Decent intermediate 1 content (Chinese)


I am struggling to find decent content (intermediate 1 for Chinese) on Lingq. I find that a lot of the textbook content (汉语口语速成基础篇) has question and answer parts that I don’t want to listen to, the slow-chinese series, excellent, but it is read too slowly (hence the “slow” haha!) and some other lessons’ intermediate content is interesting but the sound quality is terrible (Provider: 北京语言大学出版社) akin to take off on a plane.

I love the Chinese Lingq lessons with Hua Hua and Wolf but there are very few Intermediate 1 lessons. Intermediate 2 lessons are listenable but my Chinese is not good enough to comfortably listen to these lessons. Am I looking in the wrong place? I have been sifting through several lessons and getting quite frustrated as I would like some decent, content, with good quality audio.

Any suggestions, comments, insults :slight_smile: ??



What subjects are you interested in ? Perhaps we can try to get some created by our Chinese speaking members.

If you find some audio files are too slow, you can try using Audacity to change the tempo of the file (under the menu “effect”). I use it quite often to adjust the playback speed of files before loading to my mp3 player. First, I use vlc player to find the proper playback speed to change, and then use Audacity to modify it. Hope this would be helpful. :wink:

Thanks for the responses.

@Steve, There are no particular subjects that come to mind. I generally click on lessons that are in the Intermediate 1 range. If I can understand at least some of it, then I will listen and enjoy, no matter what the subject (unless it’s something like accounting, or plastic bag manufacturing :slight_smile: ) It’s just the cadence of the lessons that bothers me. As I said previously, the slow-chinese series is brilliant, the subjects are varied (Marco Polo, climate and weather, Chinese Rock, Chop Sticks, the “囧” character etc but the tempo isn’t natural, in my eyes (ears?) anyway. I fear that listening to slower lessons when I can understand some faster paced stuff would be a hindrance, rather than a help. Maybe i’m wrong!? What do you think?

@ Kigoik, sounds like a pretty good idea. However, I don’t really want to manipulate audio files. I feel as though I should have intermediate 1 audio files at my fingertips, especially as a paying member. (I’m not trying to provoke any arguments btw!)


I agree lower intermediate Chinese is a tough area to be in, sort of a no-mans land as far as material goes. Like you, I like the “slow Chinese” series but its too slow…slow is good for pronunciation and tones but imo not helpful for listening…also agree the Wolf and Hua Hua dialogues are too difficult for this level. That said, I think pulling oneself up to B2 by slogging through difficult material at native speed that you can constantly replay is perhaps the best route to achieve a breakthrough. At least that is what I tell myself. Use a search engine for “cultural interviews with chinese-speaking professionals” which is free material offered by The University of Texas. I’m using this now and the material is too difficult for me (my comprehension in Chinese is about low B1) but it has several advantages 1) audio and video 2) transcripts in English, Chinese (trad and simp), pinyin 3) interesting content relating to differences between Chinese and Western perspectives 4) short enough content lasting only a few minutes 5) free. – There is a lot of content about business and negotiating, which may or may not be of interest…also, the speeches are prepared so there’s no dialogue just presentation. Still, this is one of the best resources I’ve found for listening as well as the voices project and hua hua/wolf dialogues found here at lingq.

-don’t spend too much time at intermediate, try for native content as soon as you can, and keep at it

-on lingq - the best content at this level is chinesepod intermediate lessons (C and D), slow chinese, and clavis sinica. And as you have discovered the content isn’t that great.

-if you really want more content go to chinesepod, popupchinese, fluentu and visualmandarin get a minimum/free membership and download all their intermediate content. However, you really are actually better off doing all the elementary content at cpod and popup and then just diving into native content, without spending too much time at intermediate.

-the “cultural interviews” is pretty awful imo. Lots of non standard accents, and far too many biggotted opinions.

-the only really decent mandarin content on lingq is the wolf and hua hua series, sad to say.

@ iaing. I had a look at some of the content at popupchinese. The lessons I listened to were often interspaced with english and explanations of words. As you said, it might be worth getting a premium account. Visualmandarin looks a bit like Rosetastone no? FluentU seems quite cool and fairly cheap too.

I already have a paid membership here at lingq so having to look for content that is outside of the website, to me, doesn’t really seem right. That being said, something that I do like to do is watch episodes of 家有儿女 (a comedy/sitcom kind of this that’s quite funny) and watch the episodes numerous times. I can probably find the link for the transcripts of the first 10 episodes if anyone is interested?

Still though, it would be really nice to have some more content on lingq please!


hey andy,

-for popup and cpod - just download the (mandarin-only) dialogues and make sure the transcripts are in the mp3 lyrics. Don’t listen to anything that isn’t 100% mandarin and has a transcript.

