What I am trying to accomplish is this: I am planning to make a video collection for people who would like to learn Mandarin Chinese. I think it would be a great idea to find some Mandarin films, find both the English and Mandarin subtitles for each, and embed them both into the movie (with the English at the bottom and the Mandarin at the top, or similar).
I know how to do a simple embed using VirtualDub and DivXLand Media Subtiter. My method (the only way I've been able to figure out / get working) is to convert the .srt to .ssa format using Media Subtitler, then to use the (I think it's called) VSfilter plugin in VirtualDub to embed. The problem is that this filter doesn't give me any options for the location of the subs, and it defaults to the bottom.
I looked through some forums on here and found a reference to using the VobSub plugin to change the subtitle placement, but I had tried that plugin before to no avail (using it with VirtualDub). Nevertheless, I downloaded it again, as well as Media Player Classic (hopefully it will work with that?). I am still pretty lost in this regard though. And I watch all of my movies through my computer (as many people do nowadays) so if there's a simpler way to achieve this, maybe without re-encoding twice per movie, I would much appreciate any help.
Thanks in advance!
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SSA format itself allows you to set the position. You'll want one set of subs set for regular subtitles and the other set as higher on the screen. One way to do that is to adjust the vertical position of all the subs in the Styles section, after opening them in Notepad. The boldfaced number 60 below is the default normal position for my SSAs. If I want to show them higher on the screen, I'll increase that number. The larger you make it, the higher on the screen they'll be:
Format: Name, Fontname, Fontsize, PrimaryColour, SecondaryColour, TertiaryColour, BackColour, Bold, Italic, BorderStyle, Outline, Shadow, Alignment, MarginL, MarginR, MarginV, AlphaLevel, Encoding
Then use the TextSub filter twice, once for each set of subs. You can also set the position within the 'Styles' box of the TextSub filter itself inside VDub.
Last edited by manono; 17th Jan 2013 at 19:58.
I'm assuming you wanted something like this, but not so extreme?:
I just selected all of my subs in Aegisub and double clicked on the screen where I wanted my subs to be positioned. Saved it as .ass. Then loaded both subtites in Vdub.
If you wanted to be more adventureous, you could make a sub file with both of your subs in it and just load one sub file.
Thank you for the help. I did not know that .ssa allowed for such a function, I will give it a try! However, if I may ask, I am seeing some people are having problems with "Chinese BG code" subtitles, as they utilize characters that English fonts don't include apparently..? Will this be a problem for me during rendering, or am I good to go?
And yes, that's basically what I'm looking to accomplish. I see you are using Vdub 1.9.11. I have the .zips for that version as well as 1.10.2, does it matter which I use in terms of compatibility with plugins/filters?
Thanks for the help guys, this type of thing really isn't my forte.
I actually did this a few months ago. I will tell you how I did it. But I want to be VERY clear about a few things first.
1) I know a few things in Mandarin and Cantonese but I cannot speak either to any degree of usefulness. About the most useful things I can say are to ask speakers if they speak those languages and I can ask for simple things like water. I'm not giving you a typical bs story like people do around here where they insist that they BARELY speak English and then they write something completely and utterly fluent. So if you ask me questions that require me to actually know Mandarin or Cantonese, you're screwed.
2) I CANNOT read or write Chinese characters at all. So I have no way to check my work and I can't tell the difference between traditional and "simplified" characters. The whole term "simplified" really amuses me because they are merely greatly complicated and difficult as compared to the insanely complicated and difficult traditional characters.
So do NOT ask me anything that requires me to know what I don't know.
There's some famous Chinese website that has a ton of subtitles. For many films they have traditional and simplified both. And if you're really lucky (I was) sometimes their subtitle zip files contain subs that have both Chinese subs AND English subs in the same text file. I got them for both simplified Chinese + English and traditional Chinese + English for my movie. I don't remember the name of the website, but I can look it up if you don't know what it is. Here is my workflow.
1) Open the Chinese+English subtitle file in Firefox or Chrome and do a cut on the ENTIRE file to grab it all. Open Microsoft Word or LibreOffice (I used LibreOffice) and paste the entire subtitle file into a text document. You must save it as encoded text in UTF-8 format.
2) Install Xvid4PSP. Use it to encode your source movie to Xvid. Set the video and audio settings as you wish. Open your UTF-8 encoded text file as the subtitles to hardcode into the movie. Start the encoding.
That's it. Worked great for me.
Thanks, I would like to know the name of this website, as I was only able to find Mandarin subtitles for Western American movies, whereas it would help more if I could hear them speak in Mandarin, as well as see the subs and the translation.
