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The Great Chinese Movie Translations List

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Chinese Movie Translations

Going to the cinema is a popular pastime in China, and many hollywood blockbuster movies such as James Bond (zhān mǔ sī · páng dé) 詹姆斯・庞德 and more recently, Star Wars (xīng qiú dà zhàn) 星球大战, are shown on the big screen, especially in the cities. Like most Western brands and companies that are found in China, movies are translated into Chinese, either literally or phonetically. Below is a compilation of movies and their translation into Chinese. Some are interesting, funny and just plain weird…Click on the red links to see a full breakdown of the movies in Chinese!

b1c29685-c3ee-414a-8e0b-a0762e3e4267_TOYSTORY

On the release of Pixar’s Toy Story in 1995, the phrase 总动员 (zǒng dòng yuán) was added to the title of the movie to make 玩具总动员  (wán jù zǒng dòng yuán). Consequently, many of Pixar’s movies had 总动员 added to their titles. The meaning has nothing to do with Pixar, but relates to the movie’s plot. 总动员 means to encourage a team of people to get everyone to do one thing. In Toy Story for example, the Toys must escape Sid, the bully and be reunited with Andy.

Pixar Translations

Here are some more Pixar Movies and their Chinese translations:

875e4a3c-cc19-4668-bf89-15252418f6fc_Nemo-poster2

Finding Nemo (hǎi dǐ zǒng dòng yuán)  海底总动员

Literal translation: General mobilization under the seab88dadeb-dbe3-464c-84f4-2c1cec24ecf5_CARS

Cars (sài chē zǒng dòng yuán) 赛车总动员

Literal translation: General mobilization of racing carsINCREDIBLES

The Incredibles (chāo rén zǒng dòng yuán) 超人总动员

Literal translation: General mobilization of superman

Bugslifeposter

A Bug’s Life (chóng chóng zǒng dòng yuán) 虫虫总动员

Literal translation: General mobilization of bugs

WALLE

WALL.E (jī qì rén zǒng dòng yuán) 机器人总动员

Literal translation: General mobilization of robots

Superhero movies are possibly one of the most popular genre of cinema in China. Many of the movies include the character  xiá, meaning ‘hero’.

6e00ce9a-951a-4d10-9bb7-b7775173fd21_SPIDERMAN

Spiderman (zhī zhū xiá)  蜘蛛侠

Literal translation: Spider swordsman

b2bd985a-2f59-4ab1-896f-9c1a40e7a18a_Darkknight

Batman (biān fú xiá) 蝙蝠侠

Literal translation: Bat swordsman

Ironman

Iron Man (gāng tiě xiá) 钢铁侠

Literal translation: Iron swordsman

The following movies are both interesting and more accurate translations than some. Click on the red links to see the meaning of the characters in more detail.

