Watching series in the native language with guidance from an instructor or subtitles is a great way to learn a new language. By combining various useful terms and phrases while providing a vibrant context created by the visual nature of the video content, watching series is among the quickest ways to learn a language.
Non-native Chinese speakers who have learned Chinese admit that learning Chinese is like running a marathon-a long-drawn process. Though they have resorted to multiple ways, like making friends with native Chinese speakers and trying to converse in Chinese, almost all of them admit that watching Chinese series is the most effective way of learning the language as it helps learn the various accents and speaking habits of different groups of people. Any student learning a new language progresses on three levels: Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced.
Chinese series for Elementary learners
Since most series are for experienced and native speakers, there is, unfortunately, a shortage of series to watch and learn the language from. Moreover, students in the elementary level of learning a language can best understand the structure of the sentence and the simple words used in them. Therefore, the kids series are the best place to start from. However, some of the "kids" series contains advanced expressions and vocabulary that may be difficult to learn for elementary-level students.
A few series recommended for elementary and lower-intermediate-level Chinese students are Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf and The Big Head Son and Little Head Father. The shows contain Chinese phrases and words used while greeting and numerous grammatical structures often used to make exclamatory and imperative sentences. The series should be watched under the guidance of a teacher after new expressions are introduced in class due to the unavailability of subtitles.
Chinese series for Intermediate learners of Chinese
When a student is in the intermediate stage of learning, he or she must understand Chinese traditions and culture. This can be learned best by observing the cultural elements from the daily life of people in China. Home with Kids helps learners learn the language and understand Chinese culture better. The series provides insight into the workings of the ordinary life of a Chinese family. Watching this series can give the viewer bragging rights of becoming a local. Certain slangs used by the youth are present in the series, which helps improve the learning experience. As Beijing is the location of the series, it helps the learner learn terms specific to Beijing. Another series that can be useful for intermediate-level learners of Chinese is iPartment. Since students would have acquired a good knowledge of Chinese vocabulary and grammar, they can watch the series on their own or with the help of an instructor.
The rise of Chinese series has been meteoric. Though there have been Chinese series dubbed into other languages, the rise of series with gripping stories and great production has helped garner international attention. Catering to the rising global demand for series, China has undertaken government-funded projects to translate series into other languages like English, Arabic, and French among the various languages, and other initiatives have been taken to promote series abroad.
Working of Chinese series for international audiences
Chinese series is a hit among the international audience because they cater to the global audience's expectations without compromising the quality of the series. A Chinese series runs up to 40 episodes, while a European or US series ends within 12 episodes. China International Television Corporation or CITVC cut down the 50-episode series The Legend of Bruce Lee to 30 episodes for the international market to much success. It may not have met with the same success had it released all 50 episodes. The adaptability of content according to the audience is a factor why the international audience watches series.
Chinese are among those who are subject to stereotypes from the Western audience. Chinese series, apart from providing entertainment, help clear stereotypes among the international audience. That the global audience can identify with the characters in the series and help clear misconceptions. Moreover, international viewers can compensate for the lack of or availability of the subtitles as they find the emotions and visuals sufficient to convey the meaning.
The success story of the Chinese series
Over 200 countries are recipients of Chinese video content, including Chinese series, and Chinese TV content makes up to 60% of all the exported TV content in the world. The Chinese TV industry, of which series is a part, is estimated to cross $400 million. The Chinese series Revelation of Life, which revolves around a love story set in a big city, ranked on top of the TV ratings in Mongolia after being translated into Mongolian. The hugely popular series in China Ode of Joy, which reflects the joy and sorrow of Chinese people, will be translated and broadcast in Portugal after being translated into Portuguese.
Feather Flies to the Sky, which tells the story of Chinese entrepreneurs, was the first film from China translated into Filipino and was aired in a local TV station in the Philippines. The series was able to gain an average of 15 percent of the total viewership. Other series like The Young Doctor and Entrepreneurial Age have also met with success in the Filipino market. Various series episodes like Legend of Entrepreneurship have been translated into Spanish and broadcast on SERTV, Panama's national broadcaster.
The series A Love So Beautiful was broadcast on ABS-CBN, the Philippines' most famous television station, and could garner an audience share of 15.9 percent. Seeing the show's popularity, ABS-CBN cooperated with Huace Media, the producer of A Love So Beautiful, and other Chinese TV companies.
China sells the rights to increase the popularity of their series. Shanghai Limnon Pictures owns the copyright of the series Huyao for broadcast in countries like Singapore, Vietnam, and Malaysia.
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