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HubZilla
01-16-2007, 12:32 AM
I always have the subtitles on, since I want to see if I'm missing any important dialogue. I find quite a bit of my friends do this, too.

Do you?

Hippy Hollow
01-16-2007, 12:38 AM
Yeah. I watch TV with the captions on as well. Most people who visit think it's weird and ask me to take it off. Losers!

I only turn it off when I'm watch sports. Kind of annoying to watch a game when there's a big black blob over the action.

I have perfect hearing - it just helps me make sure I catch all of the dialogue. The most important thing I am looking for on my next TV is the kind of captions that are clear instead of the ugly black box.

Tangent
01-16-2007, 12:39 AM
I only turn the subtitles on if I have trouble making out the dialogue due to strong accents, low sound mix, or, of course, a foreign language. But I leave them off most of the time because I find them unnecessarily distracting. I find myself reading the subtitles even when I can understand perfectly well what is being said, and therefore I may miss out on some of the visual nuances on the screen, such as the actors' facial expressions

DataZak
01-16-2007, 12:45 AM
I always have the subtitles on, since I want to see if I'm missing any important dialogue. I find quite a bit of my friends do this, too.

Do you?

Yes, I do. I sometimes mishear things so I switch the subs on. I take it for granted now to the point that I'm slightly annoyed when a dvd doesn't include any subtitles (usually TV shows on dvd). What, do those guys charge by the letter or word or something?

Bryan Ekers
01-16-2007, 12:47 AM
On the second viewing of a film with a lot of rapid dialog, I'm likely to turn the subtitles on.

thelurkinghorror
01-16-2007, 01:08 AM
I usually put them on if I'm watching alone. Anyone else tends to get annoyed by it, so I have to keep them off in those situations. My brother shares the same idiosyncrasy, and so he is the only other person I can watch them with. If given a choice between subtitled and dubbed foreign films, I usually opt for the former, and in that case I put my foot down.

Mesquite-oh
01-16-2007, 01:09 AM
On the second viewing of a film with a lot of rapid dialog, I'm likely to turn the subtitles on.Sometimes, if it appears that the rapid (or hard to decipher) dialogue has important plot points, I will even pause the film, ask my family "Did you get all that? I think that was important, lets subtitle it." It keeps us from getting confused later. Example: This weekend we watched the latest "Pirates of the Caribbean" and there was an important scene with a fortune teller who whispered/hissed her lines in a Carribean accent/sentence structure. Had to subtitle her clues to understand the next few scenes.

Fionn
01-16-2007, 01:14 AM
I don't have subtitles on when I watch DVDs alone, but I always turn them on when I watch DVDs with my girlfriend. She has trouble making out dialogue, and I like to have them on so we don't need to turn the volume up a lot.

Antonius Block
01-16-2007, 01:56 AM
I often use subs as a language-learning or reinforcing exercise, so will watch a movie with subs in the same (foreign to me) language:

English-language movie (my mother tongue); hardly ever, but I'm a Brit living in the US and have pretty good ears, so dialects don't usually worry me.
French-language movie; I used to live in France so don't usually need subs, but will sometimes turn on the French subs in a slang-filled movie to give added clues for my comprehension, and to help my vocabulary and spelling.
Spanish-language movie; if the dialog's fairly straightforward I'll watch with Spanish subtitles, else English. Sometimes I'll watch important scenes with English subs then again with Spanish subs to get the maximum out of the scene.
movies in other languages; English subs, of course, as the OP says.

Nava
01-16-2007, 02:08 AM
May I just sign below Tangent and Antonius Block's posts? In my case the native language is Spanish, but other than that, same same.

Kal
01-16-2007, 02:12 AM
Yeah. I watch TV with the captions on as well.Same here.

I do frequently watch telly with the sound muted. I'll be listening to music and maybe pottering around on the internet or browsing through a magazine at the same time. Just seeing the screen out of the corner of my eye is enough for me to follow the action, with the odd bit of attention paid to the subtitles to catch the dialogue.

Martini Enfield
01-16-2007, 02:14 AM
I find the subtitles on English-language films or TV show DVDs are often incomplete or missing a lot of the nuances of the scene (the Season One Futurama DVD subtitling bears almost no relation to what's being said on screen in many episodes).

I only use DVD subtitling for foreign-language movies, FWIW.

maikai
01-16-2007, 02:49 AM
I have a slight hijack if you don't mind. I turn on English subtitles to get something I missed. When I turn them of signs will still be subtitled in French, but not dialogue, even when subtitles are turned off. Any ideas what this could be?

