best chinese songs

The 19 Best Chinese Songs You Gotta Add to Your Mandarin Playlist

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, “music is the universal language of mankind.”

It shapes culture and is something for people to bond over. And as a Chinese learner, you can use it to learn new words, grammar structures and Chinese culture.

Check out 19 of the best Chinese songs to learn Mandarin.

Contents

1. “My Exciting Solitary Life” by Elva Hsiao

Chinese: 萧亚轩《一个人的精彩》

Pinyin: xiāo yà xuān “yí gè rén de jīng cǎi” 

A Taiwanese pop star who rose to fame after winning a singing competition in 1998, Elva Hsiao has had one successful album after the other, all with catchy tunes like this one.

As a kid, I always referred to this as the 头发甩甩 (tóu fǎ shuǎi shuǎi) song.

Sample Lyrics:

头发甩甩,大步地走开
(tóu fa shuǎi shuǎi dà bù de zǒu kāi)
Tossing my hair, striding away

不怜悯心底小小悲哀
(bù lián mǐn xīn dǐ xiǎo xiǎo bēi āi)
Deep in my heart, I have no pity and very little sorrow

挥手Bye-Bye,祝你们愉快
(huī shǒu Bye-Bye zhù nǐ men yú kuài)
Waving bye-bye, good luck to you all

我会一个人活得精彩
(wǒ huì yī gè rén huó dé jīng cǎi)
I can live brilliantly on my own

Key Vocabulary:

 (shuǎi) — to toss; to leave behind
怜悯 (lián mǐn) — pity; remorse
心底 (xīn dǐ) — deep in the heart; bottom of the heart
悲哀 (bēi’āi) — sorrow (n.); sorrowful (adj.)
 (huī) — to wave; to command
(huó) — to live
精彩 (jīng cǎi) — brilliant; wonderful

(dé) is a degree complement that follows a verb to describe its intensity, thus turning 精彩 from an adjective into an adverb.

So Elva Hsiao is actually expressing that she’ll live very brilliantly on her own. However, we would never say that in English since “brilliant” is already considered the highest degree of intensity.

2. “The Moon Represents My Heart” by Teresa Teng

Chinese: 邓丽君《月亮代表我的心》

Pinyin: dèng lì jūn “yuè liang dài biǎo wǒ de xīn” 

Having revolutionized the Chinese pop culture scene in the 1970s and 1980s, Teresa Teng’s music is still being covered by artists today. A true Taiwanese cultural icon, “The Moon Represents My Heart” is only one of the few songs that you can sing along to with your Chinese and Taiwanese friends.

You can watch and listen to this song with interactive dual-language subtitles here.

Sample Lyrics:

轻轻的一个吻,已经打动我的心
(qīng qīng de yī gè wěn, yǐ jīng dǎ dòng wǒ de xīn)
One soft kiss has already moved my heart

深深的一段情,教我思念到如今
(shēn shēn de yī duàn qíng, jiào wǒ sī niàn dào rú jīn)
A deep affection taught me to long until now

Key Vocabulary:

轻轻 (qīng qīng) — lightly; gently; softly
打动 (dǎ dòng) — to move someone deeply
深深 (shēn shēn) — deep; profound
(duàn) — measure word for periods of time, sections, etc.
(qíng) — affection; feeling; love; relationship
思念 (sī niàn) — to long for; to miss; to think of
如今 (rú jīn) — now; nowadays; currently

3. “A Little Luck” by Hebe Tien

Chinese: 田馥甄《小幸运》

Pinyin: tián fù zhēn “xiǎo xìng yùn”

“A Little Luck” is the theme song from the famous 2015 romance film 我的少女时代 (wǒ de shào nǚ shí dài), or “Our Times” in English. It’s the highest-grossing Taiwanese film at the Chinese box office, so it’s guaranteed that your Chinese friends will have at least heard of the song.

Check out the song for the full learning experience here.

