Tech Tips – Subtitles

by Danny Zawacki

School is back and it’s time to ask yourself, what kind of teacher are you going to be this year? Will you be the nice teacher that gives nothing but 12s and encouragement or will you scare your students into learning and being ready for class? Better yet, will you take the Cameron Diaz approach in Bad Teacher and just show movies to your students? If you do the latter, you’ll want to have an explanation for when another English teacher or the director finds out about your cinema. The answer? English subtitles.

Of course there are a bunch of different ways to go about showing films with subtitles. I’m going to skip the traditional DVD subtitle menu instructions and stick to a computer based option. For this, you’ll need three things: the movie, VLC Media Player installed on your laptop or the computer you’re using (http://www.videolan.org/vlc/), and your subtitles.

The hardest part about this is finding the subtitles file and even then it isn’t too difficult. There are a bunch of great websites that offer free to download files. A few of them are: http://subscene.com/, http://www.tvsubtitles.net, http://www.moviesubtitles.org/, and http://www.allsubs.org. There are plenty of other sites too. Just navigate to the movie or TV show you want to have subtitled, find an appropriate language, and download. Make sure the file you are downloading is in the “.srt” format, we’ll need it to be opened by VLC.

Once you have your file, open your movie using VLC. While it’s playing, either right-click on the movie itself to bring up the menu, then choose “Subtitle → Open File” or click on the “Video” menu bar at the top of the window and choose “Subtitle Track → Open File.” This will bring up a file open dialog box. Navigate to where you saved the .SRT file and open it.

That’s it.


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