English Chinese Movie Vocabulary

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A

“A” list – da wan 大腕

acrobatic fighting – wu da 武打 (movements used in Chinese opera and dance to simulate actual combat; practiced in films by actors and actresses who are not martial artists)

action film – dong zuo pian 动作片

action-adventure film – jing xian dong zuo pian 惊险动作片

actor – yan yuan 演员 (general term for performer)

actor (specifically male) – nan yan yuan 男演员

actor (general derogatory term, now obsolete) – xi zi 戏子

actress (specifically female) – nü yan yuan 女演员

adaptation – gai bian 改编

adventure film – jing xian pian 惊险片 (jing xian means thrilling, breathtaking)
(also see next entry)

adventure film – mao xian pian 冒险片 (mao xian means daring or risky)

allegory – yu yan 寓言

all-star cast – quan ming xing zhen rong de 全明星阵容的

animated fim – dong hua pian 动画片

appreciation (of film)– xin shang 欣赏

archive (film) – dian ying zi liao guan 电影资料馆

arrangement (musical) – gai bian qu 改编曲

artificial light – ren gong guang 人工光

assistant – zhu li 助理

assistant manager – ban li 协理

art design, art designer – mei gong 美工

art direction – mei shu 美术

art house documentary – yi shu ji lu pian 艺术纪录

audience  – guan zhong 观众

audio-visual – shi ting (de) 视听 (的)

audition – shi yan 试演

avant-garde – xian feng 先锋

B

background (in a scene) – hou jing 后景

background music – bei jing yin yue 背景音乐

backlight(ing) – bei guang 背光

backstage –  mu hou 幕后

ballet film – wu ju pian 舞剧片 (see also dance film)

bankable star – fu you hao zhao li de ming xing 富有号召力的明星

behind the scenes –  mu hou 幕后

benshi (Japanese silent film narrator) – bian shi i辩士

biographical film – zhuan ji pian 传记片

bit part – ke chuan jue se 客串角色

black-and-white film – hei bai (pian) 黑白片

blue movie (porno) – se qing dian ying 色情电影

box office – piao fang 票房

box office favorite – jiao zuo yan yuan 叫座演员

box office poison – piao fang du yao 票房毒药

box office receipts – piao fang shou ru 票房收入

box office success, smash – jiao zuo 叫座

C

cameo – ke chuan yan chu 客串演出 (also guest appearance)

camera (movie) – she ying ji  摄影机 (also used for cameras in general)

camerman – she ying shi 摄影师

captions – zi mu 字幕

cartoon – dong hua pian 动画片

cast – quan ti yan yuan 全体演员

cast list –  yan zhi yuan biao  演员表

category (or categories) of film award(s) – jiang xiang 奖项

censorship – shen cha 审查 (also:  to censor)

character study – ren wu zao xing she ji 人物造型设计

children’s film – er tong pian 儿童片

choreographer, choreography – bian wu 编舞 (general term)

choreography; choreographer – wu dao bian dao 舞蹈编导 (specific term)

cinema – dian ying 电影

CinemaScope – kuan yin mu dian ying 变形宽银幕电影

cinematography – she ying 摄影

cinepanoramic – quan jing kuan yin mu 全景宽银幕

cinerama – kuan yin mu li ti dian ying 宽银幕立体电影

clapper, clapboard – pai ban 拍板

classic – jing dian  经典

cliffhanger –  xuan yi  悬疑

close-up– jin jing 近景

close-up (shot) – te xie (jing tou) 特写(镜头) (see also:  facial close-up)

collaborators (on a film, excluding the director) – he zuo huo ban 合作伙伴

color – cai se 彩色

color film – cai se pian 彩色片

comedy (film) – xi ju (pian) 喜剧(片)

comedy, comic (short) – hua ji (duan pian) 滑稽 (短片)

commentary – jie shuo ci 解说词

commercial (film) – shang ye dian ying 商业电影

compose(r) – zuo qu (jia) 作曲(家)

composition (of a film) – jie gou 结构

conductor (musical) – yue dui zhi hui 乐队指挥

continuity (script) – ju wu 剧务

continuity (set or stage) – yi ji 埸记

continuity clerk – chang ji 场记

copy (of a film) – zheng pian 正片

costume – fu zhuang 服装

costume designer – fu zhuang she ji shi 服装设计师

costume research – fu zhuang kao ju 服装考据

credit titles (at start of film) – pian tou zi mu 片头字幕 (see also next entry)

