I've found resources for German shows with English subtitles and vice versa, but I can't find German shows (either serials or movies) with German subtitles. Are there any online resources for this?

I'm getting comfortable with reading German, but I'm having trouble picking out the individual words when people are speaking. German subtitles would be very helpful.


3 Answers 3


A lot of the German TV shows and movies (especially the ones produced by public TV channels) will actually have German subtitles produced for them to aid the deaf ("Unterstützung/Untertitel für Hörgeschädigte" or Keyword "barrierefrei").

All German DVDs (movies and shows) that I have bought so far have subtitles (in German).

YouTube let's you enable subtitles, and most .MKV files will have multiple subtitle layers which usually include German for above mentioned reasons, sometimes you can even download subtitle (information) separately to the video files.

VLC-Player can let you switch between subtitle layers which also helps with a quick translation by switching to English if you didn't catch the meaning at all.

Here seems to be a nice list of publicly available shows that have subtitles (of ARD):

There is a "UT" button (lower right on the video) that you can use to turn on the subtitles in the Das Erste Mediathek (see example). But these might not be available outside of Germany :( .

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    I am upvoting this answer because it contains much useful information. However, I disagree about "enable subtitles" in Youtube. Apparently, this is an experimental natural-language processing scheme which produces stunningly awful results. Check out this video about the open-air museum founded by Markus Wasmeier: the subtitles are grotesque! (For a very nice video of olympic gold medalist skier Wasmeier speaking Bavarian-tinged German with English subtitles, click here). Jun 30, 2013 at 7:48
  • Is there a turnkey solution for using a proxy to circumvent "Germany-only" restrictions when trying to view or download videos? Jun 30, 2013 at 8:03
  • @EugeneSeidel It is true that there is a non-reliable processing feature but afaik YT videos can also be supplemented with captions by the author, those might not be enabled by default but can proof quite helpful.
    – zsawyer
    Jun 30, 2013 at 8:13
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    Advices on circumventing restrictions are both off-topic and probably not legal.
    – zsawyer
    Jun 30, 2013 at 8:16
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    One problem with subtitles for the hearing impaired from German television is that they often don’t render the spoken text exactly, but are modified for reasons of screen real estate.
    – chirlu
    Jun 30, 2013 at 23:02

I don't know what is your level of German, but if you are looking for something especially designed to help the listening of learners, I advise you a show called "extr@" (auf Deutsch). You can find versions of it in many languages, but you want it in German. Here it is on Youtube:


Captions in German are already embedded in the video. It is quite fun and I think it's useful.

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    I love the top-ranked comment on the Youtube vid: "Came to learn German, stayed for the titten". Jul 1, 2013 at 7:23
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    All the videos has been delated...
    – G M
    Feb 18, 2014 at 11:06

As long as there is no trial against these websites, I positivistically assume they are working legally:

Subtitle database

Video material database

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    The only problem with this is that the video site offers English movies with German dubs, but the subtitles site offers German subtitles to the English version. So the subtitles don't match up with the words being said. I've only tried it with one video so far though.
    – Voriki
    Jul 1, 2013 at 15:32
  • @Mirov The video material database, that I linked, mostly offers movies in German, at least that's my experience. Alas, I know of the problem of subtitles not matching. Fortunately, good media players let you offset the subtitles.
    – Toscho
    Jul 1, 2013 at 15:36
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    Sorry, I meant that the words written aren't the same words that are being said (carry the same idea though). But you're right, some of the movies listed are native German movies. I'll check them out before jumping to any more conclusions :)
    – Voriki
    Jul 1, 2013 at 15:40
  • @Mirov That can always happe. Even DVDs don't always have perfect subs.
    – Toscho
    Jul 1, 2013 at 15:50

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