Pinyin support for Chinese (Mandarin) subtitles?


I’m loving the app, it’s hugely helpful and allowing me to watch a wider range of TV shows for learning than Viki was, and the amazing sidebar transcript to boot!

The one shortcoming I’m finding though is that there’s no support for displaying the pinyin (roman alphabet with tone marks) alternative to the the Chinese characters in subtitles.

In Viki’s Learn Mode there’s pinyin given above the subtitle characters when I hover the text, for example:

nán péngyǒu

Currently I have to click through to the dictionary links (not all support it) to get the pinyin. In a couple of cases the word wasn’t in those dictionaries, at which point none of them gave me the pinyin, so it became a case of copy-pasting into Google Translate.

It would also be amazingly helpful if I could switch from having English/native language under the Chinese subtitles to having the pinyin instead, and the same for hovering them in the sidebar. That way I’d be able to challenge myself to understand the Chinese and learn the pronunciation/typing at the same time.

Thanks again for making such an amazingly helpful and well-designed extension!



Thanks for the nice comments.

We implemented support for Japanese transliteration (for anime fans), but, we didn’t do it yet for Chinese. It’s on the todo list, just a question of getting around to it. Technically it’s not too difficult, should have it working soon… no ETA just now though. :-/


I am a native Mandarin speaker, if there is anything that I can help, I’d love to do that.

bty, this is a great APP.


Glad to hear that a fix is planned and in the works!

Unrelated, but in the machine translations for Mandarin there’s a strong tendency to add a personal pronoun to sentences without one, when a lot of the time these are in reference to a third or second person mentioned in the line before. For example:

He has a granddaughter
I should have graduated from college now

The same for commands said to someone else at the end of a conversation, they get translated as “I” statements not “you” statements, when they’re actually sentence fragments that don’t specify either.

Obviously, it’s impractical to expect the machine translation to be aware of context, but in the original example above I’d say the machine translation should treat the sentence fragment as a sentence fragment “should have graduated by now” and not add a pronoun that wasn’t specified or intended.

These sorts of sentence constructions are quite common in natural dialogue, afterall.

@David_Wilkinson: Just realised I can add screenshots.

Maybe we can try sending subs to the translate API in a slightly different format, it may help. Could you send a link to that movie (url)?

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That’s great, it was Day and Night aka 白夜追凶, I’m pretty sure that was episode 3


Hi there. Really enjoying the app, which I just discovered and was great enough to make me sign up to Netflix again :slight_smile: I’d also love to have Pinyin support!

In case you were considering implementing it in-browser, it looks like there are some convenient NPM packages for it such as chinese-to-pinyin.

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I’m learning mandarin would like this pinyin feature, too. For now, I try listen to the voice.

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I did some experimenting with the translation API we use… no… there’s no quick easy fix here, I’m sorry to say. :-/

Adding pinyin support to the TODO list thread.

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I’m also highly interested in Mandarin subtitles. I obviously don’t know how your app works, but I don’t think it’s an issue the translation API should solve. As fwouts mentioned before, you could use a Javascript module to get from the Chinese translation to Pinyin. For example, the first result from google enables you to do: pinyin(“今天天气真好”) returns “jīn tiān tiān qì zhēn hǎo”. I’d be happy to help to make this work.

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Another person here who’d love to have pinyin feature on this.

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I just discovered LLN yesterday and it was perfect for my Taiwanese GF and I to watch Narcos together with both English and Chinese subtitles. Thank you!!! +1 for pinyin support!! I could see this tool becoming extremely popular with Chinese language learners and the crowd over at r/ChineseLanguage.

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On a similar subject, I’d like to know what hsk level a word I’ve selected is. I’m HSK 5 and it would be nice to know if a word is 5/6 leveled (or god forbid 4 and I haven’t learned it :stuck_out_tongue:) or if it’s just super high leveled and therefore not worth my study at this time.

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I found a workaround until this is implemented in the addon. See this gist on github:

Just discovered this app and it is almost exactly what I need to learn Mandarin… almost.
Just get that Pinyin support working and you will have a new monthly subscriber for many years.

Would also love PInyin! This has been super helpful so far thank you!
If Pinyin on here too, I think I’ll be able to achieve my learning goal much easier.

also would love pinyin!!! ive been copying and pasting everything into google translate to get pinyin but it takes like 10x longer than it could w added pinyin</3