Hell, here's my 15 minutes. I'd be interested in a job with electronics/software/mech engineering (ideally all three) in the US/EU/Australia (I can work in these countries). Some info about me on this post from earlier in the year: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18809704
For example, I can't use Spanish subtitles for one show (https://i.imgur.com/BBWuuPs.png) until I change my interface language to Spanish (https://i.imgur.com/bsyYJGR.png).
I have bilingual kids (Dutch and Danish, living in NL) and the amount of setup we have to do each week to get and keep Danish audio for cartoons on Netflix is pretty nuts.
There are all kinds of permutations like that which can look like arbitrarily bad UI decisions if you don't know the greater context.
I'm fairly positive, at the scale of Netflix, and the relatively minor amount of UI work they need to do, they aren't struggling to implement country-specific features. More likely than not, the ball either got dropped, or the misfeature wasn't understood as one.
Keep thing simple but not too simple.
And I'm sure they exist, I remember their subtitle 'program'.
I really thought that would provide users with more subtitle options to choose from.
> There are too many languages to list them all in the menu and have the one you want be easily selected - especially when you are viewing on a TV with only a left-right-up-down remote. Accordingly, we show the commonly used languages in any country.
Maybe that's an entitled attitude, but to me it's in the same ballpark as accessibility. It might not make a difference to 99% of users, but to the 1% of users in the long tail, it's royally screwing them for lack of a relatively small amount of effort. (In this scenario, a tiny amount of effort).
That’s also a form of UX fail.
I could easily imagine this happening if they have two separate layers of availability checks. One general authentication check (likely with coarse "DVD region" baked in) owned by one suborg and another to handle all the eccentric subtleties of hundreds of different licensors owned by a different suborg. As laughable as "security by hiding the UI" is, when it's only protecting licensing nuances that have traditionally only been enforced by broadcast range (which is roughly continental for satellite) pressure to fix it can be very, very low.
Here in Germany violence in video games used to be heavily censored. Much less so now, but when I was growing up, you basically couldn't have blood in games. I remember playing a GTA game that had bleeding NPCs or not, depending on whether you selected German or English as the game language.
The hoops are documented: https://help.netflix.com/en/node/13245 ("Change your subtitle language" section)
It says "Due to the large number of languages available, Netflix only displays the 5-7 languages most relevant to you while streaming." and then proceeds to tell the steps to change profile language to get other languages.
To better explain, with Netflix (any modern offering in fact) mentality one can't invent and market LEGO or even the PC or other general purpose toys. They want to capitalize on every bit of value from the product, and as a result, they can only give away "experiences" and not "platforms".
With a platform users generate extra value from which they can draw, with an experience it's just boxed, single-purpose consumer products.
In a conversation I had with someone who knew the business, the new language subtitles don't line up with the new language audio because the new language subtitles are translated from the original language subtitles, not the new language audio.
Why? This saves a step from someone having to rewatch the final new language dialogue and transcribe the new language as it is exactly spoken. That step can be skipped and the new language subtitles can still be translated from the original language subtitles, although they will be quite off much of the time.
Subtitles are translated with brevity and ease of reading in mind. Translators typically take more freedom with nuances and emotion because, well, you're hearing the actor say it out loud in the original language and that's where you get the emotion from. So it's ok if the subtitle has it in a different order / different "punch", etc.
I'm also pretty sure that translated subtitles have as their primary target audience people watching the movie with the original audio. Taking the two step process of going from the source audio, to translated audio, to subtitles seems like a needless detour for that (both organizationally, but also qualitatively).
There's absolutely zero resemblance between the two. Different words used, different order within the sentence (dubbing says "A B C" while subtitles say "C B A" half of the time). Pure madness. I immediately had to stop because it's been impossible to follow the two :(
Practically, not many people want dubbing and subtitles at the same time, so it's probably rational choice to save the costs.
I wonder how often you get a different joke on the translated audio and yet another different joke in translated sub titles. Kind of wild.
Finnish translation was originally a physical object drill, and not drill as a practice .
"... that she grew up eating in Iran" => "joita han söi Iranissa"
The Finnish translation here is "that she ate in Iran". Contextually, it still makes sense, but it's important when learning a language why it's okay to translate it that way. Literally it means something different, contextually it means the same.
I might give this a try, with the auto-pause feature.
