I watch DVDs through VLC but some contain portions of foreign-language dialogue (e.g. Spanish speaking portions of Breaking Bad). When I've watched these through the standard Windows DVD player, the subtitles appear only when the characters are not speaking English.

With VLC, this is a manual process of pausing, leaving full-screen, selecting the subtitle track, rewinding several seconds, entering full-screen mode, then resuming only to repeat when English-language dialogue continues.

Is there a way emulate the Windows DVD subtitle behaviour in any DVD player on Ubuntu?

  • Can you elaborate on what you do in VLC? I'm slightly confused by the description... – Sujeet Sinha Aug 25 '16 at 11:56
  • Whenever a character starts speaking another language, I need to turn on english subtitles and rewind the dvd in order to know what they are saying, then turn them back off once everyone's talking english again – Hugo Buff Aug 25 '16 at 12:01
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    I understand now.. but this site is for Ubuntu specific questions only.. Your question is specific to VLC player, irrespective of the OS.. Try on a different forum where people with right expertise can help you.. – Sujeet Sinha Aug 25 '16 at 12:04
  • I guess. I do remember asking it some time ago but there was no response – Hugo Buff Aug 25 '16 at 12:15
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    I think if we reword the question to "How can I watch a video with subtitles dynamically switched on based on the language people are currently talking in the video?" (leaving out all the Windows and VLC stuff and opening the question for any video player available for Ubuntu), this question would be more on-topic. – Byte Commander Aug 28 '16 at 17:43

That requires the existence of a subtitle set with the "forced" flag. Those subtitles are always shown when no other subtitle is selected. Alas, this cannot be achieved with a configuration option in the video player, since it requires an appropriately configured subtitle stream.

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