learning those characters will definitely be a future project of mine!

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Apollys
On 5/10/2021 at 8:22 AM, Woodford said:

The "Mr. and Mrs. Gao" channel appears highly interesting to me, but I can't read the 繁体字 of the Taiwan-based content (at least very well). Learning those characters will definitely be a future project of mine!

 

You'd be surprised at how easy it is to learn Traditional after knowing Simplified, especially if you're only going for literacy and not character production.  Just learn all the radicals and 50 or so of the most common different Traditional characters (后 for example) and you'll be able to read traditional decently well actually.  There are lots of common correspondence patterns, and context will often take care of the rest.

 

I can (strenuously, but can) read Traditional and I've never directly studied it beyond just learning the radicals and some weird characters for fun sometimes.  I think the rest came with just some practice trying to read YouTube comments and subtitles when they were in Traditional, and pretty soon I realized, hey wait I'm basically reading Traditional at this point.

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  • 5 weeks later...
madizi

Is there any interesting Chinese content about economy, finances and similar things? Or tech, IT, AI,...?

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大块头
2 hours ago, madizi said:

Is there any interesting Chinese content about economy, finances and similar things? Or tech, IT, AI,...?

 

It hasn't been mentioned in this thread yet, but the 得到 app has paid video lectures on some of those topics. Its free flagship podcast 逻辑思维 is pretty good listening practice because the host 罗振宇 usually touches on a lot of different topics over the course of a 60 minute episode. Like 李永乐, some have criticized the shallow way some of the topics are treated.

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Woodford

I've been completely focused on listening skills for a little while now (and plan to be for the whole Summer, at least), and I'm slowly getting a better idea of the things I like to listen to. I am sure, however, that my tastes will continue to get refined as I gain more experience. Sadly, I'm probably evaluating things more for their language learning value and less for their other qualities.

 

The suggestions on this thread have been pretty good. 小叔TV will indeed continue to be one of my go-to channels. I've also recently discovered that he has an alternate YouTube channel, called Beitong北同. As other people here have noted, his speech is nice, slow, and clear. I like watching him roam around different Chinese towns--especially because I've never been there myself.

 

I've also found a channel called 大劉說說, and I can't exactly say why, but I find it a bit charming. Every culture has the "opinionated uncle" trope, and he plays it so well. He tells you hard, cold truth about the way the world really works. 

 

It's interesting to hear people talk about niche hobbies and topics, and 叨叨冯聊音乐 does it well--he talks about music and likes to analyze songs. I don't want to spend too much time on channels that are mainly about one topic, but I enjoy it for what it is.

 

Every now and then, I get some good practice by listening to 一席,the Chinese equivalent of TED Talks. I enjoy the fact that it features an endless variety of different speakers, and also that they are attempting to speak as clearly and formally as possible. And some of the videos also have YouTube-generated captions, so it's easier to use browser extensions to look up unknown words. 

 

Finally, I also like to force myself to watch TV dramas, because even though the dialogue is a bit sparse, they reflect the way people actually talk in day-to-day life--they mumble, whisper, yell, talk in noisy rooms, use slang expressions, etc. It's really challenging to listen to, but I figure that it's necessary to learn. Most Chinese people probably don't talk as though they're giving an academic lecture or a video essay all the time. I wish I could remember who recommended this series and under which thread (maybe it was this one, and I'm just not seeing it!), but I'm starting to like 摩天大楼。It has a similar feel to the American "CSI" series. It's a sort of murder mystery in which the detectives are trying to figure out who did the crime.

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