Hindi Subbers: Let's Talk

I agree with Irene and Mirjam. Hindi subtitles means using Hindi script. I think people who are more comfortable in reading English script will not even turn on Hindi subtitles. They will watch the drama with English Subtitles. Only people who are really interested in watching dramas with Hindi subs will use that option. Those people deserve to be able to read subs in Hindi itself. Even Netflix has option to display subs in Hindi script now a days.


It’s English if you write/subtitle in English and Hindi if you write/subtitle in Hindi. As for English being more popular or literate to your community, that is perhaps a sign of all of you being more comfortable in using English, or that the society there encourages the use of English as your first language. Nothing bad since English is one of the more popular languages in the world, be it in the workplace, school, government, etc. Often, English is the de facto official language or the lingua franca.

Personally, I see many languages becoming less popular and slowly becoming extinct In the world. In your case, I feel it is all the more imperative for you to keep on subbing in Hindi to prevent your language from becoming extinct. If your community/anyone wants to watch dramas/shows in English, they can always opt for English subtitles.

Good luck and keep on! Keep language traditions alive! :muscle::muscle::muscle:


A similar situation happened to me!
A Hindi subtitler asked me if she could sometimes use English words when subtitling in Hindi. It’s the only language I got this request.

I tried to find our conversation in mailbox but it’s too long to go back in PM like months ago.

I remember at that time, I was puzzled by the question, like why would someone who wants to subtitle in Hindi will mix English and Hindi?

The reason why I have a hard time understanding is:

  • I don’t know Hindi or its history/evolution.
  • I can only relate to latin languages I’ve learnt or Chinese I’m learning and 99,99 % of the time we don’t mix.

1. The only exception in my language would be:

  • no French equivalent + integrated in our dictionary like any other French word.

Ex: sandwich, jean, pullover, handball, rugby…

The proportion of these words in our dictionary is low, but each year, the French Academy of our nation adds words in our French dictionary and a few English words are added like that. Like bitcoin that I would translate in French like it is in English.

For your language, I don’t know if they have modern words in Hindi, how does it work?
Like words like cybersecurity or medical/technical terms?
Or what about Oppa or Chinese name like Sang Sang, how do you translate in Hindi?
Do you also have an official organization that takes care of Hindi language and adds words in your dictionary?

  1. where it’s possible to have French and English words for the same thing (equivalent), pick French or your language.

Ex: stalker, crush, “like” on social media…

We use them in French nowadays when we speak, but when we write or subtitle on Viki, we would use the French word for it because it exists.

Also another thing to take into account is:

  • a lot of adults and elders don’t know English here, so I’m keen on thinking if there are adults or elders, they’d understand at least if I translate in pure French, whereas they’d be lost in a mix of English and French.

For youngster, they are supposed to know or learn French and English. And if not, it’s the occasion to learn.
We do learn some words in Korean (just the sound) when we subtitle in French, so I think viewers too by reading, listening…

What about you? Does a big proportion of adults or elders know English to be able to read a mix of English and Hindi subs?

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Ah, it’s because you haven’t been to India and you don’t even watch Bollywood films. If you did, you would see that you could understand almost half of the dialogue, as snobbish middle-class and upper-class Indians just LOVE to pepper their speech with English words, even whole sentences. (They think it’s super-cool but in reality it’s a bit ridiculous, especially when they pronounce them wrong).
They do that even when they want to speak in Hindi because they don’t want you, the foreigner, to understand. But they don’t realize that with all the English they use, you can get the gist of what they’re saying about you. This is because they somehow treat English words as part of Hindi.


Got to see on Netflix if they have some without French or English dubbing! I’ve never watched in Hindi subs or audio. Lol I got to see that :grin:

But I suspect it’s about romance and I prefer thrillers or a mix of genre…

How are Bollywood movies and series nowadays? What about romance? Can we compare with Kdramas with romance?

What about others’ feelings about English and who are not from middle or upper-class?

Still, I think India has won its independance like more than 50 years ago, so keep your language (it’s a national treasure) while learning other languages.

Even if we have 27 EU countries, each one of them have their own history and culture. Even if EU have decided that English was the official language during European meetings, all children still learn their own language at school and we still didn’t abandon it when we created the European Union.

If we’re going to lose our language over English, it’s a big part of our own identity that disappears with it and it would be boring to all speak the same language. We woudn’t even need translations from LA to LB.


Although I do love some Bollywood movies (and have a particularly sweet spots for those from Kerala), I can’t say the same about Indian TV-series.
Yes, most of them are very wholesome, promoting traditional values etc. just like k-drama, but there are many that indict social evils.
What I love about them is the mix of genres. A movie can have romance, yes, but also politics, social issues, comedy, thrills and tragedy too, and at the same time be a musical. I just love that, although in later years the musical part has subsided.
An apt example would be Bombay, which is about the strife between Hindus and Muslims and the terrible inter-communal violence in the city - but it’s through a love story. It drives its point forcefully (the music by E. Rahman is wonderful!) but it also entertains at the same time.
Another one is “My Name is Khan”, which was made in 2010 and refers to the September 11th events at the Twin Towers, after which every Muslim automatically became a suspect and was harassed in the US. A beautiful story of a pure soul, an autist-savant, who tours the country to find the president and tell him in person he’s not a terrorist, and win back the woman he loves.
Another one is Dharm, about a Hindu priest adopting an abandoned baby and then discovering the baby is a Muslim.
But there are even more controversial ones, such as “Water”, about Hindu widows who are kicked out from their homes and sent to a center in Varanasi - the young and beautiful ones, including child-brides, facing a terrible fate. That one made a great stir when it was first announced, and had problems completing its filming because of public outrage. But it did complete, and it is an unforgettable film (beautiful music too).
A visually gorgeous movie about a love affair between two people of different classes that gets ruined by social expectations and by the lead’s weak character is “Devdas”, based on a famous 19th century Bengali novel. While a great favourite of mine, “Parineeta”(also taken from a Bengali novel), again has social differences as well as character differences coming between the two lovebirds - but this one ends well.
I mean, Indian movies are so diverse, they can cater to the lowest denominator (like Welcome to Waikiki in Corea), with crude humor, overacting, eye-rolling etc., to the most delicate and artistic.
Sometimes the main theme is loyalty and friendship, and the love story is secondary. I loved Eklavya: The Royal Guard, where an old guard’s loyalty to his king is challenged in the most cruel way, making him question everything he has lived for. It helped that there are outstanding actors in the film.
For me the best Hindi comedy is Munna Bhai M.B.B.S, about a mafia don who poses as a doctor every time that his parents come visit him in the city (they don’t know his real “occupation” and think he’s a doctor). His headquarters get instantly transformed into a small clinic, his henchmen into doctors, nurses and patients. Then at some point he falls in love and decides to go to a real medical school. When a corpse is needed for the anatomy class, he… Okay, I won’t spoil. I laughed so much that I cried. Oh yes, it’s also a musical. If you find it, do watch it.

I could write lots about this subject, but it’s seriously off-topic, so if you are interested we can continue it elsewhere.


Sure, just make a new topic!

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If you’re interested, I can tell you personally whenever you like (long time not talking with you), but I don’t think that such a topic is really relevant to Viki.

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As you want!

I find it a pity because people might want to watch your suggestions based on your own appreciation and where can we find Vikians’ suggestions elsewhere lol

(Do we have Bollywood on Viki?)

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No licenses here, though … :frowning:

the thing I’m most irritated about is that Bollywood on Viki is RESTRICTED IN INDIA ITSELF :woman_facepalming:

For Oppa/ Hyung its the same word bhaiya (older bro)

We have some modern words, but they’re really really rarely used so I doubt younger Hindi speakers would understand them. We usually use the English word only because it’s more common.

Ok I forgot about the older audience when I started this topic… I was aiming it more at the younger audience.
Thanks everyone for your inputs, they got me thinking! :grin: I’m convinced that using the script is wayyyy better now.


So do you translate Oppa in bhaiya in Hindi?
Or do you keep Oppa for ex when the girl is talking to her older boyfriend?
Or is there a word for this situation (Oppa from the younger girlfriend) in Hindi?

That’s really interesting to know English degree of influence on other languages, especially on old colonies.

