Learn the Spongebob Theme Tune (& Characters) in Mandarin Chinese
Spongebob in Chinese is the best friend you never knew you needed. He’s loveable, hardworking and our golden ticket to language learning!
His witty one liners, slightly annoying voice that gets stuck in your head and constant desire to sing the same phrase over and over is EXACTLY what is going to bump your Chinese language skills.
If you’re not yet learning Chinese though, read our blog explaining why you should start today, then come back for your new learning companion.
Chapter 1 : Spongebob Squarepants Recap
Chapter 3 : Essential Chinese Breakdown
Chapter 4 : Where can you Find Spongebob?
Chapter 5 : Theme Tune Singalong!
Spongebob Squarepants Recap
Everyones favourite cartoon sponge is more than just a childhood favourite.
This cartoon is aired in 200 countries and watchable in 50 different languages.
Chinese Mandarin is one of them.
Chinese translations of cartoon names are adorable – Spongebob is affectionately called 海绵宝宝 – which literally translates to ‘sponge baby’.
In the series, there are 265 episodes currently and the show is still being produced – meaning you won’t have to watch any repeats just yet!
There are also 3 movies.
One of these is currently available on Netflix (in 2021).
Although in the past there have been times the cartoon was not allowed in China, currently Spongebob has no such problems and is just as popular in the East as it is in the West.
Why Learning Through Cartoons is your Best Friend
TOP TIP – When you first start learning a new language – or you’re at a low-medium proficiency, cartoons can actually be the ultimate complementary tool to help you break into the next proficiency level.
It’s because that’s common in real life.
Cartoons however, are consistent. Especially in Chinese.
Apart from key words such as names of characters and locations which might need to be learnt, most words are usually simple and absolutely repeated.
For example, the theme tune of Spongebob says his name 8 times and the word ‘ready’ (准备) twice, all in the space of 40 seconds!
Cartoons also allow you great insights into translation.
Cartoons are also a great way to learn because of how stress-free and relaxed they feel.
Instead of sitting in front of a serious documentary, you can passively observe Spongebob whilst taking in useful conversational vocabulary.
The show uses repetitive themes, a fast pace with clearly pronounced vocabulary and is simply enjoyable. Learning is always easier when you want to watch the show too, and after a long day at work, a light-hearted cartoon is an easy choice.
Often, cartoons are saved for children.
Children are the greatest language sponges, so the bright colours and creative shows manage to capture attention whilst teaching.
But why should we leave all the good resources to younger children?
Ultimately, language learning isn’t passive. At best – you will find yourself recognising phrases, but your output will be limited.
Cartoons like Spongebob, where the entire plot is pretty consistent – he works, has crazy adventures, saves the Krabby Patty formula from being stolen and annoys his neighbour – allow you to actively memorise common phrases.
There are many, many seasons, but you’re unlikely to be itching for the next episode and losing your focus of language learning over following the plot, unlike in TV shows aimed at older audiences too.
Also – if you’re learning through immersion of Chinese social media, such as Weibo or Douyin (Chinese Tik Tok), you will also have the opportunity to come across a number of memes linked to Spongebob.
If you already know the characters, names and general plot – you’re already halfway to understanding the meme!
It’s a win-win!
Essential Chinese Breakdown
Here are some of the key characters you need to know from Spongebob in Chinese.