盗梦空间 Inception

Inception (dào mèng kōng jiān) 盗梦空间 

Literal translation: Steal dreams in the dream space

这个杀手不太冷 Leon

Leon (zhè ge shā shǒu bù tài lěng)  这个杀手不太冷

Literal translation: This killer is not so cold

古墓丽影  Tomb Raider

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (gǔ mù lì yǐng) 古墓丽影

Literal translation: Beauty in the ancient tomb

追梦赤子心 Rudy

Rudy (zhuī mèng chì zǐ xīn) 追梦赤子心

Literal translation: Pure heart dreamerMission Impossible

Mission: Impossible (dié zhōng dié) 碟中谍

Literal translation: CD in the spy

料理鼠王 Ratatouille

Ratatouille (liào lǐ shǔ wáng)  料理鼠王

Literal translation: Mouse king of cooking

变相怪杰  The Mask

The Mask (biàn xiàng guài jié)  变相怪杰 

Literal translation: Wizard of the deformed

爆裂鼓手 Whiplash

Whiplash (bào liè gǔ shǒu) 爆裂鼓手

Literal translation: Burst drummer

小岛惊魂 The Others

The Others (xiǎo dǎo jīng hún)  小岛惊魂

Literal translation: Frightened island

当幸福来敲门  The Pursuit of Happiness

The Pursuit of Happyness (dāng xìng fú lái qiāo mén) 当幸福来敲门 

Literal translation: When happiness knocks on the door

一树梨花压海棠  Lolita

Lolita (yī shù lí huā yā hǎi táng) 一树梨花压海棠 

Literal translation: A pear flower press Begonia (originally from a poem 《一树梨花压海棠》 which means “to be married to a woman many years younger than oneself “. The pear flower is white (old man), and the Begonia is red (young woman)).天使爱美丽 Amelie

Le Fabuleux Destin d‘ Amelie Poulain (tiān shǐ ài měi lì) 天使爱美丽

Literal translation: Angel like beauty

变形金刚 Transformers

Transformers (biàn xíng jīn gāng) 变形金刚

Literal translation: Transform vajrapani (Buddha’s warrior attendent)

The following have been given ‘romantic’ translations.

闻香识女人 Scent of a Woman

Scent of a Woman (wén xiāng shí nǚ rén) 闻香识女人

Literal translation: Read woman by her scent

碧海蓝天 Le Grand Bleu

Le Grand Bleu (The Big Blue) (bì hǎi lán tiān) 碧海蓝天 

Literal translation: Blue sea, blue sky

人鬼情未了 Ghost

Ghost (rén guǐ qíng weì liǎo) 人鬼情未了

Literal translation: Love remaining between the human and ghost

廊桥遗梦 Bridges of Madison County

The Bridges of Madison County (láng qiáo yí mèng)  廊桥遗梦 

Literal translation: Dreams leaving over the covered bridges

似是故人来 Sommersby

Sommersby (sì shì gù rén lái) 似是故人来

Literal translation: It seems as though the old friend is coming

云中漫步 A Walk in the Clouds

A Walk in the Clouds (yún zhōng màn bù) 云中漫步

Literal translation: Stroll in the clouds

乱世佳人 Gone with the Wind

Gone with the wind (luàn shì jiā rén) 乱世佳人

Literal translation: Beauty in troubled times

魂断蓝桥 Waterloo Bridge

Waterloo Bridge (hún duàn lán qiáo) 魂断蓝桥

Literal translation: Lost soul on the blue bridge

浓情巧克力 Chocolat

Chocolat (nóng qíng qiǎo kè lì) 浓情巧克力

Literal translation: Deep feeling chocolate

Some movie names have been translated using Chinese Chengyu. If you’re interested in learning for about Chinese Chengyu, take a look at our post ‘10 Useful Chinese Chengyu and Idioms for Beginners The Chengyu often aptly describes the plot of the movies like the following:

两小无猜

Jeux d’enfants (liǎng xiǎo wú cāi)  两小无猜

Literal translation: Boy and girl grow up together and are innocent childhood friends

花容月貌 Jeune and Jolie

Jeune & Jolie (huā róng yuè mào) 花容月貌

Literal translation: Fair as a flower and beautiful as the moon (the girl is very beautiful)

金蝉脱壳 Escape Plan

Escape Plan (jīn chán tuō qiào) 金蝉脱壳

Literal translation: A cicada casting off its skin (an escape by strategy)

