If you are deaf or hearing impaired, then you know how crucial subtitles are in order to enjoy movies or TV shows. Even if you are not hard of hearing, I’m sure you can relate to turning on the subtitles every now and then for a more enhanced viewing experience. As someone who is completely hearing able, I, for one, am always watching my TV with the subtitles and closed captions turned on. Why do I do this? Well, for a few reasons.
For one, it just makes it much easier to watch something. If I happen to miss what was said, for instance, instead of being bothered to rewind and try to find the precise moment of dialogue that I missed, I can just read it in the subtitle. It’s as easy as that.
Plus, if I am watching something in which an actor has a particularly thick accent that I am struggling to understand, I can just consult the subtitle track to figure out what is being said if I am ever at a loss. On a less utilitarian note, it can also be fun to track the sometimes humorous ways in which sounds or background music is described in the closed captioning. All around, the experience is enhanced.
But it is not just for viewing enhancement and hearing that subtitles are useful. They also sometimes act as the one and only cultural bridge that exists within a movie or TV show. If a movie, for instance, exists with audio only in, say, Japanese, finding a subtitle of that movie is going to be necessary if you do not read Japanese. The same is true, of course, of any foreign language.
This is why finding a good subtitle downloading site is imperative for everyone who watches a lot of movies and TV. Even if you do not think you will make use of it all the time, it is still a useful resource to have in your tool belt. Particularly for those of you who do a lot of downloading of your content. A subtitle site may not be very beneficial for movie lovers who strictly stream content – and if you stick to the premium streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, you probably have no use for a subtitle site … right?
Actually, it turns out, you still might. Even if you stream all of your content. You are bound to eventually need to download a movie or TV show file, if only because the movie or show you wish to watch is not currently available on any of the streaming services that you subscribe to. What then? Unfortunately, more often than not, P2P downloads of movies and TV shows do not come with subtitles. And if they do, what are the chances that the subtitles are actually going to be in your language?
Subtitle sites, though, are not only for those who need to be able to access subtitles. If you are bilingual, one of the coolest things that you can do with your knowledge is to translate. The more languages that movies and shows get translated into, the more of an impact they are able to have in the world. Have you ever considered becoming a rogue translator of subtitles online, working for nobody but the furthering of a global community? It’s definitely something worth considering.
Subtitle sites like Yifi Subtitles can be a great way for would-be professional translators to practice. Find a movie that lacks a high-quality translation in a language that you can speak and try your hand at translating it! Even if you are not interested in pursuing translation professionally, it can be a fun hobby – I think you will find that it completely alters the way that you look at language, both the initial language and target language of the translation, forever, for the better. Again, subtitles enhance.
What, then, should you look for in the best subtitle sites on the web? What traits do good subtitle sites share? Well, for one thing, community is important on such a site – perhaps more so on other kinds of sites. A solid community of subtitle enthusiasts is crucial on a site like this because, well, a subtitle site is only as good as the translations and the subtitles that it offers. And the community of users is who makes these subtitles possible, either by finding and uploading them or writing them themselves.
In addition to a solid community, all of the usual factors are going to come into play when evaluating a subtitle site. You want a site with responsive, good-looking site design, appropriate features, a mobile-friendly experience, (ideally) few to no ads, and a robust library of content to enjoy!
With all of these aspects in mind, I think it’s about time that we took a look at one of the most popular subtitle download sites on the web today: Yify Subtitles. Does this site have what it takes to be crowned the best subtitle site of 2020? Or should it be passed over in lieu of a better one? Well, let’s dive in and find out, shall we?
At first glance, Yify Subtitles does have a bit more of a modern and sleek appearance than some of its competitors. Incredible site design, to be frank, is not something that subtitle sites are exactly known for. They are often little more than glorified data banks, at best, with plenty of subtitle files for easy download. Interface and interactive user experiences are not often at the forefront of these designer’s minds; it seems.
Yify Subtitles, though, appears to have at least put a little bit of effort in. For one thing, you will find movie poster thumbnails – which is already more than many sites like this can say for their presentation. This gives the site a more professional and modern look than other subtitle sites I have seen for sure.
At the very top of the page, you’ll find a quick dropdown menu that lets you filter by language. A very useful tool, indeed. Below that, you’ll find a search bar, latest movies, a list of recently added movies, and a list of popular movies to the right. Below are a few browsing tags. Navigate the site by genre or, again, language. The site is easy enough to use, and a well-executed black and blue theme provides a sleek look that most subtitle sites tend to lack.
Content and Features
Yify Subtitles offers downloadable subtitle files. And a little more. One thing, though, that I do like about the site is how straightforward it is. There are certainly other subtitle sites on the web that are much more features rich than this one. But Yify is no-nonsense, straight to the point … and I can respect that.
In addition to downloadable subtitles in over 40 languages, Yify also provides some extra info about the films in question (credit info, plot summary, and a link to the IMDB page). This is a useful feature – the only thing missing in this regard is a trailer of the film!
Mobile and Desktop Experience
Finally, I am happy to report that I have found a subtitles website that is actually optimized for mobile devices. The site takes the shape of your phone for a seamless browsing experience, whether on the computer or on your smartphone or tablet. This is not the norm, but it is certainly refreshing.
However, this site is lousy with ads. They are very prevalent and, honestly, almost undo any strides that Yify has made in the design. They take a decent looking site and make it look cheap, unprofessional. I would honestly rather they charge for membership than this. Or at least offer a VIP subscription wherein ads are taken away in exchange for a donation.
Suggestions that I have for Yify Subtitles
My first suggestion for Yify is to consider introducing some additional features. As I mentioned before, the best subtitle sites tend to double as online communities of subtitle enthusiasts, amateur translators, etc. Either way, adding social features such as forums or a messaging component never really hurts a site. Especially a site that you’d think would rely so heavily on peer review.
Also, Yify Subtitles, please, for the love of God, do away with these annoying ads that are embedded onto the site as if it is useful content. At least consider moving them into the margins so that they are not interrupting the user experience of the site.