With the global reach of films made in different countries, and the widespread availability of movies in different formats transferred on discs, the need for subtitles for these movies is ever increasing. Global audiences want to watch movies in their own language and adding subtitles is the best way to allow foreign audiences to totally enjoy a movie.
Movie subtitles have been around since 1903 and used to be called intertitles. It was seen in the film Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Edwin S. Porter. The term was changed to sub-titles in 1909. The invention of sound film in 1927 made a huge impact in the movie industry but producers and movie distributors still found it expensive and complex to produce different language versions of the films, so subtitles were still used. In fact subtitles in movies were the preferred method in Scandinavian countries and in the Netherlands, and effectively used in India and China and other parts of Asia.
Did you know that the first sound film to use subtitles was the movie The Jazz Singer? It was released in the United States on October 1927 and subtitled in French when released in Paris on January 1929. Many developments have been made to make subtitling for movies better and easier, and overall, it is still the best way for the rest of the world to understand and appreciate a movie with subtitles that appear “invisible” and actually a part of the movie.