I have found that watching German media videos with subtitles has helped my aural comprehension (I am not a native speaker of German). Therefore, I am particularly interested in locating subtitled German media videos available for free online.

Bayerisches Fernsehen (BR) offers many videos of previously-aired programs through its Mediathek site.

Some of these videos have the tag UT, meaning that subtitles (Untertitel) are available for them.

Here’s an example of one such UT-tagged video: http://www.br.de/mediathek/video/sendungen/nachrichten/sendung-vom-26122015_x-100.html

(I reached the video above through this page, where it is clearly marked UT [it's the entry titled "Rundschau 16.45 Uhr"]:

enter image description here

this page, however, is ephemeral, so chances are that it won't look the same in a few hours.)

When I watch such UT-tagged videos online (either using a desktop computer or a tablet), I see no subtitles at all1, nor any way to enable such subtitles through the player’s interface.

Is there some other way to access the subtitles for the UT-tagged shows in BR’s Mediathek?


BTW, although I’ve focused on BR’s Mediathek, I have found similar situations in most German media’s Mediathek websites (WDR’s, NDR’s, etc., with the sole exception of ARD’s). Basically, all these Mediathek sites have videos tagged with UT, but I can’t get any subtitles when I watch any of them. I'm hoping that the answer that works for BR’s Mediathek videos may also work for the rest.

As I noted, ARD’s Mediathek is the only exception I know of; its UT-tagged videos reliably include a UT-toggle in their players, and the subtitles do appear on screen when enabled, as one would expect.


1 The only subtitle-related indication I have found for the BR videos is the label [UT Seite 150] that is shown briefly on the screen towards the beginning of the playback. I understand (from the comments below) that this refers to a Teletext page, and is therefore not applicable to the videos available through BR's Mediathek.

closed as off-topic by Takkat Dec 27 '15 at 11:25

  • This question does not appear to be about the German language within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 2
    Seite 150 is referring to Teletext page 150 during regular broadcast. – chirlu Dec 26 '15 at 20:33
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    For br.de/mediathek/video/sendungen/berggeschichten/… I can turn on subtitles as long as I do not choose full screen (on an iPad). – Carsten S Dec 26 '15 at 20:40
  • Please clean up your question to leave only those parts that will be relevant to future visitors. As it stands now the question you had was an issue arising from a bug of an external website which is entirely unrelated to the German language. – Takkat Dec 27 '15 at 11:24
  • @Takkat: I agree entirely that in the end this question turned out to be entirely unrelated to the German language; IMO the right solution is to delete the question altogether. It is also, by far, the simplest one. I am all for this course of action. – kjo Dec 27 '15 at 13:40
  • +1 for learning German with the Bavarian television, though. It makes me proud =3 – Jan Dec 27 '15 at 14:55
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The video you linked to does not have subtitles (and isn’t marked as such, either, at least nowhere that I looked). For videos that have subtitles, there is a “UT” button in the player that may be used to toggle subtitles. An example of this can be seen in the following screenshot:

screenshot of “Die NSA und ich” with subtitles shown

„Seite 150“ refers to Teletext page 150 during regular broadcast. It is not applicable to Internet videos in the Mediathek.

  • I reached the video I linked through this page: br.de/mediathek/video/programm/index.html; it is clearly marked UT in that page. It looks like now my problem reduces to finding a reliable why to locate such videos. The example of the page I linked shows at least one way that is completely unreliable. – kjo Dec 26 '15 at 20:56
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    @kjo: Here is what I see on that page – no UT. – chirlu Dec 26 '15 at 21:05
  • That's amazing. I just added my own screenshot to my post, showing exactly the opposite to what yours shows. – kjo Dec 26 '15 at 21:08
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    @Takkat: OK, I now understand what's going on. First: apparently, the page I listed marks with UT also those shows for which subtitles are available while the show is streaming live, even though this information is (possibly) irrelevant to videos archived in the Mediathek. (Note that in my screenshot, but not in yours nor chirlu's, the show I referred not only had the UT tag, but also a LIVESTREAM tag.) Second, and even more screwed up, is the fact that the website uses the user's local time to decide what entries to mark as LIVESTREAM. This means that... – kjo Dec 26 '15 at 22:01
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    @Takkat: ...people in different time zones will see different tags on the same item in that page. Indeed, eventually I saw both LIVESTREAM and UT markers disappear from the listing for the video I originally posted as an example. – kjo Dec 26 '15 at 22:01

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