Sample Lyrics:

爱上你的时候,还不懂感情
(ài shàng nǐ de shí hòu, hái bù dǒng gǎn qíng)
When I fell in love with you, I didn’t understand my feelings yet

离别了,才觉得刻骨铭心
(lí bié le, cái jué dé kè gǔ míng xīn)
Only after parting did I realize you were unforgettable

为什么没有发现遇见了你是生命最好的事情
(wèi shén me méi yǒu fā xiàn yù jiàn le nǐ shì shēng mìng zuì hǎo de shì qíng)
Why didn’t I realize that meeting you was the best thing in life?

Key Vocabulary:

爱上 (ài shàng) — to fall in love
 (dǒng) — to understand
离别 (lí bié) — to part from; to leave (on a journey)
(cái) — only
刻骨铭心 (kè gǔ míng xīn) — unforgettable (idiom); inscribed to the heart
遇见 (yù jiàn) — to meet; to come across
生命 (shēng mìng) — life
事情 (shì qíng) — thing; matter; issue

4. “Tonight Is Unforgettable” by Li Guyi

Chinese: 李谷一《难忘今宵》

Pinyin: lǐ gǔ yī “nán wàng jīn xiāo”

Put this song on the list to impress your patriotic friends and get everyone to sing along with you. It’s a folk tune that’s sort of the unofficial anthem of Chinese New Year, as it’s often performed during the annual celebrations. So don’t be surprised if people stand up with you when this starts playing.

Sample Lyrics:

难忘今宵,难忘今宵
(nán wàng jīn xiāo, nán wàng jīn xiāo)
Tonight is unforgettable, tonight is unforgettable

无论天涯与海角
(wú lùn tiān yá yǔ hǎi jiǎo)
It doesn’t matter if you are at the ends of the earth or sea

神州万里同怀抱
(shén zhōu wàn lǐ tóng huái bào)
We are all in the same embrace of our vast country

Key Vocabulary:

难忘 (nán wàng) — memorable; unforgettable
今宵 (jīn xiāo) — tonight
无论 (wú lùn) — no matter what; no matter how; regardless
天涯海角 (tiān yá hǎi jiǎo) — separated worlds apart (idiom); the edge of heaven and the corner of the sea
 (yǔ) — versus; and
神州 (shén zhōu) — old name for China; the Divine Land
万里 (wàn lǐ) — miles
怀抱 (huái bào) — in arms; embrace

5. “The Most Romantic Thing” by Cyndi Chao

Chinese: 赵咏华《最浪漫的事》

Pinyin: zhào yǒng huá “zuì làng màn de shì”

This song by Taiwanese actress and singer Cyndi Chao is considered one of the best Chinese love songs, even though the lyrics don’t include the word “love” in them.

Sample Lyrics:

我能想到最浪漫的事
(wǒ néng xiǎng dào zuì làng màn de shì)
The most romantic thing I could imagine

就是和你一起慢慢变老
(jiù shì hé nǐ yī qǐ màn man biàn lǎo)
Is to grow older with you

一路上收藏点点滴滴的欢笑
(yī lù shàng shōu cáng diǎn diǎn dī dī de huān xiào)
Along the way, collecting bits and pieces of laughter

留到以后坐着摇椅慢慢聊
(liú dào yǐ hòu zuò zhe yáo yǐ màn màn liáo)
We could talk about it later while slowly rocking in our chairs

Key Vocabulary:

浪漫 (làng màn) — romantic
变老 (biàn lǎo) — to age; to grow old
收藏 (shōu cáng) — to collect
点点滴滴 (diǎn diǎn dī dī) — bit by bit; bits and pieces
欢笑 (huān xiào) — laugh; laughter
摇椅 (yáo yǐ) — rocking chair
 (liáo) — to chat; to kill time

6. “You Exist in My Song” by Wanting Qu

Chinese: 曲婉婷《我的歌声里》

Pinyin: qū wǎn tíng “wǒ de gē shēng lǐ”

Better known as Wanting, this artist is a singer-songwriter who’s also a pianist, as you can tell from this music video. With over 182 million views on YouTube, “You Exist in My Song” is definitely one to add to your repertoire.

