Hongkong Movies: English Subtitles Available?


I have recently moved to Taipei and have following questions:
Are the movies from Hongkong bilingual subtitled (engl./chin.) in cinemas?

And where can I buy HK-movie-DVDs which have englisch subtitles? So far it looks like chinese only is available according the salesman :frowning:
Is there any shop who sells imported Discs from HK?


The last time I saw a Hong Kong film in the cinema was many years ago, but they are subtitled in Chinese and English, and dubbed (booo…) I don’t know if they still are, and I wouldn’t like to say if all films are thay way.

There is a shop on a lane off Xin-Sheng N Road, just south of Ba-De road (I don’t know the exact address right now) that sells imported DVD’s, including Asian ones I think

Hello. From my experience, Hong Kong movies in the cinema have always had Chinese and English subtitles. I hope they’ve stopped the dubbing nonsense. I saw several DVD/VCD shops at Shrlin Night Market during my visit to Taipei, as well as at the Eslite branch in the Asiaworld Shopping Center across from the Train Station. You can usually spot a few just wandering around. They’re everywhere in Hong Kong. It’s good to learn the Chinese character for ‘English’ and spot it on the back of the case. Hope that helps.

Definitely not always. For VCDs 50/50 or less, for DVDs maybe a bit more. Almost always Mandarin dub. If it’s made by a HK company it probably has English. The people who sell the discs really don’t know. Don’t trust them either way. Figure it out for yourself or get someone to help you look for the words for English subtitles. Ask if you can try it, or take it back if there’s no English. Good luck.


Yeah, if it’s a legally-made HK VCD, I would think it’d have English subtitles. The Taipei-made ones probably wouldn’t. I don’t know about the illegal pirated ones. I was interested in buying a box set of Hou Hsiao-hsien’s early films, a nicely packaged set, at the SPOT bookstore, but I wasn’t sure if it had English subtitles. Guess it’s time for me to learn the character for ‘English’.

I woul;d doubt that the box set has English. I bought City of Sadness, and it doesn’t. I haven’t seen another version anywhere. What annoys me is that even DVDs often don’t have English. A couple of times I’ve asked the sales staff and they’ve said yes, it does, then I ask are they sure and they say yeah, it’s a DVD - with DVDs you can choose language, but it turns out you can’t. Don’t trust what the sales people say.


Yeah, I bought City of Sadness as well. It’s labeled in English on the box but has no English on the disc. :?

Another thing to look for is the square box with a number. That should give the number of different subtitles available on the disc. For example,

| 3 |

would have subtitles in three languages. If there are that many, or usually even just two, one of them is almost certain to be English. The number in the series of circles refers to the number of spoken languages available on the disc.

Or at least that’s the way it’s supposed to work. I’ve bought some Kurosawa DVDs that say they have subtitling in three languages. Nope! On the other hand, I’ve seen other discs that don’t list English as among their languages; yet they do have English subtitles. Fortunately, most discs, when labeled at all, are correctly labeled.

On some cheapo DVDs of HK movies, there will be English subtitles – but only what was there on the original film itself. In other words, you can’t turn them on or off; they’re just there, along with the Chinese, and often not large enough to be clear.

What are you looking for? I could send you VCDs from HK. Check out u333.com/ as well.

Yes, I was just going to say that the English lettering on the box is really misleading, including the English description of the films on the back! I just bought ‘City of Sadness’ a week ago on VCD… :unamused:

I have found finally HongKong Internetshop who sells the stuff. :smiley: The page is completely in english available and they are very fast. They sent the parcel on Monday and it arrived already on Tuesday, for me unbelievable fast.
Here is their address: http://www.yesasia.com