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For the deaf or hearing impaired, subtitles are nothing short of a godsend. Thanks to subtitles, anyone who is hearing impaired can enjoy every single movie and TV show to the same extent as someone who is fully hearing abled. Whether you use the closed captions on live TV; the prewritten subtitles that come preloaded with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, etc.; or you download subtitles for your favorite movies and shows, there has never been a more accessible time in TV or film history before today.
That is, of course, when the subtitles are accurate. I don’t know about you, but I have personally seen many a subtitle script that is way off from what is being said. Sure, there are plenty of minor errors to worry about, such as the wrong spelling of words, the incorrect use of homonyms, or pesky grammatical errors (maybe these don’t bother you as much as they get under my skin). But sometimes the subtitles just get things flat out incorrect.
Time after time, I have watched a movie with subtitles on and heard the actor say something, only to read the subtitle text below offer up a different sentiment entirely. Poorly executed subtitles are one thing if you can hear, but they are completely unacceptable for someone who is hearing impaired. It is not fair at all for hearing and non-hearing people to have to watch what are essentially 2 different movies!
That is why, especially for the hearing impaired, a solid subtitle site can be everything. Maybe you did not know before today that subtitle sites even existed … well, prepare to have your movie and TV viewing experience enhanced exponentially. There are plenty of sites out there that are dedicated to providing the best subtitles possible.
Whether you are hearing impaired or not, subtitles can make all the difference in your streaming experience. Maybe you didn’t quite catch what an actor said – no problem, just check the subtitle. Maybe you are watching a movie in which the characters have thick accents – again, the subtitle will clear up any potential confusion.
As an avid reader, although I can hear just fine, I like to leave the subtitles on 99% of the time when I am watching a movie or TV show. Not only can it help to clarify what actors are saying, it can also be fun to read along sometimes. You’d be surprised, too, some of the descriptions (especially of the music and other non-dialogue noises) can be especially humorous.
Why, though, you might be wondering, would you need a site to provide you with subtitles? Don’t they come automatically loaded with most streaming services’ movies and shows? You just click the subtitle option in the menu, right, and you are good to go? Well, not always. Unfortunately, this is not always so simple.
There are several situations in which you might need a subtitle file. For instance, if you downloaded a movie or TV show episode and the subtitle file for it is in the wrong language. Apply a new one in your preferred language to solve the problem.
Another reason you might need a subtitle site is if you downloaded a movie and, as is all too often the case, it does not come with a subtitle file at all. With the right media player, once you download the subtitle, you can just drag and drop it into the playing movie (or insert it through the media player’s menu options) and, voila, like magic, the previously un-captioned movie is suddenly equipped with a great subtitling (one would hope). A quick word to the wise: if you are looking for the best media player for loading subtitle files, try VLC – it’s free, versatile, and works with just about any file type imaginable.
So, now that we have covered the why and how of a subtitle website, I think it’s about time that we delve into one of the many sites out there dedicated to providing awesome subtitle files in numerous languages for as many movies and TV series as possible. The site that we will be weighing today is known as Sub Scene, an international-friendly subtitle hub that caters to many different languages and carries a breadth of movie genres.
The moment that you land on Sub Scene, you might find yourself a little bit pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of the layout. It’s fairly user-friendly and intuitive. It is what it is, you know – immediately start browsing featured subtitles on the home page or use the search bar if you have a specific movie or TV show in mind.
There is also a site menu bar, but it is fairly sparse, and it does not take on the lofty presence that site menu bars often take on. In small print, diagonal from the search bar, you can choose from the following: Login or Register, Forums, or Dark Theme. Immediately to the right of the search bar, too, you will find a “browse” button and an “upload” button, encouraging you to become a part of Sub Scene’s active community.
I love it whenever a site offers a choice between a dark and a normal theme. I find that dark themes tend to be a bit easier on my eyes (especially when I am in night owl mode), so, I always appreciate the choice. Clicking into dark mode transforms the site to a black background and blue text. Clicking back into Normal mode and you have a gradient sky backdrop, which fades delicately from clouds, to blue, to white, to a soft beige. Either way, the site looks pretty good.
Content and Features
Sub Scene has an impressive selection of movies and TV show subtitles. Just about everything you could imagine, type it in, and there’s a good chance that you will be able to find a subtitle file for it. From there, it couldn’t be easier. Simply locate your language, click download, and in a matter of seconds, the subtitle is right there, ready to be extracted.
Oh, that is one thing to note: the subtitle files all come compressed, so it might do you well to download a folder unzipper, such as Win Rar, 7 Zip, or Rarzilla.
In addition to thousands upon thousands of subtitle files, in a variety of languages, Sub Scene is also an online community. Check out the forums section of the site to get in on some of the discussions going on. Members here chat about their favorite movies, subtitle qualities, and whatever comes to mind. It’s always a nice touch when a site can offer an active and engaged online community in addition to its main services.
Other than that, though, it’s pretty much a ‘what you see is what you get’ scenario with Sub Scene. It’s a very basic, barebones website that does what it sets out to do and does it well. Due to the near comprehensive list of subtitles in so many different languages, this is the site I would likely send somebody first if they were to ask me for a solid subtitle download site.
Mobile and Desktop Experience
Sub Scene is a mobile friendly site. However, it is certainly not the most mobile friendly site in the world. In other words, it looks as if no effort was put into changing the layout of the site at all for mobile devices. Text, then, might be a little small. You may find yourself having to pinch the screen often to zoom in. But, at the end of the day, it does work well enough on your phone for downloading subtitles.
My main gripe with the site is its ads. They aren’t quite as obnoxious or invasive as ads on other sites (especially some of the free streaming sites out there), but any ads at all tend to be a major turn off for me (there are other ways for a site to make money!). Besides, I’m sure that if Sub Scene took donations, their devoted members would keep them afloat anyway, ad-free.
Suggestions that I have for Sub Scene
In addition to finding a way to get rid of the ads, I would love to see Sub Scene overhaul their mobile site to become a little more intuitive for phones and tablets. Other than that, I am fond of this site as a whole, and I highly recommend it to anyone who needs subtitles ASAP.