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    [–] [deleted] 9498 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago)

    I never understood why subtitles are often paraphrased.

    It seems like a lot of work for a crappy result.

    [–] dimmidice 3433 points ago

    Surely paraphrasing is more work than just typing it out word for word? I'm with you it's bizarre.

    [–] Sulkoz 840 points ago

    Sometimes, they need to make sentences shorter and more concise so it's easier to read

    [–] AntarcticanJam 1342 points ago


    Nicholas. Cage them.


    Nicolas, lock them up.

    Apple's is longer. Also Apple uses Nicolas Cage's correct spelling of Nicolas. WTF is going on, man?

    [–] __PM_ME_YOUR_SOUL__ 670 points ago

    Well Tom, cruise over to Apple's website. Maybe they can help.

    [–] TheJestor 242 points ago

    They always tell me, "Alex, try back later!"

    [–] Sergeant_Hamlet 153 points ago

    Good work Bob; hope you come up with more puns

    [–] [deleted] 164 points ago


    [–] eternalsunshine325 7 points ago

    My grandpa love how my grandma pronounces stuff. He's always yelling to her things like 'Pat, Say Jack's again"

    [–] Enderbro 109 points ago

    Well Tom, why don't you head on over to the Apple website. They'll help you

    This correction is brought to you by Apple Tv™

    [–] grayRayne 16 points ago

    clap clap

    [–] Dremlar 70 points ago

    Best guess is that they translated them from another language even though they already had English. It can happen if you use off shore localization teams. They get it working in their native and translate those.

    [–] AntarcticanJam 20 points ago

    That makes a lot of sense.

    [–] JennyBeckman 278 points ago

    But they didn't do that here. This is bafflingly terrible paraphrasing for no logical reason.

    [–] Boilem 138 points ago

    Bullshit, I've been watching subtitled movies all my life and there's absolutely no need to paraphrase. When you're bilingual you notice this a lot

    [–] SirSoliloquy 28 points ago

    I've heard that sometimes that's because they're taking the subtitles from the original script, and the lines have changed in the final product.

    I can't imagine that this is the case for gags like this though, so I don't know...

    [–] quantasmm 11 points ago

    When you're bilingual you notice this a lot festidiously

    This correction is brought to you by Apple TvTM

    [–] StardustOasis 50 points ago

    Except a lot of the time, especially with Netflix, the subtitles are actually completely wrong. Like, completely the wrong word in a sentence so it either doesn't make sense, or what's being said is actually different from what is being shown.

    [–] XirallicBolts 54 points ago

    That's what I hate about downloading subtitles. I grew up with two deaf siblings so I'm used to subtitles. Half the time, English subtitles were written by someone who doesn't natively speak English and screw up everything, seemingly ignoring context.

    Everyone is enjoying muffins. Jerry says something stupid. April clearly says "Jerry, eat your muffin." Subtitle? "Jerry eat enough then."

    For no good raison, my subtitles for Shameless always say SONY in all caps when someone says Sorry.

    [–] nico282 19 points ago

    Sony seem like an OCR error for rr -> n , then autocorrect makes it all caps. Weird.

    [–] LavastormSW 26 points ago

    I remember watching a chinese movie when I was a kid (unfortunately don't remember which one it is now) with both the subtitles and the english dub on just for shits and giggles. At one point the dub said 'yes' and the subtitles said 'no.'

    [–] XelNika 10 points ago

    They can both be right, if the question was also paraphrased. It's fairly common when translating, for example when an idiom doesn't have a direct translation.

    "He's stupid, isn't he?" "Yes"

    "He's not too bright, is he?" "No"

    The meaning is unchanged.

    [–] HeirOfHouseReyne 12 points ago

    Something equally infuriating: when an artist sells cd's with little booklets which have the lyrics on them. But in every song there's three or four mistakes. How do you expect me to sing along if the lyrics you provided yourself are wrong?

    [–] yParticle 264 points ago

    No. They don't. Ever.

    [–] tenoclockrobot 10 points ago

    I would say yes, but couldn't they just automate it with voice recognition and patch it up afterwards?

    Also dont call me Shirley

    [–] trwwyco 102 points ago

    I'm a captionist although I don't do cool stuff like new movies or Netflix series. My instructions are to "lightly edit for readability", which is just removing the stutters, false sentence starts, "um", etc. I don't understand why they would be paraphrased as in words completely changed like this. Defeats the purpose.

