I've heard the Chinese are fine to use the English word DVD, rather than the chinese word. What is more common, and what measure word do they use with it?

5 Answers 5


I had always used guanng pan (光盘) with ge (个), however I am told that it would be better to use pan (盘) or zhang (张). DVD is commonly used as is die pian (碟片) with the measure word bu (部) or zhang (张).

According to my Chinese friend DVD is most commonly used.

You will also hear wu(五 or jiu(九)after DVD if you're in a shop to signify the type of DVD (DVD 5 or DVD 9).

  • By type of DVD do you mean region or something else? Commented Jan 6, 2012 at 6:54
  • 1
    DVD 5 or 9 are the most common DVD disc types I have come across in China. DVD 5 refers to a 4.7gb single-sided single layer disc and DVD 9 is a 8.5gb single sided dual-layer disc. In practice something on a DVD 9 disc will normally be of higher quality.
    – chentudou
    Commented Jan 6, 2012 at 11:01

Just a supplement here. Many technical acronyms are borrowed directly from English, and we don't usually translate them into Chinese characters.Take DVD for example, its definition in Chinese is "数字多功能光盘“ as in English "Digital Versatile Disc", however, we don't say "数字多功能光盘", except that you want to explain what it is to other people.In general, we just say "DVD" and read it just in a letter-by-lettter way(Dee-Vee-Dee in this case). I would say "张" as the measure word for a piece of DVD. Some other examples:

LED (read: el-ee-dee)

LCD (read: el-see-dee)

Mp3(read: em-pee-sān) We use this word to mean a file with .mp3 extension or a mp3 player.

Jpeg(read: jay-pee-ee-jee. I have heard an American read it as "jay-peg", but I have never heard my chinese friends read that way)

  • I've heard a lot more "jay-peg" around me used by Chinese people. Maybe this is due to the international communication in research.
    – fefe
    Commented Jan 3, 2012 at 3:27
  • That's true.After I learnt "jay-peg" from that American, I speak to him that way, but my friends don't. I am not sure "jay-peg" is standard or just a personal perference.
    – Huang
    Commented Jan 3, 2012 at 3:41
  • This answer prompted me to ask a question, Do acronyms borrowed from English use neutral tone for all syllables? Commented Jan 6, 2012 at 11:15
  • the tone pattern of DVD seems to be first, neutral, fourth, LED/LCD seems neutral, first, first
    – user58955
    Commented Sep 28, 2013 at 19:50

My old textbook [1] claims that 看碟 is used to say watch a movie on DVD.

Yellow bridge [2] says 影碟 is used for DVD, and its measure word can be either 张 or 片.

[1] Integrated Chinese 3e, Level 1 Part 2, Lesson 11, p2

[2] http://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/wordsearch.php?searchMode=C&word=%E5%BD%B1%E7%A2%9F


In Taiwanese usage, no one says anything other than DVD, and the measure word is usually 片 or 張.


I don't know that I've ever heard a Chinese person say anything but DVD to describe a DVD, although I remember learning 光盘/数字光盘 (guāng pán/shù zì guāng pán) as CD/DVD when I was doing my Chinese course.

The measure word for DVD is either 盘 or 张 - either one is fine so far as I know, although a native speaker might correct me on this.

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