I’m sure everyone who’s learning Chinese has heard this suggestion: “Watch C-Dramas or read the news. You’ll be fluent in no time!” 

Reading the news may be dull and challenging. Chasing dramas (追剧 Zhuī jù) can also be exhausting. 

Here are some Chinese counterparts to the English content you consume on a daily basis, broken up by topic. They’re fun and bite-sized!

  1. 1 Fashion/Beauty

    For Beginners: If you enjoy Vogue’s content, especially celebrity beauty regime videos, I highly recommend Vogue Taiwan’s channel. 

    It translates a lot of the content, so you can listen to the English and read the Chinese subtitles. Their playlist is called 大明星化妝間 (Dà míngxīng huàzhuāng jiān), and it updates every Monday and Thursday at 11:00 PM.

    VOGUE CHINA also translates some English videos but Taiwan has a wider selection and more videos.

    Intermediate: I think the video above is incredibly helpful for someone who’s learning how to apply makeup. Unfortunately, most of Hello Catie’s videos are not translated into English. 

    However, they do have (Traditional) Chinese subtitles! 咪塔Mita also has beauty and makeup videos with Chinese subtitles.

  2. 2 Architecture/Interior Design

    Beginner to Intermediate: This channel is perfect for people who enjoy Architectural Digest, The Local Project and other similar content. 

    It has the occasional celebrity house tour, but it also features the homes of regular folks. The channel also features content unrelated to architecture and interior design such as fashion, television and more.

    Advanced: This channel mainly does house tours of houses on the market. While it doesn’t have captions, the stunning houses convey everything you need and more.  

  3. 3 Food

    Beginner to Intermediate: Foodvideo’s content teaches viewers how to make Chinese and Western cuisine and beverages. There is a new chef in every video and most of them have English captions.

    • No speaking, just reading and watching

    Beginner to Intermediate: While looking for cooking channels, I came across many great ones with great cinematography and aesthetics. 

    The biggest downside is there is no speaking, or they only type out instructions and ingredients. My favorite channels are: 夏厨陈二十Summer Kitchen, 粥了个舟, 东篱的食事集DongLi, 请叫我蘑菇娘娘 and 一下子就醒了

    Their content reminds me of Alvin Zhou’s and Honeykki’s.

    Advanced: While we can’t travel the world and eat delicious food, we can live vicariously through A Xing. He takes viewers around China and recommends great food.

  4. 4 Fitness

    For Beginners:  April has many slimming, shaping and weight-loss videos. Most, if not all, of her workout videos, have English subtitles. She also explains the movements as you workout in Chinese.

    • Baguazhang 

    Advanced: Baguazhang or “eight trigram palm” is a Chinese martial arts style. It’s part of the Neijia or internal martial arts group. T

    hese exercises focus on spiritual, mental or qi-related aspects. These videos don’t have captions, but you don’t need them to follow along!

    Advanced: Zoey has numerous stretching, full-body and body part-targeting workouts. While some titles are in English, there are no English subtitles! 

    These channels will take your Chinese fluency to the next level while still having fun! While you’re at it, learn some new vocab or slang words. If you’re looking to go a step further, why not try Classical Chinese?

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Vivien Cheng

Vivien Cheng is a student pursuing a B.A. in Mandarin and a minor in international relations. She hopes to aid in policy-making.
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