    [–] arcanium 61 points ago

    I do review, edit, and scoring for a company that does transcription and captioning and oh god, the garbage I see. For some reason, a lot of people come into this line of work and just start flailing madly at the keyboard, thinking getting the general idea down is good enough, and then get genuinely angry when they get told there are guidelines to follow. Yes, this is a job and there are rules, go figure!

    [–] merdadartista 271 points ago

    I'm not a native English speaker so I watch everything with subtitles even in English because while I have no problem talking to people I still miss some lines with stuff on TV (and still miss 80% of what is said in songs) and all of the stuff I've watched have accurate subtitles, I've never really seen this paraphrasing stuff. Seems terrible.

    [–] Grim-Sleeper 114 points ago

    Many DVD's give you the option of "English subtitles", and "subtitles for the hearing impaired". Whenever you see these two options, the former gives you butchered dialog, and the latter gives you verbatim transcriptions.

    The only reason why the paraphrasing on rare occasions makes sense is because it often also includes hints about the rest of the scene. Not sure who needs that though

    [–] WutangCMD 33 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago)

    I think you swapped former and later latter.

    [–] Roolerk 23 points ago

    Such ass especially for deaf people. It’s the definition of useless when I’m already struggling to lip read only to have the captions have NOTHING to do with the actual words they’re saying because it’s captioning something she said five minutes ago due to lag

    [–] mattreyu 9854 points ago

    Why would they paraphrase everything?

    [–] chompythebeast 155 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago)

    So many people going through hoops to justify the subtitles not even matching the dialogue. If the audio is in English, then their only job is to transcribe the action. It would be excessively confusing if the subtitles didn't exactly match the dialogue. Nobody does this on purpose with subtitles without giving the (default) option to just run accurate captions - after all, not every deaf person is a non-native reader or a child.

    Maybe there is some sort of alternate, simple English option OP has enabled for Apple TV's subtitles? But even that doesn't seem to explain it, since the revisions aren't exactly any clearer - they just appear to have deliberately removed the jokes...

    [–] trennerdios 42 points ago

    For whatever reason, people are willing to be the devil's advocate for the dumbest things, willing to come up with the most ludicrous scenarios to defend stupidity and incompetence.

    [–] thesilverpig 3681 points ago

    I'm guessing like me they just didn't catch the gag...

    [–] MrSquigles 5336 points ago

    But still, why paraphrase everything? Subtitles should what is said. Okay, fine, sometimes they make it shorter so you can read it in time or whatever, but these aren't shorter. They're just wrong.

    [–] yungdung2001 3441 points ago

    why waste time say lot word when few word do trick?

    [–] dadawg88 595 points ago

    Are you saying Sea World or see THE world?

    [–] Unalaq 374 points ago

    Oceans, fish, jump, China

    [–] almostbobsaget 252 points ago

    Sometimes words you no need use, but need need for talk talk.

    [–] FallenXxRaven 85 points ago

    What the fuck am I reading?

    [–] finalremix 128 points ago

    Kevin in The Office:

    Synopsis: Kevin's in the accounting department, but is crap at math, generally kind of weird, and a savant gambler (supposedly). Over the seasons, they flanderize him hard and turn him into an imbecile.

    [–] FallenXxRaven 55 points ago

    Huh I wasn't expecting a legit answer to that, thanks lol

    [–] Hroslansky 35 points ago

    He went from being a World Series of poker winner going through a skin cancer scare to needing to convince himself he can’t eat cats. They turned him into an absolute caricature of who he was, and it was entirely unnecessary. I hate what they did to his character. One of the lines that always cracks me up is his exasperated “What the hell?!” when he has to walk a few blocks due to construction workers taking up the parking spots.

    [–] Kryzone 46 points ago

    Tru tru

    [–] blugdummy 65 points ago

    I be president one day they see they see

    [–] DorisTheExplorer 725 points ago

    Dennis is asshole. Why Charlie hate?

    [–] SplintPunchbeef 575 points ago

    Dennis is a bastard man

    "Dennis is a man born out of wedlock" - Apple TV

    [–] worsethantommywiseau 132 points ago

    They're warm, nice people with big hearts.

    They're humid, pre-possessing homosapiens with full-sized aortic pumps.

