Your Excuses For Avoiding Subtitles Are Stupid And So Are You

Watch Subtitles

Not like anyone refusing to read subtitles will end up reading this but here goes nothing!

I have yet to watch Parasite and so do many others. In my case, there’s no particular reason as to why I haven’t seen it yet. In other people’s cases, it’s the fact that the movie should be watched with subtitles. The reason that I bring this up is that when it won the Oscars, its director famously stated “Once you overcome the 1-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”

This is something that should go without saying but is sadly not the norm and then sparked a lot of outrage online. Because people felt like they were being attacked when told to open their mind and broaden their horizons. I don’t know how that works but I suspect neither do they. And quite frankly, this isn’t a one-time incident but rather a recurring event I keep seeing every month anew on the great redundant outrage pushing website that is twitter dot com where last week’s big thing to be pissed about will return in three weeks anew except the faces change when the drama repeats.

Watch Subtitles Anime

This entire subtitle “discourse” (is it really that when it’s just one side throwing a tantrum?) is annoying and unproductive so usually I wouldn’t comment on it but if there’s one thing that makes it downright dishonest and questionable (and thus worth commenting on), it’s the insane excuses people come up with when they feel they need to make a case for themselves. And I’m getting sick and tired of these lame excuses wherein you always portray yourselves as some sort of victims and the mean Internet bullies want to radically alter your lifestyle or something. I swear, play the drinking game whenever you hear one of these bullshit reasons:

“Oh yeah? But what about people with special disabilities that prevent them from reading things properly? I mean, I couldn’t name three when put on the spot, I’m not one of them and I don’t know any of them and look, I’m just trying to use the disabled as a shield so I don’t have to make an attempt at anything because they literally can’t and I can also look morally superior in the process even though I usually don’t give a shit about anyone disabled so can we all agree I’ve already won the great debate here?”

“After a long day of work, reading is clearly too exhausting for me. How I manage to function like a proper human being and perform other even slightly more complex tasks considering that’s about the least stressful thing ever? I DON’T KNOW! THIS IS SO STRESSFUL ALREADY, HELP!”

“Subtitles? This is time for me to self-diagnoze myself with ADHD!”

“I’m not lazy, illiterate, part of the lowest common denominator and averse to other languages – I’m just your average American! I don’t need anything other than English!”

“Subtitles are too fast for me even though they’re on the screen as long as it takes for the characters to finish their lines and spoken text is way slower than written one so when I say this it probably means I can’t even read at the speed of listening comprehension and I’m therefore severely impaired. Huh.”

Man, most of these range from intellectually lazy to morally reprehensible.

Watch Subtitles Games

Also, what’s it with the weeb insults when you apply some standards to watching anime. Nobody complains when I watch The Sopranos or The Wire in their original language, English. But the moment it’s anime, OH NO, TOO FAR, NONONO, WEEB ALERT. And when it’s Japanese video games, they expect me to settle for an English dub when there’s no dual audio even though I’m a German so why wouldn’t I naturally prefer a German one in that case? Are Americans just kinda absolutely ignorant and self-absorbed? What’s the line of reasoning here? “NOOOO, DON’T WATCH THINGS IN THAT FOREIGN LANGUAGE, WATCH IT IN MINE INSTEAD REEEEE”

Just admit that you like it when I watch something in your language despite it not being my own but hate it when I watch things in a different language. It’s okay to be xenophobic on the Internet these days!

Watch Subtitles Americans

Experiencing media as it was originally intended to be to the best of your abilities (just to counter the obligatory “oh well then you need to learn its original language haha i win this debate kbye ;)” non-argument) should be something to strive for, not fear, disdain or avoid because it might be slightly uncomfortable at first. I kid you not, this topic makes grown adults act like kids the moment they’re told to first drive without training wheels. “Driving without training wheels? That’s like taking my rights away! I’d rather throw myself head-first into on-going traffic!” If only.

It’s so bad people even defend the fucking Yu-Gi-Oh! dub, one of the worst atrocities to have hit the localization process. Well, localization can be its own bag of worms with localizers doing this entire shtick on twitter about how localization is a complicated art form that none of the rest of us would ever understand so let’s not ever criticize the professionals and let them go back to work where they can replace genuine dialogue with “THE CAKE IS A LIE XD” or some such. But I digress.

Watch Subtitles Dubs Suck

Look. This is the Internet and (probably) a free country. It’s legal to do all of this, nobody’s going to stop you. You’re free to bath in your own piss, eat with your hands, wear a dunce hat and flaunt your low IQ at any given moment. That’s all on you.

