Today I’ll watch a movie in Japanese! I think the best way to learn a language is to do things you like in that language. For example, watching series (like LOST) in English, or watching Japanese movies. Of course, I don’t expect to understand anything, but I least I hope to improve my listening skills, reading the subtitles in Hiragana.
To play it with MPlayer (my favorite player), you need to do something first:
- Well, of course, you need to have a movie with Japanese audio and subtitles, but that’s quite obvious.
- Second, find out which encoding are using the subtitles. These can be in EUC-JP, Shift_JIS, or UTF-8. You can use Firefox to find out, or MPlayer itself. At th beginning I only got garbage. I suggest converting those to UTF-8:
iconv --from-code=Shift_JIS --to-code=utf-8 -c -o japanese-utf8.srt japanese-sjis.srt
- Third, use a special font to render the subtitles. If you installed MPlayer from Debian repositories, Kochi Mincho should be available.
The whole command I use is:
mplayer spirited-away.avi -sub japanese-utf8.srt -utf8 -fontconfig -font "Kochi Mincho" -vf expand=0:-100:0:0 -fs
expand video filter, you will be able to actually read the subtitles, otherwise they mix with the video. I always use this option to watch films with subs.
Well, I hope this mini-post will be useful to someone. At least I’m gonna enjoy a wonderful movie tonight! 😉