Download the subtitles for Chinese movies

We already know that watching Chinese TV and Chinese cartoons is an excellent way to improve your Chinese, likewise, subtitled Chinese movies are also a great way to improve your reading and listening ability. Even though most Chinese movies already come with subtitles, but there are still some instances when subtitles might be missing, or they are in Simplified Chinese and you need Traditional Chinese and vice-versa. Luckily you can download subtitles for almost any movie, and in almost any language, including Chinese.

Subtitles from Shooter.cn

At Shooter.cn you can find the Chinese subtitles for a huge selection of movies. There are subtitles for both Chinese and English  language movies, so if you want to see how some English might translate into Chinese then you can add the Chinese subtitles to your English language movies. Before downloading make sure you check for your desired language (语言)as generally there are versions for Simplified (简)and Traditional(繁) Chinese.

Shooter seems to be one of the best, if not the best, website for Chinese subtitles, but if you know of any other websites for downloading subtitles then please let us know in the comments.

26 responses to “Download the subtitles for Chinese movies

  1. Hi,Dave!
    Nice to find the post and I’ve always wondered where these english subtitles come from. Are they translated by someone professional or by fans who like these pictures?

    1. Hi binnle, some of them are by fans, and are ‘fansubs’, and you’ll find most fan subs are for pirate movies or for movies which just don’t have official subs yet.

      Other subs are ‘subrips’ which use software to ‘rip’ the subtitles off the DVD movies.

      Hope that clears it up, thanks for commenting!

      Dave 🙂

  2. i “tried” downloading the subtitles. i went to the website, shooter.cn
    however when i try to open the file that i “downloaded”, it doesnt open!! it says something like file extension or something like that. i “downloaded” it so many times and it never opens. help?!

    1. Hi No,

      The files on Shooter are mostly RAR files, which are like Zip files. Make sure you have WinRAR or 7-Zip installed so you can extract the archived subtitle files.

      Dave

  3. Dave – great post. It doesnt seem like shooter.cn has pinyin subtitles? Ideally, I like to be able to look at characters and the pinyin at the same time. Any suggestions on sites that may have the pinyin subtitles for us movies? Thanks.

    1. Hi James,

      I know exactly what you mean and I did do some experimenting with this a while ago. There are some fonts available that will show the Pinyin or Zhuyin in place of, or next to, the Chinese character. So the idea is that you would choose this font to display the subtitles in your movie player.

      The problem is that, as a lot of characters have multiple pronunciations, that these fonts often don’t show the correct pronunciation. This is the reason I ended up not writing about them in the end.

      There is a font package mentioned on Pinyin Joe called Dynafont that includes the Pinyin:

      http://www.pinyinjoe.com/pinyin/pinyin_addins.htm#Fonts_DynaComware

      They are called “ruby” fonts from what I can tell:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_characters

      Let me know how you get on, I’m interested to see if you have better luck than I did!

      Dave

  4. Downloaded a number of Chinese movies subtitles from shooter.cn and it shows some kind of symbols besides the chinese characters. Any one know why? I use VLC media player

    1. Hi Mike, The problem is likely because the incorrect character encoding is being used to read the subtitles.

      You can change the character encoding of the subtitles in the VLC settings. I’m not sure of the exact location (I’m on a Mac now and it looks like the setting location has changed recently anyway). You are looking for the ‘Default Encoding” of the subtitles.

      I usually use Traditional Chinese so I choose the “Big 5” setting. There are a few options for Simplified Chinese so the best thing to do is to try a few until you find the correct one.

      Hope this helps!

      Dave

  5. Hey Dave, I’ve just tried downloading subtitles, however it says”文件尚未读取完毕,请稍候点击下载按钮.”– I have no idea what to do. lol. thanks!

    1. Hi Justin,
      You need to wait for the page to completely load first. I’ve seen this error before and I assume there is a script running on the site to make sure everything (read: advertising) has loaded before allowing the download links to be clicked.
      Try again, but now wait until the progress bar on your browser has finished loading the page, then click the download link for the subs you want.
      Hope that helps!
      Dave

  6. i have had no luck with VLC and chinese (simplified) subtitles from this site. no matter what encoding used, they all come out as garbled text unless i use their really crappy Splayer. Even though i have to litter my computer with yet another media player, it would actually be okay if it wasn’t the biggest piece of crap i ever used, totally distorting playback video quality.

    have you had any other luck extracting subtitles from this site and using them with VLC ?

