Why I Always Use Subtitles

Why I always use subtitles (hearing loss)

I know a lot of people who think using subtitles while watching a movie is stupid, and honestly, I totally understand. For one, the subtitles often come on before they say something, and so it kinda ruins the effect. It also doesn’t always say the same thing the people say, and it kinda takes your attention away from actually watching the movie if you have to read the subtitles.

So why do I always use subtitles? Well, here it is. I have hearing loss in my right ear.  I cannot hear anything in the vocal range at all. So as far as my everyday life goes, I am completely deaf in my right ear.  I only hear half of what everyone else hears.

You might point out that I don’t have subtitles for life, and I do perfectly fine. It’s a valid point. But here’s the thing, in life (most of the time) I am face-to-face with the person I’m talking to. And believe it or not, I can read lips and facial expressions very well. I rely on them to fill in anything I don’t hear in a conversation. I really don’t like asking people to repeat themselves because if I did every time I didn’t hear something, then we wouldn’t be able to have a normal conversation. So my life is pretty much a big game of Fill In The Blank. Except that I’m the only one playing it, and only half the people know that, so they think I’m just a little slow. Here are a few prime examples of what I mean:

Mom:“Nice hat!” she says to Harvey while we are bowling

Me:“It’s mine” *everyone looks at me awkwardly* She said EFFORT… not hat.

That horrifying moment when you realize that it is not King Griffey Jr. It is Ken. No. I refuse to believe this!

Enoch: “What is the cleanest steak? WASHington.”

Me “What? why is Washington a steak?”

He said STATE.

My boss (at the garden where I work): “Your bike is nice and dirty.”

Me “Yeah just like my pants.”

He said STURDY

When your mom says “get your brother a wife.” and then you realize she said WIPE.

Mom: “You are a unique b*tch. Write about it.

My mother NEVER swears.

She said, “You have a unique niche, write about it.”

[These are all on my Twitter account.]

So you see what I mean? I have to fill in the blank and assume the best in people.  And also, in a movie you don’t always see the person talking. So you have no body language or lip reading to go off of.

My friends and family are used to having subtitles when I watch movies with them, and some of them even use subtitles even if I’m not there.

Do you use subtitles?  Why, or why not?






  1. acaciaphotosfamily · October 24, 2016

    I never used subtitles, but every time I watched a movie with Merriann she had them one. Now I can’t live without them! There is so much I didn’t realize was being said.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Michelle Bowen · October 25, 2016

    Unique niche! Sturdy pants! Actually, I like the way you hear it, better. It’s lots more fun!!! I actually do use subtitles. Not the first time I watch a movie. However, if I really like a movie, I always watch it again with subtitles – because I know for sure I’ve missed some very important words, inuindos, meanings, etc. I get so much more out of the movie the second or third time around when I read the words and catch what I missed because I was so caught up in the emotion or action or comedy of the movie. (I will also add that I do the same thing with songs that I love. I make sure to catch all the words.)


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  4. Sheila · September 16

    I watched all the Lord of the Rings movies by myself, with my 2yo daughter sleeping in the same room, over about two weeks. (My husband was out of town for three weeks and we were staying at a mission base, so I had to wait to the older children in the next room and the toddler in my room were asleep.) I watched it with subtitles at first because I had to keep the sound very low. Then I realized that I was having such trouble with the accents, the subtitles were actually useful. And finally, in all the battle scenes, I put it on double or quadruple speed, and just slowed it down to normal again when I saw words appearing, so I didn’t have to see as much gore! (And it also meant that I could actually finish all three movies in that time…)

    I’ve seen several amusing translations when an English movie has subtitles in Spanish or German (both of which I speak). Many years ago, in Sister Act, the shy nun said, in the Spanish subtitles, “Does that sound like a novia to you?” Now, my first interpretation of “novia” is “girlfriend” (especially since I WAS a novia of that kind at that time), so I was very confused and couldn’t figure out how on earth the translators got that, until I thought about what it was in English: “Does that sound like pride to you?” Well, “novia” ALSO means “bride”…


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