Ice Wolf
01-16-2007, 03:15 AM
If I'm playing DVDs on the second-hand player, I use subtitles because the thing's volume is shot. Only goes up to halfway, and that's still too low. (Friend of mine says he knows a fix, though, so I live in hope.) Playing them on the laptop, I don't have a problem, so no subtitles

chrisk
01-16-2007, 05:07 AM
I do it if there actually ARE English DVD subtitles. Seem to be finding more and more box sets without them these days :(

Nava
01-16-2007, 05:38 AM
I have a slight hijack if you don't mind. I turn on English subtitles to get something I missed. When I turn them of signs will still be subtitled in French, but not dialogue, even when subtitles are turned off. Any ideas what this could be?

Those aren't "subtitles" as in, "a substitute for heard dialogue", they're translations. If what a sign says is important enough to the story, it will get a translation. Normally when a movie shows, for example, the spine of a book so close it fills the whole screen, it means there's some connexion between the book itself and the rest of the story; it's not just "a random book someone was reading".

Dunderman
01-16-2007, 05:40 AM
Almost always, and then always in the language that is spoken in the film, provided I speak that language.

singular1
01-16-2007, 05:59 AM
The most important thing I am looking for on my next TV is the kind of captions that are clear instead of the ugly black box.

A couple years ago we bought a Sharp Aquos TV (http://www.sharpusa.com/products/TypeLanding/0,1056,s77-1-32,00.html), and we love it for the subtitles (among other things). You can choose the font size, style and color, as well as the background. We almost never use the DVD subtitles because they are so intrusive and, well, loud.

Caprese
01-16-2007, 06:11 AM
I do it if there actually ARE English DVD subtitles. Seem to be finding more and more box sets without them these days :(
Ditto. Really annoying when you go to setup and, well, there is no setup.
I don't find subtitles intrusive and sometimes they really come in handy.

NJ_Kef
01-16-2007, 07:03 AM
I always watch DVDs with subtitles or captions for the hearing-impaired, however Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon posed a problem for me. Whoever translated the English dubbing from Mandarin did not translate the English subtitles, thus one hears (hypothetical example) “Meet me at the mountaintop,” while reading “We will rendezvous at the summit.” This was fascinating at first, but it quickly became a distraction.

Subtitles are absolutely essential when listening to commentary, because the commentators’ voices always drown out the dialogue.

Number me among those who find an inadequate set-up very upsetting.

Eleanor of Aquitaine
01-16-2007, 08:47 AM
I always turn on the DVD subtitles, and I always have captions on when watching TV. I find it very annoying when subtitles aren't available.

I watch a lot of British shows, and captions are especially useful there. I love Sean Bean, for example, but I can't understand a bloody word he says.

On TV, sometimes you can catch where they have changed the dialogue and neglected to update the captions. I remember on The X-Files the captions would sometimes show long voice-overs that had been cut from the audio.

Liberal
01-16-2007, 08:51 AM
The only time we ever had to was for the movie Billy Elliot. Parts of it sounded like some sort of Pidgen English.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
01-16-2007, 08:52 AM
I turn em on while watching Anime.

Note--this way, you get signs translated. Often a plot point.

Corporate Hippie
01-16-2007, 09:01 AM
I use them whenever I'm watching by myself, and I'll ask ahead of time if anyone watching the movie with me would mind if I turned on subtitles. If I've seen the movie before I'll probably leave them off. For certain movies where the dialog is very clear and the movie is very visual in nature, I'll leave them off.

If the movie is rented from Netflix and I'm pretty sure I won't buy the movie or watch it more than once, I'll definitely use subtitles. I think the clarity of dialog (and consequently plot, sometimes) makes up for any visual distractions.

Dewey Finn
01-16-2007, 09:27 AM
I use them sometimes on English-language movies, sometimes because of the UK accents. But I've found that sometimes background dialog that I can't make out sometimes gets subtitled, as well as song titles, which can be useful.

Thudlow Boink
01-16-2007, 09:57 AM
I only turn the subtitles on if I have trouble making out the dialogue due to strong accents, low sound mix, or, of course, a foreign language. But I leave them off most of the time because I find them unnecessarily distracting. I find myself reading the subtitles even when I can understand perfectly well what is being said, and therefore I may miss out on some of the visual nuances on the screen, such as the actors' facial expressionsWhat you said. Plus, it can kill the comedy or the drama if I know (from reading the subtitles) what the actors are going to say before they actually deliver the lines.

Carl Corey
01-16-2007, 10:13 AM
Sometimes while watching a DVD by myself. I sometimes have a hard time hearing all of the dialogue.

Hampshire
01-16-2007, 10:14 AM
I always watch DVDs with subtitles or captions for the hearing-impaired, however Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon posed a problem for me. Whoever translated the English dubbing from Mandarin did not translate the English subtitles, thus one hears (hypothetical example) “Meet me at the mountaintop,” while reading “We will rendezvous at the summit.” This was fascinating at first, but it quickly became a distraction.

