Chinese Pinyin Subtitles Translator

Welcome to the official home page for the (a9t9) Chinese Subtitles Translator.

Chinese Subtitle Translator (or simply CST) recognizes the Chinese characters of the subtitle directly in the video and translates them to Pinyin and English. All this works visually, directly on any video portal like Youtube.

  • Download the Chinese Subtitle Translator (The link goes to the Microsoft App store. The app runs on Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.)
  • NEW: Try the new cross-platform solution: Copyfish (Chrome extensions, = it runs directly on your Chrome browser)

Learning Chinese has one great advantage: Most Chinese movies and TV shows are subtitled in Chinese by default. But as we Chinese learners are all painfully aware of, there is no easy link between a character and its pronunciation and tone. For that we have Pinyin, the phonetic language for Chinese.  But finding movies with Pinyin subtitles is almost impossible outside special clips for Chinese learners. And there was never an easy way to look up a new vocabulary word while watching a video… … that is until now.

TCST creates instant Pinyin subtitles and provides automatic Chinese to English translations.

How it works:

  1. Start a movie with Chinese subtitles, normal and full-screen mode are both supported.

  2. Click “New Subtitle Area” button on the left. A yellow rectangle appears. Use it to mark the area where the Chinese subtitles appears. This settings is stored until you reselect a new area. So you need to do this only once per movie.

  3. Done! - Sit back and watch your movie. Just click the “Translate!” button whenever you need an instant Pinyin subtitle and English translation.

This app does not make learning Chinese easy, but it makes it more fun ;-)

There is no need to search the internet for free subtitle files in SRT format and use complicated DVD player setups. Just open the CST app, go to Youtube, start your favorite video and press the “Translate!” button whenever you need some help with a Chinese subtitle.

CST works with any video portal that shows the videos with a HTML5 video player. Unfortunately, that means no Youku support yet. Update Oct. 2015: Flash players are now supported by Copyfish.

Copy & Paste Chinese Characters:

Sometimes you may want to look up a certain word in your dictionary or add it to your Flash card list. You can do that easily, as you can copy the Chinese character from the app to anywhere else:

You can mark, and copy & paste the Chinese text, e. g. to look up specific words in an online Chinese dictionary or to add them to your Flash card list.

Get started!

CST works with any movie. But before you get paralysis of choice, here is a good movie to get started:

The Chinese Subtitles Translator is available for free in the Windows app store.

Please email blog AT with any feature suggestion or bug report. Or just leave a comment below… .

For software developers among the Chinese learners:

Do you want to add a feature to CST? The app is a XAML/C# Visual Studio project and the full source code is available under the GPL open-source license on GitHub. Ideas for new features and bug reports are also very welcome.


This subtitle OCR app is my own idea, but the observation that subtitles help with language learning is nothing new: