Americans put subtitles on to comprehend British television

Young Americans have subtitles on all the time for reasons only weakly-grasped by their elders, but the older generations are following suit for more concrete reasons: they watch a lot of British television but don't understand what anyone is saying.

If you paused a few times to catch lines in Netflix's "Baby Reindeer," "Peaky Blinders" or "Bodkin," or Paramount+'s "Sexy Beast," rest assured, you are not alone. Kathy Rokni, Netflix's senior director of globalization, said the service employs an in-house team of "subtitling experts and language managers," designed to enhance the viewing experience while remaining faithful to the filmmakers' intentions. "We believe great stories transcend borders, cultures, abilities, and languages," Rokni said via email, noting that 40% of viewing hours on Netflix now happen with subtitles, including SDH, over half of which involves members employing subtitles in their primary language. Certainly, it's a long way back to 1979, when the Australian movie "Mad Max" was dubbed into American English because the distributor feared Americans wouldn't be able to understand the Aussie accents.

A subtle reflection of the trend within British television away from everyone talking in southern English or carefully-polished regional flavors (think Sean Bean) and to unprocessed local accents, dialects, brogues.

Watching British movies and TV shows with the subtitles on? It's not just you [CNN]