credits (general term) – pei yan zhi yuan biao zi mu 配 演职员字幕

critic – ping lun jia  评论家

crime film – fan zui pian 犯罪片

crowd scene – qun zhong jing tou 群众场面

D

dance(r) – wu dao 舞蹈(家)

dance direction, director – wu dao zhi dao 舞蹈指导

dance film – wu dao pian 舞蹈片

dance film – wu ju pian 舞剧片

date of first showing or premiere – shang ying ri qi 上映日期

delineate (a character) – miao shu 描述

detailed close-up – xi bu te xie 细部特写

detective film – zhen tan pian 侦探片

develop (film) – chong xi 冲洗  (see also next entry)

develop (film) – xi pian 洗片

dialogue – dui hua 对话

direction – dao yan 导演

director – dao yan 导演

director-in-chief – zong dao yan 总导演

distribution – fa xing 发行

documentarian – ji lu pian dao yan 纪录片导演

documentary – ji lu pian 纪录片

drawing power (of stars) – mei li 魅力 (see also:  glamor)

dream scene – meng huan jing tou 梦幻镜头

dubbed film – fan yi pian 故事片 (less common than pei yin pian)

dubbed film – pei yin pian 配音片

dubbing – pei yin 配音

E

edit – jian ji 剪辑 (specifically film editing)

editing – bian ji 编辑 (general term)

editing – jian ji剪辑 (specifically film)

editing – jian jie 剪接 (specifically film )

ethics film – lun li pian 伦理片

executive producer – zhi pian zong jian 制片总监

extra (i.e., a film extra) – lin shi yan yuan 临时演员

F

fable – yu yan 寓言

facial close up – ren lian te xie 人脸特写 (see also:  close-up shot)

fade in – dan ru 淡如

fade out – dan chu 淡出

fairy tale (film) – tong hua (pian) 童话(片)

family movie – jia ting pian 家庭片

fan club (movie) –  ying mi ju le bu 影迷俱乐部

farce – nao ju 闹剧

fast motion – kuai jing tou 快镜头

feature film – gu shi pian 故事片

female lead – nü zhu jue女主角

female supporting role – nü pei jue 女配角

film – ying pian 影片

film analysis – ying pian fen xi 影片分析

film award(s) – dian ying jiang 电影奖

film appreciation – dian ying jian shang 电影鉴赏

film archive – dian ying zi liao guan 电影资料馆

film based on a literary work – lan ben de ying pian 蓝本的影片

film circles, film community – ying tan 影坛

film clip – ying pian jian ji 影片剪辑

film commentary – ying pian jie shuo ci 影片解说词

film connections – guan lian dian ying 关联电影

film criticism – ying pian pi ping 影片批评

film developing machine – xi pian ji 洗片机

film (or movie) explainer – dian ying jie shuo yuan 电影解说员 (in the silent era, this was the Chinese counterpart of the Japanese benshi, q.v.)

(film) extra – lin shi yan yuan 临时演员

film festival – ying zhan 影展

film industry – dian ying ye 电影业

film library – ying pian ku 影片库

film on location – pai wai jing 拍外景

film preservation – ying pian bao cun 影片保存

film printing – yin pian 印片

film-printing machine – yin pian ji印片机

film review – ying ping 影评

film script – dian yin ju ben 电影剧本

film set – dian ying bu jing 电影布景

film studio – dian ying zhi pian chang 电影制片厂 (see also following entries)

film studio – ying cheng 影城

film studio (or company) – ying pian zhi pian chang 影片制片厂

film studio – zhi pian chang 制片 厂

flash – shan jing 闪景

flashback – dao xu 倒叙 (see also next entry)

flashback – shan hui jing tou 闪回镜头

flash forward – tiao xu 跳叙

foreground – qian jing 前景

freezeframe; frozen frame – ding ge 定格

full length documentary – da xing ji lu pian 大型纪录片

full set – quan jing 全景

G

general business (on a movie set) — shi wu 事务

genre (film) – pian zhong 片种

glamour (of stars) – mei li 魅力

group shot – qun zhong jing tou 群众场面

guest appearance – ke chuan yan chu 客串演出

guest star – te yao ming xing 特邀明星

H

hand-hand camera – shou chi she ying 手持摄

hero – ying xiong 英雄

heroine – nü ying xiong 女英雄

high definition (TV) – gao qing (dian shi ) 高清(电视)

