Audiobooks are among the most important ways that my family is learning how to speak and read Chinese. If you want your child to learn Chinese, I highly recommend 喜马拉雅 Ximalaya FM for free, popular stories in Chinese!
When I first heard about this app- and web-based resource, I initially put it off because it seemed so overwhelming. Ximalaya is entirely in simplified Chinese, and we are not fluent in the language.
However, we now use it almost every day! Compared to other free multilingual books for children, this is by far my favorite due to the quantity and quality of stories and minimal ads.
Because Ximalaya is free and has narrations of most popular children’s stories, it’s worth exploring the app and website to see if it’s the right resource for your family.
Hopefully after this reading this article, you will know how to use Ximalaya to find the best audiobook for your kids!
How to Use 喜马拉雅 Ximalaya FM When You Can’t Read Chinese
This guide is organized into the following sections:
- How to find Chinese children’s audiobooks on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅
- How to search for the language of a story on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅
- Which version of a story is best for my child?
- How to find recent searches on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅
- How to create an account on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅
- How to save favorite Chinese stories on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅
- How to find new Chinese book recommendations
- How to download Chinese audiofiles for offline use
- Recommended Chinese stories and narrators on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅
1. How to find Chinese children’s audiobooks on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅
To search for books, enter the title in the search bar at the top of the screen. In my experience, it is very hard to find books by author; almost all books are categorized by book or series title.
2. How to search for the language of a story on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅
Let’s use The Hungry Caterpillar as an example. If you want to hear the story in English, enter the title in English.
(Note: Audible is also an excellent resource for professional, copyright-friendly English narrations).
If you want to hear a story in Chinese, do a Google search for “Hungry Caterpillar 中文”. You should see either 好饿的毛毛虫 (simplified Chinese) or 好餓的毛毛蟲 (traditional Chinese) in the search results. In this case, the title is the same except for the appearance of 2 characters.
However, sometimes simplified and traditional Chinese publishers use different titles for translated works. For example, one of my daughter’s favorite stories is called 阿惠和妹妹 in simplified Chinese, but the traditional Chinese title is 佳佳的妹妹不見了. Since Ximalaya is based in China, enter the simplified Chinese title into the search bar.
Although we listen to Chinese children’s stories in Mandarin Chinese, Ximalaya also has stories in English and other Chinese dialects!
Most audiobooks are in Mandarin Chinese, the official language of Chinese. Therefore, entering the Chinese title alone will generally yield Mandarin Chinese results.
For other dialects, you can try including the following keywords with the title:
- Cantonese stories = 粤语故事 (Yuèyǔ gùshì)
- Shanghainese stories = 上海故事 (Shànghǎi gùshì)
3. Which version of a story on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅 is best for my child?
Let’s say that I’d like to listen to the classic Chinese story 三毛流浪记. After entering the title in the search bar, several results may appear.
Click on the album with the highest number of listeners.
The album with the most listeners is usually (but not always) the best recording. You can listen to a few albums to see which narration you think is best for your child.
Also, albums of chapter books or a large book series are sometimes incomplete, so you have to check for the most comprehensive album.
Finally, the perfect version for my kids might be too slow or fast for yours!
Here’s how Ximalaya results appear on a desktop computer:
Under 全部 (quánbù / all) [blue circle], you’ll likely see multiple results for famous books like 三毛流浪记.
Beside the white headphone icon [red circles] is a number that indicates the number of people that have heard the album. The small “w” represents 万 (wàn / ten thousand).
Here’s how the same Ximalaya results appear on mobile app:
Note that instead of headphones, the triangle “play” symbol is shown with the number of people who have listened to the story.
4. How to find recent searches on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅
When you tap on the search bar, recent searches will appear in case you want to repeat a recent book.
This is how it looks on my laptop:
And this is how it looks on my iPhone:
The rest of the article discusses how to save stories from Ximalaya.
If you want to download stories to listen offline, please refer to this helpful tutorial from Guavarama.
However, if you prefer to access your favorites within the Ximalaya app, keep reading!
If neither option is suitable, you can compile a list of your favorite stories somewhere else as I did in this post.
5. How to create an account on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅
In order to save stories on Ximalaya FM, you must use the app with your Ximalaya account.
You’ll have a chance to register when you click on the download icon (blue circle) for any story.
If you don’t have an account set up, a pop-up will appear, asking you to sign up with your phone number.
Initially, a Chinese country code may appear. However, you can search for your country by scrolling to their country list which is organized by the Pinyin alphabet.
For example, for 美国 (Měiguó / United States), I would tap the “M” to see countries that have that initial sound. Scroll until you find your country (blue arrow).
Then, a screen will pop-up for text message confirmation. Enter the code that you receive on the following screen.
After entering the code, you can click 登录 (dēng lù / log in) on the next screen.
Once you are registered, you will have the opportunity to download stories onto your Ximalaya account!
Please note that you don’t have to enter other personal data, such as home address, email address, or credit card.
Although I have entered my phone number, I cannot comment on the safety and security of Ximalaya. Prior to using Ximalaya, my cell phone was already bombarded with daily telemarketer calls, but this frequency has not changed.
If you are not comfortable with registering, you can compile a list of your favorite stories somewhere else as I did in this post.
6. How to save favorite Chinese stories on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅
Click on the button that says 全选 (quán xuǎn / select all) [red circle] if you want to download all of the stories. Otherwise, click on the circles to save the corresponding story.
Next, click on the 下载 (xiàzài / download) button to download the story.
You can find saved stories until the 我听 (wǒ tīng / I listen) section.
First tap on the yellow star at the bottom of the screen [yellow circle]. Next, click on 我听.
And there you have it! All of your child’s favorite stories are in this section!
Last but not least, I just wanted to point out the red arrow above. It’s pointing to a circle, which is the story that is currently in the player.
7. How to find new Chinese book recommendations on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅
The next picture shows the page that appears when you click on the blue circle. This page has children’s options under 儿童
8. How to download audio files for offline access
Guavarama has an excellent article about how to use a browser extension to download audio files from Ximalaya! Click here to read.
9. Recommended Chinese stories and narrators on Ximalaya 喜马拉雅
There are so many wonderful Chinese stories on Ximalaya, and we never run out of audiobooks to enjoy!
Check our our favorite Chinese narrators and popular Chinese children’s books on Ximalaya in this post.
Do you use Ximalaya for free Chinese stories?
Please share in the comments below! We love learning about your family’s Chinese learning experience!
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