Do you often find learning Chinese boring and dull? You flip through textbooks, go to classes, and memorize many vocabulary and grammar rules, but you don’t enjoy it. This makes it harder to continue having the motivation to study Chinese.
That’s why you should use the immersion method – absorb Chinese media! And what better way to start than with popular Taiwanese dramas used by many over the past decade?
Why Learn Chinese with Taiwanese Dramas?
- Entertaining and fun.
As mentioned before, studying Chinese in “the proper way” only may be uninteresting, which affects your drive to continue. Therefore, Taiwanese dramas are a surefire way to get you hooked on Chinese because entertainment is always much more enjoyable than dry textbooks.
- Learn through conversations and interactions.
Taiwanese dramas contain many character interactions in various scenarios, depending on the genre you’re watching. They are mostly natural, day-to-day conversations that are similar to real life. By watching these, you can understand the social cues and how the conversation flows between native Chinese speakers in different contexts. It will help you converse more naturally.
- Grasp commonly used words and phrases.
Native Chinese speakers frequently use many words and phrases in daily conversations. These words and phrases may pop up multiple times in Taiwanese dramas. As you hear them constantly through many episodes, you’ll be able to pick them up very easily. They add to the list of vocabulary you can use in real life.
- Learn slang phrases.
Nowadays, you can’t say you’ve truly mastered a language without learning its slang phrases. To sound natural, you must mix some of these phrases when speaking. These phrases will not appear in any textbooks or lessons, and you’ll miss out if you don’t absorb Chinese media!
- Get into the culture.
Most of all, Taiwanese dramas reflect a type of Chinese culture. In these dramas, you can see how native Chinese interact with each other and some more profound social subtexts and constructs in Taiwan. Or, if you want to learn more about Chinese history, go check out dramas based in ancient China. Ultimately, learning a language is all about getting into the culture itself.
How to Learn Chinese with Taiwanese Dramas?
- Choose dramas you would enjoy.
That is the whole point of this learning method – learn Chinese in a way you enjoy! If you love watching romcoms, plenty of Taiwanese dramas are available in that genre. They will definitely pique your interest, which leads to you gaining more exposure to the language by watching them!
- Watch with subtitles.
First off, remember to watch with the original Chinese audio, not the English dub! If you are a beginner, it is advisable to watch with English subtitles first. If not, you won’t be able to understand anything. After that, you can challenge yourself by gradually changing to Chinese subtitles.
- Play repeatedly.
When you stumble across a sentence you don’t understand, you can always pause the video and replay that sentence. Replay and listen to it multiple times until you fully grasp what the characters are saying. That way, you’ll have this sentence ingrained in your mind.
- Learn the pronunciation.
Watching dramas is the perfect way to brush up on your pronunciation. Not only can you listen to the actors’ native pronunciation repeatedly, but you can also pause the video and learn to speak it out loud. Try imitating their pronunciation by repeatedly listening and practising.
- Take note of new vocabulary and sentence structures.
There will be many new vocabularies and sentence structures in Taiwanese dramas that you might not have learned yet. So, pause the video and write it down in your notebook whenever you encounter one. If you need help, look up an explanation on Google. Be sure to revise it afterwards!
Top 5 Taiwanese Dramas to Watch
- 流星花园 (liú xīng huā yuán) Meteor Garden
Year Aired: 2001
You can’t talk about Taiwanese dramas without mentioning Meteor Garden – it’s an absolute classic. Loved by many generations for over a decade, it’s the show with the famous F4 as the main male lead. It’s an exciting story about the university lives of young people whose social statuses are determined by their riches and influence.
- 海豚湾恋人 (hǎi tún wān liàn rén) At Dolphin Bay
Year Aired: 2003
Starring the famous artist Rainie Yang, it tells the tale of a rural girl who became famous quickly thanks to her pure voice. It’s the typical “rags to riches” tale, but the main character’s struggles and obstacles will undoubtedly touch your heart. This series teaches everything from inspirational quotes to business jargon and Chinese culture. You shouldn’t miss this drama.
- 命中注定我爱你 (mìng zhōng zhù dìng wǒ ài nǐ) Fated to Love You
Year Aired: 2008
A cheerful show with many humorous plot twists, it centres on two strangers stuck together due to a string of mishaps. Observe how a series of slip-ups and misunderstandings unexpectedly turns into a tale of true love. It’s an amusing romantic comedy! You can find it on Netflix.
- 摩登新人类 (mó dēng xīn rén lèi) New Modern People
Year Aired: 2010
Most people can surely relate to this drama series. It circles the stories of several characters who work in the fashion industry. Watch this drama if you want to learn workplace business terms and vocabulary. It strikes the ideal mix between romance and workplace politics.
- 有爱一家人 (yǒu ài yī jiā rén) Love Family
Year Aired: 2013
This one is for all the parents and other family-oriented learners out there. Since it’s a family drama featuring four sisters, you’ll pick up new vocabulary from their various exchanges. You’ll get a glimpse of a middle-class Chinese family’s way of life and discover the affectionate expressions they use for one another.
All in all, watching Taiwanese dramas is an engaging way for you to get exposed to Chinese. It could be challenging to absorb foreign language media at first, but once you get into it, you’ll be fascinated by how many more good shows are out there.
So, what are you waiting for? Turn on a Taiwanese drama on your streaming platforms and start watching! If you love this article, don’t forget to subscribe to Maayot for more bite-sized stories and articles as below: