Your favourite subtitles

Just curious, of those of you who speak more than one language, do you use your native language’s (if you have one) subtitles, do you use another one, mix or something else? And how about other streaming sites vs viki?

Edit: A poll was suggested so here it is :slight_smile:

  • English is my only native language and thus I use it.
  • Do you prefer your native language (non-English) subs?
  • Do you prefer to use English subs, even if their not your native language?
  • Do you prefer to some other language sub, than your native language?
  • My native language(s) subs are s**t.
  • Do you prefer to mix/choose between the best subs, from different languages.
  • Do you prefer to mix 2 language subs?
  • Do you prefer to mix 3 language subs?
  • Do you prefer to mix 4 language subs?
  • Do you prefer to mix 5 languages or more subs?
  • Other option(s), please tell us about it :slight_smile:

0 voters


You mean, while I am watching content?
I am using English, clearly not my mother tongue, because if I watch mistakes in English I can ignore them better. I am not talking about minor mistakes a typo can happen now and then, but if I see weird translations or that the syntax doesn’t follow any logical order, I am not able to look away.
Not using other streaming services, except the yt universe, but for dramas only the few official sources.


I watch only in English subtitles, although in particular historical dramas like the Chinese have at times awkward translations that spread in 3 to 4 segments, but I think this is due to the language difference between Chinese and English and it will likely carry on onto other languages. - It is always the best to watch a drama or a movie in the original language, but if you don’t understand it, you have to rely on the translation. - I do understand some words in Korean or Chinese that are repeated often, that gives me more the true interpretation.

My language of origin is Czech, brought up in German,/Swiss German, schooled in French and English, later Spanish and lived 28 yrs in English only.

I watched once the Hobbits movie synchronized in German and it was awful since I watched the Ring series all in English. I couldn’t pay attention to the movie because the way they spoke was irritating me :rofl:


Yeah, I have tended to be “lazy” and also used English. However I’ve noticed that Finnish has good subtitles, at least on those I so far watched on viki, they though often feel more conversational vs the more formal Finnish I’m used to elsewhere. Also I think Finnish translates certain things a little better, my theory is that both Korean and Finnish being Agglutinative languages, because I find the opposite to be true when watching Chinese film. While English on viki vs ntflx tend to be longer in comparison and a real pain for a dyslexic guy like me, while Finnish tend to chunk the text more often into a smaller area, if that makes sense. While Swedish texts tend to be too Swedenswedish imo, which makes them hard to use for me, they formulate themselves in a more foreign manner (than compared to Norwegian) and have tons of non-Nordic loanwords that throw me off enough, where I have to hit that 10sec button too often, while on other sites the Swedish subs might be preferable often. subtitles1

I feel like I don’t truly 100% feel at home with any language and use different languages in different places and less regularly switch between shows. Though I find English subtitles on viki to be harder and have for now, at least switched to Finnish.

These are just my experiences and I don’t intend to s**t on any language. I just find interesting/fun, but sometimes even frustrating and tend to switch languages and not settle.


I forgot about this, there are some Korean broadcasters at yt with their dramas and they offer many languages as subtitles, but don’t get confused, the English subs might be done by people, but no one can ever say to me that the German subs there ever met the hands of human, this is bot style, and I was faster in turning them off then on. That is a real pain, but still some people are extremely grateful, while my brain feels nothing but pain reading it.


VIKI: English only for the same reasons lutra mentioned.

Netflix & Co: German only if available.

TV Station: German sync version.

Past times: English/French/German subs, depending on the content. I sometimes liked French more than English if German wasn’t available.


Me too. English only, on all streaming sites. (Unless of course the original language is one I know and I don’t need subs for)

Another reason is that if you watch in a language that was translated from English, it’s two layers removed from the original (Original --> English --> Other language). Two layers (Other Language) gives more chances to depart from the original meaning compared to only one layer (English).


Always English. This way, I can improve my skills. I tried the French subtitles but if I see a mistake, it bothers me. I keep checking the subtitles and I can’t focus on the drama. I also noticed the English subtitles seem to be better than the French ones.


I like to watch shows with Dutch subtitles. Although I often can see the Korean influence passed on to Eng sub passed onto the Dutch subs, I know where it came from so I understand why they were made like that. And also I sometimes see really good subtitles that can give me ideas for when I subtitle myself. And since the Dutch subtitle pool is rather small, I can often guess from the name of the mod how the translation will be.
I’ve only once seen a series where the translation was so terrible that I had to refer to the English translation to understand it. It turned out the Dutch mod was not even a native Dutch speaker.

Unfortunately, often the Dutch subtitles in a series on Viki suffer from incompletionism, so after let’s say ep 7 or 8 I have no choice but to turn on the English subs. I do sometimes try and watch episodes with German or French subtitles for reading practice. I recently watched an entire (short) series with only German subtitles. For French, I hope to be able to follow an entire episode one day. For now, I still get too tired after half an episode and I have to switch back to English or Dutch.


Well I don’t know about others, but I would love to watch dramas in their original languages but love to read the subtitle in my mother tongue (Persian) or the Bilingual languages that I practice (Eng. Arabic, Hindi and Urdu) . I believe no matter you translate or interpret the other language, the word or even phrases will change in a different way and sometimes you as pure spoken person of that language who already are 100% capable of that language will be far better to deliver the exact meaning, emotion and message behind what it was said.


