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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Fun with Subtitles
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The Grey Elf
Grey Havens


Mar 25 2013, 12:38pm

Post #1 of 51 (1877 views)
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Fun with Subtitles Can't Post

Recently watched the DVD with subtitles and had to laugh at some discoveries. For instance, Bombur apparently spoke a number of times in the movie but always in a scene (such as Goblintown) where commotion masks it. In RID, Gollum uses his grammar and says "teeth," not "teef" so I guess our ears are deceiving us, LOL. And finally, the obscure word Gandalf uses while defending Bilbo to Thorin following his petrifying the trolls is "nous." Nous? Really? Thank God for dictionaries. I'll have to drop that one in a conversation sometime and count how many mystified looks I get.

Has anyone else used the subtitles and mined any discoveries, laughable or otherwise?

I know subtitles can have their share of glitches, but it does make me wonder who writes them and what they're based on -- the final draft of the script? The actual dialog heard as recorded? The subtitler's best guess?? Laugh


Tintallė
Gondor


Mar 25 2013, 3:10pm

Post #2 of 51 (975 views)
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I think if you dropped "nous" into conversation [In reply to] Can't Post

in Britain or anywhere Britain has been as a large and commanding presence (Australia, for example), you would find people are quite familiar with the word and its meaning.

Can't wait to go back and read Bombur's lines! Thanks!


emre43
Rohan

Mar 25 2013, 3:15pm

Post #3 of 51 (962 views)
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I'm confused, nous is a well-known word [In reply to] Can't Post

Crazy


Magpie
Immortal


Mar 25 2013, 3:31pm

Post #4 of 51 (881 views)
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subtitles - how they're derived [In reply to] Can't Post

This is based more on observation than actual knowledge. I have been watching tv in real time and dvds with subtitles on 100% of the time for over 5 years. I have partial hearing loss and the subtitles supplement what I can hear and we have a noisy house - wood floor, clumpy shoes, very open floor plan, proximity to airport - that accentuates the issue.

How the words that get displayed are derived, I suspect, happens in a variety of ways depending on the type of show and, perhaps, the amount of money invested in creating the subtitles.

In live tv where the subtitles have to be created as people speak, I think a lot today is creating using voice recognition software. Much of it is is decent and actually transcribes the speech well enough to be accurate and useful. Some of it is very spotty and can result in text that is basically gibberish. Some of it is very delayed - by up to 30 seconds or more - such that I can't use it to supplement what I'm hearing.

I think at one point, these live shows had people actually typing the closed captions as they heard the speech - which was essentially the same time we heard it. It's possible that still happens but I suspect software does a better job and is cheaper in the long run.

For many tv shows, it seems clear to me that the closed captions are derived from some submitted script and that the submission happens before the final product is delivered and/or whoever is preparing the closed captions is likely not even viewing the tv show in the process. In these cases, the closed captions can be very accurate but all of sudden indicate a song is playing with lyrics and there is no song playing. Or there will be a few lines of dialog that are not spoken. I think these are results of a few last minute edits being made after the script is submitted for captioning.

For movies and tv shows with good budgets, the captions are usually very accurate.

There can be some difference between these options when more than one is offered: 'English subtitles' and 'Closed captions' and 'subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired (SDH) Sometimes subtitles will paraphrase (not good for me) and sometimes descriptions of sounds or inflection are included along with the dialog. ('horse wickers', for example). If there is more than one option, I might try them out to see the difference.

I think if people turned on SDH / CC every once in awhile, they might be surprised at dialog they are missing. Often the captions will supply what's being said in the background by secondary characters, for example. I go to the theater and enjoy it but I miss up to half the dialog when I do. I just have to be careful, when I'm using closed captions, that I not focus entirely on reading them. If you do, you'll miss facial expressions that are crucial to experience. It works better for me if I try to ignore the cc's and glance at them when I miss a word or phrase.


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Magpie
Immortal


Mar 25 2013, 3:34pm

Post #5 of 51 (929 views)
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well... [In reply to] Can't Post

I've lived 60 years... had a good amount of schooling at many levels and institutions... did well in the classes I've taken (*coughfourpointohcough*)... read a lot (voraciously at times)... had lots of highly educated friends... and I've never heard/seen the word before it came up in connection with The Hobbit.

It's possible it's well known in some areas. I'm in the upper Midwest US. It's not well known here.


