Why do movies and shows need subtitles?

Have you ever watched a show or movie and then a character delivers such an incomprehensible line that you have to scramble to find and return the remote? For me, this moment came during the height of Pete Davidson’s movie King of Staten Islandsince it was impossible to understand his most important line.

I had to rewind three times – and in the end Put in subtitles – to finally catch what he was saying.

This experience is not unique. Get enough people together and you can generally divide them into two categories: people who use subtitles, and people who don’t. And according to a YouTube Unscientific poll we conducted on the Community tab, the latter category is an endangered species—of respondents who are not deaf or hard of hearing, 57 percent said they use subtitles, while only 12 percent said they generally don’t.

But why do so many of us feel needed Subtitles to understand the dialogue in the things we watch?

The answer to this question is complicated – and we’ve come to the end of the question in this explanation with the help of Austin Dialogue Editor Olivia Kendrick.

You can find this video and all files Vox videos on YouTube.

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