If anyone is studying Spanish, the animated show Star Wars: The Clone Wars have audio that exactly matches the subtitles (Start Wars: La Guerra de los Clones). Good show with a good mix of action / dialogue that I learned of Spanish a lot while watching.
If the subtitles do not exactly match the dialogue, it is very frustrating. This happened a lot with some older shows I have the DVDs of, where the subtitles are... abridged versions of what is spoken. Impossible to use really unless you are stone deaf.
As part of my Swedish learning I watch a lot of Swedish shows with Swedish subtitles, there are always discrepancies
This seems to require two translation attempts; the main benefit being they can be done independently/parallel, but at the cost of duplicating the work. But it doesn't seem to save any work (assuming VAs work off a written transcription/translation, presumably completed by other staff members)
Usually I've seen the subtitles shorten the words in the audio. "You must come with me now" -> "Come now" or similar. I've been assuming it's to help the reader keep up with some quick exchanges.
Foreign DVDs include two subtitle tracks, one to translate the English dialogue and another to transcribe the dubbed dialog. At least, this is the case for my Chinese Disney DVDs.
But I agree that Netflix is a great resource for learning a foreign language. I went from zero to being able to understand a normal TV show in the target language in one year, mostly by watching children's videos in YouTube and Netflix. In my opinion, what's more important is (1) the ability to order/group videos by simplicity after filtering it by target language (even children shows vary a lot in difficulty and for learning it's very important to choose the right difficulty for you) and probably (2) the ability to slow down the playback speed like YouTube.
Basically in “the good old days” translating/subtitling was a serious job for serious money. But it has been turned into almost a “work from home, gig economy Mechanical Turk” thing.
And the quality obviously suffers.
It's blatantly obvious 3 seconds in. Very unprofessional.
Also strongly agree w/ GP; in my experience, you've got to hide the english to learn anything. Otherwise your brain isn't working in the target language.
Was recently watching How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast), which is a German show originally, and the subtitles were off in a similar way. Drove me nuts!
I ended up switching the audio language to German and watching it with English subtitles, was a miles better experience for me.
Otherwise, the implementation looks great. Easy, simple to use and intuitive controls. The running list of subtitles on the right is nice. To your point about playback speed, maybe it's just me but I like the challenge of trying to keep up with the foreign language and it helps with developing my listening skills (I also really don't want to watch children's shows). I think the ability to toggle the Auto-pause more or less solves this problem, at least for me. Would still like a Firefox extension though. This will be the only instance in which I use Chrome.
Edit: Hmm reading the other comments here, maybe this is actually a problem with the translation itself? If non-native speakers are noticing instances where it's off it seems there might be a quality control issue.
If the choice is English-audio + Dutch-subtitle vs French-audio only, then of course there is no advantage to the second group. Try restricting the French-speaking kids to watch shows with English audio only.
I imagine this rules out kids shows for most adults. It sure does for me.
Also start reading books asap. I spent way too long watching dub+sub'ed Netflix in my target language. Wish I'd tried reading young-adult books sooner. If you're going to be pausing on every subtitle frame to read it, you might as well try books.
Not necessarily. Maybe if you understand everything, they become boring, but to me watching an interesting enough show where you understand 50%-80% of the dialog and try to understand the rest by context is kind of fun.
Only watch in your native language/subtitles if you want to comprehend the plot more.
1. Japanese subtitles are completely different from what is said in Japanese dub. Subtitles are optimized for readability and use completely different phrasing, or even terms (for example dub says クイーン ("queen"), sub says 女王 ("jo-oh")).
2. Japanese subtitles and English subtitles are also different, because many lines have to be completely rephrased in order to express them in a (very linguistically distant) language.
3. The furigana (pronounciation hints) in these screenshots is not correct. "困った" is "komatta" not "koma ta". "妻は" is "tsuma wa" not "tsuma ha". If only they used ichi.moe's engine... (disclosure: I'm the author of ichi.moe).
Hopefully it can be fixed, since geminates are one of the most difficult features of Japanese pronunciation for native English speakers to master. Erasing it from the orthography intended to aid beginners certainly doesn't help.
My Japanese comprehension is still very minimal, but wouldn't this be pretty normal? It seems common in manga at least to use kanji for semantic meaning and annotate it with furigana for a foreign word or in-universe term.