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imin
Valinor


Mar 25 2013, 3:37pm

Post #6 of 51 (906 views)
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Have you traveled much? [In reply to] Can't Post

It is very well known in the UK for example and when i ever used the word in Cali, people knew what i meant.

I think like other posters have said, in the UK or somewhere like NZ or Aus i would imagine it to be well known. For the USA it appears to be known in some parts, less so in others.


Escapist
Gondor


Mar 25 2013, 3:40pm

Post #7 of 51 (880 views)
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I would expect a person to know what nous means [In reply to] Can't Post

only if they were either from or closely associated with British culture - or - if they were a graduate level student of something that included a heavy influence on philosophy or perhaps a college graduate of strictly philosophy.

I base this based on having never heard or read it before anywhere ever and also on this definition:
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/nous

1. Philosophy a. Reason and knowledge as opposed to sense perception. b. The rational part of the individual human soul. c. The principle of the cosmic mind or soul responsible for the rational order of the cosmos. d. In Stoicism, the equivalent of Logos. e. In Neo-Platonism, the image of the absolute good, containing the cosmos of intelligible beings.2. Chiefly British Good sense; shrewdness: "Hillela had the nous to take up with the General when he was on the up-and-up again" (Nadine Gordimer).


Magpie
Immortal


Mar 25 2013, 3:41pm

Post #8 of 51 (871 views)
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Depends on what you mean by 'much' [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been around.

Defining 'well-known' works both ways. You can say... it just isn't well known in your area but you're the exception. I could say the same thing... it's well known in areas you've been in.. but if it isn't well known in some or all areas, it's not 'well-known'.

I'm sure I could list a dozen well-known phrases from here that you wouldn't know. Being well-known here doesn't make the globally well-known.

If, however, you're saying the the upper Mid-west is just a bunch of poorly literate rubes, well.. that's another subject. :-)


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The Grey Elf
Grey Havens


Mar 25 2013, 3:43pm

Post #9 of 51 (849 views)
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I guess the familiarity of the word depends on birthplace [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm a yank, have an above-average vocabulary and have never come across "nous" before now. So I stand corrected if, unlike me, the origins of my tORN comrades made deciphering Gandalf's line a no-brainer!Wink


Magpie
Immortal


Mar 25 2013, 3:45pm

Post #10 of 51 (846 views)
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that qualification seems to belie the definition of 'well-known' [In reply to] Can't Post

Seems more like 'well-known in some geographical and professional areas'.

Uff da.

:-p


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imin
Valinor


Mar 25 2013, 3:47pm

Post #11 of 51 (859 views)
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Locally and globally well known. [In reply to] Can't Post

I never said it was globally well known. I said have you travelled much because it is well known to people in the UK, i have heard it on TV, read it in books and people have said it to each other when in school, uni. So it is not just known to me - as other posters from the UK have pointed out.

Was i calling you poorly literate - no. Though it seems you might be thinking that. No need to get so defensive i was merely asking if you had traveled much to the UK because it's nothing rare over here though obviously situations have to arise for the word to be used which you might not have encountered if you have been to the UK before.


dormouse
Half-elven


Mar 25 2013, 3:51pm

Post #12 of 51 (855 views)
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It's funny how often this sort of thing comes up... [In reply to] Can't Post

It hadn't occurred to me that the word 'nous' would seem unusual to anyone because I'm used to it - here in Britain it's used a lot. Presumably it is in New Zealand too as they put it in the script.

But then, talking to US friends about other books, and generally, there are lots of simple words that are taken for granted on both sides and come as a complete surprise on the other. Every time a US friend says 'Dang' I get confused and think she's annoyed about something, because it sounds like 'Damn'. And I often find myself explaining things from the Harry Potter books because they, again, are very English - words like 'scarper' and 'pasties'.

Just goes to show our common language isn't as common as we think!


The Grey Elf
Grey Havens


Mar 25 2013, 3:57pm

Post #13 of 51 (897 views)
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Now don't get too excited [In reply to] Can't Post

Bombur doesn't say anything significant. It just made me do a double-take when I saw his name subbed. I mean, really, we don't even know what his voice sounds like. If not for the captions, how would anyone even know it was him speaking, especially given the pandemonium of certain scenes.


Osskil
Bree

Mar 25 2013, 4:30pm

Post #14 of 51 (815 views)
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Same here... [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm from the upper Midwest and, despite a long time spent in academia--English literature and rhetoric--I've never heard the word.