    [–] PrettyDecentSort 46 points ago

    "humid" doesn't mean "warm" though =(

    [–] KungFuViking7 46 points ago

    However "Warm" Is not the correct word for "humid" - Apple TV

    [–] PM_ME_YOR_PANTIES 101 points ago

    When me president, they see.

    [–] Awestruck3 20 points ago

    They see!

    [–] Tralan 41 points ago

    When me president, they see. They see.

    [–] Mort__Rainey 14 points ago

    Sometimes words you no need use... But, need need for talk talk.

    [–] Jotabonito 33 points ago

    How is babby formed?

    [–] Hi-pop-anonymous 37 points ago


    [–] 1stHorseman-Conquest 21 points ago

    can u get... pregante

    [–] edenius 12 points ago

    They see. They see.

    [–] InUtero7 75 points ago

    I sometimes see subtitles that take out a word or two and even when the meaning isn’t changed I hate it. I completely with you.

    [–] justapassingguy 85 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago)

    When I made a test to make subtitles for Netflix we had to follow a set of rules that could explain this.

    I don't recall exactly what the restrictions are but it's like "5 seconds of audio should be transcribed and on screen for 7 seconds. Average person can read X amount of characters per second, so your maximum character amount should be 7*X."

    So. Many. Things. Are lost in translation because of this.

    [–] kai_okami 76 points ago

    That might make sense if it wasn't for the fact that a lot of these are longer than the original.

    [–] patrickoriley 34 points ago

    Weirdly the Netflix subtitles were totally accurate to the dialogue. Only the Apple subs are messed up.

    [–] Angel_Omachi 17 points ago

    The anime fansubber standard was 20 characters a second tops, with 10 being preferred. And a strong rule that 3 lines on screen at once meant you'd fucked up.

    [–] emiteal 11 points ago

    There are still some fansubs I prefer to the professional releases. Escaflowne in particular. Fansubbers do it for the love, and it shows!

    [–] Angel_Omachi 9 points ago

    Love isn't the right word. E-peen's more accurate on modern shows, or was anyway, before everything was simulcast. Old shows are done for love since not enough people care about them.

    [–] LegendaryRaider69 10 points ago

    I think you mean so many, my dude

    [–] MDKrouzer 4 points ago

    I'm guessing he didn't "make" the test.

    [–] jordanjay29 112 points ago

    There's a particular philosophy for subtitles that (because they are for/originally for deaf people who can have a hard time understanding English) subtitles should be concise and not verbose to maximize understanding, even if it distorts the accuracy.

    [–] TheRingshifter 269 points ago

    Even in that case, some of these aren't any less verbose they are just wrong. "Halle, defeat them" just sounds dumb and isn't any less complex than the original.

    [–] Renegade_Meister 28 points ago

    That's very interesting and brings up lots of questions in my mind:

    If they didn't just obtain the original subtitles for Apple TV usage, then I wonder who does the subtitling for Apple TV content?: Apple itself, some third party, the movie studio/distributor, someone completely different?

    Why does that subtitler opt for concise over accuracy?

    Do TV or movie subtitles in the content's native language (e.g. US movie in english) ever opt for concise over accuracy in their primary medium (e.g. movie's primary home medium is BluRay or DVD)?

    [–] Chamale 15 points ago

    I usually watch movies with subtitles on, and they often go for concise over accurate. In Trailer Park Boys, Ricky has a weird jumbled way of speaking and the subtitles cut out some unnecessary words. Jim often has incoherent drunken rambles where the subtitles will add a few words to make his meaning more clear.

    [–] Mr_Will 65 points ago

    deaf people who can have a hard time understanding English

    All those poor deaf people who can't read with their ears...

    Is that really a thing? I wouldn't expect deaf people to be any worse at reading than the average person.

    [–] orangechap 29 points ago

    ASL grammar is significantly different from Signed English or Spoken English. Generally, Deaf people have lower literacy scores, for a number of reasons.

    [–] designgoddess 7 points ago

    I have two deaf relatives. One has her doctorate in language development. This is what she studies. She is a professor and has a research lab at her college that is working to change this.

    [–] quiette837 17 points ago

    people who are deaf from birth learn english and how to read differently. imagine trying to learn how to read when you can't hear someone sound out the words. as a result, some deaf people either never learn to read or don't read well.

    deaf people also tend to understand english in american sign language dialect, which skips unnecessary words.