    1. Hi gg, I know how you feel. I use a mac and gave up with VLC a long time ago in favour of Movist, which allows you to switch encoding in real-time to quickly find the correct one (as opposed to VLC which requires you to close and reopen the movie).
      When I have got it working in VLC there seem to be two things which need to be correct – the encoding, and also a font for the particular language, in the image below you can see i’ve not only chosen Traditional Chinese, but also selected a Traditional Chinese font.

      VLC Settings

      If all that fails, something I also try is opening the subtitles file in a text editor, then saving it back out in the desired encoding. I think that sometimes the subtitle files are saved incorrectly so this works now and again.

      1. i am not so understand bro! i kno tat i am so awkward but i jus wan u to teach me step by step! T.T
        oh real-time is an applicant r not ?

        1. Hi Richie,
          I don’t have any experience with gom player. On Windows all I have used is VLC. Download VLC and then make sure that the subtitles have the same name as the video file so they are loaded automatically. If they show up garbled then you’ll have to tweak the settings as shown in my image above.
          Dave

  7. Could you please detail the exact procedure to install english subtitles on chinese movies

    thank you

  8. Hi bro dave!!! please help me u kno wat i already download the chinese subtitle but when i put it in my video(i use gom player to play it) it doesnt appear with chinese font but it appear with these font ”ÄãÔÚ·³ÄÕʲô” so could u tell me how to fix it

    1. Hi Richie,

      Look at the comment above that I left for gg. The issue is that the text encoding is incorrect. Depending on the encoding of the subs you have downloaded, and the language that is contained within, you’ll have to adjust the encoding settings accordingly.

      It’s not always possible to get subs to work, sometimes I think that they are saved incorrectly, so I often open the subs in a text editor, then re-save them in the correct encoding.
      Did you manage to get your subs to work?

      Dave

      1. hmmm bro! ok i will take a look at gg comment but otherwise i jus wan u to kno tat i can understand well but jus a little bit tat i didnt understand so…….as i see ur status i think u r mentioning me to use a applicant right??????

  9. hi dave,

    I want to get english subtitle for chinese movie, not chinese sub for chinese movies because I can’t understand the chinese speaking very much. Where can i find these?

    Thanks

  10. Hi Dave. I agree completely that movies is one of the best ways to learn a language. This is the first time I try Shooter, and I have already downloaded several RARs with chinese subtitles just for one movie. When I try them all in my player (Media Player Classic- Home Cinema) all I get are random characters in the form of ÔÆ ÄãӥצÃŻپ¡ÎÒÉßÐÎÃ. I have played chinese subtitles in this player before, so I know it should work. I believe the problem itself lies in the subtitles, because when I open them in Notepad or standard texteditor, the same characters ÄãӥצÃÅ are displayed. I have tried to save these subtitles in Unicode, but it doesnt change anything. Can it be solved? Is there a software that can decrypt the characters to chinese, or did the guys who wrote the subtitles mess up in the very beginning? Thanks for your work

  11. The way to get the nonsense characters that VLC displays to appear correctly is this:
    Open the subtitle file in word.
    Allow word to auto-select the Chinese encoding. make sure the Chinese characters display correctly in word.
    At this point you can (optionally) secelt all the text and change the font to simhei
    Save the file as a plain text file.
    *When you save the file, change the encoding to unicode – UTF-8
    openvlc and begin the movie.
    under preferences -> Subtitles and OSD change the encoding to unicode-8. Change the font to Simhei
    drag and drop the text file into VLC.
    This has been working for me.
    Cheers

  12. What work arounds exist for ripping content from a region 6 DVD? Unfortunately I used up the maximum number of times I can switch regions on my laptop but I’d like to get the Matrix off of this DVD so I can sync it up with some subs.

  13. There is also another way to change the jibberish fonts, you can try Aegisub – http://www.aegisub.org/ – it’s free.
    Open with Aegisub, save as .ass, then open the .ass, under File – Export Subtitles (make sure text coding- Unicode (UTF-8)Click Export, enter name – under Save as Type – drop down to .srt and save.

Comments are closed.