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Mandarin: 2days,2weeks,2months,2years

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emk
Diglot
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United States
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2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 57 of 118
27 October 2014 at 4:02pm | IP Logged 
rdearman wrote:
I spent a frustrating 3-4 hours looking for something which would pull "hard sub-titles" out of an avi file, but this requires OCR, which surprise, surprise only seems to pull out the English bits, e.g. the bits I already know.

Yeah, something always goes horribly wrong trying to get data into subs2srs. Every time. I don't think I've ever been able to do it the same way twice.

Subtitles come in three general flavors:

1. Hard subtitles, burned directly into the video images.
2. Image overlay subtitles using a separate track, such as VOBSUB.
3. Text formats, such as *.srt.

If all you've got is (1), then I don't know any way to make subs2srs work. But if you have (2) or (3), there's almost always a solution. One easy test: Can you toggle the subtitles on or off? If you can, there's hope.

rdearman wrote:
Does anyone know how to get .srt files from Viki? This would be an immense help because they stream dramas with subtitles in many languages which are (near as I can tell) public domain / community generated.

There's a tutorial here, which may or may not solve your specific problem. In general, Subtitle Edit is a big help: It can convert between many different formats. But if you can get even get close, let me know, and I'll see if I can help with the remaining steps.

Usually, the best way to solve this problem is to ask other language learners for the names of interesting films & series with accurate subtitles. We have a list for French, and I recently started a thread for Spanish.
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tommus
Senior Member
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979 posts - 1686 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Dutch, French, Esperanto, German, Spanish

 
 Message 58 of 118
27 October 2014 at 5:19pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
Can you toggle the subtitles on or off? If you can, there's hope.

Most of the discussion about capturing and using sub-titles has been from DVD movies or video
files. Not much about streaming video from the Internet, and there is a lot of interesting
stuff with good subtitles. Here is an example for which I dearly wish I could capture the
subtitles separately. It is a crime series in Dutch. You can toggle the "ondertiteling" on and
off with the "T" button.
http://www.npo.nl/flikken-
maastricht/24-10-2014/AT_2023472

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YnEoS
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United States
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Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Russian, Cantonese, Japanese, French, Hungarian, Czech, Swedish, Mandarin, Italian, Spanish

 
 Message 59 of 118
27 October 2014 at 5:20pm | IP Logged 
rdearman wrote:
It would seem that I need to either find a boxed set of TV Series with Mandarin & English subtitles, Another frustrating search of Amazon.co.uk reveals there are 2-5 boxed sets of tv series with Chinese sub-titles, but the audio is in English.


If you can handle discs with different region restrictions a lot of Hong Kong DVDs have Cantonese/Mandarin language track options and Traditional/Simplified/English subtitle options. You can get them imported at pretty reasonable prices on websites like DDDHouse, or pay more for a wider selection at Yesasia, where you can compare variant HK/Taiwan/Chinese releases.

(I usually get stuff from Buyoyo, which has a wide selection and good prices, but they sometimes take forever to ship stuff, so I'm hesitant to recommend them.)


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rdearman
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United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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881 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 60 of 118
27 October 2014 at 6:17pm | IP Logged 
Thanks everyone!

@YnEoS - Regions seem to be a problem for me, but I have bought some region 2 (Europe) films with Mandarin, so I might have a try with those.

@tommus - Streaming videos are a real problem, since they are normally "hard" which means they are actually part of the film, so you have to use something to extract them. The links which EMK gave for that are very good, if you have a windows machine. For us linux or Mac users, we have a more difficult time. (Although I have a windows Virtual Machine so I can use some stuff)

@emk - Great pointer for the viki stuff. However they've changed the way they stream files so some of the recommendations on that site didn't work. However my google-fu is good, and I managed to find a site which will let you download any of the subtitles in any of the languages! Called viki subtitle downloader and if you're willing to sit through an advertisement they'll give you a .srt file to download of the video link you've pasted in.

This means you can get content for other languages as well since Viki aren't just Korean / Chinese dramas. If this works out for me then I might do the French TV available on VIki as well or Viki for Italians.

Actually downloading the Viki video is problematic at best, since you also need the video for the subs2rs program. However most of the viki content is also on youtube which I have a downloader plugin for grabbing .flv files. I've now got the video/subtitles (in English and French and Italian) for one Taiwanese drama and the first 3 episodes. So I'm going to attempt to put all this together and make an anki deck. I'm considering doing L3->L2 for the subs2srs rather than the boring Mandarin->English do Mandarin->Italian.

Wish me luck, and I'll try to post my results/success (if any) later this week.