Sample Lyrics:

你存在我深深的脑海里
(nǐ cún zài wǒ shēn shēn de nǎo hǎi lǐ)
You exist deep within my mind

我的梦里,我的心里,我的歌声里
(wǒ de mèng lǐ wǒ de xīn lǐ wǒ de gē shēng lǐ)
Within my dreams, within my heart, within my song

Key Vocabulary:

存在 (cún zài) — to exist
脑海 (nǎo hǎi) — brain; mind
(mèng) — dream
歌声 (gē shēng) — singing voice

7. “Friends” by Emil Chau

Chinese: 周华健《朋友》

Pinyin: zhōu huá jiàn “péng yǒu”

If there was ever a Chinese equivalent to Vitamin C’s “Graduation,” it would be this song. “Friends” is a relatively easy tune to sing along to, and it’ll have people reminiscing about all the memories of school graduations and the good ol’ days.

Check out “Friends” here and take the follow-up quiz to ensure you learned every word.

Sample Lyrics:

朋友一生一起走,那些日子不再有
(péng you yį shēng yì qǐ zǒu, nà xiē rì zi bù zài yǒu)
Those days where friends walk for life together no longer exist

一句话,一辈子,一生情,一杯酒
(yí jù huà, yí bèi zi, yì shēng qíng, yì bēi jiǔ)
In one word, one lifetime, one life of love, one glass of wine

朋友不曾孤单过,一声朋友你会懂
(péng you bù céng gū dān guò, yì shēng péng you nǐ huì dǒng)
Friends have never been lonely before, a word of “friend” and you will understand

还有伤,还有痛,还要走,还有我
(hái yǒu shāng, hái yǒu tòng, hái yào zǒu, hái yǒu wǒ)
There is still hurt, there is still pain, we still have to go on, and you still have me

Key Vocabulary:

(jù) — measure word for lines of speech, sentences, etc.
一辈子
 (yí bèi zi) — lifetime
不曾 (bù céng) — never; not yet
孤单 (gū dān) — alone; lonely
 (shēng) — measure word for sounds, declarations, statements, etc.
(shāng) — wound; injury; pain
(tòng) — grief; anguish; sorrow; sadness; pain

8. “Silence” by Jay Chou

Chinese: 周杰伦《安静》

Pinyin: zhōu jié lún “ān jìng”

Whether you listen to Chinese music or not, there’s no doubt that you’ve at least heard of Jay Chou. And if you’re one of the few who haven’t, you might have seen him play Seth Green’s sidekick in “The Green Hornet.”

He’s got a ton of chart-topping tracks for you to choose from, including this ballad.

Sample Lyrics:

我想你已表现非​得​常明白
(wǒ xiǎng nǐ yǐ biǎo xiàn de fēi cháng míng bái)
I think that you have already made it very clear

我懂我也知道
(wǒ dǒng wǒ yě zhī dào)
I understand and I know

你没有舍不得
(nǐ méi yǒu shě bù dé)
You are not reluctant to go

Key Vocabulary:

表现 (biǎo xiàn) — to show; to express; to display
辈子
 (bèi zi) — lifetime
舍不得 (shě bù dé) — to hate to part with; to begrudge

9. “Super Star” by S.H.E

S.H.E. is a famous Taiwanese girl group that’s best known for their mandopop hit “Super Star,” which comes from the eponymous album—their fourth (arguably biggest) studio album ever released.

Sample Lyrics:

手不是手,是温柔的宇宙
(shǒu bù shì shǒu, shì wēn róu de yǔ zhòu)
A hand is not a hand, it is a gentle universe

我这颗小星球就在你手中转动
(wǒ zhè kē xiǎo xīng qiú jiù zài nǐ shǒu zhōng zhuǎn dòng)
And I am a small planet spinning in your hand

请看见我,让我有梦可以做
(qǐng kàn jiàn wǒ, ràng wǒ yǒu mèng kě yǐ zuò)
Please look at me, let me dream

我为你发了疯,你必须奖励我
(wǒ wèi nǐ fā le fēng, nǐ bì xū jiǎng lì wǒ)
I am crazy for you, you must reward me

Key Vocabulary:

温柔 (wēn róu) — soft; gentle; tender
宇宙 (yǔ zhòu) — universe; cosmos
 (kē) — measure word for small spheres, pearls, grains, teeth, hearts, satellites, etc.
星球 (xīng qiú) — alone; lonely
 (zhōng) — in; among; during
转动 (zhuǎn dòng) — to turn around; to swivel
做梦 (zuò mèng) — to dream; to day dream
 (fēng) — insane; mad; wild
必须 (bì xū) — to have to; must
奖励 (jiǎng lì) — to reward

10. “Big Fish” by Zhou Shen

Chinese: 周深《大鱼》

Pinyin: zhōu shēn “dà yú”

This theme song comes from the beautiful epic fantasy film “Big Fish & Begonia,” with lyrics and musical accompaniment just as colorful and lovely as the movie’s animations. Fun fact about the singer: it’s actually a man using his falsetto voice!

Sample Lyrics:

看海天一色,听风起雨落
(kàn hǎi tiān yí sè tīng fēng qǐ yǔ luò)
Look at how the sea and sky are the same color, hear the wind rising and rain falling

执子手吹散苍茫茫烟波
(zhí zǐ shǒu chuī sàn cāng máng máng yān bō)
Taking your hand, blowing away the vast, hazy mist

大鱼的翅膀已经太辽阔
(dà yú de chì bǎng yǐ jīng tài liáo kuò)
The wings of the big fish are already too wide

我松开时间的绳索
(wǒ sōng kāi shí jiān de shéng suǒ)
I let go of the rope of time

Key Vocabulary:

(zhí) — to hold
吹散 (chuī sàn) — to blow off; to disperse
苍茫茫 (cāng máng máng) — boundless; vast; hazy
烟波 (yān bō) — mist-covered water
翅膀 (chì bǎng) — wing
辽阔 (liáo kuò) — vast; extensive
松开 (sōng kāi) — to release; to untie; to come loose
绳索 (shéng suǒ) — rope

11. “Little Apple” by Chopstick Brothers

Chinese: 侉子兄弟《小苹果》

Pinyin: kuài zi xiōng dì xiǎo píng guǒ” 

This song took the Mandarin-speaking world by storm in 2014, becoming such a trend that old and young Chinese people alike would learn the accompanying dance.

Although it’s not as popular nowadays, it remains a staple in 2000s Chinese pop culture. You’ll hear it referenced in Chinese movies and TV shows, catch glimpses on social media and of course, knowing the dance will immediately impress your native-speaker friends.

Sample Lyrics:

你是我的小呀小苹果儿
(nǐ shì wǒ de xiǎo ya xiǎo píng guǒr)
You are my little apple

怎么爱你都不嫌多
(zěn me ài nǐ dōu bù xián duō)
I can never love you too much

红红的小脸儿温暖我的心窝
(hóng hóng de xiǎo liǎnr wēn nuǎn wǒ de xīn wō)
Your red face warms my heart

点亮我生命的火火火火火
(diǎn liàng wǒ shēng mìng de huǒ huǒ huǒ huǒ huǒ)
The fire that lights up my life

Key Vocabulary:

苹果 (píng guǒ) — apple
(liǎn) — face
温暖 (wēn nuǎn) — warm, warmth
点亮 (diǎn liàng) — to light up
生命 (shēng mìng) — life

12. “The One and Only” by Wang Li Hong

Chinese: 王力宏《唯一》

Pinyin: wáng lì hóng “wéi yī”

The Chinese-American, multi-talented mandopop superstar Wang Li Hong burst onto the international music scene with this song in 2001. It was taken from the rock-inspired album of the same name, which sold over a million copies in Asia alone.

Sample Lyrics:

Baby你就是我的唯一
(baby nǐ jiù shì wǒ de wéi yī)
Baby you’re my one and only

两个世界都变心,回去谈何容易
(liǎng gè shì jiè dōu biàn xīn, huí qù tán hé róng yì)
Both worlds have changed their minds, and going back is easier said than done

确定你就是我的唯一
(què dìng nǐ jiù shì wǒ de wéi yī)
I assure you, you’re my one and only

Key Vocabulary:

唯一 (wéi yī) — only
世界 (shì jiè) — world
变心 (biàn xīn) — change of heart, change of mind
容易 (róng yì) — easy
确定 (què dìng) — to be sure, assure, determine

13. “I’m Willing” by Wang Fei

Chinese: 王菲《我愿意》

Pinyin: wáng fēi “wǒ yuàn yì”

This song became Faye Wong’s trademark hit in the Mandarin-speaking world for years and has been covered by other singers such as Gigi Leung, Sammi Cheng and Jay Chou. She was seen by fans as a successful amalgam of artistic experimentation and commercialism.

