Friday, August 12, 2016

How Crunchyroll Gets Subtitling Right

Last year I wrote a post about the poor quality of subtitling on Netflix and am sorry to say that the same problems and frustrations continue to bug me. I've watched entire shows riddled with subtitles whose content is just nonsense.

It should read "And I even got that award off those feminists"
Netflix's subtitles for the British sitcom The IT Crowd were so awful that I can only imagine that they may have been automatically generated, not checked over, and subsequently just thrown onto the bottom of the screen.

YouTube should also get a special mention for subtitling quality. However, even though a lot of YouTube videos use automatically generated subtitles, the platform is kind enough to tell you they are and you don't have to pay a subscription for it like you do with Netflix.

However, the purpose of today's post isn't to name and shame bad subtitling (even though I just did), it's to praise Crunchyroll, a streaming service for anime, whose subtitles look like they were lovingly created and carefully implemented into shows.

If you don't watch anime, then you're probably not familiar with the platform Since all its shows are from Japan with Japanese audio, with the exception of a few dubs, a lot of subtitling goes on and they do it so well.

It's important to remember that Japanese uses a different writing system to English. One of my complaints with Netflix was that the Japanese text in scenes is often left untranslated. On Crunchyroll, not only are the subtitles placed over the Japanese text, but they also use same colouring as the original Japanese text, which makes everything clearer and makes the shows so much more enjoyable.

Crunchyroll's subtitling is exemplary of how to do it. Netflix should definitely take a page out of their book when it comes to subtitling all their programmes.