Created By: norsicnumber2nd on September 1, 2012 Last Edited By: lakingsif on January 16, 2013
Nuked

Reality Has No Subtitles

When captioning isn't used... because if they can't get it, neither should we.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Guard: Hu sujehk, rayn?
Tidus: Whoa... Okay.
Caveman: Caynlr res!
Tidus: Uhh... Okay?
Tidus: (caveman grunts and motions in the air) Err... What...? Charades?
- Tidus meeting the Al Bhed in Final Fantasy X, their language written as you read it here.

At any point when a foreign word or phrase (or sometimes mini-conversations where you only need to know the mood) is used (with the exception of the occasional French/Spanish/German word where the meaning has become almost universal, i.e. 'Bonjour', 'Gracias' etc.) and not given captions. So, it's untranslated and - when you don't speak the lingo - you have to take a stab at the definition from the context, body language, or some really not-so-vivid hand dancing.

Also when subtitles are given in the foreign language (when you put subtitles on - cheers, that helps) as well as when a character speaks in a foreign language to another in order to inform the audience of the other character's nationality. When foreign slang is used and you don't know what it means either; when someone speaks English in a foreign accent, or with words from another language, that makes it hard to get, too. This includes when someone is so drunk or crazy (or an Ewok) that you need subtitles to understand the sounds they're making, but the other characters don't. This also includes when a foreigner curses (and such) in their native tongue.

For conversations - or a section thereof - to fit this, it is that because of the language (including dialect and/or accent) you don't get the words, rather than (as with "It's all Greek to me") because of the words you don't get the language.

Entire conversations that are foreign but uncaptioned are rarer. Some of Vicky Cristina Barcelona could be this, but a better example is The Guns of Navarone.

The opposite of this would be where a word or phrase in a foreign language is used and subtitled, but we all know what it means.

This is related to Bilingual Bonus.

Examples:

  • Film:

    • The Black Widow in Iron Man 2 and The Avengers is a good example, as well as when Dr Banner is in India and there are no captions for the people there.

    • In any Muppets with the drunk chef in.

    • In Mr. Bean's Holiday that French kid and the man's short film.

    • Half of Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

    • In The Guns of Navarone Captain Mallory talks on the phone with the Nazi guard commander while pretending to be a Nazi sentry. The entire dialogue between them is in German with no translation (but from their facial expressions and intonations you can generally figure out what they're saying).
      • Also, when the Nazi E-boat stops the fishing boat the protagonists are on, Captain Mallory pretends to be the skipper and speaks in Greek to both the E-boat captain and his own crew. Again, he uses gestures and facial expressions to make his meaning clear to the audience.

    • In The Matrix Reloaded, while the Merovingian is giving his speech about how French is his favorite language, he speaks a long phrase in French (which is actually a string of curse words) with no translation.

    • In Stargate Atlantis Radek would occasionally rant in Czech about something with no subtitles provided.

    • Trainspotting has both the foreign slang and the incomprehensibility in.

    • Lost in Translation is heavy handed in this, but it works for the movie's story. When two Americans are stuck in Japan for different reasons, and can't speak the native language, they start to feel very isolated, especially in a culture so foreign to the West. Having characters speak in Japanese without offering any subtitles emphasizes the isolation both of them feel, and how alien it could be in that world without anyone around to communicate with.

    • It is famously used in The Third Man to emphasize how totally out to sea the American main character is when he visits Vienna.

    • Bon Cop, Bad Cop could walk this line, depending on the version you're watching. (The film is 'bilingual', dealing with a Quebec cop and an Ontario cop.) For the English version, though, the scene with the French coroner is untranslated and passes by quickly. The French cop later admits he didn't understand what was said, either.

    • The Ewok race in Star Wars are incomprehensible to all but some of the characters they share the screen with.

    • In Ghost Dog, Ghost Dog's best friend is a french-speaking icecream seller who isn't subbed because Ghost Dog doesn't understand the language.

  • Television:

    • There are episodes in Season 1 of popular drama Revenge where Emily speaks languages including French and Spanish without translation (though these aren't relevant besides telling us she's multilingual) and in one episode where she repeatedly converses with another character in fluent Japanese she then lies about what was said, and there is no captioning.

