Even if you are not a YouTuber, surely you have watched YouTube quite often and know about it? When you’re learning a language, watching simple videos in that language with subtitles is a great way to improve your skills, and it’s no different for Mandarin. Simple is a good place to start when you’re a beginner with Mandarin, children’s cartoons are often as good a place as any to begin and can work for children and adults alike.
There are plenty of old and modern Mandarin cartoons on YouTube nowadays. If you or your children are learning Mandarin, watching these cartoons can be a very effective way to get to know and practice understanding every day Mandarin expressions. As a fun addition to classes!
Children pick up new languages easily, and watching cartoons are often one of the most important ways they can learn the language. As we all know, most children won’t refuse to watch cartoons, right? Not only are cartoons a favourite, but they can be equally entertaining for adults, at least initially. The plot of the cartoon itself is often interesting, easy to understand, and easy to follow. The story is usually told with amusing or interesting animation, or both, along with simple repetitive words and phrases. It’s a relaxing way to practise understanding everyday Mandarin.
Here are 10 cartoons to get you started, currently very popular in China, and they are all child friendly and do not contain sensitive words - although please review for yourselves before showing to your children, just to be sure. Take a look at the list below and get started!
The cartoon "Half a Catty Funny" features two stone lions "Half a Catty" and "Eight Two" with unique Chinese traditional cultural characteristics. Their images are lively and cute, one is chunky, one is tall and thin, and one is naive and enthusiastic. An excessive pursuit of perfection, slightly negative. They both just graduated from the Stone Lion Academy and always dream of becoming the greatest guardian lion. They have joined in the Lion Learning Program, and various interesting things happen every day when they perform guard tasks in different places.
"Kung Food" is an adventure story that takes place in the magical world of food. In order to replenish the sacred book "Nuwa Recipe" by Nuwa, the creator of the food world, Sihai (steamed buns), Super Bao (baozi), Youwanjin (fried dough sticks), Yi Qiaoqiao, Youkui (baked cake), Hua Xiaolei (Flower Rolls) and Doudou (Dumplings), a group of lovely Chinese foods, and their good friend Musashi (sushi), and a new crew Italodi embarked on a journey with their treasure ship - "Steam Box", across seven Continents and four oceans. This is an adventure story about overcoming hardships and challenges with a group of passionate young people pursuing their dreams…
"Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf" takes the witty battle between a group of goats and the clumsy wolfs over the Green Green Grassland (青青草原; Qīngqīng cǎoyuán), where they live. Every episode is relaxed and hilarious with humourous dialogue. This super-popular long-standing animation has won many children as fans with its distinctive feature of being "funny but not childish, enlightening but not dogmatic", and is deeply loved by people of all age!
Peppa Pig is a four-year-old animated cartoon pig who has been appearing on a British children’s show of the same name since 2004. Intended for preschoolers, Peppa and her family and friends engage in a variety of adventures, with the narratives often also sharing educational messages for kids and, inevitably, ending happily. The story is humorous and interesting, as it also promotes the concepts of family and friendship and encourages children to experience a fulfilled life.
Pororo, the little penguin wearing a flying cap and a pair of round glasses, is the most popular cartoon character in Korea. Pororo even got the titles of "President Pororo" and "Pororo God" in Korea, making it very comparable to the popularity of "Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf" in China. "Little Penguin Pororo" is also popular internationally in over 110 countries and it has won many renowned awards in places like Italy, France, Brazil, South Korea. It has therefore been designated as an annual must-see animation by the American children's entertainment company KidScreen.
"New Happy Dad and Son" is a high-quality animation full of warm and positive energy. The world of children is no longer just full of childishness, but they are a new generation of wisdom. Thus, the animation keeps up with the new perspective from children and parents, and reposition the new role of animation. This cartoon integrates the essence of living by breaking through many traditional restrictions and bringing real life to the screen, helping children to interpret the joys and truths of life.
Doraemon is a robot cat in the 22nd century which had his ears chewed off by a mice and now he is afraid of all mice. He came back in time to aid a lazy and clumsy boy named Nobita Nobi. Doraemon contained many different types of gadgets in his 4 Dimensional Pocket which allows him to help Nobita and used it for their adventures. Doraemon and Nobita went to several adventures with their friends using Doraemon future gadgets. The story of Doraemon brings people into a wonderful and imaginative world, accompanying the growth of many generations of children.
"Super Wings" series revolves around an adorable jet plane named Jett who travels the world delivering packages to children. With every delivery, Jett encounters a new problem that he and his friends the Super Wings must work together to solve. Jett and the Super Wings have the unique ability to transform from planes into amazing heroes who can run, climb, lift, dig and even dive deep under the sea. The story conveys messages of kindness, bravery, joy and friendship, allowing children to follow every new magical journey with Jett, broadening their horizons of the colourful home - Earth.
This is a story of the three-year-old boy Hu Tutu and his happy childhood. The content is healthy, humorous and fit for young children. The story emphasises on every topic that children and parents care about in their life, such as questions of 'Where do I come from?' and 'What is love'. It also touches on topics like children's IQ What, the first day of kindergarten, friendship, taking care of younger siblings, being honest as the most valuable attribute, etc...
"BabyBus: Wonderful Chinese Characters" is a 3D educational animation product created by Baobabs for preschool children. It tells the story of a smart and cute panda Qiqi who likes to use strange Chinese characters to solve problems, but it always leads to all kinds of unexpected encounters.
That's it for this selection, hope you enjoy them! If you have any comments, please let us know.