Names of Books, Movies, Actors, and Authors

Is there a database / look-up tool that has information like movie names, actor names, book names, author names, etc, in Chinese and English? So many times I am trying to tell a Taiwanese person about a good old movie, or a not-so-famous actor, and they are clueless, and we both have no place to search for the translation.

For movie titles and actor names, you can go to:

Thanks Incubus, what a great site! Is there anything like that out there for music or books?

Also, is there anything for movies that is more comprehensive? For example, I can’t find much on older movies or older actors.

You can use general Google searches to find this kind of thing, it’s easy. If you’re looking for the Chinese title of an English-language movie, set your preference page to return pages in Chinese only (probably only Traditional Chinese in your case if you’re in Taiwan; the translations are different in HK and the PRC), then enter a couple of Chinese characters (common ones, like “daoyan” director or stuff like that that would likely appear on a page with info about the movie) and the English title in quotes. With any luck you’ll hit a page in Chinese that will have the Chinese name of the movie listed with the English title in parenthesis or similar. This works for many lookups of “how do you say that in Chinese”.


Those kind of tools are good for popular and recent material, but what about older, more obscure material? What do professional translators use when they have to translate something from, say, a 1940’s movie?

Just told you.
There are scholarly papers written in Chinese that talk about this stuff, and quite often (esp if they are written in Taiwan) give the original English or some kind of English equivalent.
Otherwise you might try the Central Library in Taipei but I really don’t know what they have.