Sample Lyrics:

愿意为你,我愿意为你
(yuàn yì wèi nǐ, wǒ yuàn yì wèi nǐ)
Willing for you, I’m willing for you

我愿意为你忘记我姓名
(wǒ yuàn yì wèi nǐ wàng jì wǒ xìng míng)
I’m willing to forget my name for you

就算多一秒停留在你怀里
(jiù suàn duō yì miǎo tíng liú zài nǐ huái lǐ)
Even if I stay in your arms for just one more second

失去世界也不可惜
(shī qù shì jiè yě bù kě xī)
Losing the whole world wouldn’t be a loss to me

Key Vocabulary:

愿意 (yuàn yì) — willing, to be willing
忘记 (wàng jì) — to forget
姓名 (xìng míng) — name (full name)
就算 (jiù suàn) — even if
失去 (shī qù) — to lose
可惜 (kě xī) — pity, loss

14. “I Love Taiwanese Girls” by MC Hot Dog

Chinese: 張震嶽 《我爱台妹》

Pinyin: zhāng zhèn yuè wǒ ài tái mèi”

If you’re tired of sappy Chinese songs, this might be the right song for you. With a style reminiscent of Snoop Dogg, MC Hot Dog produced an instant club anthem with “I Love Taiwanese Girls.”

Being a rap song, there are a lot of words in a short span of time, so you’ll need a reasonably good grasp of Chinese to keep up. The chorus is also catchy to sing along to.

Sample Lyrics:

你是我的可口可乐,帮我解喝
(nǐ shì wǒ de kě kǒu kě lè, bāng wǒ jiě hē)
You are my Coca-Cola, help me quench my thirst

看我穿著就知道我玩饶舌
(kàn wǒ chuān zhuó jiù zhī dào wǒ wán ráo shé)
Just look at what I’m wearing and you know I’m a rapper

不用说我坏话,因为我有顺风耳
(bú yòng shuō wǒ huài huà, yīn wèi wǒ yǒu shùn fēng’ěr)
Don’t talk bad about me because I have good ears

Key Vocabulary:

可口可乐 (kě kǒu kě lè) — Coca-Cola
穿著 (chuān zhuó) — the way one is dressed, apparel
饶舌 (ráo shé) — rap
坏话 (huài huà) — to talk badly (about something or someone), bad words, cuss words
顺风耳 (shùn fēng’ěr) — all-knowing, omniscient

15. “Sweet Honey Honey” by Teresa Teng

Chinese: 邓丽君《甜蜜蜜》

Pinyin: dèng lì jūn “tián mì mì”

One of the most famous Taiwanese pop singers of recent times, Teresa Teng tragically died in 1995 from a severe respiratory attack. But she left behind a wonderful collection of folk songs and ballads.

“Sweet Honey Honey” was one of her signature songs and the title track of her eponymous album from 1979.

The lyrics were written by Zhuang Nu, who had never met Teresa Teng before composing the words. He had only seen her on television. Reportedly, he wrote the words for the pretty, sweet-voiced singer he had seen on TV.

Sample Lyrics:

甜蜜蜜,你笑得甜蜜蜜
(tián mì mì, nǐ xiào dé tián mì mì)
Sweet as honey, your smile is as sweet as honey

好像花儿开在春风里
(hǎo xiàng huā er kāi zài chūn fēng lǐ)
Like flowers blooming in the spring breeze

在哪里, 在哪里见过你
(zài nǎ lǐ, zài nǎ lǐ jiàn guò nǐ)
Where, where have I seen you before

你的笑容这样熟悉
(nǐ de xiào róng zhè yàng shú xī)
Your smile is so familiar

Key Vocabulary:

甜蜜蜜 (tián mì mì) — very sweet
好像 (hǎo xiàng) — like
见过 (jiàn guò) — seen, met (in the past)
熟悉 (shú xī) — familiar
笑容 (xiào róng) — smile

16. “Simple Love” by Jay Chou

Chinese: 周杰伦《简单爱》

Pinyin: zhōu jié lún “jiǎn dān ài”

Another one from Jay Chou, he is a classically trained Taiwanese singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who was discovered in a talent competition in 1998. He has enjoyed a stellar career since his first album came out in 2000.

