What are the best Chinese online tv channels with english subtitles for passive Mandarin learning. I find Chinese a rather musical language and would love to watch subbed tv (news, documentaries, culture etc) in mandarin.
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I have a few tips:
Of all of these I really recommend getting the satellite antenna. It's definately worth the money.
While not exactly passive in the sense you might mean, I found comic books (manga, 漫畫) to be invaluable while learning chinese. The dialog is very colloquial and it's easier for me to learn new words when I have something written down I can look up in a dictionary.
If you are in Greater China, comic books are everywhere, and I remember, in Taiwan at least, they have these great little comic book shops where you can rent or read in the shop very cheaply. Getting hooked on a long running comic book series that you are buying can do some serious dammage to your wallet.