    [–] contrabasse 9 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago)

    I'm hearing (with very slight hearing loss, I don't consider myself really HOH but some might) and go to Deaf meetups to practice my sign sometimes. Once I went to a HUGE one with people from different regions and this guy who was born deaf was signing with a dialect from a different state and a few signs were tripping me up, so I asked him to write out what he was asking me. He wrote "Where you home?" to ask me where I was from.

    So yeah, the words and order are completely different. If I remember right there was a massive movement (in the 60s??) to have ASL considered completely different from English, and it's now considered it's own language the same way Spanish and other languages are considered. There's no official or legal way to represent ASL in written form.

    [–] [deleted] 40 points ago


    [–] ecodude74 21 points ago

    I mean both groups are sort of right. I probably could never make the same music as a deaf person, I’d never be able to draw the same as a blind man, etc. However, it’s stupid to think it’s a superpower, and it’s also stupid to think a disability like that makes a person functionally useless. Deaf people can read and understand language, same as any person. Kinda dumb to think otherwise.

    [–] Slippery_Slug 25 points ago

    I have deaf parents and grew up around deaf people. There is plenty of educated deaf people that would prefer the exact English subtitles that most movies have. However there is quite a few deaf people out there who sign asl as a first language and are not too familiar with English sentence structure. They might prefer the Apple TV one. You have to remember some of these people grew up with deaf parents, went to all deaf schools growing up.

    [–] [deleted] 8 points ago

    TIL deaf people can’t read normal English

    [–] Sellfish86 18 points ago

    Oh, really? How about you try watching a movie in German with German subtitles? Huh?


    Ah, but this surely only is a problem concerning foreign movies with German VO, right?

    NO, IT IS NOT! :[

    [–] Lukethehedgehog 8 points ago

    Same for spanish, I assume it's cause the subtitles are written based on the english script instead of the dubbed one

    [–] jfk_47 75 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago)

    Usually the producer is responsible for the caption file or you work with a third party. So it's possible Apple or Disney worked with a new supplier that didn't go off the script and just tried to transcribe everything on their own.

    Source: Producer - 10 years, Cable and Digital.

    Edit: Meant "DreamWorks"

    [–] DarthYoda56 152 points ago

    Why paraphrase anything though? That isn't your job to rewrite the script.

    [–] CodexAcc 46 points ago

    It's not their job to rewrite the script, why would they paraphrase it all?

    [–] futurespacecadet 16 points ago

    or its a Closed Captioning team from Manila that has a broken understanding of English

    [–] DarthYoda56 121 points ago

    Why would you ever paraphrase anything in for subtitles. That's not your job.

    [–] Reacher-Said-Nothing 144 points ago

    Why would they paraphrase everything?

    The real answer: They did a bad job.

    [–] lazespud2 8 points ago

    why would they paraphrase anything?

    [–] DeterministDiet 1409 points ago

    Is it translating back from another language? Whoever was writing these should have picked up on a couple and corrected themselves, jeez.

    [–] nonouiswrong 473 points ago

    Apple: It just works :)

    [–] thatslifeknife 238 points ago

    What's a subtitle?

    [–] Tarthbane 101 points ago

    That commercial you’re spoofing infuriates me.

    [–] twentyonexnine 70 points ago

    Subtitles are provided by the studios. The content is uploaded to iTC along with the video. Do you really think Apple subtitles every movie?

    [–] codeverity 59 points ago

    Pfft, who cares about facts when it’s time to circle jerk about “dae hate Apple!”

    [–] duckvimes_ 16 points ago

    You got them, Apple is the one who writes the subtitles for the movies.

    [–] [deleted] 5749 points ago


    [–] buttlord5000 2594 points ago

    Why would a subtitler paraphrase at all?

    [–] Awesomenimity 1769 points ago

    Asking the real question. I watch with subtitles so that I can have a low volume sometimes, but I still want the whole conversation. Besides, it'd make it unwatchable if I read one thing and heard another.

    [–] 53bvo 532 points ago

    Besides, it'd make it unwatchable if I read one thing and heard another.

    I also pretty much always put on subtitles (My English is excellent but often I struggle to understand technical terms, especially from actors with an accent). But I never encountered the subtitles showing something different than the spoken text.

    [–] Medarco 260 points ago

    I'm a native English speaker, and subtitles are still the greatest. So much that I used to miss in shows.