“Simple Love” is one of his most famous and popular songs and is featured on his second album, “Fantasy.”

Sample Lyrics:

河边的风,在吹着头发飘动
(hé biān de fēng, zài chuī zhe tóu fà piāo dòng)
The breeze by the river, is blowing your hair, swaying

牵着你的手,一阵莫名感动
(qiān zhe nǐ de shǒu, yí zhèn mò míng gǎn dòng)
Holding your hand, a sense of unknowingly being touched

我想带你回我的外婆家
(wǒ xiǎng dài nǐ huí wǒ de wài pó jiā)
I want to take you back to my grandmother’s house

一起看着日落,一直到我们都睡着
(yī qǐ kàn zhe rì luò, yì zhí dào wǒ men dōu shuì zháo)
Watching the sunset together until we fall asleep

Key Vocabulary:

头发 (tóu fà) — hair
感动
(gǎn dòng) — move, to be moved
(dài) — to bring
外婆
(wài pó) — grandmother (maternal)
日落
(rì luò) — sunset

17. “Just Friends” by David Tao

Chinese: 陶喆《普通朋友》

Pinyin: táo zhé “pǔ tōng péng yǒu”

David Tao is loved for his musical style—a crossover genre of R&B and hard rock tunes. The R&B-influenced “Just a Friend” is from his award-winning 1999 album “I’m OK.”

The song has a sweet, infectious melody that makes your spine tingle. It speaks of his pain that the girl of his dreams only sees him as a friend, not a lover.

Sample Lyrics:

但你说 I only wanna be your friend
(dàn nǐ shuō I only wanna be your friend)
But you said I only wanna be your friend

我在你心中只是 just a friend, 不是情人
(wǒ zài nǐ xīn zhōng zhǐ shì just a friend, bú shì qíng rén)
I’m just a friend in your heart, not a lover

我感激你对我这样地坦白
(wǒ gǎn jī nǐ duì wǒ zhè yàng de tǎn bái)
I appreciate you for being honest with me

但我给你的爱暂时收不回来
(dàn wǒ gěi nǐ de ài zhàn shí shōu bù huí lái)
But I can’t take back the love I gave you

Key Vocabulary:

只是 (zhǐ shì) — only
情人 (qíng rén) — lover
感激 (gǎn jī) — to appreciate
坦白 (tǎn bái) — frank, honest

18. “Lovable Woman” by Jay Chou

Chinese: 周杰伦《可爱女人》

Pinyin: zhōu jié lún “kě ài nǚ rén”

Another R&B classic, “Lovable Woman” (also sometimes translated as “Cute Woman”), is a catchy song with some soulful touches that speak of Jay’s desire for a beautiful woman—the lovely Taiwanese pop icon and actress Vivian Hsu, who also supplied the lyrics for this song.

Sample Lyrics:

漂亮的让我面红的可爱女人
(piào liang de ràng wǒ miàn hóng de kě ài nǚrén)
The lovable woman whose beauty makes me blush

温柔的让我心疼的可爱女人
(wēn róu de ràng wǒ xīn téng de kě ài nǚrén)
The lovable woman whose gentleness makes my heart ache

透明的让我感动的可爱女人
(tòu míng de ràng wǒ gǎn dòng de kě ài nǚ rén)
The lovable woman whose transparency touches me

坏坏的让我疯狂的可爱女人
(huài huài de ràng wǒ fēng kuáng de kě ài nǚ rén)
The lovable woman whose badness makes me go crazy

Key Vocabulary:

可爱 (kě ài) — cute, lovable
女人 (nǚ rén) — woman
心疼 (xīn téng) — distress, heartache
透明 (tòu míng) — transparent, transparency
疯狂 (fēng kuáng) — crazy

19. “Hey Girl Look This Way” by Richie Ren

Chinese: 任贤齐《对面的女孩看过来》

Pinyin: rén xián qí “duì miàn de nǚ hái kàn guò lái”

The happy feeling and easy vocabulary make this song a favorite for Chinese teachers. Richie Ren enjoys an enormously successful career in movies, films and television. The Taiwanese singer and actor is popular throughout Asia, particularly in Chinese-speaking countries.