    • In the miniseries version of Shogun when Blackthorne (the English protagonist) is around and the Japanese characters are speaking in Japanese, there's no subtitles.

    • Similarly, in the first season of Lost, Korean couple Sun and Jin would speak among themselves, and the show would provide English subtitles. But when they spoke in front of others who did not understand Korean, no subtitles appeared.

    • In Monty Python's Flying Circus "The Funniest Joke in the World" sketch, the British Army creates a German version of the Joke so they can use it against Nazi troops. There's no translation (mainly because the German version is made up of nonsense words).

    • In an episode of Absolutely Fabulous, Patsy and Edina go to France on vacation. Three times an old man comes to the door and speaks in French; they're frightened of him, and keep just closing the door and ignoring him. Edina's daughter, who speaks French, shows up at the end, and it turns out they've been staying in a run-down cottage instead of the fancy chateau they had booked, and the old man was trying to tell them that.

    • Many characters of Sesame Street and The Muppets (when on TV) fall foul of this.

    • Also, spells cast in a variety of dead languages in several fantasies - such as Bewitched, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, plus all those films and TV shows with a mentor, where said curator of some sort rambles on.

    • In the TV movie 'Canada Russia 72' about the famous hockey tournament, Canadian player Bobby Clarke says "Eat s***, you little c***s*****" to Soviet star Valeri Kharlamov as he skates by. Kharlamov responds with something in Russian and Clarke sneers "What does that mean?"

    • In an episode of How I Met Your Mother, Marshall becomes so drunk to the point that he needs subtitles... which are provided for barely some of the speech.

  • Gaming:

    • Assassin's Creed zig-zags with this in the first game especially. If Altair runs into any of the locals while walking about, several may speak English (translated by the Animus) but whenever he runs into guards, especially when rescuing a person, he may quote something that never gets translated. The guards also may quote something in either Arabic or French depending on which region you are in, though sometimes they may speak English as well.

    • In the Mothership Zero DLC for Fallout 3 the player character is abducted by aliens whose language is never translated. The aliens' motivation and reasons for abducting humans can therefore only be inferred (and it makes them a whole lot creepier).
      • A fellow abductee is a samurai who speaks in un-subtitled Japanese.

    • Max Payne 3 plays around with this. Max Payne doesn't speak Portuguese, so for most of the game you have no idea what the people around you are saying. Occasionally though, Max will catch a cognate, such as amadores amateurs and react to it.

    • Spec Ops: The Line uses this in the opening to increase tension. You don't understand any of the Farci being spoken.

    • In Final Fantasy X the Al Bhed language is subtitled - only the subtitles are in Al Bhed, not English. As you collect translation books throughout the game, various letters in the subtitles are gradually replaced by their English equivalents to represent Tidus' growing understanding of the language.

    • In Deus Ex, one of the locations in the game is Hong Kong. Most people you meet there speak English, though there is a monk that speaks Cantonese with no translation given. ("Please give way" and "Can you speak Cantonese?")

    • Sleeping Dogs has a bunch of "peppering Cantonese cuss words into English" and background NPCs who speak basically accurate but unsubtitled Cantonese, though Mrs. Chu is the only plot-relevant character to only speak Cantonese.

  • Comic Books:

    • Used in early issues of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic book, where Chinese people were given dialog in Chinese with no translation for this reason.

    • In Webcomic Megatokyo, most Japanese is shown as English within brackets - except when non-Japanese-speaker Largo is the viewpoint character, in which case it is written phonetically, as he would hear it.
Community Feedback Replies: 62
  • September 1, 2012
    Arivne
    Film
    • The Guns Of Navarone. Captain Mallory talks on the phone with the Nazi guard commander while pretending to be a Nazi sentry. The entire dialogue between them is in German with no translation, but from their facial expressions and intonations you can generally figure out what they're saying.
  • September 1, 2012
    Rognik
    Just out of curiosity, why did you pick Russian rather than the more common "Its All Greek To Me"? Sure, it could be seen as a stock phrase, but it came from Shakespeare, so it's pretty well known by now.

