Podcasts are downloadable MP3s. Since they can be played on portable players, as iPods, podcasts are a great CSL study tool. You can get language input while driving class, walking to class, or even during a work-out. Podcasts can definitely help you learn Chinese faster.

Popup Chinese

Popup Chinese is a rapidly growing service. They have hundreds of podcasts that users can download for free. The foreign hosts on Popup Chinese have the best Chinese of any service I’ve listened to. The technical side of the service is also impressive. Users can opt to read dialogues in simplified or traditional characters, in pinyin, in characters with pinyin popups, or in a myriad of other ways. They also have a rapidly expanding variety of other learning materials available to paying subscribers. They’ve divided their lessons into five levels.

Absolute Beginner




Short Stories

Chinese Pod

Chinese Pod is the leader. They have hundreds, possibly thousands of podcasts that users can download for free. Unfortunately, users have to sign-up to download any lessons not currently on iTunes, but free users can still access quite a bit and free trials are offered. Chinese Pod is still expanding their vault of vocabulary trainers, games, and other learning materials available to paying subscribers. Their support for traditional character learners is poor, but better than in the past.

They’ve broken the direct links I made to their podcasts.

iMandarin Pod

Run by the leading Chinese educational development center in Tianjin, this site used to offer both podcasts and PDF learning guides for free. Now a login is required to view anything and I’m not sure how much is available for free.

They’ve also broken the links I made to their learning materials.

Learning Mandarin Podcast

The Learning Mandarin Podcast is the work of a single devoted teacher at the MSL Center.

  1. Podcast 1 (mp3)
  2. Interview Maya (mp3)
  3. Tim and Wantanee (mp3)
  4. Interview with Junko (mp3)
  5. interview with Paolo (mp3)

(last updated 03/29/2009)