兵临城下 Enemy at the Gates

Enemy at the Gates (bīng lín chéng xià) 兵临城下

Literal translation: The attacking army has reached the city gates

成名在望 Almost Famous

Almost Famous (chéng míng zài wàng) 成名在望 

Literal translation: Almost famous

速度与激情 Fast and Furious

The Fast and the Furious (sù dù yù jī qíng) 速度与激情

Literal translation: Fast and the Furious

生化危机 Resident Evil

Resident Evil (shēng huà wēi jī) 生化危机

Literal translation: Biochemistry crisis

荒岛余生 Cast Away

Cast Away (huāng dǎo yú shēng)  荒岛余生

Literal translation: Survival on a deserted island

夺宝奇兵 Indiana Jones

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (duó bǎo qí bīng) 夺宝奇兵

Literal translation: Surprise army of Treasure snatch

飞屋环游记 Up

Up  (fēi wū huán yóu jì)  飞屋环游记

Literal translation: Story of Flying house traveling around

谍影重重 The Bourne Identity

The Bourne Identity (dié yǐng zhòng zhòng)  谍影重重

Literal translation: Many shadows of spy surround

阿甘正传  Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump (ā gān zhèng zhuàn) 阿甘正传 

Literal translation: True story of Gump (There is a novel named 阿Q正传 and a movie 阿飞正传 in China, both of which are stories about a person. 阿+one character of a person’s name is commonly used in some areas of Chinese)

放牛班的春天

Les choristes (fàng niú bān de chūn tiān)  放牛班的春天

Literal translation: Spring of poor class (放牛班 comes from Taiwanese, meaning the ‘class of underachievers’)

CITY OF LOST CHILDREN, (aka LA CITE DES ENFANTS PERDUS), from left: Ron Perlman, Judith Vittet on French poster art, 1995, ©Sony Pictures Classics

CITY OF LOST CHILDREN, (aka LA CITE DES ENFANTS PERDUS), from left: Ron Perlman, Judith Vittet on French poster art, 1995, ©Sony Pictures Classics

La cité des enfants perdus (The City of Lost Children) (tóng mèng shī hún yè)  童梦失魂夜

Literal translation: Children’s dreams in lost soul

虎胆龙威 Die Hard

Die Hard (hǔ dǎn lóng wēi) 虎胆龙威

Literal translation: Tiger’s guts and Dragon’s power

一夜风流 It Happened One Night

It Happened One Night (yī yè fēng liú) 一夜风流

Literal translation: Romance in one night

飞越疯人院 One Flew Over a Cuckoos Nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (fēi yuè fēng rén yuàn) 飞越疯人院

Literal translation: Flyover the bug house

发条橙 Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange (fā tiáo chéng) 发条橙 

Literal translation: Coilspring orange

小蚁雄兵 Antz

ANTZ  (xiǎo yǐ  xióng bīng) 小蚁雄兵Literal translation: Powerful army of small ants

沉默生机 Don't Say a Word

Don‘t Say a Word (chén mò shēng jī)  沉默生机

Literal translation: Survival in silence

夺面双雄 Face Off

FACE OFF (duó miàn shuāng xióng)  夺面双雄Literal translation: Snatch the face between the hero and anti-hero

律政俏佳人 Legally Blonde

Legally Blonde (lǜ zhèng qiào jiā rén) 律政俏佳人

Literal translation: Legal beauty

红磨坊 Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge (hóng mò fáng)  红磨坊

Literal translation: Red mill

救世主 The One

The One (jiù shì zhǔ) 救世主

Literal translation: The saviour

圣诞怪杰 The Grinch

The Grinch (shèng dàn guài jié)  圣诞怪杰

Literal translation: Christmas wizard

决战猩球 Planet of the Apes

Planet of the Apes (jué zhàn xīng qiú) 决战猩球 

Literal translation: Decisive battle of the gorilla star

麻雀变公主 Princess Diaries

The Princess Diaries (má què biàn gōng zhǔ)  麻雀变公主

Literal translation: The sparrow becomes a princess

惊魂眼 The Gift

The Gift (jīng hún yǎn) 惊魂眼

Literal translation: Frightened eyes

拜见岳父大人 Meet the Parents

Meet The Parents (bài jiàn yuè fù dà ren) 拜见岳父大人 

Literal translation: Formal visit to the father-in-law

Share Your Comments

If you know any fun or interesting Chinese movie translations please share them with us in the comment section below! Want to know how to say a specific movie in Chinese? Leave the movie name below, and we’ll see what we can do!

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