historical film – li shi pian 历史片

horror film – kong bu pian 恐怖片

I

idea – ce hua 吴业刚

illusions – huan jing 幻景

indoor set – nei jing 内景

indoor shooting, filming – nei jing she ying 内景摄影

interview film – fang tan pian 访谈片

J

jump cut – tiao yue jian ji  跳越剪辑

K

key grip – bu jing shi 布景师

L

last (final) scene – jie shu jing tou 结束镜头

layout (of a scene or set) – chen she 陈设

lead (role) – zhu jue 主角 (see also next two entries)

lead (role) – zhu yan 主演

lighting – deng guang 灯光 (more commonly used for stage lighting)

lighting – zhao ming 照明 (also used for the lighting electrician or technician)

line producer – zhi pian ren 制片人

lip-sync(hronization) – dui kou xing lu yin 对口型录音

location – wai jing 外景

location shooting (exterior, outdoor) – wai jing she ying 外景摄影

log; logkeeper – chang ji 场记

long shot – yuan jing 远景

lyrics, lyricist – zuo ci 作词 – (also used for “songwriter” in general)

M

make a movie – pai dian ying 拍电影

makeup – hua zhuang 化装

makeup expert – hua zhuang shi 化装师

male lead – nan zhu jue 南主角

male supporting role– nan pei jue 男配角

married print – sheng hua he cheng kao bei 声画合成拷贝

martial arts – wu shu 武术

martial artist (specifically a heroic or chivalrous character) – wu xia 武侠

martial arts film (usually featuring swordplay) – wu xia pian 武侠片

medical film – yi xue pian 医学片

medium shot – zhong jing 中景

melodrama (when used for genre) – wen yi  文艺

military film – jun shi pian 军事片

miniseries (TV) – lian xu ju 连续剧

mob scene – qun zhong jing tou 群众场面

montage (movie) –  meng tai qi 蒙太奇

motion picture, movie – dian ying 电影 (or: ying pian 影片)

motion picture camera – dian ying she ying ji 电影摄影机

movie – dian ying 电影 (or: ying pian 影片)

movie award(s) – dian ying jiang 电影奖

movie circles – ying tan 影坛

movie critic – dian ying ping lun jia

movie fan – ying mi 影迷

movie king – ying di 影帝

movie queen – ying hou 影后

movie role (or part) – dian ying jue se 电影角色

movie star, film star – dian ying ming xing 电影明星 (also see next entry)

movie star, film star – ying xing 影星 (short form of dian ying ming xing)

movie stills – dian ying tu pian 电影图片

movie theater – (dian) ying yuan (电) 影院

movieola – yin xiang tong bu zhuang zhi 音像同步装置

musical film – ge wu pian 歌舞片 (also see next entry)

musical film – yin yue pian 音乐片

myth (film) – shen hua (pian) 神话(片)

N

narration – jiang shu 讲述 (see also next two entries)

narration – jie shuo 解说

narration – xu shu 叙述

narrative film – ju qing pian 剧情片

narrator – jie shuo zhe 解说者

negative (film) – di pian 底片

New Year’s (Lunar) movie – he sui pian 贺岁片

news film – xin wen pian 新闻片

newsreel – xin wen duan pian 新闻短片

O

off-screen voice – hua wai yin 画外音

overall plan (of a film project) – tong chou 統籌

P

panorama – quan jing 全景

pantomime – ya ju 哑剧

paparazzi (plural) or paparazzo (singular) –  gou zi dui 狗仔队 (literally, “dog pack”)

parable – yu yan 寓言

playbill, program – jie mu dan 节目单

plot – ju qing  剧情

production assistant – chang wu 场务

production code – zhi zuo yuan ze 制作原则

production designer– mei shu zhi dao 美术指导

production (studio) –  zhi zuo 制作

props – dao ju 道具

plot outline – gu shi geng gai 故事梗概

popular science film – ke pu pian 科普片

pornographic film, porn flick – se qing dian ying 色情电影

portray (a character) – miao shu 描述

program notes – shuo ming shu 说明书 (could also translate as “playbill”)

projection –  fangying 放映

producer – jian zhi 监制

production manager – zhi pian zhu ren 制片主任

propaganda (film) –  xuan chuan (pian) 宣传 (片)

