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Top 10 Yoyo Chinese Live Hangouts


We LOVE doing live hangouts on YouTube!  They give us a chance to talk about topics that aren't a good fit for our comprehensive courses, but are still really interesting and have tons of valuable Chinese language and culture insights.

These hangouts are a great supplement to the lessons on our website and will bring a little fun into your study routine.

We've rounded up our top 10 Yoyo Chinese live hangouts below.  Bookmark this page and treat these hangouts like a mini-course you can enjoy for free!

1. How to Read a Chinese Menu 101 with Yoyo Chinese

The practical benefits of learning how to read a Chinese menu are obvious - particularly if you live in China or planning to visit (or live anywhere near a Chinese restaurant).  But it's also a great way to illustrate the logical way Chinese characters work, and how easy (and fun) it actually is to learn to read Chinese.  

We can teach you how to decode a Chinese menu without having to memorize thousands of characters, or the name of every Chinese dish.  

It feels liberating to not be limited to restaurants with pictures, sheepishly pointing at something that looks good and hoping that there are no surprises!  You can actually be adventurous and try new dishes, without ordering completely clueless about what is going to come out of the kitchen.

Check it out:

2. How Chinese People ACTUALLY Speak

Let's be honest: if you get into a conversation with a Chinese person, or try to watch a Chinese movie or Chinese TV show, what you'll hear is probably going to sound a whole lot different from what you read in a textbook or heard in your classroom.

Of course!  People in the real world speak quickly, and when they do all sorts of words and sounds get changed, blurred, or dropped all together.  In your own language you do this naturally - it's just part of speaking quickly or casually.  

But particularly with Chinese - which likely sounds very different than your native language - it can be really confusing and frustrating.  You've studied the language and feel confident, well-practiced and well-prepared, but when you try and use your Mandarin in the real world, what you hear back sounds totally different from what you expected.

Getting an ear for real-world spoken Chinese take time and exposure, but there are patterns - especially for the most common phrases - that will change the game for you.  

In this live Hangout, we talk about these patterns and tips for listening to Chinese people how they actually speak:

Check it out:

3. Meet with Yangyang's Parents: Part I

Back in 2014, Yangyang's parents stopped by the student for this awesome live hangout!  Learn about Yangyang's parents, Yangyang when she was younger, and much more!

Check it out:

4. 5 Chinese Words with No English Translations

In this fun hangout, we talk about 5 Chinese words that are hugely important in modern Chinese culture, but have no perfect English translations.  

These words are all extremely common, and describe something that is deeply significant in daily Chinese life.  We'll explain their meanings, but we'll also tell some stories and give you context about how these words are used and relate to a core aspect of Chinese culture.

Check it out:

5. Differences Between Mainland Chinese and Taiwanese Mandarin

In this live hangout, we answered a very popular question we often get from our students: What are the major differences between Mainland Mandarin and Taiwanese Mandarin?

It's a fascinating topic for students living or visiting Taiwan, and for students of Mandarin in general!  Check it out:

6. Introduction to Traditional Chinese Music & Culture with Musician Ma Jie

This was a fascinating live hangout all about traditional Chinese music and culture with Yangyang's friend friend Jie Ma (马捷 mǎ jié).

We'll introduce you to the wonderful instrument 琵琶 (pí pá) - lute, and hope you learned something new about traditional Chinese music.

Check it out:

7. How to Express Emotions in a Tonal Language Like Mandarin

When you're speaking your native language, so much of your emotions are expressed in your intonation: how your voice rises and falls and emphasizes certain words.

But how can you do this in a tonal language like Mandarin, where your voice must follow the correct tones?

In this hangout, we'll teach you how to express emotions in a tonal language like Mandarin. Check it out:

8. Celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节 - zhōng qiū jié)

Come celebrate 中秋节 (zhōng qiū jié) - Mid-Autumn Festival - with us!

Watch this awesome live hangout to:

• Watch our fun moon cake blind taste test
• Learn a super famous Chinese poem (about the moon)
• Learn useful Mandarin vocabulary and expressions

Check it out:

9. Chinese Learning Strategies with the Experts

In this hangout, Yangyang chats with language learning expert (and Yoyo Chinese course designer) Albert with top strategies for learning Mandarin.  It's full of useful advice for making sure you you study effectively, avoid frustration, and stay motivated.

Check it out:

10. Hangout with Yangyang's Parents: Baba and Mama Cheng: Part II

4 years after Yangyang's parents first stopped by for a live hangout, they're back!  

Join Yangyang and her parents, Baba and Mama Cheng, as they answer questions about themselves, Yangyang, China and Mandarin Chinese - including questions from Yoyo Chinese students - in this live hangout.

Check it out:

Learn More

I hope you enjoyed these hangouts, and are feeling motivated to continue your Mandarin learning journey!

If you like these lessons, you can learn to speak and understand Chinese with our Conversational Courses and learn to read and write with our Chinese Character Courses.  

The first units in each course are free, so check it out and see how we make learning Mandarin possible:

Which was your favorite hangout?  Have an idea for our next hangout?  Let us know in the comments below!