If you have been wondering "How on earth can I learn Mandarin and become fluent?" Most people will tell you that to learn Chinese; you need to make Chinese friends or download the latest language app. While having real-life friends to practice Chinese with is essential and the apps help to build a foundation, it’s not all it takes. This is because your Chinese friends will not always be there at all times when you are in the mood to learn Chinese and the apps will stop being so easy to pick up. So what then? Is there an alternative way to learn Chinese? Yes. It's Chinese movies and TV programs.
Most experts can testify to this. The advantage movies have over classroom learning is that it works on your listening ability and it also helps you learn the symbolism and tone. The good thing is that we don’t need to understand the language to enjoy the movies. However there are many options available with English subtitles. When this isn't the case, the actions in the movie can tell us what the actors are trying to portray and what they are saying. Now this may not happen immediately, but with time it will.
To help you on your quest to improve your Chinese proficiency, here are seven top websites to watch Chinese and foreign movies. All websites can be translated into English using Google Chrome or a similar web service for easy navigation around the sites.
1. Iqiyi.com : One of my favourites. The movies are clear and have a lot of variety to choose from. Baidu is the owner of this movie site. Baidu is the largest Chinese search engine so you can be sure that they have up to date movies. They have so many copyrighted movies, animations, TV shows, documentaries, music, just about everything. You may face some difficulty because the site is all written in Chinese but don’t worry, just scroll down and select the movies or show you like to watch. The bad news is; some movies will require VIP registration/membership.
URL : https://www.iqiyi.com/
2. M1905.com: The best part about m1905.com is that it’s the official movies site of Chinese national CCTV Channel. The site is loaded with all types of movies, documentaries, and much more. It has about 1,600 HD movies and they add at least three new movies per day. I urge you to check them out. It’s free of copyright restrictions what more can you ask for?
3. Youkyu.com : I am sure everyone has heard about YouKu- it’s the Chinese answer to YouTube. Which makes it easy to remember as it sounds like YouTube. They offer a variety of entertainment things to make your weekend fun. Remember to check out their Chinese comedy shows. The funny thing about Chinese comedy is that the action might not really be funny but the way the viewers are laughing will surely make you laugh. The movie channel hosts a large number of both Chinese and foreign movies, including many top blockbusters.
4. tv.sohu.com/movie/: Please don’t let the bunch of Chinese characters on the site scare you off. Sohu.com is one of China’s most popular streaming movie websites. The site provides thousands of movies and TV series for free. Even some of latest American movies and TV shows are available legally. Watching familiar "English" movies in Chinese or with Chinese subtitles is another great way to pick little bits of the language up
5. v.qq.com/movie/ If you live in China and you don’t know about qq.com then I can say you are not really living in China. QQ is the oldest chat platform in China- even preceding WeChat (though they both are owned by Tencent). Its movie channel – QQ Movie – is one of the most visited movie sites, it provides the latest domestic and foreign movies.
URL : https://v.qq.com/
6. 56.com: Movie provides HD copyrighted movies. You can enjoy its hundreds of HD movies and TV series online for free. A lot of rare finds on this particular site. You might enjoy browsing some of the more obscure titles this site has to offer.
7. Movie.kankan.com: Is a must visit movie site. The site has loads of copyrighted movies, TV series and other programs. Don't let the cute name fool you. It has some seriously big titles. Boasting a large library of both Chinese and foreign movies, you'll want to bookmark this one.
8. BiliBili.com: This site is more popular with young Chinese (think high school and college age). Their specialty is animation. I go here when I feel like watching something I can have a laugh with, something less serious and more silly. Whether you are into Family Guy, South Park (some episodes even have English subtitles for Kenny!), Bojack Horseman, Bob’s Burgers and more, you can find most (if not all) of the episodes on here- and for free. As a bonus, the comments from viewers that stream across the video as it plays can be quite entertaining (and occasionally educational) on its own. Don’t worry; if it annoys you, you can always turn it off. You will also find Anime and Manga on this one, so sit back relax and enjoy the nostalgic feeling on indulging in cartoons.
Thank you for reading through this list. I hope you found something you like and will enjoy your weekends and free time with these movies sites. They bring hours of entertainment and education all at a click of a button. Just bring your own snacks,
Happy viewing. - credit to China Whisper , (re-edited for 2020)