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"You must be knew at this."


faceinthecrowd
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Many films have ludicrous English subtitles. The above howler is from *Ossessione.*

 

Another: in *Lady from Shanghai,* Rita Hayworth tells Orson Welles, "My parents were Russian -- White Russian." The subtitle reads, "My parents were Russian -- quite Russian."

 

Do any other examples come to mind?

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I tried using YouTube's "automatic" sub-title service, but it messed up every line of dialogue.

 

This is the result of a computer trying to hear the dialogue and automatically change it into text.

 

In other words, a machine is doing the sub-titles when this happens.

 

The machine can't tell the difference between new and knew, or its and it's, or your, you're, they are, they're, their, there, etc.

 

And it is much worse if the machine has to hear the dialogue in a foreign language, such as French, and then listen for the French phrases and then try to translate them into English. :)

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That happened on an episode of the "Flintstones" TV series, there was a song I like but for the life of me didn't knew what the title was or who sung it. When closed caption first came out thought I was in luck but it printed only yah, yah and that didn't make any sense.

 

An up to date version was finally shown and it read, Laugh, Laugh which lead me to the Beau Brummel's "Laugh Laugh" 45 on Ebay.

 

EPbeaubrummelsFR2.jpg

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I need subtitles because of mild hearing loss and this is more important on: YouTube because the computer's speakers are poor.

 

It is very much pot-luck when watching a foreign movie because of voice-to-text being further mangled by Google Translate.

 

I have noticed also instances where the human-generated subtitles do not match exactly the dialogue and the human-generate closed-captioning changes it further. The most glorious instance of which I know is a German movie set in New York City wherein one character uses the universally-recognized "F" word and the subtitles use a much milder expletive and the subtitle says: "Drat!:.

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From *La Traversee de Paris* (aka *Four Bags Full*, aka *A Pig Across Paris*): As the two men make their way across Paris, the subtitles inform us that their journey will take them "through the marshes." The French dialogue actually says through "Le Marais," which does indeed mean "the marsh," but in this context obviously means a well-known district in Paris.

 

SansFin, I have also noted that curse words frequently get softened in subtitles.

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In the recent broadcast of SEVEN SAMURI, I noticed some of the subtitles employed 20th century vernacular. At least it didn't sound to me as if certain phrases would be spoken that way in the times the story took place. I wondered if this was done for the comfort of the American audience, as many centuries old Japanese phrases subtitled verbatim may not make sense to them.

 

But I HAVE seen a lot of "closed caption" goof ups. I remember seeing one in which a lady tried to tell a youngster the story about "The Tortiouse and The HAIR". Or another in which the man on screen said, "A tale of horror" and the cap read, "Tail of ****"!

 

Sepiatone

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