Just don’t expect the rest of us to be understanding for your failings.

7 thoughts on “Your Excuses For Avoiding Subtitles Are Stupid And So Are You

    • Pretty much this, people just dislike being challenged and then come up with all sorts of excuses that lack any reasonable foundations.

      Oh well.

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  1. Nothing to add; I’m dumbfounded by the fact that such exchanges are taking place somewhere.
    Still, I thought I’d thank you for validating my decision to stay away from twitter etc.

    To talk about something more interesting, albeit off topic, if you don’t mind: I’ve been considering picking up Japanese as well these past months. You seem pretty serious and diligent about it, so I thought I’d ask you for a small piece of advice – namely about this site that gets consistently mentioned: https://itazuraneko.neocities.org/
    Have you used this and would you recommend it? If not, any other ‘guides’ or resources that you found better or just helpful in general? (I know about All Japanese All The Time and its derivative)
    I’ve been considering starting out with the Assimil introduction kit that I acquired and then branching out into the site I linked.

    No offense taken in case you’re not in the mood for spoonfeeding me – the misc. resources aren’t that important. I’m mainly interested in reading the opinion of someone whose critical faculties I have come to appreciate on that hyped neocities site.

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    • twitter has turned for the worse when tumblr flocked over and now the rat race for approval is about woke takes of inclusivity and whatnot. The other day, I saw someone telling artists that by rule of thumb, an age gap romance should be no longer than two years apart, I kid you not.
      Regardless, twitter is what you make of it as it’s based on the logic of following people you’re interested in and ignoring everything else. As such, it’s pretty convenient and allows you to create you own hub world to your liking contrary to forums and whatnot wherin you stay for the 5% of sane content yet get to read the other 95% of crap as well.

      I’m not overly familiar with the guide but I’ve seen it before. Never too extensively as it’s a lot to take in but I’ve heard good things about it and skimming through it, it does seem to be extensive and well thought-out.

      Generally speaking: Don’t ever bother with hand-writing, we use PCs for a reason.
      1. Learn katakana and hiragana. You can do this pretty much anywhere. Shouldn’t take you too long, a week seems fine, maybe two.
      2. Grammar: I’ve only had experience with Take Kim. It gives you some badly needed foundations.
      3. I’m not a fan of isolated kanji study with nothing attached to it but you might wanna try to get the basic ones down. I suggest you go for an anki deck that has the N5 and N4 kanji: https://jlptstudy.net/N5/

      GAP

      This is where you’ve built some foundations to make your own first steps outside of strict learning. The next parts should be done at the same time.

      I recommend vocabulary study, either through a pre-made anki deck (core2k or core6k) or one you create on your own.
      If you have trouble remembering kanji or telling them apart, you might want to check out the Heisig approach wherein you try to associate kanji and their building blocks with meanings and then build mnemonics.
      You should also absolutely start out reading at this stage already. Yes, it will be painful but unless you do this part early on, you’ll never get anywhere and you absolutely do have to get used to the numerous letters out there. It’s also the best way to train your hiragana and katakana abilities and to not let them rot away. Manga should probably do the trick at first.

      On another note, pacing yourself is absolutely critical. It’s tempting at first to add as many cards to your anki as possible since you’ve still got an empty studying routine but these things accumulate and then turn into a massive source of demotivation. Daily rituals are the best way to keep at it since trust me, losing motivation due to overwork or the feeling of the daily pressure that sours your mood is the number 01 reason for people calling it the quits… or going on a break, something I really, really do not recommend.

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      • Much obliged for sharing your experience in that in depth response.

        Good recommendation about pacing – I actually have first-hand experience of quiting due to being over-ambitious while trying to learn French the AJATT way a few years ago. With that said, it’s probably a good idea for someone like me to approach a more ambitious target language like Japanese with a more realistic setup in mind than just “spend as much time as possible on the language!!” (I know, bit of a strawman AJATT, but only by a small margin).

        Yeah, I won’t deny that you can probably have a good time on twitter that way. I mostly stay way from (or quitted) it and other social media giants out of principle – originally out of concerns for privacy and stuff; these days mostly because I’ve noticed due to experience on other sites that I’m easily addicted to social media structures.

        Have a nice weekend!

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  2. The examples of random “politically correct advice” you bring up are always new and funny 😅 gosh, people…

    I’ve heard people saying that they want to multitask so that’s they want the dub, but in that case, sorry, but that’s really not following the story, but having it as background noise!

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    • “I don’t want to put in the effort of reading because that would mean putting in the effort of looking at the screen when watching something” is practically a new low, yeah.

      Like

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