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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.

Thanks!

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

http://programme.rthk.hk/channel/radio/index.php?c=pth&m=archive

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 :)

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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.

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

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