Wednesday, December 13, 2006

subtitle my world...

Growing up in Malaysia, I was used to having subtitles when watching almost anything on tv [or movies]: everything not in Malay had to have Malay subtitles.

And while all too often the translations were below par, occasionally it helped to have them as a reference when the actors mumbled / used phrases you weren't used to.

Fast forward to the past few years: here in the U.S. almost every tv channel now is close captioned, and Kosh and I have that option activated on our tv more often than not. Glad he doesn't mind "reading tv", LoL! I *do* have issues with this, though, when what rolls across the screen is garbled characters... bad enough this tv's captioning happens on a black background that blocks what's on the screen!

So, even better: DVDs with subtitle options!

Without this, I would NOT be as appreciative of South Park as I am now... back in Malaysia I'd been exposed to this zany irreverent cartoon, but struggled to understand every other word they uttered sometimes, so missed out on A LOT of the sick irreverence! Then Kosh and I received South Park Season One DVDs - I said I'd watch it only if we had subtitles on - and the rest is history :-)

I do have issues with *where* the subtitles appear onscreen: when the DVD is a widescreen version, why can't the manufacturers have the text appear in the unused black bar on the bottom of the screen, rather than appearing on the "movie" part of it?? In LOTR it was really really really irritating!

But, why am I talking about all of this? Because I am having issues. A few days ago Kosh and I did an early end-of-year gift exchange thingy: I gave him South Park Season Three and he gave me Animaniacs Vol 2.

Animaniacs Vol 2, just like Vol 1, does NOT have ENGLISH subtitle options. I don't understand why not. Not that I urgently need it for this series, but still, occasionally Wakko Yakko or Dot talks a bit *too* fast or makes too obscure a reference and I need to rewind and try to figure out what was said... and if that fails, then I "activate' the captioning of the tv... and then have the closed captioning rolling across the screen and blanking out the bottom quarter or so. Bleh.

And South Park Season Three? NO SUBTITLES! Gawd dammit! Yes, it's close captioned, but by now you'll know that given a choice, I choose subtitles. And I don't understand why a feature that existed in previous seasons would suddenly disappear. At least for Animaniacs, subtitles are available, just not for English. For South Park Season Three there are absolutely NO SUBTITLES at all! WTF?! I'm going to have to see if the subsequent seasons are subtitled at all - not sure if that will affect future purchases, but I'd like to be "prepared" next time.

... but so used am I to having subtitles / captioning as I watch something, I kinda cringe at the thought of watching movies in the cinema here sans reading anymore...

= = = = =

And just heard on the news: Peter Boyle has passed away. Most people will remember him as Ray's father on Everybody Loves Raymond (did you know that his Frank Barone character crossed over to tv shows "Cosby" [1997] and "The King of Queens" [1998]?)

Me, I'll always be amused that he was the "monster" in Young Frankenstein. [Living on the Ritz!!]

Y'know, unless Kosh violently objects, we'll be watching Young Frankenstein tonight.

R.I.P Mr Boyle.


  1. im used to having subtitles too..
    without it, im dunno wat i really watching..
    as u say, it bcome READING tv!!

    but im going to learn to watch without subtitles..
    so next time i wont be sick of cant find the subtitles.. it really cut off your mood to watch a movie.

    anyway,... it sounds that u very like to watch movie ^^

  2. I am addicted to subtitles! I am hard of hearing so I make whoever I am watching a DVD or TV with always turn them on :) Hee hee hee :)

  3. lunaticgal> hi! nice to "see" ya! drop by again, k? :-) Good luck with the "learning to watch without subtitles" .. depending on what it is you're watching, if the dialogue is really fast... urrgh...

    Kilax> yay! another "reader" :-) I hear ya [haha] about the hard of hearing thing: I dunno if it's physical or psychological, but I tend to not hear/pick up on things waaaay too often...

  4. I agree about the subtitles on tv. I'm actually hard of hearing so a lot of times there are shows I'd like to have the subtitles on for.

    However, a lot of times, they are, as you say, garbled characters across the black box, or worse still, don't appear at all. Add to that the fact that Jeffers absolutely LOATHES subtitles and closed captioning, and that about sums it up for ya.


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