Kerala

Malayalam subtitles are here

Protest by Kodungalloor Film Society members at Kairali Theatre the main venue of the 19th IFFK demanding Sub titles in Malayalam. Photo: S. Mahinsha

Protest by Kodungalloor Film Society members at Kairali Theatre the main venue of the 19th IFFK demanding Sub titles in Malayalam. Photo: S. Mahinsha   | Photo Credit: S.MAHINSHA

Robert De Niro is delivering his classic line ‘You talking to me?’ from Taxi Driver and on the screen flashes the Malayalam translation of the words ‘Ningal ennodaano samsaarikkunnath?’ Yes, Malayalam subtitles are here, and now film buffs across the State can download matching subtitles in the mother tongue to watch their classics.

Head down to www.malayalamsubtitles.org, started by the Kodungallur Film Society, Malayalam Aikya Vedi, and MSone, which already has a list of more than 100 films.

“The availability of Malayalam subtitles will make films in any language more accessible to even those who are not proficient in English. Also, we felt that our enjoyment of many foreign films has been hampered as we spend a little extra time reading and making sense of the English subtitles,” says Saju Kocheri, one of the brains behind the project.

The group started making the first of the subtitles around two years ago; soon many more volunteered to do the work of manually translating the subtitles.

“We download the English subtitles and translate it line by line. A typical English film can be finished in about two hours. The longer ones, filled with dialogues, take a bit more time. This has been found to be useful by many teachers as Plus Two students have to watch a film as part of their curriculum. Last year, most of the schools screened Pather Panchali with English subtitles. This year, they are being shown Bicycle Thieves with Malayalam subtitles, and they are enjoying and understanding the film better,” says Mr. Kocheri.

Subtitles have been a hot topic of discussion this year at the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), and the group has been demanding the introduction of Malayalam subtitles at the festival. A protest meeting was held at Kairali on Sunday over this.

“At most of the foreign festivals, including big ones such as Cannes, subtitles are given in the native language. Here too, we should try that. If there are four screenings of a film, screen at least half of them with Malayalam subtitles. We have talked to T. Rajeevnath and Adoor Gopalakrishnan about this and are waiting for their views,” says Mr. Kocheri.

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Printable version | May 20, 2020 5:51:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/malayalam-subtitles-are-here/article6692710.ece

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