For me, India is like one exception or a specimen of language evolution to have integrated this much English in their language, to the point where Hindi subtitlers wonder whether we can include English.

For Hong Kong compared to India for ex.

It’s true that the past impacts today.

I met adults and elders as volunteers, so I also changed my opinion about that a few years ago when I got more acquainted with volunteers who have this passion when they speak about Kdramas, Cdramas and Bollywood (look at Irmar’s comment lol where can you find this passion?? Not on Quora lol).

Do you have elders or older people than you in your circle who watch dramas?

I discovered Chinese dramas thanks to my parents and my father knows more about Kdramas than myself lol (Doctors, W, Pinocchio, thrillers… he likes Kdramas!).
The first reason I began contributing on Viki was to subtitle a show so I can watch it first with my mother who can’t read English.

So all that to say that adults and elders are in the place :slight_smile:

I have 0 show appearing when I click on India in the Explore Shows page (from France). I think it’s restricted in India because it’s alteady licensed in your country by another company (to keep premium content or exclusivity so people subscribe).

But I see Bollywood on Netflix, so I’m going to check for Irmar’s titles and see if they have 1 of them.

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If you see the ones I see from Greece, then the answer is no.
I did see quite a lot that I’ve watched, that are not bad. Here are a few:
Lagaan In 1890s India, an arrogant British commander challenges the harshly taxed residents of the Champaner village to a high-stakes cricket match. Very well-made and “sweeping”, with great music. Lagaan received widespread critical acclaim and awards at international film festivals, as well as many Indian film awards. It became the third Indian film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film I’d gladly watch this for the 3rd time, I think.

Queen Dumped by her fiancé, a sheltered young woman decides to go on her honeymoon to Europe alone, embarking on an exhilarating journey of self-discovery. Good one, with very good acting by the main lead. Queen was praised for its direction, screenplay and performances (particularly from the female lead), with various critics and publications citing it as the best film of 2014. At the 62nd National Film Awards ceremony, the film won the Best Hindi Film and Best Actress awards.

Paheli It tells the fairy-tale story of a wife (Rani Mukerji) who is left by her husband (Shah Rukh Khan) and visited by a ghost, disguised as her husband, who is in love with her and takes her husband’s place. I liked it because I love the main actors and it was visually very appealing and pleasant to watch, although it wasn’t totally gripping. (Paheli was India’s official entry to the 2006 Oscars).

Oh My God. Satirical film on religious frenzy. After a low-intensity earthquake hits the city, only one shop is destroyed. At the insurance office, a mearchant learns that the disaster claim does not cover any damage caused by natural calamities classified under “Act of God”. Running out of options, he decides to sue God. The matter escalates.

Peepli Live Satirical comedy film directed by a woman, based on real-life problem, the topic of farmer suicides and the subsequent media and political response. Two poor farmers drowned in debt decide to commit suicide for their families to receive State financial help. The media catches on and every kind of journalist camps there to transmit the suicides. It was India’s official entry for the 83rd Academy Awards Best Foreign Film category although it was not nominated.

Jodhaa Akbar Luscious and visually stunning telling of a historical love story. In 16th-century India, what begins as a strategic alliance between a Mughal emperor and a Hindu princess becomes a genuine opportunity for true love. Very good-looking actors in gorgeous period costumes. It’s fun, and watchable, although by no means a masterpiece.

Wake Up Sid Freeloading off his wealthy parents, an unambitious brat is compelled to reevaluate his choices when a mature, goal-oriented woman enters his life. Urban, intelligent romantic comedy, for the first time a female lead who is not really pretty but an awesome actress. The male lead is a good actor as well, so if you watch one romantic comedy, this one could be of your liking. It’s not cheesy and silly.

Welcome to Sajjanpur Affectionate comedy about a man who writes letters for uneducated people, sometimes changing them as he wishes. Not the usual flashy Bollywood fare.

