Sunday, August 19, 2012

Finnish subtitles

Did you know that you can watch almost any Finnish programme on the Yle channels with Finnish subtitles? And, thanks to the new law, also MTV3 and Nelonen are now required to increase the amount of Finnish subtitles in Finnish shows. This helps the Finns with hearing disabilities, and Finnish subtitles are also great for foreigners learning Finnish, and parents with noisy children.

Here's a link to the Yle shows with Finnish subtitles. I'll find out if MTV3 and Nelonen have similar lists somewhere.

For some reason, getting the subtitles is kind of bizarre as you have to choose DUTCH from the language selection. Here's how Yle explains it, followed by my translation. It's a bit shorter, and I've also changed the order of the instructions to make it clearer.

  • Set the language by pressing the sub button on your remote control and choosing Dutch from the menu. If you cannot choose Dutch, the programme is not subtitled.
  • You can also get the subtitles through the text tv page 333 (Yle TV 1, MTV3 and Nelonen), 334 (Yle TV 2) or 336 (Yle Teema).
  • There's a text tekstitetty suomeksi in the beginning of the subtitled shows. If you're reading about the programmes on the text TV, starting on the page 300, a purple letter T after a name of the show tells you that it can have subtitles. 
  • You can also check out a list of shows that can have Finnish subtitles. 
  • If you want to have subtitles on the news, that's only possible through the text tv page 335. The subtitles are available for 17.00 and 20.30 news.
  • If you are watching shows in Yle Areena, click the TXT icon on the lower right corner. I appears after you click the play button.

About the author of Random Finnish Lesson: 

My name is Hanna Männikkölahti. I am a professional Finnish teacher who gives private online lessons and simplifies books into easy Finnish. Please read more in and follow this blog, if you want to be the first one to know when I post something new.  


Anonymous said...

Using Dutch is just an arbitrary choice by Yle.
AFAIK the DVB standard used for digital TV only allows simple language selection based on predetermined (numerical) language codes. So, as most programmes are subtitled only when needed by Finnish (or Swedish) speakers, the only way to specify full-time subtitles is to pick another language for it.

If Finland dubbed all its programmes (a bad choice IMO), this would be more logical.

Oh, some channels also send synthetic, machine-read subtitles (äänitekstitys). Again, Dutch is used, but this time it's the audio selection.

Aart-Jan Riekhoff said...

I wish the subtitles would actually be in Dutch :)

Anonymous said...

I agree with Aart-Jan :)

Giovanni said...

Do any of the news items on the YLE app for iPhone have subtitles? Seems strange that there are none from what I can see. The main YLE website still uses Flash which isn't viewable on iPhones and iPads !

cris said...

ohooo, i've been trying to get the subtitles online from spain for 2 years¡¡¡¡anyone could help me????