    • Bon Cop Bad Cop could walk this line, depending on the version you're watching. (The film is "bilingual", dealing with a Quebec cop and an Ontario cop.) For the english version, though, the scene with the french coroner is untranslated and passes by quickly. Played with, as the french cop later admits he didn't understand what was said, either.
  • September 1, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    I picked Russian because everyone's used to it being Greek, really. The name just popped into my head and I thought it sounded good - and isn't there already a virtually 'It's all Greek to me'?. Anyway, that's more what you say when, for example, a friend goes and talks to a foreigner and another friend mumbles to you "Is that French they're speaking?" or something like that and you shrug back "I dunno it's all Greek to me." In order to say you have no idea what, or what language, is being spoken and that when it comes to foreign languages there is no distinction for you (so it might as well be Greek). This is unlike the topic here, where the foreign language is left untranslated but the actual dialogue isn't necessary to the story, or is an interjection. And therefore you just don't understand the words as opposed to not getting the language and it becoming a giant wordy blur. Sort-of like because of the language you don't get the words instead of (as with "It's all Greek to me") because of the words you don't get the language. And stuff. I get it, plus the fact that "It's all Greek to me" doesn't really suit. And it's funny. Kinda.

    And good example.
  • September 1, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In the TV miniseries version of Shogun when Blackthorne (the English protagonist) is around and the Japanese characters are speaking in Japanese, there's no subtitles. In the rare scenes where he's not around, there are subtitles.
  • September 1, 2012
    captainsandwich
  • September 2, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    This is a bit different to "Bilingual Bonus", but a sub-trope of it.
  • September 2, 2012
    Routerie
    How about we replace "...for some reason" with an actual reason?
  • September 2, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    What reason would that be? 'When captioning isn't used... to annoy us all tremendously...' ?
  • September 2, 2012
    Routerie
    You mention half a dozen reasons in your draft. Pick one of them.
  • September 2, 2012
    Quatic
    I would suggest that the basis for the trope (not including translations for things that the viewer won't understand) -- and so the more explanatory name -- is, Reality Has No Subtitles

    This reflects both the fact that subtitles are somewhat of a distraction, and the fact that generally the other characters hearing these foreign words would be just as in the dark as to their meaning, so hiding the ball in this way lets us relate to the heroes better.
  • September 2, 2012
    TompaDompa
    In Lolita, entire sentences are in French, due to the narrator's propensity for Purple Prose.

    At least, this was the case in the Swedish translation I read. I have no idea whatsoever as to whether the stuff that was in French was important to the story, since I don't speak French.
  • September 2, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    Is there a consistent meaning (or range of meanings) meant when an English work includes non-English (and untranslated) dialog?

    "When captioning isn't used" is People Sit On Chairs. This is a consistent problem with YKTTWs sponsored by norsicnumber2nd; I am not sure you understand what This Wiki means by "trope". They are storytelling conventions. Devices through which a meaning is communicated.

    The "...for some reason" mentioned above is the only part of this that is a trope, and the immediate response to a question about the reason is tantamount to a shrug. That is not only an important question, it is arguably the only one that matters.
  • September 3, 2012
    Rognik
    I noticed after posting that Its All Greek To Me is already a trope, now a redirect for As Long As It Sounds Foreign. I support calling this Reality Has No Subtitles, however. It's short, witty and gets the point across.

    ^It's not People Sit On Chairs if a foreign language is intentionally used in a work. No subtitles for a french movie in french is People Sit On Chairs; no subtitles for an english movie when a character starts insulting him in french is not. Bilingual Bonus is related, but it's not the same as these exchanges are frequently disregarded.

    This does bring up a question for me, though. Sometimes, the protagonist is learning a language. As such, he doesn't understand the initial statements made in the language. When he slowly learns the language, though, subtitles start getting introduced to represent his understanding. Would this be part of this trope, or is that a separate trope altogether?
  • September 3, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    Yes, I'd say that was part of the trope as it fits in with the Reality Has No Subtitles logic, though it's also like the character is a surrogate for the audience. Maybe a sub-trope?

    rodneyAnonymous, do you agree with changing the name to that, and replacing the "...for some reason" with "because life doesn't have them", or something to that effect? And I'm sorry, before I thought that you were asking much more light-heartedly.
  • September 3, 2012
    Routerie
    That would be a step up, but it doesn't actually specify the reason. Real life never has subtitles, and yet many works do use them. Do works that omit subtitles strive for realism, or is something else in play?