|Character in English||Hanzi||Pinyin|
|Spongebob Squarepants||海绵宝宝||hǎimián bǎobǎo|
|Gary the Snail||小蜗||xiǎo wō|
|Patrick Star||派大星||pài dà xīng|
|Squidward Tentacles||章鱼哥||zhāngyú gē|
|Sandy Cheeks||珊迪||shān dí|
|Eugene H Krabs||蟹老板||xiè lǎobǎn|
|Sheldon J Plankton||痞老板||pǐ lǎobǎn|
|Mermaid Man||美人鱼 战士||měirényú zhànshì|
|Barnacle Boy||企鹅男孩||qì’é nánhái|
|The Flying Dutchman||飞天魔鬼||fēitiān móguǐ|
|Karen Plankton||凱倫||kǎi lún|
|Mrs Puff||泡芙老师||pào fú lǎoshī|
There’s more! How about all the locations you might need to know:
|Locations in English||Hanzi||Pinyin|
|Bikini Bottom||比基尼海滩||bǐjīní hǎitān|
|Texas||德克萨斯||dé kè sà sī|
|The Krusty Krab||蟹堡王||xiè bǎo wáng|
|Spongebobs house||菠萝屋||bōluó wū|
|The Chum Bucket||海至霸||hǎi zhì bà|
|Mrs Puff’s Boating School||泡芙老师的海底驾训班||pào fú lǎoshī dì hǎidǐ jià xùn bān|
Where Can You Find Spongebob?
So once you’re ready to get started, your main challenge might be trying to find the Chinese version of Spongebob.
After all, the cartoon is popular and easily available in English, but what about Chinese?
Don’t worry – you don’t need to be in China for the Chinese dubbed versions.
If you’re lucky, your Netflix account will have the option to change the audio or subtitles to Chinese Mandarin on anything it’s showing – the movie, the series, etc.
However, don’t worry if not!
This handy language learning extension you can download onto Google Chrome lets you change the subtitles to Chinese (it offers the pinyin AND the hanzi!)
We wrote a super guide and even filmed a video showing you how to use it:
YouTube is GREAT for short clips from Spongebob episodes in Chinese – just make sure you search 海绵宝宝 into the search bar!
You can’t find many full episodes available, however short clips are great for reviewing.
Also not all of the videos will have pre-made subtitles or automatically generated subtitles available so it’s great for your listening practise.
Douyin (Chinese Tik Tok) and Weibo (Chinese Twitter/Facebook) are great for some of the most memorable short clips with subtitles.
Users will load videos or memes of the most popular sections – which realistically are the most useful.
Both apps are available regardless of where you are based in the world.
Youku is a fantastic option for those in China.
If you’re outside of China, you might find the site won’t work for you, however if you’re inside, full episodes complete with subtitles are at your fingertips!
Theme Tune Singalong!
The theme tune in Chinese is loyal to the original and translates literally!
So this catchy minute long tune is as educational as it is enjoyable.
Why don’t you have a go singing along?
Lyrics in characters and pinyin:
Zhǔnbèi hǎole ma háizimen?
Shì de chuánzhǎng
Tài xiǎoshēng lóu
Shì de chuánzhǎng
shì shéi zhù zài shēnhǎi de dà fènglí lǐ
fāng fāng huáng huáng shēnsuō zìrú
rúguǒ sìchù tànxiǎn shì nǐ de yuànwàng
nà jiù qiāo qiāo jiǎbǎn ràng dà yú kāilù
Ready for more… we’ve also got another popular cartoon in Chinese for you to learn here…!
Peppa Pig in Chinese 🐷 Learn Chinese with Cartoons
Peppa Pig in Chinese is the cutest Chinese companion your 2021 needs! Learn clear, useful phrases in digestible 5 minute shorts (and more about PP) with us!
Spongebob in Chinese – FAQ’s
What is Spongebob in Chinese?
海绵宝宝 – hǎimián bǎobǎo
Where can I find Spongebob in Chinese Mandarin?
YouTube, Netflix, Youku are the main servers currently showing the cartoon.
Why are cartoons good for language learning?
They’re repetitive, clearly pronounced and light-hearted so there’s more incentive to watch them!
Is Spongebob only available in Mandarin?
Nope there is also a Cantonese dubbed version available, but all information here is specific to the Mandarin option.
Is the Spongebob theme tune available in Mandarin?
If you want to learn Spongebob’s theme tune in Chinese check out our video here.
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