chinese movies app

Mandarin Movie Marathon: 5 Entertaining Chinese Movie Apps

There’s nothing like a good Chinese movie on a rainy day.

Not only are they incredibly fun to watch, but you can actually learn Chinese through movies so you develop real-world skills through your favorite pastime.

But sometimes you want to watch movies when you’re not home. Sometimes you just don’t want to sit on the couch. Sometimes you need a more flexible option.

When you’re living an on-the-go lifestyle, Chinese movie apps might be the tool you need to enjoy your indulgence every day. With these five Chinese movie apps, you’ll have all you need to live in the lap of Chinese-learning luxury.

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1. Vidfish

Website | iOS | Android

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Vidfish is a subscription service designed to give users easy access to Chinese movies and TV shows.

With thousands of hours of HD, ad-free viewing, Chinese language students will have no shortage of awesome material to choose from. And with English subtitles available, students shouldn’t be in too far over their heads. Vidfish even intends to allow users to download material in the future, giving you a great way to enjoy your favorite movies even when you don’t have access to Wi-Fi.

Vidfish offers a number of great movie options, like “28岁未成年” — “Suddenly Seventeen.”

But there’s more for language learners to love about Vidfish than movies alone! There’s a comments section below each video, giving you a terrific opportunity for reading and writing practice.

2. Youku

Website | iOS | Android

chinese-movies-app

Youku is a popular Chinese streaming provider that offers TV series, documentaries and, of course, movies.

Some of my favorite movie options include “大破阵” — “Big Break” and “封神降魔2桃山气海” — “Fengshen Devil 2.”

While Youku has a lot to offer Chinese students, it’s best for intermediate-level learners and above because everything, including the app interface, is in Chinese.

The Youku app is free to download and some movies are available for free, though subscription options are necessary to unlock more material.

3. iQiyi

Website | iOS | Android

chinese-movies-app

This Taiwanese app gives users access to great TV shows and movies. While the app is based in Taiwan, it offers both Chinese and Taiwanese movies.

Check out the films “老炮儿” — “Mr. Six” and “奔愛” — “Run for Love.”

Since the iQiyi app and its content are entirely in Chinese, this is a better option for intermediate and advanced learners. Additionally, some users report the app not working consistently in the United States and others report issues with payments, so be careful with this.

However, since the initial app is free to download, it may be worth a shot to see if it works for you. Plus, if it does, having the iQiyi app will provide a fantastically immersive learning experience, encouraging you to practice both your reading and listening skills. And with a visually-appealing format, the app is hard to resist.

You can download iQiyi for free, but in-app purchases are necessary to unlock additional materials and features.

4. Viki

Website | iOS | Android

chinese-movies-app

Viki is a popular service that gives users access to a wide range of Asian content, including TV shows and movies from China, Taiwan and other Asian countries (most notably Japan and Korea).

One of Viki’s most exciting features is the subtitling options. Viki offers subtitles in over 200 languages, giving you all the subtitling options you’ve been dreaming about.

And the Chinese movie options are nothing to sneeze at. Viki currently features nearly 70 Chinese films, including “我是证人” — “The Witness” and “宫锁沉香” — “The Palace.”

Viki offers some content for free, but a premium membership can remove ads and give you access to more material.

4. Netflix

Website | iOS | Android

chinese-movies-app

Netflix is often seen as the be-all and end-all of streaming services for good reason: it has a lot to offer. And with its app, you can enjoy all its Chinese movies from the convenience of your favorite devices.

Some great Chinese movie options on Netflix include “A Beautiful Life” and “The Wandering Earth.”

All movies have English subtitles, which you can also turn off for a greater challenge. Some movies, particularly Netflix originals, even have Chinese subtitles, though most of these feature audio that isn’t originally in Chinese. Dubbing options can allow you to listen in Chinese, however, while following along with Chinese subtitles.

5. Douban

Website | iOS | Android

chinese-movies-app

While you won’t be watching movies with the Douban app, you can read all about them! That’s because the Douban app is a place for Chinese movie fans to discuss their favorite and least favorite films.

You can look up movie reviews for some quick, fun reading practice. Looking for some writing practice? Try writing your own reviews! Because of its different focus, Douban pairs nicely with any app you’re using to watch Chinese movies, allowing you to use movies for more well-rounded language practice.

How to Get the Most Out of Chinese Movie Apps

Try several apps to see which you like best.

There are a number of different apps on the market. They vary in format, price and even offerings. On some apps, you may find new Chinese movies, while in other apps, you may find classics. Trying out several apps will help you find out which option best fits your unique needs and preferences.

Pay attention to subtitling options.

Different apps offer various subtitling options. However, even within an app, these options may vary, so pay careful attention. Depending on the app and movie, you may be able to use English subtitles, Chinese subtitles or remove the subtitles altogether.

For instance, Chinese movies on Netflix usually offer English subtitles with Chinese audio. However, with some of the Netflix original movies, you’ll have more options. A prime example is “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny,” which was originally in English but also offers Mandarin dubbing, along with subtitles in English, simplified Chinese and/or traditional Chinese.

Have a translator handy on your phone or device for quick lookups.

Inevitably, you’ll encounter some vocabulary you don’t know well as you watch your favorite movies. Even if you’re watching Chinese movies based on novels, you might encounter some words that just weren’t in your favorite novel.

Luckily, since you’ll be watching from a phone or device, you have an easy option to look up words. Simply keep a translator or dictionary handy on your phone. That way, you can look up any unfamiliar words or phrases right away.

Supplement your language learning with more videos.

If you’re a movie lover, then it sounds like watching movies, TV and videos could be your ideal way to study Mandarin in general. Watching shorter videos can enhance your comprehension so full-length movies don’t seem as daunting.

So, be sure to find more video resources so you can keep learning long after your Chinese movie marathon is over.

There are even language learning programs based on videos now, like FluentU. You can select anything that looks interesting from the FluentU video library and watch it while following along with expert-generated subtitles, then actively practice what you’ve seen in the video with the built-in tools.

 

Go ahead—it’s time to indulge your passion for Chinese learning.

Maybe you can even indulge in a little popcorn and soda while you’re at it.

Have a fun movie night with these Chinese movie apps!
 


 

 

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