I'm looking for Tatort episodes with "real" or "correct" German subtitles. What I mean, is that I checked www.ardmediathek.de but their subtitles are different from the real scene!! Some words are missing or sometimes different. I don't know why is that. They're probably using the exact script, while the actual scene has variations. Do you know if I can ever find the "exact" German subtitles? E.g does the sold DVDs have correct subtitles?

I'm ware of this question (Past Tatort episodes with subtitles?) but it doesn't answer my question.

  • 2
    Legal concern. Quoting from last times discussion of the same topic: “Subtitles are treated much like movie scripts by most video industries and therefore StackExchange is not a good platform for this question to be asked." – Ludi Sep 3 '16 at 20:40
  • 3
    Subtitles are often different to make them shorter and more easily readable. – Carsten S Sep 3 '16 at 21:57
  • 1
    @Ludi i'm willing to buy them ... i.e not pirating them. But if pirating is the only option to get the exact subtitles, then i have no choice i guess. – Jack Twain Sep 3 '16 at 22:00
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of Past Tatort episodes with subtitles? – Jan Sep 4 '16 at 20:15

German TV subtitles (closed caption) are mainly added as an accessibility feature for viewers with hearing impairment. The text is often shortened or rephrased in order to reduce the word rate per minute and the sentence complexity. This is supposed to make it easier to follow the story, even when the viewer has low reading aptitude or concentration.

The following explanation is from the ARD's FAQ on accessibility:

Warum werden Fernsehsendungen nicht 1:1 untertitelt?

Der Mensch ist in der Lage, rund 220 gesprochene Wörter pro Minute aufzunehmen. Beim Lesen von Wörtern sinkt die Aufnahmefähigkeit auf etwa 180 Wörter pro Minute. Von Geburt an Hörgeschädigte können aufgrund der anderen Erfassungstechnik von Wörtern rund 140 Wörter verarbeiten.

Die gesprochene Textmenge wird gekürzt und der durchschnittlichen Lesegeschwindigkeit angepasst, damit die Zuschauer Bild und Untertitel stressfrei aufnehmen können. Nur so können wir möglichst viele Menschen mit unserem Angebot erreichen: junge und alte Leute, gebildete Menschen und diejenigen mit geringer Lesekompetenz.

  • Damn it! So I can't really learn German by watching movies or series :( – Jack Twain Sep 3 '16 at 22:01
  • @JackTwain I think it can still help learning. It's not that every single sentence is different. It's also not just the subtitles that can have an effect. – user22484 Sep 3 '16 at 22:33
  • 1
    I think the deadly boring character of German tv shows might be more of a problem, anyway ;) – user22484 Sep 3 '16 at 22:47
  • @JackTwain I learn Chinese watching tv dramata. It's quite effective. Try to understand by listening. Use subtitles as help! – Ludi Sep 4 '16 at 7:53

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.