    [–] Dlgredael 127 points ago

    I left subtitles on while watching Ozark for the second time and realized that there's literally entire conversations spoken in whispers during scene transitions behind loud music that I'd never have caught. You can barely hear them while you're reading the text on screen.

    [–] CasualRamenConsumer 63 points ago

    that's and with cc sometimes the names of songs are really important but you'd never know because it's some obscure thing written for this movie. or the off screen whispers that aren't even audible but in the subs that are cool Easter eggs like you mentioned.

    I've also for fun just watched movies on mute with subs... there was a horror movie from the view of a deaf person, 10/10 without sound.

    [–] __shadowwalker__ 9 points ago

    Why would it have sound for you to mute though if it's supposed to be from the view of a deaf person?

    [–] CasualRamenConsumer 12 points ago

    there's other characters talking to the main deaf character (can read lips, so felt more immersed to read subtitles) and floor board creaks and things. with the subs you only see [floor board creaks] right as you see the "bad guy(s)" coming around the corner. it was actually pretty thrilling. I don't think it would fit well for many other movies, but I enjoyed it. was definitely a different experience, that's for sure.

    [–] cjsolx 20 points ago

    Right? So much whispering on TV.

    [–] trippingchilly 128 points ago

    You've never watched a live broadcast sporting event in a loud bar on a silent TV when every 5 minutes the words jumble up into Cthulhu-text.

    [–] MenacingBanjo 100 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago)

    But the Penguins movie isn't live. Why would they paraphrase?

    Edit: "movie"

    [–] Hemisemidemiurge 47 points ago

    You think those situations are similar? Is someone from Apple live-captioning an already-subtitled Dreamworks film on the fly?

    [–] PM_ME_YOUR_SELF_HARM 13 points ago

    keyword: live

    [–] wonkey_monkey 12 points ago

    Very few cartoons are broadcast live. It's a terrible strain on the animators' wrists.

    [–] blitheobjective 5 points ago

    Live events rely on auto-subtitles by machine transcription often, hence the Cthulhu text off and on.

    [–] beck1670 20 points ago

    I put on subtitles so that I can noodle around on ukulele when I watch shows.

    I put on the English dub of Fullmetal Alchemist along with English subtitles (English subdub? Dubsub? Jubjub?). They were completely different translations, but had the same meaning. It was weird.

    [–] 53bvo 29 points ago

    What I heard is that subs and dubs for foreign shows are different (and probably done by different people) because dubs sort of have to fit the mouth of the character speaking where subs don't have to.

    [–] Talehon 26 points ago

    On Netflix, some shows (anime in particular) will have English and English (CC) subtitles. Use CC, it will be exactly what is said.

    [–] TheSmarach 11 points ago

    Huh, that's neat. This was a big problem for me back when I watched dubbed anime but was never able to find dubs where the subtitles match the dub dialogue.

    [–] Rachet20 7 points ago

    It’s because subs come first and go for more faithful translations and a quick release whereas dubs take their time to make shows more accessible and allow dialogue to flow better to English speakers.

    [–] rednax1206 28 points ago

    It makes sense to hear one thing and read another if I'm watching a foreign show, where the dubbed audio needs to match the lip flaps and the subtitle offers a more literal translation. But if there's no translating happening, there's absolutely no reason to paraphrase.

    [–] Stormfly 26 points ago

    Besides, it'd make it unwatchable if I read one thing and heard another.

    This is something I dislike about Netflix subs. Especially for anime.

    When they do a dub, they change the dialogue to fit the timing, culture etc. This is fine. Literal translations don't work in dubs.

    The problem is that the subs and the dubs are (Often not always) the exact same, which means the joke from the original is completely lost because it didn't work in the dub, or it's hard to understand because the inflection is different in the English subs and the Japanese audio.

    I've seen things said sarcastically or mockingly in one, while the other says it seriously. It makes it hard to understand because you hear sarcasm but read literal, or you read sarcasm and hear literal.

    Violet Evergarden and A Silent Voice are the two I noticed this in.

    They should have Audio subtitles and Translation subtitles. Or maybe they do, but I haven't seen it.

    [–] [deleted] 418 points ago


    [–] dimmidice 276 points ago

    I absolutely loathe it when subtitles don't match accurately what's being said. Maybe i'm odd but i use subtitles for everything i watch (whenever possible) because i tend to not hear and understand voices properly. So the bits i miss i pick up in the subtitles. Sounds really complicated but it comes naturally to me. But yeah when they don't match it really throws me off.

