I would like to improve my listening skills. One way I would like to do that is to find a large number of shortish audio clips (5 to 10 minutes?) of Taiwanese people reading mandarin. What they are reading matters less. It could be novels, news clippings, horoscopes, whatever. I am looking for Taiwanese speakers of Mandarin because I am going to Taiwan and trying to learn Mandarin Chinese. I plan to import the audio files into iTunes and make a playlist I can shuffle thru in my car.

Any ideas where I can get the audio files I am looking for?

  1. Go to twitch.tv and find Chinese stream. Almost all streamers on twitch that speak Chinese are from Taiwan.

  2. Go to youtube, change your location to Taiwan and you will get a lot of Taiwan videos.

  • Moreover, the reason is Youtube (not sure about twitch) is not accessible from behind China's great firewall. Same for Facebook. As a result, opinions in Chinese on Western internet media are dominated by the Taiwanese :) So in principle, any online audio/video that's not targeted specifically at 普通话 learners has a huge chance of being spoken by a Taiwanese person. Nov 11 '18 at 1:49
  • One more reason is that every site you've mentioned, there exists some substitutions in China. As a result, people in China access Youtube/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram only when they need to, i.e. when they want to criticize some celebrity's 'unproper' post/behavior/word.
    – chouhy
    Nov 13 '18 at 2:38

I am looking for Taiwanese speakers of Mandarin because I am going to Taiwan and trying to learn Mandarin Chinese.

If you want to learn to speak Mandarin properly, this is not a great idea. Taiwanese people, in general, have many speech patterns that don't conform to proper standards of Mandarin.

One of the biggest problems is the use of retroflex consonants (zh、ch、sh、r). Words that start with zh, ch or sh are more likely to be read as z, c and s.

Taiwanese Mandarin also has a lot of different pronunciations for words like:

  • 液 (yi4)
  • 期 (qi2)
  • 崖 (ai2)
  • 括 (kua4)

All of which sound really weird outside of Taiwanese circles.

Another issue would be in the form of accent. The Taiwanese accent is usually considered quite effeminate and "airy," especially in comparison to other versions of Mandarin.

If you want to find top-quality Mandarin spoken in a good way to emulate, your best bet is to find some TVB TV shows dubbed in Mandarin. For instance you can search TVB 国语 on youtube and find something to listen to.

  • 1
    Maybe the OP is trying to get comfortable in Taiwan - in which case, regardless of the "improperness" of Taiwanese accents, they'll have to get used to listening to it.
    – dROOOze
    Nov 8 '18 at 7:46
  • @droooze Yeah, I hear you. But, a heads-up before the event is better than regrets years later.
    – Mou某
    Nov 8 '18 at 7:53
  • Nothing against China or its version of Mandarin, but I married a Taiwanese, and as such, 95% of the speaking and listening I will be doing will be with family and friends in Taiwan. I need to get used to hearing, and understanding Mandarin as spoken by the Taiwanese. Thanks for the response tho!
    – zeeple
    Nov 8 '18 at 16:58

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