There's a recent thread on sci.lang discussing differences between Québecois and French French, in which someone's made the ol' comment about EastEnders being subtitled in the States. Similar comments get trotted out once in a while, but how common is it that English is subtitled into English? I suspect that it's largely a myth with a tiny grain of truth hidden in it, mainly used to insult Americans with. Anyone got genuine examples of it happening?
The only time I can recall coming across for certain was for the film "My Name is Joe", which was subtitled when I saw it in an independent cinema in Brisbane, Australia.

Andrew Gwilliam
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There's a recent thread on sci.lang discussing differences between Québecois and French French, in which someone's made the ol' comment ... tiny grain of truth hidden in it, mainly used to insult Americans with. Anyone got genuine examples of it happening?

When I watched EastEnders on TV in the late 'Eighties/early 'Nineties it was certainly not subtitled. (Mind you, subtitles would have been helpful.)

I'm comparatively normal for a guy raised in Brooklyn. - Alvy Singer
There's a recent thread on sci.lang discussing differences between Québecois and French French, in which someone's made the ol' comment ... the film "My Name is Joe", which was subtitled when I saw it in an independent cinema in Brisbane, Australia.

I don't know how the magic of the airwaves work, but I can view any program with the "closed captions" viewable. The effect is the same as viewing a sub-titled show. Perhaps this is what is being done in the EastEnders case.
I usually keep the closed captioning on for the BBC America shows. I don't watch EastEnders, but when the dialog moves along quickly in any program the closed captioning is helpful.
The closed captioning is also a source of great amusement. It's evidently an on-the-fly transcription. Many, many typos and wrong words.
I don't see, by the way, why saying Americans need sub-titles for shows like EastEnders is insulting. We do need sub-titles to follow what is being said. I've been watching Brit shows for years, I know the slang terms, I have a fairly good ear for the accents, but in a show where there is conversation the lines are sometimes asides, near-mumbles, and delivered too quickly to pick up.

I don't need sub-titles to understand "Coupling", but I couldn't follow something like the movie "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels" without them.

Tony Cooper
Orlando FL
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There's a recent thread on sci.lang discussing differences between Québecois ... I saw it in an independent cinema in Brisbane, Australia.

I don't see, by the way, why saying Americans need sub-titles for shows like EastEnders is insulting. We do need ... in a show where there is conversation the lines are sometimes asides, near-mumbles, and delivered too quickly to pick up.

It's not insulting when it's a statement based on observation; it is insulting when it's trotted out as a "fact" based on prejudice. Same ballpark as Americans not knowing anything about geography, etc etc.
I don't need sub-titles to understand "Coupling", but I couldn't follow something like the movie "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels" without them.

"My Name is Joe" is, from memory, set in Glasgow, and is an attempt at social realism with most of the cast being local residents rather than trained actors. I'd guess that the accents used are therefore genuine, and I can understand people from other parts of the English-speaking world having trouble with 'em.
Certainly in the UK we're exposed to more dialectal variety of AmE than the other way around, which only encourages the opinionated idiots.
As with foreign subtitles of English-speaking films, I find the problem is forcing myself to not read them and listen to the dialogue instead. Very distracting; but that's a different, and unavoidable, issue.

Andrew Gwilliam
To email me, replace "bottomless pit" with "silverhelm"
... but how common is it that English is subtitled into English?

It is fairly common in documentaries with interview subjects who speak with heavy accents.
Like Tony, I also needed them with the first watching of 'Lock, Stock...' and 'Snatch'.
My mother never could understand what Benny Hill was saying, but I don't think she felt it
was worth investing her attention to figure it out.
Tony Cooper:
I don't see, by the way, why saying Americans need sub-titles

Hyphenated! How very quaint!
for shows like EastEnders is insulting. We do ...

Andrew Gwilliam:
It's not insulting when it's a statement based on observation; it is insulting when it's trotted out as a "fact" based on prejudice.

And then, if you do want to take it as a source of insult, it can equally well be read as an insult the other way. "Those Eastenders speak English so badly you need subtitles to understand it."
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Tony Cooper: Hyphenated! How very quaint!

Oh yes, how odd. It seems to me in the main that Americans use hyphenation less than us, possibly because they don't have enough ink left after using all those periods. Maybe this is some of that TCE that I see references to.
Andrew Gwilliam:

It's not insulting when it's a statement based on observation; it is insulting when it's trotted out as a "fact" based on prejudice.

And then, if you do want to take it as a source of insult, it can equally well be read as an insult the other way. "Those Eastenders speak English so badly you need subtitles to understand it."

Oh, quite.
Apropos of not a great deal, I once played a few games of pool with a bizarre psychological advantage over my opponent; I'd commented that I lived in the East End, and he immediately decided this meant that I was going to beat him.(1)
(1) Which I did, not that that's necessary for my story, but you know what guys are like.

Andrew Gwilliam
To email me, replace "bottomless pit" with "silverhelm"
... but how common is it that English is subtitled into English?

It is fairly common in documentaries with interview subjects who speak with heavy accents. Like Tony, I also needed them ... Benny Hill was saying, but I don't think she felt it was worth investing her attention to figure it out.

My sons always insisted on subtitles when we watched "Rab C Nesbitt". I managed without, just, thanks to a lot of exposure to Glaswegians in the RAF.
Tony Cooper: Hyphenated! How very quaint!

Oh yes, how odd. It seems to me in the main that Americans use hyphenation less than us, possibly because they don't have enough ink left after using all those periods. Maybe this is some of that TCE that I see references to.

I'm not trying to start a trend or establish anything. I don't write "subtitles" or "sub-titles" all that much, and the word just sat there looking too much like "subtiles" (which is not a word that I like) so I thought I'd give it the benefit of the hyphen. Our balance of trade in hyphens is - as you say - in the negative.

Tony Cooper
Orlando FL
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