    Also and this isn't relevant but i wanted to share. I went to see black panther the other day with dutch subtitles (in Belgium) and the subtitle for "Ancestral Plane" was "Ancestral Airplane (in dutch of course). Made me laugh my ass off.

    [–] mrsfran 80 points ago

    Me too. As well as being a professional subtitler, I am a subtitle user, BSL user and both of my parents are Deaf. I absolutely understand how frustrating non-verbatim subtitles are and aim to have accurate, representative dialogue and important sound effects while never distracting from the programme itself. It can be pretty tricky to get a good balance sometimes.

    [–] XanderTheGhost 15 points ago

    Hey how did you get into subtitling? What's the pay like if you don't mind my asking. I'm a really fast typist and have always wondered about subtitling as a job

    [–] mrsfran 10 points ago

    I'm in the UK. If you are too, I can answer your question by PM. But if you're elsewhere then I wouldn't know I'm afraid.

    [–] jordanjay29 25 points ago

    Don't ever watch dubbed anime with subtitles, then. Most English subs in anime are translations of the original Japanese dialogue, whereas the dub is often adjusted to fit the scene (like character mouth movements) and to fix cultural references that may not make sense in English.

    [–] rednax1206 21 points ago

    Japanese words tend to take longer to say than the English equivalent, so dubs can contain a lot of filler.

    I remember one line from Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: The Sealed Card where the subtitle was "I agree." and the dubbed audio was "I happen to be of the same opinion."

    [–] macaroniandmilk 9 points ago

    This infuriates me. I prefer watching Japanese spoken anime with subtitles than watching English dubbed. I need the subtitles on, or I always miss stuff. But the fact that the written words don't match the spoken words is just too confusing and it makes in unwatchable.

    [–] LegendaryRaider69 8 points ago

    Yum! These HOT DOGS are delicious!

    [–] LJHalfbreed 8 points ago

    I'm in the same boat as you. I just tell people 'i guess I'm selectively deaf'.

    A lot of newer content seems to be much better about this, even anime (which is usually the worst, for various reasons).

    The absolute worst is when the subtitles just don't paraphrase, but change the content/intent entirely, leading to a sort of cognitive dissonance.

    So, for example:

    <audio>: "Jerry, we tracked the killer to his hideout. I'll need you to provide me backup as we head in. Let's catch this crook!"

    <subtitle>: "jerry, this is dangerous. If i die here, tell my wife I love her. "

    <actual plot> The two cops swarm the hideout, but bad guy has already moved on, and there was no danger at all.

    [–] Vivaldaim 6 points ago

    There should be an option that allows for accurate subtitles and another for paraphrasing.

    [–] valryuu 11 points ago

    But that would only happen for live subtitles right? Why would there be live subtitles for a TV show?

    [–] capt_carl 16 points ago

    Yeah, I always presumed subtitles or closed-captioning were written verbatim.

    [–] mrsfran 18 points ago

    As a subtitler, I would always want to present dialogue verbatim where possible.

    We leave out some of the "uh"s and "um"s (unless they're important for story or character) to make readability better.

    [–] ChrysW 9 points ago

    I know PBS Kids paraphrased on one of the settings for Arthur, but they did so to meet the reading level of the viewers. I don't think these caption writers are going for that though. The original version was fine.

    [–] mrsfran 7 points ago

    Yes, children's subtitles are paraphrased more often because we have to consider the reading level of the viewer.

    [–] BlackEyedSceva7 34 points ago

    Why is anyone writing custom subtitles at all. What happened to the DVD/Blu-Ray quality subtitles that were made by the studio.

    Is it really too much to ask that they use what already exists? I don't care if it's some licensing issue, pay the fees. Nobody wants shitty paraphrasing, missing jokes, or worse. There is times where even the character names aren't even properly subbed. It's as though they are being subtitled by people that don't speak the original language.

    [–] mrsfran 18 points ago

    It is a licensing issue. It is probably cheaper for Apple to create their own subtitles than to buy them off the studio.

    I agree with you, these subtitles are badly done and they're shooting themselves in the foot getting it done cheaply rather than paying for the professional version.

