I've been looking to improve my Chinese pronunciation and listening skills. When looking at most tv dramas and textbook dialogues, however, I can't help but notice that tones and pitches tend to be overpronunced in a way that just sounds very unnatural to me and different from the Mandarin I hear in my daily life. Because these sources sound unnatural, I don't really "believe" in them and don't think it would be productive to try to imitate them.

This might be a good example. Randomly choosing the conversation at 10:50, and comparing it to the conversation at, say, 11:15 here, the former seems theatrical and overpronunced, unlike the more everyday dialogue present in the latter link.

I'm a male, speaker, however, and would need a reality tv show or other media genre with a less theatrical mode of pronunciation and articulation with more male speakers. Aside from reality tv, would anyone have suggestions for other genres? Within reality tv, could anyone recommend could programs?

I have linguistics training, and don't mind answers with technical jargon if one wants to comment on the differences between the two modes.



the radio television hong kong has channel in mandarin; in their website, they've archive of past programme, or podcasts.


the site design is a little bit "non-standard", just click any links, until you see "收聽 listen" with a headphone icon.

have fun :)


TV programs that discuss current events and social issues are quite good. Best is having a panel of a few people (not just a one-on-one interview) where a specific topic is discussed - this constrains the range of vocabulary expressed but also provides a variety of different speakers. Often a certain speaker becomes a 'favorite' because of their intonation, sentence structure etc.

Something like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Talk_(TV_series) but in Mandarin would be perfect.


Maybe you can try some 相声? If you can understand them.

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