117

Film was exposed only once and the quality was not good enough to film the projection of a movie in order to add subtitles underneath in a copy. The only editing tool was cutting and that's why movies had intertitles (text cards) between shots. As a note, George Méliès, among others, did experiment with multiple exposures but it made parts of the movie ...


55

You're right about the cost. As recently as 1970, subtitles were expensive. Eg polish budget film Hydrozagadka had an actress recite credits instead of displaying text - just because it was cheaper. Our mindset is spoiled by computers applying subtitles effortlessly, but in film times it was huge work. Even when the technology was perfected it was ...


49

It's a deliberate directorial device. We're experiencing the world through Walt and Jessie's eyes, so it allows us to appreciate their confusion, suspicion and fear through the powerlessness they feel when events are unfolding around them - with little understanding and consequent lack of control. We're left to interpret the body language (of which 70% of ...


28

In the US, Europe, Canada and other countries with nearly 100% literacy rates, dubbing vs subtitling is certainly a matter of preference. Subtitling allows the viewer to get a more exact translation of the dialogue but requires that the viewer read the text, potentially missing visual elements of the film. From TV Tropes: Subtitling has many advantages: ...


26

Intertitles were never called "intertitles" during the silent era. They were just "titles". We call them intertitles now to distinguish them from subtitles and the main titles of a film. Subtitles were used occationally, like in Clarence Brown's FLESH AND THE DEVIL (1926), when John Gilbert hears Garbo's character name "Felicitas" over and over. The main ...


23

There are two main types of subtitling and several ways of attaching them to videos. Types of subtitling As you've noted in your question, sometimes subtitles have sound cues and sometimes they do not. This is because some subtitles are designed for the hearing and some are designed for the deaf. Subtitles designed for hearing people will not include ...


17

The debate of dubbing vs subtitles is well discussed, including numerous studies and polls of movie goers. It's an opinion that is split by demographic, by country, by certain distributors. Essentially, it's down to the personal choice of the viewer - some people prefer the original experience in its original language with its original dialogue but with ...


17

A couple of reasons... Firstly, Coppola states somewhere in the DVD commentary that the actors spoke too quickly for the subtitles to be read properly and that was a distraction for the audience, so he let the scene play out visually instead. Walter Murch (Film & Sound Editor on The Godfather) explained why Coppola made this choice... “It is ...


16

Daenerys speaks High Valyrian to her dragons, Dothraki to her Khalasar and Low Valyrian to other characters in prior seasons. All* of these interactions are subtitled, by default. In your German version, it may be necessary to activate subtitles manually, whereas these are usually hardcoded into original (English) versions of the video, so that even people ...


15

The purpose of subtitles is to generally allow audience members to mentally pretend that the words they're hearing are actually in their own language. In most cases, the purpose of intertitles is to allow the audience to pretend that they can hear things that they see the actors saying. In order for the latter mental substitution to work, however, the ...


14

I've only seen the show as the DVD box set, so the original showing may have been different, but some of the scenes are subtitled, and some aren't. This doesn't seem accidental, or sloppy - like everything in the series, it has meaning and it adds to the development of the story. The most powerful examples of this are two scenes with the Cousins. At ...


12

I have a friend who works at a company that does subtitles for TV. He has dictation software (Dragon), trained specifically to his voice. He listens to the TV show, and as he listens, he repeats the lines clearly into a microphone. The computer transcribes what he says. This is somewhat more accurate than getting the software to try and understand the ...


11

They're called Forced subtitles From Wikipedia Forced subtitles are common on movies and only provide subtitles when the characters speak a foreign or alien language, or a sign, flag, or other text in a scene is not translated in the localization and dubbing process. In some cases, foreign dialogue may be left untranslated if the movie is meant ...


7

It seems to me that, in addition to the various other reasons mentioned, that even if it were a viable option to use subtitles, they might not have been preferred to intertitles for silent films, because they require the audience to choose whether to read or to watch the action. When silent films were current, the moving images were a spectacle, and people ...