puppet film – mu ou pian 木偶片

Q

quick motion – kuai jing tou 快镜头

R

ratings system – fen jie zhi du 分级制度

recording (sound) – lu yin 录音

recording engineer – lu yin shi 录音师

reel – juan tong 卷筒

rehearse; rehearsal – pai lian 排练

related information – xiang guan zicun 相关资讯

related web sites –  xiang guan wang zhan 相关网站

retake – chong pai jing tou 重拍镜头

review – ping lun 评论

romance film – ai qing pian 爱情片

rushes – gong zuo yang pian 工作样片

S

satire – feng ci 讽刺

scenario – fen chang ju ben 分场剧本 or fen chang jiao ben 分场本脚

scenic (view) – feng guang 风光

scientific and educational film – ke jiao pian 科教片

screen test – shi jing tou 试镜头

screenwriter – dian ying jiao ben zuo jia 电影脚本作家 (also see next entry)

screenwriter – dian ying ju ben zuo jia 电影剧本作家

screwball comedy – feng kuang xi ju  疯狂喜剧 (see also next entry)

screwball comedy – shen jing xi ju 神经喜剧

script – ju ben 剧本 or jiao ben 脚本 (both terms are also used for “scenario”)

sequel – xu ji 续 集

serial (movie) – lian xu ju 连续剧 (see also “miniseries”)

sets, settings – bu jing 布景

shooting script – fen jing tou ju ben 分镜头剧本

short – duan pian 短片

silent film –  mo pian 默片 (more formal usage)

silent movie – wu sheng dian ying 无声电影 (more colloquial)

slow motion – man jing tou 慢镜头

sound – shou yin 收音

sound effect(s) – yin xiang xiao guo 音响效果

sound stage, sound pavilion – she ying peng 摄影棚

special effects – te ji 特技

spectacle – chang mian 场面

spirit world (meaning films dealing with the afterlife, etc.) – ling jie 灵界

sports film – ti yu pian 体育片

squib  – bao zhu 爆竹  (literally “firecracker”)

stage backdrop – tian mu chen pian 天幕衬片 [“tian pian” or “tian mu” for short]

stand-in – ti shen 替身

star-studded show – ming xing hui cui de yan chu 明星荟萃的演出

star system – ming xing zhi du 明星制度

starlet – xiao ming xing 小明星

start filming, shooting – kai shi pai she 开始拍摄 (“kai pai” for short)

stereoscopic – li ti 立体

(still) photography – zhao xiang she ying 照相摄影

studio – she ying shi 摄影室 (filming site, not the movie company)

stunt – te ji 特技

stunt man, stunt woman – te ji yan yuan 特技演员

subtitles – zi mu 字幕

supernatural (film genre) – shen mi pian 神秘片

superstar – chao ji ming xing 超级明星

supporting role – pei jue 配角

suspense –  xuan yi  悬疑

T

technical direction, technical director – ji shu zhu ren 技术主任

TV documentary – dian shi ji lu pian 电视纪录片

TV movie – dian shi dian ying 电视电影

theater (motion picture) – dian ying yuan 电影院

theme (subject of a film) – zhu ti 主题

theme song – zhu ti ge  主题歌

three-dimensional (3-D)  – li ti 立体

title (of film) – ying ming 影名

title calligraphy – shu mu 书幕

title design – hui ti 绘题 (see also next entry)

title design – ti hua 题花

title role – pian ming jue se 片名角色

track-in – tui jin jing tou 推进镜头

tragedy –  bei jiu 悲剧

trailer – yu gao pian 预告片

trick camera, stunt camera – te ji she ying ji 特技摄影机

trick photography, stunt photography – te ji she ying 特技摄影

trivia – hua xu 花絮

V

viewing angle – pai she jiao du  拍摄角度

vision mix – hun he jing tou 混合镜头

W

war film – zhan zheng pian 战争片

wide-angle lens – guang jiao jing  广角镜

wide screen – kuan yin mu 宽银幕

wide-screen adjustable (or distorting) lens – kuan yin mu bian xing jing tou 宽银幕变形镜头

workshop – che jian 车间

write (a script, scenario, screenplay, etc.) – bian ju 编剧

write and direct (play, film, etc.) – bian dao 编导(also the person who performs these functions:  writer-director; playwright-director; choreographer-director; scenarist-director)

Z

zoom lens – ke bian jiao ju tou jing 可变焦距透镜

One Response to English Chinese Movie Vocabulary

  1. john dietz says:

    Any requests or if you have any other words just post them here and I’ll update the page. Cheers!

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