Subtitles are absolutely essential when listening to commentary, because the commentators’ voices always drown out the dialogue.

Number me among those who find an inadequate set-up very upsetting.

If your using the English subtitles, why not leave the the original Mandarin playing?

Max Torque
01-16-2007, 10:58 AM
I don't usually, unless I'm watching late at night and have to have the volume so low that I can't hear the dialogue. And I sometimes back up and turn on the captions or subtitles to catch something I couldn't quite hear or understand.

The one movie I can recall that caused me to turn the subtitles on and leave them on was Titus. Shakespearean English is so much easier to follow when you read it rather than hear it.

RoniaBorkason
01-16-2007, 11:11 AM
Whoever translated the English dubbing from Mandarin did not translate the English subtitles, thus one hears (hypothetical example) “Meet me at the mountaintop,” while reading “We will rendezvous at the summit.” This was fascinating at first, but it quickly became a distraction.

This also happened on the US version of the first Harry Potter movie. My mother was watching it in "Spanish", with "Spanish" subtitles on, and the dialogue and captions were completely different - well, the same ideas, but totally different vocabulary, like you said. The captions were in Mexican-Spanish, and the dialogue was in Spain-Spanish.

nashiitashii
01-16-2007, 11:23 AM
The one movie I can recall that caused me to turn the subtitles on and leave them on was Titus. Shakespearean English is so much easier to follow when you read it rather than hear it.

This also works well when viewing the Kenneth Brannaugh version (as opposed to the Mel Gibson version, which I've never seen but heard is crap) of Hamlet. Once you've viewed it two-three times, though, subtitles are optional.

I rarely use subtitles when viewing a movie, and mostly when the movie is not in English. On the rare occasion that I do use them on an English film, it's because it's Shakespearean English or the dialect is so befuddled by background noise or an accent that I'm unfamiliar with that it is rendered unintelligible. I have to admit, however, that I wish there were subtitles on King of the Hill when Boomhauer talks. It took me until recently to realize that he is actually saying intelligible things, just at a breakneck speed mumble with a heavy accent thrown in.

ZipperJJ
01-16-2007, 12:29 PM
The only time I watch subtitles on a DVD is if it's something like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels or (as someone else said) Billy Elliot. Movies about "poor" (fiscally speaking) English people with ... poor English people accents.

My TV, though, always has subtitles. When I was in college I kept it in the closet in the dorm room, which was too close to my neighbors' room for my comfort. So I started watching TV with very very low sound and subtitles. When I moved back in with my folks I felt my TV was too close to their room so I did the same thing.

Now I live alone and my first week in the house I turned the TV up as far as it could go, just for kicks. Didn't like it :) So now I still use subtitles. They are handy.

I especially like being able to report stuff in the Lost threads as if I know something special because I watch subtitles.

Meeko
01-16-2007, 12:38 PM
I turn em on while watching Anime.

Note--this way, you get signs translated. Often a plot point.

A distant cousin to this, I have noticed, is that subtitles will often give the lyrics to music playing. The music more often than not is dead on for action in the moment, or action comming up.



In general, whenever possible I always have the subtitles on. I never gave it second thought. I would argue that I put them on not to miss anything. I put the subtitles on with a DVD with the family, and they reference my loss of hearing in my left ear. After that, they asked to take the subtitles off. I did so.









And moments later, they are asking each other what someone in the movie said.

OneCentStamp
01-16-2007, 12:45 PM
I only don't put them on if it's a comedy film and the subtitles keep preceding the punchlines. Annoying.

cbawlmer
01-16-2007, 12:52 PM
Before I got married, I always watched TV with the captions and DVDs with the subtitles. It bugs my husband though, so I don't get to do it anymore.

One fun thing I used to enjoy was running either the foreign dubs or subtitles of Buffy episodes. I know the episodes well enough that I really don't need the English anymore, and I enjoy seeing/hearing how they translate some of the phrases in such idiom-heavy dialogue.

Antigen
01-16-2007, 01:12 PM
I only do it when I'm having trouble understanding the dialogue because of accents or background noise. Also, if it's a movie where the sound is badly done - lots of quiet dialogue mixed with lots of loud explosions and car chases - I'll keep the volume quite low because I can't stand the loud parts, and I need subtitles to help me catch all the quiet parts. For me, it's easier than grabbing for the remote all the time to adjust the sound up and down.

I don't really like it, though, because as others have mentioned, I'll sometimes read the dialogue before people say it, which is distracting. And I find myself reading subtitles even when I don't need to, because they're there, and so I'll miss action in the movie. Not to mention the fact when the dialogue is fast and complicated, the subtitles will often condense it a little, and you don't get the full meaning.

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