    The draft mentions the following possible reasons for omitting subtitles:

    • The foreign word is so common that subtitles are unnecessary
    • The foreign word is Latin and the work (falsely?) assumes Viewers Are Geniuses
    • The foreign word is a swear
    • The word is a spell, rendering translation unnecessary or even misleading
    • The foreign words are actually just foreign-sounding gibberish
    • The writer wants the reader to share the characters' incomprehension
    • The scene reveals that the character speaks multiple languages; the words' specific meaning is irrelevant

    None of these reasons are a matter of realism.
  • September 3, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    The writer wants the reader to share the characters incomprehension. - Got it
  • September 4, 2012
    Arivne
    Film
    • The Matrix Reloaded. While the Merovingian is giving his speech about how French is his favorite language, he speaks a long phrase in French (which is actually a string of curse words) with no translation.

    Live Action TV
    • Monty Pythons Flying Circus, "The Funniest Joke in the World" sketch. The British Army creates a German version of the Joke so they can use it against Nazi troops. There's no translation, mainly because the German version is made up of nonsense words.
  • September 4, 2012
    Rognik
    ^^^Allow me to respond to each of those issues in turn:
    • "The foreign word is so common that subtitles are unnecessary": admittedly, not this trope. That's more like Gratuitous French, or whichever language it is.
    • "The foreign word is Latin and the work (falsely?) assumes Viewers Are Geniuses": also not this trope. When Latin phrases turn up in modern work, it's generally a phrase that has become adopted as an English idiom, such as "et cetera", "status quo" or "carpe diem".
    • "The foreign word is a swear": This is Getting Crap Past The Radar. May or may not be related.
    • "The word is a spell, rendering translation unnecessary or even misleading": As Long As It Sounds Foreign
    • "The foreign words are actually just foreign-sounding gibberish": ...maybe. This is also tied to As Long As It Sounds Foreign, with the possibility of Bilingual Bonus if the words are real but make no sense used together.
    • "The writer wants the reader to share the characters' incomprehension": This seems to be how the current trope is shaping up. It can also be a case of Shown Their Work.
    • "The scene reveals that the character speaks multiple languages; the words' specific meaning is irrelevant": This generally isn't important to the plot, but it might establish that they are dealing with a particular nationality shortcut, like speaking German to Germans or Arabic to show they are Arabs.

    So really, only the last two are what would be covered by this trope.
  • September 4, 2012
    MrRuano
    • Assassins Creed zig-zags with this in the first game especially. If Altair runs into any of the locals while walking about, several may speak English (Translated by the Animus), but whenever he runs into guards, especially when rescuing a person, he may quote something that never gets translated. The guards also may quote something in either Arabic or French depending on where you are, though sometimes they may speak English as well. The general excuse for this is that the Animus was not as efficient as it becomes in later games, and thus wasn't quite as able to translate everything.
  • September 4, 2012
    Waterlily
    In the tv movie Canada Russia 72 about the famous hockey tournament, Canadian player Bobby Clarke says "Eat s***, you little prick" to Soviet star Valeri Kharlamov as he skates by. Kharlamov responds with something in Russian and Clarke sneers "What the **** does that mean?"

    I've always wondered what Kharlamov said.

    The film has a few other times where we can't understand the Russian being spoken but they're either pretty unimportant or self expanatory.
  • September 4, 2012
    AnOtherT
    Often shows up in John Mc Tiernan's work. (Die Hard, Last Action Hero)
  • September 4, 2012
    TheGoodNamesAreGone
    Max Payne 3 plays around with this. Max Payne doesn't speak Portuguese, so for most of the game you have no idea what the people around you are saying. Occasionally though, Max will catch a cognate, such as amadores amateurs and react to it.
  • September 5, 2012
    ScanVisor
    • Spec Ops The Line uses this in the opening to increase tension. You don't understand any of the Farci being spoken.
  • September 5, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Not sure if this is an example, but in Final Fantasy X the Al Bhed language is subtitled - only the subtitles are in Al Bhed, not English. As you collect translation books throughout the game, various letters in the subtitles are gradually replaced by their English equivalents to represent Tidus's growing understanding of the language.
  • September 5, 2012
    Routerie
    If we are indeed restricting this to "The writer wants the reader to share the characters' incomprehension," most of the original intro must go.
  • September 5, 2012
    JonnyB
    @randomsurfer: I just watched through the entire nine hours of Shogun. There are no subtitles for the Japanese anywhere. There are a few places, however, when Blackthorne isn't there and there is no interpreter around, that occasionally the narrator (Orson Welles) translates. They may have added subtitles to the 90 minute movie they made from the miniseries, but I've not seen that version.
  • September 5, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    @Routerie That does make sense. Just scanning over what's there, and perhaps this should be included, too - or put somewhere else, I'm not sure:

    "Also when subtitles are given in the foreign language (when you put subtitles on - cheers, that helps) as well as when a character speaks in a foreign language to another in order to inform the audience of the other character's nationality. This includes when someone is so drunk or crazy (or an Ewok) that you need subtitles to understand the sounds they're making, but the other characters don't."
  • September 5, 2012
    randomsurfer
    ^^Well, all I can say is when I saw Shogun on TV when it was first run (in miniseries format) there was one scene I particularly remember (in a communal bath IIRC) where Blackthorne wasn't there and it was subtitled. They may have removed either the subtitling or the scene when they released the video/DVD.

    It is also possible - hypothetically - that I'm misremembering.

    I hope you didn't watch all 9 hours just for the sake of this ykttw!!
  • September 5, 2012
    Stratadrake
    When a character is speaking in a language that's gibberish to the audience but is assumed to be perfectly understood by the other characters, it's ... something else, but not this.

    I'm wondering if this is simply too close to Bilingual Bonus, perhaps with a dash of Fun With Subtitles (in this case meaning: deliberately not providing any).

    Not really liking any of the titles suggested, especially Reality Has No Subtitles. I got a little alliteration on the mind right now, so maybe Bilingual Bewilderment? Okay, that one's a bit long....
  • September 6, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    Just No Subtitles?

    But intention can be really hard to determine.
  • September 6, 2012
    Rognik
    ^^It sort of is Bilingual Bonus, except the reward you get is usually not worth the price of bilingualism. When this trope is in effect, untranslated dialog is used either as a Getting Crap Past The Radar, a quick way of establishing nationality, or just something done to Show Their Work. Bilingual Bonus is when knowing what a word means gives you this extra joke or foreshadowing about the story or characters. For instance, Belle from Beauty And The Beast could be one because "belle" means beautiful in French.

    ^That doesn't give enough detail. You have a trope called No Subtitles, and they will either call it People Sit On Chairs or include every example of a work that was brought over without adding in translations. The current title, while wordy, makes it clear what the purpose of the trope is at a glance, even if unwieldy. I say bite the bullet for now, and keep thinking up clever names on how to express this trope.

    • Lost In Translation is heavy handed in this, but it works for the movie's story. When two Americans are stuck in Japan for different reason, and can't speak the native language, they start to feel very isolated, especially in a culture so foreign to the West. Having characters speak in Japanese without offering any subtitles emphasizes the isolation both of them feel, and how alien it could be in that world without anyone around to communicate with.

    That last example just reminded me: cases where there are no subtitles, but a translator is provided, is not this trope. That is more conservation of detail, where we don't want the same information going out twice or in two different manners, and having the viewer somehow miss some details.
  • September 6, 2012
    Routerie
    So this is for cases where a character speaks in foreign language, another character does not understand and the work does not translate the words for the audience.

    • Lost: In the first season, Korean couple Sun and Jin would speak among themselves, and the show would provide English subtitles. But when they spoke in front of others who did not understand Korean, no subtitles appeared.
  • September 7, 2012
    TheNinth
    Stargate Atlantis -- Radek would occasionally rant in Czech about something with no subtitles provided.

    I do have a question, though ... Trainspotting and Lost In Translation also both have all of the other language without captioning ... I cannot for the life of me recall anywhere in Trainspotting where people speak a language other than English. Heavily accented and loaded with slang, but still English. This isn't a criticism... I'm just genuinely confused. I thought I knew the movie like the back of my hand.

  • September 7, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    huh, I've only seen it once or twice. I'll check it again, thanks.