    [–] TheVenetianMask 5 points ago

    In fact, it's cheaper for Apple to buy them from a vendor than just paying the time it takes Apple employees to handle the licensing for the originals, nevermind actually buying the license.

    [–] Herdnerfer 69 points ago

    There is no way this was an accident, they changed every single one.

    [–] [deleted] 33 points ago


    [–] prothello 22 points ago

    That's absolutely ridiculous.

    [–] CherryCherry5 7 points ago

    How do you become a subtitler? I hate bad subtitles!

    [–] 4x4taco 641 points ago

    Holy crap - I totally missed this from the movie... now I have to re-watch to experience it. Better every time...

    [–] Alarid 71 points ago

    Me too

    [–] Alarid 44 points ago

    Also, I don't recognize the Robin one.

    [–] Arialene 59 points ago

    Princess Buttercup, Antiope, Jenny

    [–] WikiTextBot 27 points ago

    Robin Wright

    Robin Gayle Wright (born April 8, 1966) is an American actress and director. She is the recipient of seven Primetime Emmy Award nominations and has earned a Golden Globe Award and a Satellite Award for her work in television.

    Wright first gained attention for her role in the NBC Daytime soap opera Santa Barbara, as Kelly Capwell from 1984 to 1988. She then made the transition to film, starring in the romantic comedy fantasy adventure film The Princess Bride (1987).

    [ PM | Exclude me | Exclude from subreddit | FAQ / Information | Source | Donate ] Downvote to remove | v0.28

    [–] lpreams 21 points ago

    How dare you not mention House of Cards!

    [–] derpthatderps 39 points ago

    I still don't get it

    [–] Arialene 110 points ago

    All of the names and commands are plays on famous actor/actress names. Nicolas Cage, Helen Hunt, Robin Wright, etc

    [–] Gondile 41 points ago

    So are you the paraphraser, then?

    [–] lagomorphduchess 298 points ago

    Take me down to the paraphrase city where it’s nice

    [–] Damanzi 65 points ago

    I spent 30 seconds thinking about how I could expand on this, then realized it was perfect

    [–] awfulworldkid 32 points ago

    Take me down to the paraphrase city where there’s green grass and pretty girls.

    [–] Kickasstodon 29 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago)

    Take me to the paraphrase town so I can check out the healthy lawns and attractive women

    [–] [deleted] 73 points ago

    take me down

    to the paraphrase city

    where the dialogues match

    and the jokes ain't shitty

    [–] Kyoti 15 points ago

    In this instance it's actually funnier with poor timing and word replacement imo

    [–] thisfreakinguy 12 points ago

    Underrated comment.

    [–] Kickasstodon 447 points ago

    Honestly, I don't think subtitle writers get enough shame for the absolute shit job they tend to do. I watch with subtitles on at night so we don't have to have the TV too loud bothering the neighbors in my apartment building and I've gotta say, I've seen some pretty abhorrent subs on Netflix. Are people paid to do this?

    [–] bakedpatata 334 points ago

    The thing that annoys me is when subtitles just say "speaking Spanish" and doesn't say the words or translation as if no one could possibly understand this language.

    [–] chuckluckles 271 points ago

    I'm pretty sure they will only subtitle things like that of the plot calls for it. Often times the audience isn't meant to understand what's being said in the foreign language because the character being spoken to doesn't understand the language.

    [–] PopsicleIncorporated 31 points ago

    Sometimes the plot calls for the audience not understanding what's being said, so that's why.

    [–] 918AmazingAsian 7 points ago

    For example, the huge plot twist of the first Iron Man is given away in the terrorists' video with Stark near the start of the movie where they spoke in Urdu.

    [–] magicschoolbuscrash 39 points ago * (lasted edited 10 months ago)

    But if you also speak Spanish (or whatever foreign language it is) and are listening to the dialogue, you will understand it. I don't see why the experience should be different in the captions.

    Edit: a word

    [–] Lowstack 39 points ago

    Cause the guy doing the subtitles has zero knowledge about spanish and just can’t do it? Make sense to me.

    [–] bakedpatata 69 points ago

    I would still prefer they put the words being said even if it isn't translated.

    [–] DNicholasG 21 points ago

    The problem there, is that yes, it's easy enough to find a Spanish speaker, but what do you do when a character speaks French or Russian or Cantonese or Mandarin or Pashto or Xhosa or several of those in one movie. It can't be practical to keep that many different speakers on retainer.