When subtitles in my mother tongue (Greek) are available, I start with them. It’s always more comfortable watching a movie or a drama with subtitles in your language of origin, unless you want to practice another language. A lot of dramas, though, especially those on air, which I usually watch, don’t have Greek subtitles available fast enough for my watching pace😊, which is understandable. One small suggestion, though, to subtitlers and moderators: when you take on on-air projects, it’s better to not have too many other projects in your basket and be able to focus on them.

Another reason I like watching with Greek subtitles is that it feels like I’m rewarding those volunteers, who devoted some of their valuable time to subtitle for the rest of us. As a volunteer myself, I feel that knowing my subtitles help some people watch a drama is quite rewarding. For that reason, I also try to overlook some quality issues, unless they are making it to difficult for me to watch. It’s true that English subtitles are usually better (especially when they have been edited), but for the reasons mentioned above, I’ll stick to mother tongue subtitles.


Normally watching in German, if available. I feel more comfortable in my mothers tongue. K-Dramas are mostly ok, only watching historical. C-Dramas I try to watch in German, trying in English but was hard, too speedy :slight_smile:


I don’t minder either English or German (lately I tried Japanese stuff without subs, works pretty well since the dialogues are rather simple). If there’s German available and I do watch it in German unless the subs are very bad. But I’m generally interested how it was translated, if it was edited and how etc.


Your thread is a good candidate for a poll. You could include it in your description.



My Favorite subtitles are: ENGLISH.

Sadly, many of the subtitles here at RViki in my native language [SPANISH] gives a lot to be desire. Most of the translations from English to Spanish are done with the use of different translator programs, and they really suck.

Also, we have here people that claim they learned Spanish in College, but when you read their translations; it’s all a literal translation of the English subtitle which makes little, if any sense at all, but you must know how that sounds like already bc it happens in every language.

Although, it seems to me that the subbers in your native language (Finnish), are doing a fantastic job here at Rviki. Too bad I can’t say the same thing about here or even on other streaming sites like Ntfx; for example. I’m getting a lot of disappointing translations from English to Spanish there also, and that is why I feel SO blessed to know the Universal language: English.

PS. Lately, I have seen very wrong English translations in dramas, and if editors don’t correct that like they should, the domino effect will cause an ugly case of wrong translations in all OL, but of course common sense should be if you know the language well enough (2 or more), [WE] are responsible not to translate what we obviously know is incorrect.


Not a bad idea, just thinking what I should ask. Ask for specific languages ppl view in (suspect 90+% of this crown votes English) and/or about the subtitle habits, such as do a person jump between several languages etc.

I live in an multilingual environment and have met ppl from even more cultures. Most swedes that I’ve talked to tend to rate their own language proficiency much higher than a Finn on a application or cv. For me, it comes down to the fact that since there is several official languages, even more spoken and the language importance to identity and culture, thus the threshold tend to be pretty high for most Finns I know. While many of the I’ve talked to Swedes tend to be from linguistically more homogeneous parts of Sweden, where the migrant population etc, tend to integrate better, learning Swedish. My point being that this might be more representative of the globe, where certain cultures have a bigger tendency to rate their own language skills higher, than in others, based on local condition and exposure to other groups of ppl. This might be a reason why many rate their Spanish/Castilian higher than it otherwise would be.

Btw, having a lower/higher threshold isn’t bad in itself. Here many know a lot of English, but don’t dare to put it on a cv until it’s essentially perfect. So hopefully no one takes me out of context :slight_smile:

Finnish tends to be of good quality, though there’s exceptions. I would rate it on a similar level to English on Viki. Based on that screenshot I posted, my issue is more in the format, rather than the spelling or some other linguistical requirement. I’m dyslexic, if memory serves, that actually means my brain has a smaller bandwidth ingest words at once, compared to a normal person. The text not being so spread out alone helps me a lot. Finnish tends to more often have it compiled, though not nearly always.

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Oh, just the same questions in your description, unless you had more to add. :blush:

Added a poll, just max 20 options, sniff xD

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You’re hilarious! :rofl: :blush::+1:t5:

That’s another important aspect although it also depends on the source language and target language. For Chinese as source language German fits often better than English because German and Chinese language have more in common than English and Chinese. One aspect is the very specific way German language combines two (or more) words to create something new in a way you can create very long but still clear new words. Chinese combines different signs to create something new (sometimes similar to German language). Another aspect are the metaphors and sayings. It happened couple of times that the Chinese saying/meraphor was common in German too (or at least so close that you’d understand its meaning as a German) but the English version was miles away from the origin Chinese and not clear in its meaning anymore. (Same goes for some “combined” words you can use 1:1 from Chinese to German because we have the same word for same context while English needs sideways and complicated descriptions instead…)

If the German subs are translated from English it is even more far away from the origin Chinese meaning because English is so different.

(I checked that for months with different shows and had conversations with different natives speakers who know all three languages: Chinese, English and German.)

I’d also like to add that a deeper cultural understanding, sometimes in a philosophic way, is also necessary because Chinese shows tend to use many of such things (that natives know because of school and growing up in that context but a “only language learner” might not reach that aspect so easily).

So I’m curious how important this aspect is for Korean and Japanese shows, anybody could say?