What is it with the subtitle haters?

My sister likes anime, but she can’t read fast enough to keep up with subtitles.

I get annoyed with subs when I’m trying to watch something and work on something else at the same time. I can’t read the subs, catch the action, and watch what my hands are doing at the same time.

That’s difficult to do when you have trouble isolating sounds and you are watching in a noisy environment. With subtitles (or closed captions), I can watch something even with people talking, dogs barking, and phones ringing during a thunderstorm.

My hearing isn’t that bad, but there are feature movies I’ve watched in a theater and felt like I was missing half the dialog, so I rented the movie when in came out on DVD just to be able to watch with subtitles on.

Yeah, because hearing impaired dudes just “need to pay attention”. :dubious:When you are talking to someone who doesn’t speak English I’ll bet you’re one of those who just talk louder and slower so that they’ll understand. :rolleyes:

I agree with Dogzilla.

Please post in English.

I often tell people it’s just a matter of getting used to subtitles. You don’t even really notice them after awhile (exceptions to be made for overly talky films or poorly done subs). I also tell them they’re missing out on a lot of great movies!

Not necessarily a matter of paying attention. Sometimes accents can be hard to decipher or you don’t want to have the volume up too loud or the actors don’t enunciate properly…

obviously I didn’t mean to include people who have hearing problems

English IS foreign to me. I’m fluent, but Jesus Hopping Christ do you guys have weird accents! Subtitles all the way, baby.

English is my native and only language. I loved Ricky Gervais’s British TV series “Derek”. Still, I can’t wait for it to come out on DVD so I can turn on the subs and finally understand everything the English-speaking characters said.

One of the oddest subtitle experiences I’ve ever had happened last year. I was in Amsterdam, and decided to watch a movie in the beautiful Tuschinski theater there. The film I chose to see was The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which is an English language picture - but was of course subtitled in Dutch there. My brain kept insisting that I should read the subtitles, even though I don’t read Dutch and so they were gibberish, while the dialog of course was perfectly understandable. Once you become accustomed to subtitles, ignoring them is very hard even when you want to!

One of the Netflix April Fool categories was UK films, under the category name “Films that need subtitles even though they’re in English.”

I like subtitles for languages I don’t know. But I hate subtitles for English. It implies a superiority of some accents or dialects (that don’t ‘need’ subtitles) to others. If it’s an accent I’m not familiar with, I want to have to pay attention to the sound; I should be able to understand my own native tongue, in any voice!

I dislike subtitles. And it’s not because I can’t read very well. I love to read. I just don’t like to do it while I’m watching a movie. Film is a visual medium, and if I’m constantly glancing down at the bottom of the screen, I’m not fully experiencing it.

Obviously, they have their place.

When watching a foreign movie, I’d rather see subtitles than hear dubbing, since subtitles are less jarring (for animated movies, it matters less). If there’s a very minor amount of foreign language dialog, or if there’s a valid reason to make it clear that, say, two characters are speaking in a language that another onscreen character can’t understand, then I don’t mind subtitles. But if it’s a major part of the movie, I’d rather just have them speak English. You can let me know that they’re foreign with accents.

I know that this detracts from the verisimilitude of the movie, but I’d rather be able to look at the shot fully.

To be perfectly clear, I’m not confused by people who just dislike subtitles, or find them annoying. That’s just a preference.

But some people seem to be offended by subtitles. What’s that about?

They are, at best, an unpleasant necessity. At worst, they actively hinder you from enjoying a work. They change how a work is perceived, and how you interact with it. They’re generally poorly done, and frequently used for works whose appeal is extremely… selective.

I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve seen a film, show, or other work which used them to good effect… and one of them was a gag in Monty Python.

Living in Japan, I watch all English language films and rentals with Japanese subtitles and barely notice them any more, unless they cover up some part of the visual exposition. That’s probably because I read Japanese slowly and poorly, so it’s easy to ignore. (Incidentally, Japanese TV will frequently subtitle Japanese, especially in documentary shows with regional dialects, but sometimes just when someone mumbles.)

I saw a dubbed version of Z once, and the dubbing was so bad I thought the movie was unredeemably corny and hokey and couldn’t understand what the fuss was about. But it was just (a) the dreadful translation (anti-parliamentary crowds chanting “Dep-u-ties, they-are-thieves”) and (b) the total mismatch between the actor’s visual and verbal expressions. I wouldn’t watch a dubbed version of Steamboat Bill Jr.

You can ignore subtitles; you can “process” them if the translation is bad. But with dubbing, you’re stuck.

For people with vision problems they’re almost impossible to keep up with. They change before you’ve gotten to the end of the previous one. And in trying to read them, you barely get a chance to look at the picture at all. Too frustrating.

Sidebar: I was just thinking that it would be great if subtitles could be made to appear in the dead space below a letterboxed movie. I fully enjoy movies with subtitles, but sometimes I feel like they are blocking part of the picture or making the movie appear “overexposed”, especially if they’re in a bright white bold font.

And as long as I’m wishing, it’d be nice if we could change the size and font of the subtitles.

I wonder why no one has made use of DVD technology to do just that? It should be technically possible to do, and it would make the DVD viewing experience so much nicer! Just because subtitles have to cover a portion of the image in the theatrical release is no reason why they should do so on the DVD.

They’re hated by typical ugly Americans.

“If I wanted to read, I would have grabbed a book!”

You don’t own a book.