I’ve just been to see the most recent (and final) Harry Potter film. I saw it in English with Chinese subtitles (and in 3D, of course). I usually find subtitles really distracting, possibly more so when I can read them. When I am forced to watch something with English subtitles, I am often checking to see whether they transcribed it correctly, or I’ve finished reading before the actor actually finishes their lines (leading to the situation where people laugh before the punchline has finished coming out of the actor’s mouth).
Today, though, I found the subtitles quietly encouraging. While there was a lot of action on the screen, I wasn’t really paying attention to them, but in slower scenes (especially when the actors weren’t speaking too fast), I found that I could read a lot of the characters. Obviously a lot of the characters’ names, spells, etc, weren’t words I knew, but I could read some lines well enough to know that they could have done a better translation. That feeling was very gratifying.
Have you ever had subtitles take you by surprise?