It’s that time of year, readers!
You’re probably taking this holiday season to relax and maybe not go so hard on the Chinese studies.
After all, everybody needs a break and the holidays can be quite busy in other ways.
However, you can absolutely brush up on your Chinese fluency without having to sit down and study.
And we can make it topical, too.
Watching a few Chinese Christmas cartoons is a great way for anyone to get into the holiday spirit while also exercising those listening, speaking and reading skills in Mandarin.
We found some seriously funny and cute Chinese Christmas cartoons that are perfect for putting on repeat during the holidays.
But first, let’s look more into why cartoons are so great for learning over the Christmas season.
Why Watch Chinese Christmas Cartoons?
- They can make learning Chinese much more interesting for children (or anyone!). It’s rough trying to teach kids anything, especially a new and potentially confusing language. Chinese Christmas cartoons can help make the process not just easier, but fun!
- They’re great for understanding what cultural differences the West and China have in attitude towards Christmas. The way that Christmas is viewed in the West compared to China and other Mandarin-speaking cultures is pretty different. Learning about the differences and how each culture celebrates the holiday can provide some much-needed insight.
- They can help with improving your listening skills. When it comes down to it, you’re going to be improving your Chinese listening skills by watching these cartoons. Since many of these videos are Chinese carol lyric videos, you’ll also be able to hear how Chinese sounds when sung.
Chinese Christmas Cartoons: 14 Cheery Holiday YouTube Vids
If you enjoy learning with these cartoons, keep in mind that you can do this year-round with FluentU, where videos are always sorted by level and include optional English, pinyin and Chinese subtitles. FluentU takes real-world videos—like movie trailers, music videos, news, cartoons and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language lessons.
This cute video from Online Chinese Language School aims to teach children (and everyone else, of course) how to sing the Christmas classic “Jingle Bells” in Mandarin. The subtitles are only in Chinese, though you can find 拼音 (pīn yīn — Chinese romanization) translations of the song in the comments under the video.
This video is great for doing singalongs and memorizing Chinese vocabulary words. The Chinese sung in this video is fairly simple, with basic concepts, so beginners can definitely benefit from it.
“祝你圣诞快乐” (zhù nǐ shèng dàn kuài lè – Wishing You a Merry Christmas)
Pinkfong is a popular Chinese webtoon for kids, but learners of any age will love this fun Christmas video! This cartoon has a mix of spoken and sung Chinese, complete with Chinese subtitles and engaging animation. A word of warning: The Chinese spoken is fairly fast, so beginners may struggle with this one.
“哆啦A梦圣诞合集 圣诞节的圣诞布袋！！” (duō la A mèng shèng dàn hé jí shèng dàn jié de shèng dàn bù dài – Doraemon’s and the Mystery Sack of Christmas Presents)
If you’re an anime or manga fan you’ve probably heard about the goofball robot cat Doraemon. Even though the anime was originally in Japanese, a Chinese dub of the show has become popular in Taiwan and mainland China. This particular episode of the cartoon is all about Christmas.The subtitles are in Chinese and there’s a lot of dialogue going on, so beginners should probably leave this Christmas cartoon to more fluent speakers. But don’t worry, there’s a lot of newbie material coming up!
This cute computer animated cartoon from BabyBus is perfect for very young children or beginners who are still learning grammar and vocabulary basics in Chinese. There’s a mix of singing and speaking going on and the subtitles are exclusively in Chinese.
Another fun “Jingle Bells” singalong, this Chinese Christmas cartoon from Chinese Buddy is designed specifically to teach non-native learners how to sing parts of “Jingle Bells” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” in Mandarin. The entire video (well, most of it) has simultaneous English, pinyin and 汉字 (hàn zì — Chinese characters) subtitles, making it absolutely perfect for any level of learner.
We get that a lot of these videos are singalongs or musicals. If that’s not really what you’re looking for, don’t worry! Here’s an actual storytime singing-free cartoon for adults and children to enjoy together from BookBox.com.
In this video, the story of the first Christmas is told in clear, slow Chinese that’s perfect for a beginner to follow. The video is also accompanied by English and Chinese subtitles and the English subtitles are removable. The animation is pleasant and entertaining. We bet any kid or adult would love to sit through it.
We have another fun and interesting Christmas cartoon from Pinkfong! This video tells the tale of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, complete with adorable animations and singalongs. This video is perfect for teaching kids about self-acceptance and tolerance, too. Like with most Pinkfong videos, there are only Chinese subtitles available.
Another “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” singalong, this video from MandarinChinese Lessons has karaoke-style Chinese subtitles perfect for intermediate and advanced learners.
This Pinkfong video is one of the most entertaining animated Chinese Christmas videos out there. It boasts various animation styles, different Christmas-related stories and a few different singalongs in both English and Chinese. It has Chinese subtitles and the Chinese spoken can be pretty quick, so watching this video would likely benefit intermediate and advanced learners. Plus, there’s a Chinese Christmas version of the “Baby Shark” song. Who wouldn’t get down to that?
“聖誕老人來發禮物” (shèng dàn lǎo rén lái fā lǐ wù – Gifts From Santa)
There are multiple different animation styles going on in this BabyBus cartoon, so it’s perfect for keeping the attention of both children and adults. The Chinese spoken is clear and slow, so beginners may be able to keep up. However, there are no subtitles for this cartoon.
Here’s another one from BookBox.com. This Christmas cartoon tells a fun and brief story about Santa Claus in clear, slow Chinese. It’s also accompanied by English and Chinese subtitles. Perfect for any learner!
“天使歌唱在高天” (tiān shǐ gē chàng zài gāo tiān – Angels We Have Heard on High)
Okay, so this video may not have much in the way of animation and graphics, but the music is very well-made and the Chinese characters that spell out the song lyrics are clear and correct. If you want to have a fun singalong, this video is worth adding to your Christmas playlist!
“聖嬰孩主耶穌” (shèng yīng hái zhǔ yé sū – The Holy Infant Lord Jesus)
This is definitely a cute one! This singalong video, accompanied by darling illustrations, tells the story of the conception and birth of Jesus through the talented vocals of a child. Kids will love how relatable this cartoon is since they’ll be able to hear a voice closer to their age. However, there are no subtitles for this cartoon, so beginner learners may struggle to follow along. The song lyrics are available in Chinese via the description below the video.
“平安夜、聖嬰孩主耶穌” (píng ān yè, shèng yīng hái zhǔ yé sū – Silent Night)
To wrap up our list of awesome cartoons, we’ve included a timeless classic. “Silent Night” is one of the most recognizable Christmas songs out there. Now you can learn how to sing it in Chinese with this karaoke-style video complete with background illustrations. The subtitles are only in Chinese, so advanced learners are the ones who should really be able to benefit from this video. The music is quite pleasant as well.
Ready to make your Christmas a bit more educational?
These Chinese Christmas cartoons are just plain fun to watch, whether you’re a kid, an adult or a family trying to learn Chinese together.
Em Casalena is a published author, freelance writer and music columnist. They write about a lot of stuff, from music to films to language.
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