Mumbai Meri Jaan A portrayal of the 2006 train bombings in Mumbai, this Indian drama follows the interconnected stories of several strangers. I haven’t watched this but I’ve heard good things about it.


yep. ‘Bhaiya’ works for all instances of oppa/ hyung (doesn’t matter who is calling) It means ‘older brother’ so it works for people close to you, related to you or even older guy strangers.

nOPE. I am teased by every member of my family as being ‘Korean’ or ‘Chinese’ :roll_eyes: They don’t get why I would watch something whose language I don’t know.
idk about others but the elders in my family hardly even watch English entertainment, and subtitles is something they would find extremely irritating and never ever read. All the entertainment they watch is in my mother-tongue (Hindi is regarded as the national language, but each state has its own language too). Only my mother sits with me sometimes to watch.
That’s why it never even entered my head that elders would watch it.

yep. It’s mostly all on Hotstar or Prime Video.


I also know 1 language with the equivalent for Oppa/Hyung! That is nice to know.

Do Indian cinemas / channels promote English entertainment or do they mainly promote Indian entertainment?

How people were exposed to it, countries exporting it, availability in the country, availability of translations…

For my parents, it began at a young age with translations of foreign children books and comics. Then teenagers, very few foreign movies at the cinema like “Gone with the Wind”!
Became older and discovered Internet, YouTube lol

Yes, access and subs!

At the same time, I find it easier for someone to have access to materials to learn a language with people making videos, apps on phones in addition to books + traveling. They also added education of foreign languages at school from a young age + school exchange… so we can become translators lol

That reminds me of priests from Italy.
They’ve always watched the same boring content from what told me one priest. One day, he asked other priests what kind of movies they’d like to watch. He began to look for movies, subtitled or dubbed it to make it available for others and they talked about it, what the message in that movie was. Thereafter, these priests were really excited when it was time to gather and watch together a movie lol More priests came!

That’s how important subs or dubs are lol
No subs or no dubs, no foreign public, no passion born…

It also creates links between people, creating communities, sharing a culture, so it is not just subtitling or dubbing a movie or a drama…

That’s why it’s important for me to bring some quality into it. If we care about the content, the countries and stories we’re making people discover and the public, we’d like to share it with a great quality because it has a meaning for us to share it with people.

So I understand your question about how to sub it and make it available for your compatriots lol

Even so, you can make elders and adults fans of dramas by making it available in Hindi scripts! No fans if no subs lol

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Thanks for the list, Irmar! Now I have to compare with Netflix France :smile:

You do have most of the same, plus some more.

Rang de Basanti An idealistic English filmmaker casts a group of student actors in her docudrama about India’s revolution against British rule in the 1920s. The students have no idea about these things, but they get caught up as they learn about the sacrifice of the revolutionaries, and are compelled to give their own fight for the things that matter to them. Warmly recommended.

Barfi Years after rejecting Barfii, a hearing and speech impaired young man, for a more “appropriate” suitor, Shruti finds herself falling for him. Sweet film, not a masterpiece, but the leading actor is very charismatic.

Udaan. Not a pleasant story. How a son breaks away from an abusive father.

Fashion. A small-town girl finally realizes her dream of becoming a famous supermodel but soon finds there’s a price for her glamorous new life. The whole unpleasant side of the fashion industry is exposed in the film. Not a pleasant story.

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I really notice an increase of Hindi subbers. I get finder messages for Hindi almost every week so the Hindi community on Viki seems to grow a lot lately.

I’m also for writing in Hindi as it’s part of the language. Just like you usually won’t write Japanese in Romanji but use Kana instead.

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Thank you!! Too much choice, I might end up being unable to pick :exploding_head::rofl:

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haha why don’t I add my own favourites to spoil you for choice!
Hichki this one has been made reallly well, about a woman with a neural disorder that causes her to speak with a stammer but still aspires to be teacher. To dissuade her, she is assigned to the worst-behaved class in the entire school. It’s a really heartwarming movie.
I loved the songs in it too.

Jo Jeeta Woh Sikandar its an ollllld ollllld high school movie so its really really cringey but I love it, especially this song

because in the movie this girl likes her best friend but he likes the popular girl, so the video that accompanies the song is really sad to watch (he’s dreaming of the popular girl while she dreams of him)

Jab We Met Aditya, a heartbroken business tycoon, aimlessly boards a train to escape his depressing life. He meets Geet, a bubbly Punjabi girl, and gets pulled into her crazy life.
Because I like running away movies :slight_smile: