Biggest multi-language subtitle database

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 2, 2007
Updated • Jul 16, 2013

I prefer watching foreign movies with subtitles over watching them synchronized. This has two main reasons: the first is that I feel that a lot of atmosphere is lost when you hear Bruce Willis or Brad Pitt speaking in a foreign language, especially if the voice does not match that well or if you have heard the original voice before. The second reason is that I can use subtitles to watch movies that are not officially available in my country.

I'm not speaking about movie downloads here - although that would be a possible application as well - but about legal purchases of movies that have been created in Asia and Scandinavia. Many of those movies have no synchronization and English subtitles which means that I cannot enjoy those movies at all as I have no clue what is going on. Think about the great Gaki No Tsukai Batsu game show that airs once a year in Japan. Without subtitles, it would still be funny but you would not really know what is going on unless you speak Japanese.

I usually search subtitle databases such as Open Subtitles for the title and download the English subtitle if available. Subtitles are available in numerous languages all added by a dedicated bunch that create them for free.

The database contains more than 285000 subtitles, sometimes even more than one for individual titles. A search for Fight Club for instance had 258 hits for various languages and versions.

A nice feature is that you may search for subtitles in a certain language which really reduces the hits for every search that you conduct.

To find a movie or TV show, simply enter the title on the main page, select a language if you want or keep the setting to return all hits, and click on search. Advanced search offers more options to filter results, including searching only in the movies or TV series database, selecting the movies genre or country, or the subtitle format you want to download.

Update: Open Subtitles is still going strong, now offering more than 2.24 million subtitles to site visitors. The site itself has not changed much in recent time with the exception of the ten-fold increase of the subtitles it offers. The site is featuring subtitles for movies and TV shows now, so that you may watch your favorite show in the original language but with subtitles attached to it to understand what is going on.

This is excellent if you have started to learn the original language, as you can use the subtitle as backup if you do not understand a certain scene or word in the show or movie.

It is important to find the right version at times. You find subtitles for a lot of "scene" releases on the site, but also for different versions of a movie, e.g. a special edition with extra scenes and the regular version.


If you are looking for subtitles then you may want to start your journey right here, as it is offering loads of them. While it is not certain that you will find subtitles for the show or movie you are looking for, you will usually find that all popular ones are available on the site.


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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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