Sample Lyrics:

对面的女孩看过来, 看过来, 看过来
(duì miàn de nǚ hái kàn guò lái, kàn guò lái, kàn guò lái)
The girl across the way, look over here, look over here

这里的表演很精彩, 请不要假装不理不睬
(zhè lǐ de biǎo yǎn hěn jīng cǎi, qǐng bú yào jiǎ zhuāng bù lǐ bù cǎi)
The performance here is great, please don’t pretend to ignore it

对面的女孩看过来, 看过来, 看过来
(duì miàn de nǚ hái kàn guò lái, kàn guò lái, kàn guò lái)
The girl across the way, look over here, look over here

不要被我的样子吓坏, 其实我很可爱
(bù yào bèi wǒ de yàng zi xià huài, qí shí wǒ hěn kě ài)
Don’t be scared by my appearance, I’m actually very cute.

Key Vocabulary:

对面 (duì miàn) — opposite
表演 (biǎo yǎn) — performance
假装 (jiǎ zhuāng) — to pretend
不理不睬 (bù lǐ bù cǎi) — to ignore
样子 (yàng zi) — appearance
其实 (qí shí) — actually

Why Learn Chinese Through Music?

You can hear the natural usage of tones

Chinese in audio teaching materials and the classroom are often exaggerated for students to distinguish between the tones. The reality is that spoken Chinese isn’t all about the tones, as there are other components of natural speech, like stress and emphasis, which you can listen for in music.

So by listening to and singing along to Chinese songs, you’ll learn to pull back on the tones and sound less robotic while speaking.

You can discover and remember new vocabulary

Let’s face it: traditional HSK-style vocab lists can be dull and tedious. There’s no connection built between you and the words on that list, making it less likely for you to remember them in the long run.

Music has always been an effective and creative learning strategy, especially for language students.

You can learn new words by listening to Chinese covers of popular songs, embracing your inner child with easy Chinese children’s songs or watching music videos with subtitles.

You can learn about pop culture and history

By learning Chinese music, you open your world up to new songs, pop icons and music legends through the ages.

For example, you might find that some of the best Chinese songs are from movie soundtracks, leading you to discover Chinese movies, celebrities and beyond.

You can learn beyond the classroom and textbooks

When it comes to studying, processing and applying new information in your everyday life, textbooks can only teach us so much.

It’s all about real-world application, and music is an awesome method for testing your pronunciation and vocabulary knowledge without classroom pressures.

Where to Listen to the Best Chinese Songs

If you’re unsure what Chinese songs to download, check out these online resources to help you see what’s out there.

Spotify spotify app logo

Want to know what native speakers are listening to these days? Spotify is full of playlists with top hits you can listen to on the go. And what’s awesome is that some songs will display the lyrics, powered by Genius, making it easier for you to sing along.

YouTubeyoutube app logo

If you aren’t ready to sing Chinese songs publicly, YouTube videos are handy for getting your practice in.

YouTube is full of karaoke-style videos, some even including English translations, so you understand what you’re singing and not simply memorizing the pinyin subtitles.

Karaoke Mobile Apps kuwo music app

There’s quite a selection of karaoke apps out there, and many include songs in foreign languages. But if you’re specifically after an app for Chinese songs, a great choice to get is 酷我音乐 (kù wǒ yīn yuè), or Kuwo Music.

You can add sound effects and change the background, making your own music videos to share with your friends. You can even participate in competitions and win prizes.

FluentU

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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With these 19 best Chinese songs in your repertoire, you’ll be more cultured in the Chinese music scene and connect with your native speaker friends over the music they’ve listened to their whole lives.

Not to mention, you’ll be a big hit at the next KTV night out!

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