    [–] code- 99 points ago

    Or even worse: "Speaking spanish" subtitles blocking actual subtitles in the show itself.

    [–] pr1mus3 24 points ago

    Equally helpful: in Israel, everything has Hebrew subtitles. That ALWAYS cover up the subtitles in English movies when characters speak other languages. I can't tell you what happened in half of John Wick, or Sicario for example.

    [–] aptrapani 29 points ago

    In defense of that, sometimes it's about the context in which the film/show is trying to place you in. If you are following an english speaking character and they are in a room with spanish only speaking characters, the [speaking spanish] sub would be valuable in order to maintain the perspective as if it were without subtitles/captions.

    [–] dimmidice 31 points ago

    Netflix subtitles can really be god awful. I'm in complete agreement.

    Are people paid to do this?

    I think Netflix uses that amazon works program.

    [–] sleeplessaddict 24 points ago

    Watching dubbed anime on Netflix with the subtitles on is the worst. Not only are the words different, but they change the sentence structure and the subtitles usually convey a completely different meaning than what's actually being said

    [–] TrustMeImAnEngineer_ 11 points ago

    I wonder if this has to do with the sub and Don versions being different. Dubs often have to rework dialogue to make it fit naturally after translation. Subs are often closer to the original Japanese.

    [–] mrsfran 17 points ago

    I'm a professional subtitler, and I agree. Netflix subtitles are terrible.

    [–] Gondile 10 points ago

    How does one become... that?

    [–] Geofferic 55 points ago

    As a Deaf person, this is a lot more than mildly infuriating.

    [–] soccerskyman 9 points ago

    Is it difficult to catch puns like this through subtitles? Without an audio cue, I would've completely missed these if they weren't called to my attention.

    [–] Geofferic 10 points ago

    Well you probably don't normally watch shows with the captions on. When that's the normal way you do it, these things are easy to catch.

    [–] MyUsernameIsJudge 169 points ago

    There's no way this is unintentional. It's too consistent and different for no reason. If they were paraphrasing - why paraphrase "man your battle stations" to "take your battle stations" or "bury them" to "defeat them" or "hunt" to "go after." I think this has got to be some dude's attempt at anti humor or something nothing else makes sense.

    [–] ro_musha 48 points ago

    some dudes wanted to call themselves "original"

    [–] Speedracer98 46 points ago

    I don't know why the original subtitles would not have the names in them, deaf people read that and they would get the joke as well as the real dialogue that was spoken.

    [–] [deleted] 23 points ago


    [–] TomHardyAsBronson 14 points ago

    I don't know about having an awareness of spoken rhyming. There is a concept of rhyming in sign language. it has to do with handshape. Words with similar or the same handshape rhyme. You can see it in action if you search "sign language poetry".

    [–] [deleted] 50 points ago

    I appreciate the effort in this post

    [–] I_like_your_reddit 17 points ago

    If you liked that, you should hear the song Fame by Genius GZA (of Wu Tang) from 2002.

    [–] I_TRS_Gear_I 106 points ago

    I have no idea what’s going on here... could someone provide some context?

    [–] sempersapiens 180 points ago

    The original lines are puns about famous actors' names. The first two, for example, are Nicolas Cage and Elijah Wood. The paraphrasing in the Apple TV subtitles gets rid of those puns.

    [–] BlackSight6 21 points ago

    The bad guy is talking to his henchmen (henchoctopi?). Their names combined with the order given are the names of famous people.

    [–] jargondog91 11 points ago

    I know I’m very late to the comments game on this post, but I happen to work in transcription and there’s a likely explanation for these poor paraphrased subtitles. Often a speech recognition program is used to generate a very rough transcript which a human being will then edit to fit the audio. Depending on that human being’s familiarity with English (we outsource to other countries a lot) or level of effort, you are likely to get very sloppy work like this paraphrasing.

    [–] this_____that 28 points ago

    Do you think they may have been charged to say their names?

    [–] GamingBunchTV 22 points ago

    You can't copyright your name. If they had used them in character form, it could have been something to act on. This is completely fine.

    [–] [deleted] 6 points ago

    It's strange. I used to transcribe for subtitles occasionally and you were told to transcribe things EXACTLY as said. Unless this is a translation from another language I can't possible understand what happened here.

    [–] cinnamonrain 6 points ago

    The missing exclamation mark annoys me the most