Learning Chinese with EBS

The way I am currently learning Chinese is by reading books and playing games, but my husband recently subscribed to a Korean radio program to learn Chinese, so I’m using it too!

> Main page presenting all the lessons available: EBS 오디오 어학당

> The intermediate Chinese podcast: 중급 중국어

The radio program is called 초급 중국어 for beginners and 중급 중국어 for intermediate learners. It’s hosted by a Korean and a Chinese teachers. In the intermediate level, the Korean teacher is doing most of the talking, but the Chinese teacher also participates quite a lot and only speaks Chinese.

The programs (both beginner and intermediate) start in March and lasts and entire year. If you are a complete beginner, it’s best to start with the first lesson in March, but for intermediate learners like me who have learned with other methods, it is possible to start the intermediate level at any time.

The program is aired three times a week (on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 5:20am!), but they are available anytime on the website with a subscription – I do admire those who catch the lesson live at 5:20. As for the booklet, it’s available in most bookshops or can be ordered online. There is also an e-book version.

The booklet costs 7000 won, and there is one booklet for each month. The e-book version is around 5000 won. I believe that the podcast is free if you catch it live, but if you want to have access to all the audios at any time, the subscription is 4500 won per month (it looks like this gives you access to all the catalogue of lessons, even for other languages). In total it’s 11500 won per month for three lessons per week.

The lessons are centred around a dialogue and introduce vocabulary, expressions and some culture points. Here is an example with a lesson on sales:

The way I am studying it is to listen once to the whole podcast, then learn the vocabulary I didn’t know and try to learn the dialogue by heart. I’m using Pleco as my dictionary, and I save the new words in a folder to study them as flashcards. It’s not as good as Anki, but at least I don’t have to create my own cards.

It’s always hard to find a textbook or podcast that matches your level when you’re “intermediate”, and this 중급 중국어 is a bit on the easy side, but it’s perfect because I don’t want to spend too much time studying Chinese and it would be discouraging if it were too difficult. There are around 5~10 new words per lesson to me, so it’s not overwhelming, and I still feel like I’m learning things and progressing with each lesson. The only thing that I find a bit lacking is that the dialogue is too slow, I wish there was a more natural version too.

I haven’t tried other podcasts or online lessons, so I don’t know how this one compares to other services in terms of prices and quality. I am happy that it’s in Korean rather than English, so I can practise my Korean while learning Chinese. Overall, I am loving this podcast, and I think that what matters the most is that it forces me to study regularly and keep up with the lesson, because I don’t want to fall behind.