Over the coming weeks and months, CLI will post our favorite Mandarin learning YouTube videos here on our blog. This installment includes our top 5 favorite videos teaching 成语 (chéngyǔ) from ChinesePod TV.

“Chéngyǔ is a four character idiom. They are stories and expressions that have been used in Mandarin Chinese for thousands of years.”


Fiona Tian



#1 When in Rome in Chinese 入境隨俗

In this video Fiona and her sister Iona talk us through the Chinese idiom 入境随俗 (rù jìng suí sú)。 This literally translates to “to enter a country to follow a custom” though its meaning implies “when in Rome do as the Romans do.”

#2 Strike While The Iron Is Hot in Chinese 打铁趁热

Not only do we learn a practical chéngyǔ, Fiona also gives us great straightforward advice on how to practice Chinese. 打铁趁热!

#3 Day Dreaming in Chinese 心不在焉

This lesson teaches us a very helpful way of showing concern for a friend.

#4 Eat Drink and Be Merry in Chinese 吃喝玩乐

It’s obvious that Fiona and Iona were happy to teach this Mandarin chéngyǔ for “eat, drink, and be marry.”

#5 Bon Voyage (Have a safe trip) in Chinese 一路顺风

Here Fiona and Iona teach us the how to say 一路顺风 (yí lù shùn fēng).

We hope to study Mandarin in China with you some day soon. Don’t forget to follow CLI on Twitter @StudyCLI and on Instagram @StudyCLI.