Chinese Version – How to search for Chinese language stuff online

There’s a few ways that you can search for Mandarin language stuff online, and which method is best depends on what exactly you’re looking for. You generally have to do some reconnaissance with the various search terms below and see what each search yields. After a few searches you’ll either be able to find what you’re looking for, or at least know that whatever it is you’re searching for isn’t available in a Chinese version.

Find the Chinese name

First off, when you’re looking for the Chinese language version of something, you should know what it’s called in Chinese. You can search using the native-language name, but you should also find the Chinese name, too.

Wikipedia is great for this, just search for the movie, book, or game and then look for the language options along the left-hand side. If you see 中文 listed you can follow that link and find the Chinese name.

Wikipedia Chinese Link

If you can’t find the Chinese name then just perform the searches below using the English, or other language, name of the thing you are looking for and you’ll most likely find the Chinese name that way.

Mandarin dub movies

If you’re looking for the Chinese/Mandarin dub of a movie then these are the two terms that are used the most.

中文配音(中文配音)

Zhōngwén pèiyīn
Chinese dub

國語配音(国语配音)

Guóyǔ pèiyīn
Mandarin dub

The keyword here is 配音 which means ‘dub’ (literally ‘accompanying sound’), all you need to do is prefix it with the language you’d like. Here we’ve used two ways of saying ‘Mandarin Chinese’: 中文(Zhōngwén) is obviously ‘Chinese’, and then 國語(国语 Guóyǔ) means ‘Mandarin’ but in the sense of the ‘national language’). These two terms effectively mean the exact same thing, however, I think the term 國語 is used more by Taiwanese (please comment if you know otherwise).

Using the following terms in Google, or your favourite online video site, you could find the Mandarin dub of a movie:

<movie name> 国语配音

Another quick tip for finding a Mandarin dub is the ‘2audio’ trick. A lot of movies are released in China on Bluray with both the original soundtrack and the Mandarin dub. These are released online as ‘2audio’ so you could search for:

<movie name> 2audio

Chinese subtitles

For subtitles you can always used Shooter.cn, but failing that search in Google for

<movie name> 中文字幕

字幕

zìmù
subtitles

While searching you may come across file names with the following appended:

name_of_file_国语中字

国语中字 means “Mandarin dub with Chinese subtitles”. Likewise you may also see 英语中字 which I’m sure you can guess means “English dub with Chinese subtitles”.

Books, comics, games and everything else

For all other stuff, and as general catchall, the good old ‘Chinese version’ will suffice a lot of the time.

中文版

Zhōngwén bǎn
Chinese version

版 here is should for 版本(bǎnběn) which means ‘version’ or ‘edition’.

Searching for the following should help you find what you’re looking for:

<book, comic, movie name> 中文版

Fan translations

Lastly, there are some instances when the content you are looking for what never officially released in Chinese, but was translated and released by fans. Most of the time this specific term applies to games. Since a lot of games aren’t localised and released in China, fans hack the ROMs and change the language themselves.

漢化版(汉化版)

Hànhuà bǎn
Sinicised version

So you would search for:

<game name> 汉化版

Know a trick?

In the past I’ve spent many an evening searching for stuff in Chinese without luck, so it’s best to learn as many tricks as possible. If you know of a method that’s not mentioned here please post it below and I’ll keep the article updated as information is added.

  • Cool guide! Now I can find even more Chinese subtitles 🙂
    Have you also tried adding Chinese as one of our search languages on Google, to get more Chinese results? I do that and it works pretty well! Wrote a post about this tip: http://blog.ninchanese.com/post/69169687813/why-google-isnt-your-friend-when-it-comes-to-learning

  • It’s important to be aware that the names used in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are often different. Using Google and limiting the search to traditional characters or sites ending in .tw is a good way to get the Taiwanese name.

    Searching for the Chinese language version of movie titles I use the movie title in English plus the character 演.

  • Michelle

    Equivalent sites in China
    Google = Baidu
    Youtube = Youku
    Ebay = Taobao
    Facebook = Ren Ren Wang
    IM = QQ (Sign in with QQ number)