To master a language, it is always recommended that you learned it in context. This applies to every language, including Chinese. And, the easiest way to do this (without all the burden of talking to some strange native speakers, if you’re lucky enough to spot some) is to immerse yourself in Chinese MOVIES.
I can tell you at least 4 reasons why you should learn Chinese with movies.
First of all, it’s mostly free.
In fact, you would be surprised that many Chinese movie sites let you watch most of their movies for free. If you’ve actually got not a penny to spare like me, you’re at the right place, pal.
Learning Chinese with movies also obviously enhances your listening and speaking skills. Professional actors often strive to speak in the most natural and un-scripted way possible, so with movies, you will not only actually hear Chinese at its daily speed, various tones and accents but also understand how to make communication flow smoothly.
Movies help with expanding your vocabulary. The more movie categories you dive in, the broader your vocabulary size is.
Don't forget that you can check out the GlotDojo extension for Chrome that we developed, with which you can use to enable dual subtitles, change playback speed, repeat or hide subtitles to sharpen your skills in your own way while watching movies on most popular movie sites (we’ll give you a list below). You can also use it to look up new words in our dictionary. Of course, it’s 100% FREE, too.Download GlotDojo FREE!
So, yes, YouTube may be the most popular video streaming platform on Earth, but when it comes to movies, you need to look elsewhere. In this article, we're gonna explore 13 video streaming websites most suitable for learning Chinese. Are you ready? Let's get started!
Top 14 Video Streaming Websites For Learning Chinese
Netflix is a well-known streaming service that allows its members to watch a wide variety of award-winning TV shows, movies, documentaries on different devices. There are a great number of Chinese movies on various topics and genres on Netflix, and most of them have Chinese subtitles.
Although it's a paid service, the price is pretty great (depending on where you live), but you get the highest quality movies with no annoying ads.
Amazon Prime Video is a paid American Internet video on demand service that is developed, owned, and operated by Amazon.
It offers television shows and films for rent or purchase and Prime Video, a selection of Amazon Studios original content and licensed acquisitions included in the Amazon's Prime subscription. It's pretty similar to Netflix, although some Chinese movies may be available only on Prime and vice versa.
Described as China’s Netflix, iQIYI provides highly popular original content, user generated content, partner-generated content, live sports and fully-licensed media including full movies, TV shows, animation, documentaries, musics and so on.
You can not only find Mainland Chinese movies but also Hong Kong (Cantonese movies) movies and Taiwan movies there. One really great feature about iQiyi is that all of the content has Chinese simplified subtitles on it. So if your listening isn’t that great, you can read along!
For Chinese beginners, bear in mind that you would have to navigate yourself through all the Chinese (simplified) content as the website doesn't have a single English word. But I guess you can do it fine with a bit of practice ;-)
Note: The site only allows access from China IP address, so if you live outside of China, you must use VPN (I recommend PureVPN, it has the best speed.) to unlock the site.Download GlotDojo FREE!
We already has the "China's Netflix", here is the "Youtube of China". In 2012, Youku merged its major competitor Tudou (www.tudou.com) and became the largest Chinese video hosting and sharing site.
It hosts a large number of movies, dramas, and other video contents, and all of these videos are free to watch and easy to find. Youku also has quite a clean user interface with little ads; I guess it wouldn't take much time until you find yourself browsing their movie list every night.
Like iQiyi, however, due to copyright restrictions, you can't access the site without VPN.
Founded in 2009, Bilibili was firstly considered a niche video site since it was mainly focused on lovers of anime culture in China and its most viewed videos were mostly related to anime. It’s now a highly popular cultural community and a video platform catering to the millenial generation in China.
Bilibili is well known for its real-time comment section called Danmu, which allows viewers to post a comment at any time during the video. This is cool if you like the feeling of watching movies with others, or simply some social interactions.
56 Movie is a leading video-sharing platform in China. You can enjoy its hundreds of HD movies and TV series online - they are all free and legal (at least for the Chinese movies). The site hosts more than 80 million online videos with embedded subtitles and does not have IP restrictions (except for the Chinese TV shows or movies), so you can watch those movies for free easily from anywhere without VPN.
Kankan is another popular Chinese movie website, formerly known as Xunlei Kankan. The site provides high-quality content including up-to-date Chinese dramas and lots of movies from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and the USA.
At the moment, its content is available to Chinese users only, so if you don't live in China, remember to turn on VPN.
PPTV is another fantastic online TV provider offering both live streaming and video-on-demand services. Its channels include TV shows, film, drama, sports, news and entertainment and so on. Like other Chinese streaming services, it requests a China IP address to access all the content.
M1905.com is the official movie site of China’s national CCTV Movie Channel. The site provides columns like movies, videos, movie rankings, movie stars, movie blog…etc, with more than 10,000 genuine HD movies with 3 extra movies added each day. M1905 is the most complete and authoritative Chinese movies site.
You can watch movies from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the USA, and Asian countries such as Japan, Thailand, India.
M1905 is so amazing, it is free of copyright restrictions, and people can watch all its movies instantly anywhere in the world for free.
If you know a bit about China, you must hear of QQ, the most widely used instant messenger in China. Its movie channel – QQ Movie – is not at all less popular. The site provides the latest collection of domestic and foreign movies.
It has channels including movies, dramas, shows, documentaries, cartoons. You can easily find something interesting to watch and learn Chinese at the same time!
Baidu Video is one of the largest video sharing sites in China. It is a channel of Baidu.com, China’s leading search engine. It differs from Google in that, if you go to the video section of Baidu, you’ll have an infinite supply of movies, TV movies, songs and much more available to you.
CNTV is the website of the national Chinese television network, where you can find a ton of Chinese news, TV shows, documentaries. The site provides multiple-series Chinese video lessons that may be useful for those who are learning Chinese.
Sohu TV is owned by Sohu company, one of the biggest Internet portals in China. Like others, Sohu Movie provides a wide variety of free content, from movies, TV shows, self-produced dramas, to variety shows, music videos and cartoons.
To access Sohu Movie, you need a China IP address.
So we've just looked at the 13 movie streaming sites that are perfect for improving your Chinese skills. No matter which level you are at, there should be one movie that suits your needs. You can check out our brief guide on how to actively learn Chinese with movies below.
A quick guide to learning Japanese through Videos effectively
Step 1: Watch the desired movie/video with bilingual subtitles or the subtitle in your language.
Step 2: Pick a favorite scene to practice (it should be shorter than 3 minutes)
Step 3: Study the movie scene actively:
- Watch it a few times with the Chinese subtitle on
- Look up and save new words or phrases
- Imitate the way the actors speak Chinese
Step 4: Revise your vocabulary
If you have decided to learn Chinese with movies, don't forget to install GlotDojo to turn on Dual subtitles and check out a word’s Pinyin, grammar function, stroke writing guide or some quick tips to remember the character order easily.Download GlotDojo FREE!
Explore them all and pick out a few sites with some sites to start with.