There is such a wide variety of performing arts activities which can be enjoyed in China, such as ballet, opera, theatre—but not everyone likes the same thing; indeed, we all have favourites. Can you talk about your favourites in Mandarin Chinese, but also let other people know which ones you don’t like—and maybe why you don’t like them? You should also be able to ask others what they like too!

In this Podcast, you will learn:

(i) To talk about which performing arts you like—and why

(i) How to discuss different types of performing arts


Performing arts are being discussed by two colleagues:


(Zài jiē shàng)

(on the street)


A: Wǒ nǚ péng yǒu fēi yào ràng wǒ dài tā qù kàn bā lěi. Kě wǒ zhēn de jué dé bā lěi tài wú liáo le, wǒ shí zài bù xiǎng qù.

My girlfriend insists that I take her to see the ballet. But I think ballet is too boring. I really don’t want to go.


B: Nà tā xǐ huān tīng jiāo xiǎng yuè me?

Does she like to listen to symphonies?


A: Tā xǐ huān, dàn wǒ jué dé nà yě tǐng kū zào de.

She does. But I think they are not interesting, either.


B: Wǒ cāi nǐ yīng gāi huì xǐ huān yīn yuè jù ba, nǐ nǚ péng yǒu yīng gāi yě xǐ huān.

I guess that you should like musicals. Your girlfriend should like them, too.


A: Yīn yuè jù wǒ hái kě yǐ jiē shòu. Wǒ kě yǐ shì zhe jiàn yì tā qù kàn yīn yuè jù.

Musicals are acceptable. Maybe I can suggest to her to go and see a musical.

Chinese words and phrases mentioned in this Podcast:

表演艺术:performing arts


中国戏曲:Chinese opera

话剧:stage play/drama





非要:must want, strongly insist



枯燥:boring, not interesting, dull and dry



能接受:acceptable, not super interested in something



Cultural/Grammar note:

Chinese opera is very popular amongst the older generation. ‘戏’ is the general category for all kinds of Chinese opera.


Wǒ nǎi nai xǐ huān tīng xì.

My grandmother loves to listen to Chinese opera.

When you feel like you are forced to do something, you can say:

我实在不想/我实在不愿意做… …

Wǒ shí zài bù xiǎng/ wǒ shí zài bù yuàn yì zuò…

I really don’t want to do something.

Mandarin Chinese learning resources we recommend:

round-italki-logo-3d-01Using Italki, a unique system of learning Mandarin Chinese where you interact with real teachers, is widely recognised as an effective way to learn a new language! You’ll make more progress and learn how native Chinese speakers really speak. Plus, Italki is more affordable than offline tutors, offline schools and software, and is convenient to use at your own pace and place!


Keats Chinese SchoolKeats Chinese School, which was founded in 2004, is one of the top Mandarin Chinese language schools in China, offering both one-on-one immersion Mandarin courses and small group Chinese classes. Located in Kunming, Keats develops personalised exercises and materials for students to meet their learning goals and requirements and can arrange a student visa for its 16 week course.


Yes! I’d like to learn Mandarin Chinese more effectively

Narrated by Song Liu

Our Podcast narrator, is a native Chinese speaker and is originally from Beijing, China and is keen to help you get ahead with learning. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Master of Arts in Communication Studies. Song also hosted a Mandarin live call-in news and music radio show in the Bay Area.

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