But I guess I should know it, and now I do! Fascinating thread. :)


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Mar 25 2013, 4:44pm

Post #15 of 51 (835 views)
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Not "teef?" Is the McGurk Effect in play? [In reply to] Can't Post

Short McGurk Effect Video

Maybe they deliberately built in a McGurk? (which would be cool) Or maybe it's a lip sync issue (an entertaining piece on audio illusion and lip syncing in film)? Or maybe he actually said "teef," the way some children do?

The test to see if it's an audio illusion is to look away from the screen during that scene and see if you hear him say "teef" or "teeth."

ps * barely audible * elephant shoes


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Mar 25 2013, 4:48pm)


The Grey Elf
Grey Havens


Mar 25 2013, 5:01pm

Post #16 of 51 (787 views)
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SirD, now you've gone and done it! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not sure now how he says it or if the filmmakers are messing with our senses. The first two times I saw thr movie, I heard teeth -- or was it just because that's what I was expecting to hear? With high def now, I can see Gollum making the "f" sound -- or was it just some McGurk Magic? Or maybe he did say teef as scripted and the subtitler just happens to be a frustrated school teacher.


sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea

Mar 25 2013, 5:03pm

Post #17 of 51 (801 views)
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When i saw AUJ in the theater, [In reply to] Can't Post

each time (3) i had no idea what Gandalf was saying. When watching at home the second time i backed it up during this scene to pull up the subtitles and see what he said. I had never heard the word 'nous' (i'm from St. Louis, US) and immediately looked it up.

Learning!


DanielLB
Immortal


Mar 25 2013, 5:29pm

Post #18 of 51 (791 views)
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I hadn't heard of it until I saw the film. [In reply to] Can't Post

Not knowingly anyway.Crazy

I wouldn't say I'm well traveled either.


Old Toby
Grey Havens


Mar 25 2013, 5:40pm

Post #19 of 51 (783 views)
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Like others I had no idea what nous meant [In reply to] Can't Post

In fact when I saw the film (several times) I STILL had no idea what the word even was that he was saying until I read the meaning here on the boards! So I'm grateful to the little bits of education I get here, such as the meaning of conkers, which I was also unfamiliar with. BTW I am a US citizen in my 60's with a degree in Philosophy and Religion, and yet had never heard nous before, so I think being educated has nothing to do with the recognition of the word, but rather one would have had to have been in those areas of the world, such as Britain or New Zealand, where such words are commonplace.

"Age is always advancing and I'm fairly sure it's up to no good." Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher)


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Mar 25 2013, 5:53pm

Post #20 of 51 (782 views)
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Nous has always meant "we" [In reply to] Can't Post

does it mean something else in English?


Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


Mar 25 2013, 5:57pm

Post #21 of 51 (772 views)
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I thought this thread was going to be about Neekerbreekers of Unusual Size [In reply to] Can't Post

Unfortunately, I appear to have learned something new instead. Cool



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sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea

Mar 25 2013, 6:14pm

Post #22 of 51 (796 views)
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I had no idea what Bilbo was saying with "conkers" as well, [In reply to] Can't Post

and didn't figure it out until i had the blu-ray and could subtitle, and then google, it. I'd never heard of conkers before.

As my friend's aunt who lives in England said many times when we stayed with her: "We're seperated by a common language."


DanielLB
Immortal


Mar 25 2013, 6:24pm

Post #23 of 51 (764 views)
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What do you call conkers? Surely not be their real name?! ;-) / [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Magpie
Immortal


Mar 25 2013, 6:34pm

Post #24 of 51 (784 views)
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I know there's some joke I'm missing here [In reply to] Can't Post

conkers are the nut of a horse chestnut, right? In the US, we call the trees horse chestnut and I suppose the 'fruit' we simply refer to as the nuts or seeds of the horse chestnut.

I think the difference is, we don't do anything with them. If some kids play with them, it's a small neighborhood activity that they make up on their own.

That word I had heard because I had a Steiner/Waldorf endorsed book on children's activities that is English -
The Children's Year - and it had crafts/activities using conkers in it.


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sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea

Mar 25 2013, 6:44pm

Post #25 of 51 (774 views)
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In southern Illinois, [In reply to] Can't Post

we called them buck-eyes, and it was considered lucky to keep them in your pocket, where they would be polished toa shine. This was passed on to us by our grandparents. I'd never heard of the game played with them-- it sounds like it would be hard.

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