Subtitles are not transcripts. They don't match word for word, mainly due to space and time constraints.
A lot of amateur subtitlers time the subtitle with the time of the spoken word, making them almost unreadable. Long text that pop up for a short time does not help convey meaning.
You want a short text, that anticipates what is being said. The reader of the subtitle is after all watching a movie, and might have their eyes elsewhere - They are not reading karaoke lyrics!
The way I think of it is this: you do all of your foreign language reading through the app. Lingq keeps track of which words you have seen: when a new one comes up it's highlighted in blue, when you define the word (mostly automatic) it turns yellow. Once you mark a word as known it is no longer highlighted.
There are SRS features built in, but I ignore them and just add words to anki when I feel like I need to.
If you love reading it's a really great way to get language exposure. Since looking up word definitions only requires a tap or click it enables you to read above your level (like reading with training wheels on). And just seeing a word over and over again in different contexts is a much better way to learn than hammering away at flash cards. The import from netflix/youtube stuff as I mentioned is great as well.
I also upload all of my own material (mostly ebooks) and ignore a lot of stuff they have there.
But I couldn't help but notice that the the software didn't romanize 困った correctly. It was "koma ta" when it really should have been "komatta".
And I wish I didn't have to use Chrome :|
I’ve tried this but the subtitles often use different wording than what is spoken (when both are in same language) so it doesn’t work out well in practice. Maybe depends on the language.
By this I mean, let's saying you're watching Orange is the New black... and choose French audio and French subtitles. You would expect the subtitles to be correspond with what you're hearing.... they don't!! Kind of absurd and annoying. This is true across all shows it turns out.
"Netflix usually has good subtitles for the original language of a title, that match the audio track. Subtitles often don't match the audio for dubbed audio.
The catalogue lists titles by their original language. It allows you to find French films, to study French, and German films to study German etc. By using one of the listed titles, you should have good subtitles that match the audio."
Since you hear the words and see a similar way of saying it at the same time. This (in my experience) is usually enough context to parse the audio.
The net result is then that your brain gained 2 pieces of input at rate of 1.
If you're learning a language, CC are p much the way to go
I just tried this with "A Very Secret Service" and It's immediately easier to understand what is being said. I can see this becoming a very useful tool for me.
I really hope it supports Hanyu Pinyin.
 Alexandra Stepien - Netflix and chilll like a boss: How to learn languages the lazy way - PG 2017
Obviously some kind of lookup between languages too, but what i'm asking is : is this just a fancy srt/language api parser?
I want to use this, but I don't use Netflix. It looks very cool.
We could use the code from our extension to support offline media.. but Chrome doesn't support MP4 playback IIRC. It's possible to make an Electron/NW.js app, but the vlc plugin isn't working with latest versions, last time we checked. Appreciate any info.
I see it is recently somewhat possible to run extensions on Android via a custom Chrome install. Does that work well?
If you streamed to a Chromecast it wouldn't work, as all the cast protocol sends from the iOS device is the URL of the stream and the authentication key. The Chromecast fetches any subs etc itself.
It's so sad that Google has deliberately disabled the support for it on their own browser (they don't want adblock maybe?) even though and independent dev has seamlessly enabled the same in his browser.
(Obviously vlc and mpv will only work for DRM-free videos, e.g. from youtube or a DVD.)
If you were asking specifically about Netflix subtitles, there used to be an open source NflxMultiSubs extension for both Firefox and Chromium, but it was broken by Netflix introducing changes to its video player and discontinued. There is an active, open-source dual-captions extension, but it's for Chrome only. (However, since it's open source adapting it it for Firefox should be straightforward.) Finally, as an alternative approach, you could try a Firefox addon which allows loading arbitrary subtitles in the SRT format to netflix, and which might perhaps allow you to have both netflix's subtitles and your own SRT ones at the same time.
That's great! It's a shame that it's (apparently) no longer open source, though obviously given the MIT license you're allowed to stop disclosing the source.
mpv --sid=auto --secondary-sid=auto --sub-pos=95 --slang de,en movie.mkv
With a computer running mpv and plugged into the TV everything just works and I can trivially fix common issues like subtitle/audio sync with my phone as the remote.
On-topic: mpv seems to have a similar language learning extension to OP https://github.com/oltodosel/interSubs
Having a scriptable media player is really something else.