What are some good chinese movies to watch to help me learn Mandarin?
May 18, 2011 10:55 PM   Subscribe

Conventional wisdom says that watching a lot of TV/Movies in another language helps with comprehension. What are some good movies/shows to help me with Mandarin? My current level is quite basic (2 semesters of college classes).
posted by joshwa to Education (9 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" is in Mandarin.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:30 PM on May 18, 2011

Netflix has lots of great Mandarin movies available via streaming, but I really don't think watching TV or movies will be particularly helpful at your level. I'd recommend something like Chinesepod.com, a fairly entertaining series of dialogues with commentary in English and Chinese (depending on your level).
posted by skewed at 11:51 PM on May 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: There was a MeFi post a while back about Hēi Māo Jǐng Zhǎng (黑猫警长), "Black Cat Police Detective", an 80's children's cartoon that has pretty basic dialogue:


It's available on YouTube or at many DVD shops if you are in China.
posted by jeto at 1:17 AM on May 19, 2011

you can take a look at www.youku.com or www.tudou.com for any TV shows or movies you want to watch in mandarin. There's also software like feng xing which lets you download movies for free. But none of these have subtitles so may not be useful if you're not at an advanced level.

I would also recommend Chinese Pod. I'd doubly recommend finding real Chinese speakers to talk to if there are any near you.
posted by bearette at 1:51 AM on May 19, 2011

Response by poster: NB I live in China as of a week ago. I def plan to get a tutor, but looking to supplement with something fun/easy to watch.
posted by joshwa at 4:10 AM on May 19, 2011

Best answer: CCTV (the state broadcaster) also has hundreds of videos for mandarin learners, at all different levels:
I personally like the Communicate in Chinese and Travel in Chinese series with 大山 (Dashan), which have plenty of (reasonably colloquial) dialogue, but with explanation and discussion in English. There's lot of material at a higher level, if you're ready for it.
posted by firesine at 5:07 AM on May 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've also found the Slow Chinese podcasts to be a great source of spoken material. It's not spoken too fast (hence the name!) and transcripts are available.
posted by firesine at 5:13 AM on May 19, 2011

One Foot Off the Ground is a fun movie, really good for accents.

There're always plenty of cheesy telenovellas being continuously replayed on the old boob-tube to get into too!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:21 AM on May 19, 2011

Best answer: If you have a Chinese video store nearby, I recommend soap operas and American TV shows (or movies) that have been dubbed into Mandarin. They both have simple dialog and some of the American shows have a ghost of English in the background so you can confirm your translation. If you find yourself listening to that and not the Mandarin, though, it might not work.

I ended up learning quite a bit of Russian my watching Mexican soap operas that had been dubbed. I also learned a lot by watching some of the more ditzy movies more than once (like Brother and Nightwatch). I didn't want a movie that had lots of subtext and word play. I wanted colloquial speech.

Also watching the same movie or show over and over was great. It's amazing how phrases and accents sink into your brain by the third or so viewing.
posted by small_ruminant at 11:42 AM on May 19, 2011

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