I don't speak too much mandarin either, but I'm hoping from the films I can discern appropriate situations and context to use the different phrases I know, and pick up a few new things as well. I also cannot read hardly any calligraphy, and what I can read is the 'simplified' characters. However, I am much better at reading and writing using the English alphabet characters (wo shi zai hu shui), and that's what I was hoping these subs would be written in. I have a few videos which have these type of subtitles embedded permanently, so I know they're out there, but I suppose for now I will have to stick to those, and just add the English subs myself.
As an update, I have VirtualDub 1.9.11 working with the VobSub.vdf, as well as working with the subtitler.vdf for .ssa's for use with DivXLand Media Subtitler. I have worked out the positioning of the subs at the top, but have not embedded any. Also, I could just set the position of the sub file with VLC to the top of the frame (something I did not know) which would be much less time consuming.
Thank you all for the input and help though!
I actually looked up the website this morning in case you asked. It's shooter.cn.
I'm sorry but I have no idea what you mean by "wo shi zai hu shui". Are you talking about pinyin? You should NOT expect to find any subtitles in pinyin. Almost nobody bothers to do that because native Chinese speakers don't need it and it's less work to use Chinese characters than pinyin. I'm not saying you won't find any, just don't expect it to be common.
If you get the English and Chinese characters in the same file so that each subtitle line has both, it makes it easy to use my method. If you are trying to get separate files for each language to line up, then it is much more difficult.
You can use the following Chinese player:
While the movie is playing, you can drag the subtitles to the top of the screen. Works with DVD files with subtitles. Can't remember if it works with AVI/srt files, but I thinks it does. Can also display simultaneously 2 languages of subtitles, positioned anywhere on the screen, by simply dragging the subtitles while playing. This software might contain some adware/malware, so make sure your Windows restore is working properly, should you decide to uninstall the software.
Thank you for the subtitle site. But alas, I can count the number of simplified characters I can read on both my hands
Yes, I suppose I was confused into thinking pinyin was simplified chinese lolz. I found a site that has a single subtitle in pinyin, and a method of converting from chinese characters, but is seems it is rather difficult as names must be converted manually.
Here is the download for the files, although I cant seem to find the original site with the how to for the conversion.
And although it costs money, if anyone is interested, this site offers films subbed in English, traditional, simplified, and pinyin all at once (yowza lol).
If you are really desperate, there are free Chinese to pinyin converters on the internet. You'd have to copy the characters in small groups of lines and it would involve a lot of copying and pasting with no way to check the output for correctness but you could do it.
The subtitle site I listed also has traditional characters. You simply say "I can count the number of simplified characters I can read on both my hands" and I cannot infer from that whether you can or cannot read traditional characters.
For those who don't know, simplified characters use fewer strokes than traditional characters, but to those of us who don't grow up learning them, they're still rather complex and complicated.
The Chinese spoken language has no relation to the Chinese written language. The written characters are pictures, not words. Also, all Chinese people can read the written symbols, but may not understand spoken Chinese from different regions of China.
This makes accurate translation difficult, except for very simple concepts. The person making the translation would have to be extremely expert in both languages.
When you see words like "Xang yen", this is an attempt to bridge the gap between written English and written Chinese. But you can see that "X" is very odd for English speakers to interpret, but is the closest they could come to the actual sound.
But my point is how will you know if the translations are accurate?
Last edited by budwzr; 25th Jan 2013 at 12:45.
Really? Are we now going to deviate from the subject and get bogged down in trivialities?
The Chinese written language uses what is called ideograms. They did at one time relate to the sounds they represent, but Westerners can essentially think of them now as each character represents a specific syllable with a specific tone (Mandarin has 4 tones). However, Westerners are always saying stupid and ignorant things about the characters like there are no such things in Mandarin as multi-syllable words and so on. My favorite dumb thing is the claim that Cantonese cannot be written at all.
Translation is no more difficult for Chinese dialects (they refer to them as dialects) than any other language. Computer translation between Chinese and English is actually pretty good, probably because Chinese grammar is relatively simple.
Pinyin has the ability to EXACTLY with 100% perfection using Latin letters and tone marks to represent the Mandarin dialect of Chinese. Non-pinyin systems are not as accurate. Note that pinyin was NOT designed so that native English speakers could learn Mandarin and some of the letters are used in ways that in no way at all represent their use in English. It was designed to correctly represent Chinese sounds using the Latin alphabet without regard to how English, French, German, etc. used those letters.
All of this is essentially irrelevant to helping a guy get 2 different subtitles working on his videos.