Name of Podcast: 民主沙龙 (pinyin: mín zhǔ shā lóng)
What topics are covered: This is a podcast talking about quite political and diplomatic issues. The podcast features a lot of commentators calling to give their views and analysis. It may be blocked in China.
Why is it good to listen to?
This podcast is basically a discussion on a diplomatic news and current China politics. It’s by Radio Free Asia and based in Washington. The host speaks broadcaster standard Mandarin. Most of the podcast is made up of callers from all over China. They speak with all kinds of accents and their voice is often not very clear since they speak over the telephone. The podcast has a plethora of political words and terms. The discussions are based on Chinese politics and diplomatic history and events even though these news are published by western media. From this podcast with lots of specific terminology, you can practice your listening skills and learn a lot of Chinese politics and diplomatic background.
To listen or subscribe to the podcast, you can go to https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/min-zhu-sha-long/id516329943
How often are the podcasts updated? Programs are updated on a weekly basis.
Length of each podcast: Each episode of the podcast is about 30 minutes long.
The name of the podcast, which translates roughly as “democratic salon”, suggests it’s a place for people to join and talk about democracy and politics in China. The host sets up an hotly debated issue which shows up in current politics sections of newspapers in China at the beginning of the podcast. The podcast host then starts to receive incoming calls from scholars and political commentators all over China. They all give their unique and, often, interesting perspectives on the problem. Some even expose insider information on the problem or current political affairs. It’s very interesting to hear that they usually argue with the points made by previous callers, which shows the idea of the podcast is all about democracy and free speech. This podcast is very different from many others as it’s not scripted after the first bits so it’s harder to follow but also more rewarding for Chinese learners. Sometimes the callers have such strong accents/dialects that the podcaster doesn’t understand them and has to ask someone who speaks that dialect to interpret what the caller wants to say.
民主沙龙 is a podcast about quite political topics, which is also a good advanced level listening material for learners of Chinese.