Love the Marvel Cinematic Universe but don’t know how to talk about it in Chinese? Grab some tea and choose a comfy place to sit.
You can also bring a notebook because you will be learning a lot. Here we go.
1 The Mastermind Company
Marvel 漫威 (Màn wēi)
First steps: how do you say the name of the Marvel Comics Company in Chinese?
Marvel in Chinese is 漫威 (Màn wēi). There’s no meaning to this word; 漫威 sounds like Marvel. Here is an example of using it in a sentence:
A: Why do you like Marvel movies?
B: I love the movie characters.
A: Nǐ wèi shén me xǐ huān Màn wēi?
B: Wǒ xǐ huān diàn yǐng lǐ de rén wù.
2 The Character Names
Here is how to say five Marvel characters (this is not a ranked list).
Shang-Chi 尚气 (Shàng qì)
Shang-Chi is the kung fu master. Shang-Chi’s name in Chinese is 尚气 (Shàng qì). 尚 (Shàng) means “esteemed” or “valued” and 气 (Qì) means “vital energy.”
The name “Shang-Chi” is already a Chinese name; therefore, it was very easy to translate for native speakers.
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” aka 尚气与十环传奇 (Shàng qì yǔ shí huán chuán qí) just recently came out in theaters. This movie’s name is also very literal.
十环 (Shí huán) means “ten rings” and 传奇 (Chuán qí) means “legend.” 与 (Yǔ) means “and”; it is a connector.
Captain America 美国队长 (Měi guó duì zhǎng)
Ah, he is the leader of the team. Captain America in Chinese is 美国队长 (Měi guó duì zhǎng). It is a literal translation. 美国 (Měi guó) means “America” and 队长 (Duì zhǎng) means “captain.”
In Chinese, Steve Rogers is 史蒂夫·罗杰斯 (Shǐ dì fū·luō jié sī).
The “Captain America: Civil War” 美国队长: 内战 (Měi guó duì zhǎng: Nèi zhàn) movie title is a direct translation. 内战 (Nèi zhàn) means civil war.
This movie has to be one of the most heartbreaking movies in the Avengers series. To see some of your favorite characters fight one another is painful to watch.
Watch this interview to heal your pain!
Iron Man 钢铁侠 (Gāng tiě xiá)
He is one of the richest heroes in the Marvel Universe. Iron Man in Chinese is 钢铁侠 (Gāngtiě xiá).
Its literal translation is “iron hero.” 钢铁 (Gāng tiě) in Chinese means “steel” and 侠 (Xiá) means “hero.” Tony Stark in Chinese is 托尼·史塔克 (Tuō ní·shǐ tǎ kè).
If you had to choose your favorite 钢铁侠 (Gāng tiě xiá) movie, what would it be?
**Yes, the movie’s name in Chinese is the same as the character’s just like the English title.**
WARNING! SPOILER ALERT! This is a video of the movie’s synopsis in Chinese.
Thor 雷神/索尔 (Léi shén/Suǒ ěr)
Thor has two names in Chinese. One is 雷神 (Léi shén) and the other is 索尔 (Suǒ ěr).
雷神 literally means “God of Thunder”; 雷 (Léi) is “thunder” and 神 (Shén) is “god.” 索尔 sounds similar to Thor.
It is hard for Chinese speakers to make the “th” sound so Thor’s name becomes 索尔 (Suǒ ěr) to make it easier for native speakers to pronounce.
The title of the movie “Thor: Ragnarok” 雷神：诸神黄昏 (Léi shén: Zhū shén huáng hūn) is a bit more complicated. 诸神 (Zhū shén) literally means “all the gods.”
However, in reality, it means “all of the heroes.” The literal meaning of 黄昏 (Huáng hūn) is sunset. Hmmm...let’s think about this.
Figuratively, what can sunset mean? You guessed right! It can mean death.
Now let’s connect the dots. What is Ragnarok? In Norse mythology, it is a series of events that causes catastrophic destruction of the cosmos including gods.
Does it all make sense now? When translated, the Chinese title is “Thor: The Death of All Heroes”. Here is the “Thor: Ragnarok” trailer with Chinese subtitles.
Black Widow 黑寡妇 (Hēi guǎ fù)
She is a woman of confidence and strength. Black Widow’s Chinese name is 黑寡妇 (Hēi guǎ fù), which is a literal translation.
黑 (Hēi) means “black” and 寡妇 (Guǎ fù) means “widow.” Natasha Romanoff’s full name is 娜塔莎·罗曼诺夫 (Nà tǎ shā·luómàn nuò fū) in Chinese.
Just like “Iron Man,” the Chinese title of the “Black Widow” movie is still “黑寡妇.” Check out the trailer below with Chinese subtitles.
Avengers: Endgame 复仇者联盟：终局之战 (Fù chóu zhě lián méng: Zhōng jú zhī zhàn)
We cannot end this listicle without talking about this movie. It would be a crime. The second to last movie in the MCU’s phase three also has a very literal title.
复仇者 (Fù chóu zhě) means “the Avengers” and 联盟 (Lián méng) means “alliance.” Thus, it is the alliance of the Avengers.
终局 (Zhōng jú) literally means “the endgame” and 战 (Zhàn) means “war.” 之 (Zhī) is a connector and it is similar to the word “of” in English.
That’s it for now but stay tuned for more. If you want to learn even more vocabulary for talking about movies, check out this article.
In the meantime, let us know your favorite Marvel character and movie below!