About Our Subtitles

We love subtitles at MHz Choice, and a lot of care and effort goes into them to allow our viewers to enjoy all our shows to the fullest.

We edit and master the English subtitles for all our programs in-house. We do so to give the subtitles for all of our programs, no matter what country they’re from or what they’re about, a look and consistency. When you watch one of our series, you’ll instantly recognize it as an MHz Choice series from the look, feel and flow of the subtitles.

Every good subtitle starts with the translation. We get the initial translations for our programs from a variety of sources; many of them come from the country of the program’s origin, and many times the translations are done by folks for whom English, and in particular American English, is not their native language. So we fix that. We go through the scripts line-by-line and re-write them, simplifying them so each line fits comfortably on screen while still retaining the meaning. Adding contractions and colloquialisms, so the subtitles read like people speak. We also check for consistency, making sure place names are accurate, and making sure the characters’ names are all spelled correctly. (Except for Catarella in Montalbano - he gets everybody’s name wrong anyway!)

Once we’ve completed this pass on the text, it’s time to match the words to the picture. Timing is crucial. Each subtitle should begin right at the moment the character starts speaking, and then the subtitle should remain on screen for a beat or two after they stop speaking, to give us enough time to read everything without having to feel rushed, or feeling like we missed anything. Tech note: We keep a minimum of 5 blank frames between each subtitle, so that each line visually POPS when it appears on screen – that way the subtitles don’t all run together, and you can easily tell when one line ends and the next line begins. Just another trick we use to make everything easier on the eyes!

We also subtitle any dialogue which is spoken or sung in English by the characters, for a couple of reasons: for our hearing-impaired viewers, so they won’t miss anything, and also because many times the actors’ accents may make their English dialogue difficult to comprehend. That way, you should be able to watch any of our programs with the sound turned all the way down and still be able to completely follow everything.

We hear from viewers all the time that when they’re watching a show on MHz Choice, after a few minutes the subtitles seem to disappear - they get so wrapped up in the story and characters they forget that they’re reading. That’s what we strive for  – to provide a completely immersive experience for everyone who watches our programs. And it’s not just a job for us – we’re as passionate about these stories and characters as you are. And that passion can be seen in the care and attention we give to our subtitles.

Can I turn off the subtitles?

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