-for fluentu - rip the youtube file as an mp3 from youtube, and download the transcript from the fluentu site

-for visual mandarin - just focus on the non-religious advanced dialogues - download the mp3s and save the pdf transcripts

tv shows are perfect - nubilicious has done transcripts for 家有儿女, as well as other transcripts:

Happy to swap tv transcripts if you want. I have transcripted the first two episodes of 北京爱情故事 (sad to admit)

also check out - talk shows with transcripts

-interesting current affairs sites with transcripts etc

Bunch of other tips, but this should swamp you for now…

CCTV is the only major network in Chinese I know of that has transcripts for many of its programs. And in my experience this is really a key thing for a learner even well into advanced territory. The lack thereof is one of my main points of criticism of chinesepod (the ad lib portion of the lesson, the scripted part does have transcrptions).

I also like 新闻1+1 but having moved back to Germany the propaganda BS on CCTV now makes an even more grotesque contrast with the free media, almost unbearable to watch, depending on the topic. I’d love to find a source of current affairs programs in Chinese, with minimal music, no Chinese state propaganda (therefore preferably outside the PRC), with transcripts and downloadable as mp3.

The Chinese version of Deutsche Welle comes pretty close but their content is read out written and rather formal texts which I prefer to read and which I find are way more accessible read.


Ok great! I’ll check out the material. I haven’t done the transcripts myself but I found them and having been reading through them. I can send them to you if you like.

@Friedemann I’m still stuck between a beginner and an intermediate learner at the moment. I’d love to get into the material for current affairs but I would understand probably very little which would render the experience unenjoyable. What is 新闻1+1? Is it some kind of news channel?

I would just like to reiterate that I think this kind of content should already be on lingq.

新闻1+1 is one of CCTVs more popular current affairs programs, see the link in one of the posts above.

@iaing Apparently you have to have a premium account at chinesepod and fluentu. For popupchinese, I did try a selection of the dialogues but the ones I looked at where undownloadable without a premium account… A little annoying!

新闻1+1 seems like its got some interesting stuff, I wonder why I cant view the videos! Somebody wants to punish me today!

I am having dinner tomorrow night with a Chinese person here in Vancouver. He is very interesting and involved with media. I am hoping I can persuade him and his friends to create content for us.

Any suggestions on what kind of content we should try to get him to create?

That sounds great! Rural to urban migration? Rise of iphone use in China, how the Chinese view foreigners, music?? Maybe some political stuff like something about Xi Jinping, Deng Xiaoping’s reforms, Communist China, one-child policy, or dare I say the diaoyu island dispute?

Fast food chains??


How “intermediate” do you want this? Can they just speak naturally?

BTW, he has quite the sense of humour and would probably not be available in China.

Check him out in our library.

Would it be worthwhile to have a handful of phrases from each lesson used as patterns and then provide a list of examples of these patterns in use. These could be in the notes or could even be incorporated in the lesson, with sound and text. Any suggestions or advice or requests on the kind of lessons you would like would be welcome.

@Steve Haha! Fair enough! I appreciate that these probably wouldn’t be very intermediate. I was going to suggest other things like climate, geography and food, I didn’t want my suggestions to sound dull!

I suppose any topic could be talked about in detail with an elaborate vocabulary making it an advanced lesson. Equally, when simple sentence structures are used with an abridged vocabulary the lesson could be classed as intermediate.

Further topic suggestions - KTV, spring/other festivals (i don’t know if there are any lessons about festivals on lingq??) lessons about certain cities like Beijing/Shanghai etc…

Thanks for the CanadianLaobian tip, i’ll check him out.


@steve “Any suggestions on what kind of content we should try to get him to create?”

The wolf and huahua series, here, is brilliant for helping to move from A2/B1 - > B2/C1. Arguably better than any content at the main chinese language learning sites.

This would be a good template. Pick a general topic that is interesting to Chinese people, and just talk naturally around it. Transcripting it, after, is the big problem/expense, however.

The other option would be to select interesting podcasts and get permission to transcript them, and then pay to transcribe. I would pay to be a member again at lingq, if this was the case. Alternatively, a payment scheme that contributed to the transcripting, I would also happily pay.

Previously I have dabbled with this site that will transcribe nominated podcasts, for a very small fee. It is a really good way to get good content.

To me, this is the way language learning is developing. Get a broad range of interesting native podcasts, get permission to transcript them, pay a group fee for shared transcripts.

The key issue is that the quality of mandarin content is stagnant at lingq, this isn’t necessarily a criticism, more an observation from someone that has spent 6 hours day for the past 3 years learning the language from a number of sources…

@andy - the trick is to get the minimum premium membership at popup and cpod, and then download all the 100% mandarin dialogues and transcripts.


These two websites can be a tremendous resource. I went to eLance to have my Romanian podcasts transcribed. These website you mentioned are a better way to go. If you or other members have podcasts they would like to have transcribed, and if these can be used and shared in our library, then we should be able to work together. Either we at LingQ pay for the transcription, or you or some other member does, and then you or they earn points based on usage. Tell me how you would like to proceed.

If we can get my friend to create Chinese content we may also need to use this transcription service. Thank you.