7

In modern broadcasting, subtitling is a separate data stream accompanying the audio and video, and it is rendered using whatever font is configure in the subtitling device. This is a more efficient way to store subtitling information (since it can be stored as text rather than as fully-rendered text) but it definitely means the subtitles can look different ...


6

There is no single standard for style formatting of subtitles or captioning. As @BCdotWeb stated. It is dictated by the company you work for. Much like any other type of writing, there are multiple Style Guides you can choose of to format your text. For example, the BBC's style guide for online video. Or PBS' s guide half way down this page. Then there is ...


6

If you had noticed, there are two words that are highlighted in the song's subtitles, The Boogeyman and Take. According to legend as we used to hear, The boogeyman punishes children for bad behavior. John wick resembles to him as he is ahead of the curve when it comes to being bad. He thinks what is his, he will take it, even if it means someone's life. ...


6

Many pieces of subtitling software help you sync stuff faster than doing it by trial-and-error, by allowing you to import your movie and showing you a waveform of the audio. It's easy to visually remember where a line starts and ends that way, so, once you've heard the audio once and you've transcribed/translated it (yes, manually), all you have to do is ...


6

There are times where subtitles are actually more accurate than dubbing. With dubbing, the voice actors have to stay as true to the mouth movements as possible....sometimes even also the sound of the words. This can be very difficult or even impossible to do while keeping the same meaning, so meanings end up changing. Whereas with subtitles, this is not ...


5

Coincidentally I recently watched Wolfgang Schmitt discuss the pros and cons of dubbing vs subtitles on his YouTube channel (unfortunately, and ironically, not available in English). While he certainly has a personal standpoint towards the matter and the existing answers already discuss many of the common arguments, I found that he still gives some ...


5

There's a certain interesting idea behind dubbing rather than subtitling. As a part of the Marshall Plan (if I remember correctly) after World War II in certain countries it was part of the agreement that Hollywood films were translated into other languages. That implies that everything made in the USA was easily spread around the world. This gave tons of ...


5

I'll get to a nifty solution that meets one of your examples a bit better towards the end, but in the meantime.... There are likely several reasons (this hasn't been done very well until recently): They would still require separate hardware to be projected on a separate screen bellow the main screen. While it may not be as big a deal now that we've gone ...


5

It's not that big a deal. Ever sit through the credits of a movie? No? There's a reason for that. There are often literally a thousand people named, because they are all involved in the movie's production. A movie can easily be as big an operation as a space launch - in fact India put a lander on Mars cheaper than the cost of the movie The Martian. So ...


4

Also films were made for an international audience. Intertitles could be cut out and new ones put in for each language.


4

I can't find any articles that have found hidden meaning (in terms of word re-arrangement) for John Wick's impressive subtitle typography, but I did find and article from a website called Videomaker from 2015, discussing new innovations for film subtitles by using typography techniques. The article includes what this does for John Wick. The limitations of ...


4

I have the DVDs and watch them with the subs on, and some of it is important. The setup for Danny Trejo's character's murder was somewhat important, or at least allowed you to understand it better. The "experiencing the world through Walt and Jesse's eyes" bit is BS. If Jesse and Walt aren't even in the scene, what would it matter? And, like I said, some ...


2

I suspect that part of it was that, for an artistic standpoint, lack of dialogue was just part of the medium and they were all about action and gesture and writing a dialogue script wasn't part of the process. Even with modern sound films the decision between dubbing and subtitles for foreign language sis difficult and both have pros and cons. A particular ...


2

In the "scene", they're referred to as "Embedded Subtitles" or "Hardcoded Subtitles". There doesn't appear to be a wiki on either phrase, but a quick google will show it's rather common. They are burned into the movie itself, there's no way to turn them off. If you ever see any websites where they have currently-in-theater movies, they almost always ...


1

Netflix calls these Forced Narrative (FN) subtitles. From their instructions for content providers: FN subtitles are used in the following cases: 1. Short segments of foreign language, intended to be understood by the audience, that differ from the original language of the show.


 2. Translation of original language location/person IDs, dates or other ...


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