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rdearman
Senior Member
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881 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 61 of 118
03 November 2014 at 11:22am | IP Logged 
Well my sybs2srs experiment is a dismal failure. Not because of the tools or any technical issues but mostly because I'm not sufficiently experienced in Mandarin. Having installed all the tools and gotten used to them my primary obstacle was finding native content with subtitles. I found viki on the web and a way to download fan-created subtitles in English, but because the Mandarin subtitles hard-coded on the screen nobody wasted their time doing a Mandarin sub-title file. This wasn't a real issue for me since I figured I could do without it.

I was however unable to download the video from Viki, but again this wasn't a problem since it is available on YouTube. However the YouTube content hadn't been "prettied" up like the stuff on Viki. There were still commercials in the recording. This meant the Viki subtitle timings were off. So downloading a video editor I chopped out all the commercials and got the it very close to the same timings. But even a few milliseconds differences in each subtitle over an hour video will add up. So the subtitles toward the end were wildly out of synch.

I loaded up a sub-title editing tool and tried to synch the timing, but there was a problem with the sub-edit tool because it only showed a white blank where the film was supposed to display. Which meant I could hear it, but not see it. This is where my failure to understand Mandarin hit me hard. It is impossible for me to synch up the English words and the Mandarin dialogue because I don't understand the language (the entire reason I'm doing all this in the first place!) so ... I gave up.

This is just a temporary setback, because I've decided I need to simply find a DVD with a full set of sub-titles on amazon and try again. Meanwhile I've purchased two French DVD's and I'm going to create two full sets of cards with those. I need to do a couple of successful decks first I think just to ensure I've got the process down pat.

I have signed up for the 6WC in Mandarin but have only logged about 15 minutes so far. I'm off work so haven't been listening to my Pimsleur during the commute. All in all not a very good week for language study for me. Hoping to pull in back soon!


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rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3545 days ago

881 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 62 of 118
03 November 2014 at 11:35am | IP Logged 
tommus wrote:
emk wrote:
Can you toggle the subtitles on or off? If you can, there's hope.

Most of the discussion about capturing and using sub-titles has been from DVD movies or video files. Not much about streaming video from the Internet, and there is a lot of interesting stuff with good subtitles. Here is an example for which I dearly wish I could capture the subtitles separately. It is a crime series in Dutch. You can toggle the "ondertiteling" on and off with the "T" button.http://www.npo.nl/flikken-maastricht/24-10-2014/AT_2023472


Hi tommus. Thanks for reading the log. I had a quick look at that site (but didn’t register) and I think if you can toggle the sub-titles on and off then it is sending them down as a file. Some sites will send these either as JSON or sometimes even str files in the stream. If you have a browser like Chrome or Firefox you can turn on the developer tools and look at the network.

Shortcut to open dev tools in chrome (win) => ctrl+shift+i (or Devtools in FIrefox) then look for a json type in the stream. You can open these up in a separate tab and see if they are the subtitles, if they are you can save them to disk. You have to be watching the video when you do this BTW.

Hope that helps.
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tommus
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979 posts - 1686 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Dutch, French, Esperanto, German, Spanish

 
 Message 63 of 118
03 November 2014 at 9:06pm | IP Logged 
rdearman wrote:
If you have a browser like Chrome or Firefox you can turn on the developer tools and look at the network.

... then look for a json type in the stream. You can open these up in a separate tab and see if they are the subtitles, if they are you can save them to disk. You have to be watching the video when you do this BTW.


Thanks very much for the suggestion. I tried exactly what you suggest but I could not find any reference to subtitle files. The only files I can find are mp2t type files which end in .ts. They are 10 second files which are combined to produce a continuous video. I downloaded one of those but when played, there were no subtitles even though a subtitle was in that segment.

You don't need to sign in to play the file that I gave as an example.


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rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3545 days ago

881 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 64 of 118
11 November 2014 at 11:12am | IP Logged 
Haven't done an update in awhile. I've signed up for the 6WeekChallenge and I'm doing a lot of Pimsleur and watching a lot of Singapore TV. I've been spending a couple of hours watching Ti Amo in Mandarin and lining up the subtitles so hopefully at some point I'll be able to create some subs2srs cards out of them. I'm also going to find a couple of Mandarin DVD's to do some subs2srs with, I think it will be much easier with a commercially produced DVD with English & Mandarin subtitles. Finding these on Amazon.co.uk is turning out to be a challenge, but I'm sure I'll find some eventually.

I'm beginning to have serious doubts that I will hit my goal of B2/C1 in Mandarin in 2 years, but this is probably just the beginner blues.


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