More thoughts on subtitles

Perhaps this would be more accurately titled “My frustration with subtitles”. However, I don’t think that’s where my true issue lies. I’m mad at whoever creates TV shows or whoever decides which languages the shows should have subtitles for.

Not everything is created equally. This is common knowledge, but I was still surprised to find it applied to subtitles as well. I was watching an episode of A Million Little Things on Hulu one night, and I clicked on the settings to put the Spanish subtitles on, because it would be fun. I was disappointed to realize that there weren’t any. It only had English subtitles. I guess not everyone is as nerdy as I am.

This sort of makes sense, because English is probably the most common language in the United States, and people need subtitles if they are deaf or hard of hearing. At the same time, I can’t help but think that Spanish is a common language in the United States as well. So why not have Spanish subtitles for all the shows too?

However, the languages a show is subtitled in may depend on the platform. Netflix usually has Spanish as one of the options. It even has traditional and simplified Chinese, which is cool.

Why can’t streaming platforms agree on a list of which languages to have subtitles for and put all the options on every show? I know they’d probably have to hire translators, but that’s not so bad, is it?




I’ve been watching Future Man on Hulu recently – hence the photo – and because I’m a nerd (and trying to be proud of it), I turned on the Spanish subtitles. It’s also a way to ease myself back into Spanish.

It’s really cool to see how certain words are translated into Spanish. Sometimes, they’ll use a phrase instead of just one word. Because realistically, not everything has an English equivalent; translation is never going to be exact, and that’s okay.

But I also have a bit of a problem. Either I’m too busy focusing on the subtitles to pay attention to the action, or vice versa. I wish I could focus on both at once. But is that even possible?