Subtitle Grumble

Answered the Soulless TV comments (see my last blog post).

I don’t like snooker but Mum tends to have it on TV. Was idly watching the subtitles… one of the  players was looking very tense, and the commentators said:

“He has a tendency to torture himself.”

“Yes, he puts himself through the Windmill.”

I said to Mum “did they really say that, or was it just the subtitler falling asleep?”

“What? I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention.”

After that, every time I saw that same player with his tightly knitted brow, I couldn’t help thinking “there he goes, putting himself through the Windmill again!”

We are trying to watch The Darling Buds of May for old times’ sake, and I say ‘trying’ because every other time we try to watch it, the subtitles are off by a big way. It’d be like this:

Charlie: “Oh what a lovely day!” (Nothing appears on the subtitles).

Mariette: “I thought we could just bask out here in the sun.” (Subtitles: “Perfick!”)

Charlie: “Actually I was wondering if we could…” (Subtitles: “What’s so funny, Ma?”)

Mariette: “Oh Charlie! I just want to lie here in the sun.” (Subtitles: “Nothing, I was just…”)

Eventually you catch up with the bit that’s already been subtitled, but it’s annoying watching. I mean, you expect there might be glitches once in a while, but not every other episode. Then there are loads of commercials that go on for ages, and I seem to remember reading that this channel (or some channel) said they find it hard to get the subtitles spot on because of the ads. Varying length, perhaps.

Mum thinks I should write and complain, but you would think they would already know that there is a problem, and it has to be sorted out. Why do we have to complain about something that should be obvious? Hmm.

Edit: The channel says they rely on the commercials for their funds, and have to edit programmes in order to fit the ads in. That’s possibly why the subtitles go bad.

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3 responses

  1. I would have a lot of difficulty with that…I don’t mind subtitles, I don’t wee how you can follow a show properly if the dialog is totally unmatched to the acting…
    I have enough trouble when we rent foreign films and the subtitles include sound effects…
    Is there nothing they can do to fix them? I don’t see why editing the video would put that track out of sync…but then I’m not a techie.
    I’ve never quite gotten snooker on TV. It’s’ like watching poker on TV> I’ll play either, but to watch others play just has no appeal for me…same with golf…and most sports really.
    Silly…

  2. My mum told that according to the subtitles, “My Cocaine” was on TV recently (Michael Caine).

  3. Pacian, I can imagine people snorting that guy. 😀

    Geo, what are the subtitles like in foreign films (the sound effects bit?) Are they like ‘paf!’ in Asterix and Obelix? LOL. (Talking of which, I could do with watching those again; they’re fun).

    I’ve a feeling my memory got confused and it wasn’t snooker, it was bowls. To me they’re equally dull, though I suppose bowls has the edge over snooker… it makes more sense to the uninitiated spectator.

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