  • September 7, 2012
    abk0100
    Wow, that's weird. I thought for sure the photoshoot scene in Lost in Translation had Japanese in it, but I watched that scene on youtube and every single word is English.
  • September 7, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    yeh, I thought there was a bit of that. Hmm, guess not. Cheers.
  • September 7, 2012
    Duncan
    In an episode of Absolutely Fabulous, Patsy and Edina go to France on vacation. Three times an old man comes to the door and speaks in French; they're frightened of him, and keep just closing the door and ignoring him. Once Edina's daughter, who speaks French, shows up at the end, it turns out they've been staying in a run-down cottage instead of the fancy chateau they had booked, and the old man was trying to tell them that.
  • September 7, 2012
    mdulwich
    In the Mothership Zero DLC for Fallout 3 the player character is abducted by aliens whose language is never translated. The aliens' motivation and reasons for abducting humans can therefore only be inferred (and it makes them a whole lot creepier). A fellow abductee is a samurai who speaks in un-subtitled Japanese. In both cases the player character's incomprehension is entirely to be expected.
  • September 11, 2012
    Arivne
    Add to my previous example:

    Film
    • The Guns Of Navarone
      • When the Nazi E-boat stops the fishing boat the protagonists are on, Captain Mallory pretends to be the skipper and speaks in Greek to both the E-boat captain and his own crew. Again, he uses gestures and facial expressions to make his meaning clear to the audience.
  • September 11, 2012
    KevinKlawitter
    Famously used in The Third Man, to emphasize how totally out to sea the American main character is when he visits Vienna.
  • September 12, 2012
    Rognik
    This write-up, as it stands, needs some reworking. Examples should be listed separate from the main article, and even the main write-up is pretty neurotic and chaotic in its format. It should probably be reformatted, but I am too confused as to what exactly is appropriate, as well as which part is example and which is write-up.
  • September 28, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    ^Re-written. Also, how do I make things bold, add the bullet points and add links to articles from other words?
  • September 29, 2012
    TompaDompa
    '''bold'''

    shows up as

    bold
    * bullet point

    shows up as

    • bullet point

    BananaMan

    shows up as

    Banana Man
    [[BananaMan Apple Woman]]

    shows up as

    Apple Woman
    All these and more can be found at Administrivia.Text Formatting Rules.
  • September 29, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    Thank you. Also, I just realised - how did you get the Camel Case (and stuff) to show up as text?
  • September 29, 2012
    remande
    RE: the Monty Python skit. Another reason that they don't have subtitles is because they would kill us.
  • September 29, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    ^I'm not quite sure I get what you mean.
  • September 29, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Still in the market for a better title, definitely. I want to say No Subtitles For You.
  • September 29, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    Okay, better name, but people generally like Reality Has No Subtitles, so I'll keep it like that for now.
  • September 29, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    Are there any quotes you think would support this, or any better title suggestions?
  • September 29, 2012
    TompaDompa
    [=BananaMan=] shows up as BananaMan.
  • September 29, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    Hmm, on American TV shows there's slang I don't understand (here in Britain), if this were to be the other way round (I'm assuming it's mostly an American audience) would I be able to add any examples, and are there any pieces of slang from British shows that is incomprehensible, possibly even in context, to anyone?
  • September 29, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    ^^Thank you.

    Also, when we get a better title do you think this will be ready to launch?
  • September 30, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    There's some pictures here [1] with shots of Final Fantasy X and the subtitles in Al Bhed. Do you think any would be good for this?
  • September 30, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    ^and would any of the nonsense quotes, followed by Tidus' incomprehension, go for a page quote?
  • September 30, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    like:
    Guard: Ced, Iybdeja!
    Tidus: Hey, that hurts! Ain't there like laws about abusing prisoners? I think I heard a chick ramble something about that on...
    Guard: Hu sujehk, rayn?
    Tidus: Whoa... Okay.
    Caveman: Caynlr res!
    Tidus: Uhh... Okay?
    Tidus: (caveman grunts and motions in the air) Err... What...? Charades?
    - Tidus meeting the Al Bhed in Final Fantasy X, their language subtitled as you read it here.
  • September 30, 2012
    Stratadrake
    That's too long for a page quote.
  • October 1, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    If we ditch some of the start? First two lines, maybe?
    Guard: Hu sujehk, rayn?
    Tidus: Whoa... Okay.
    Caveman: Caynlr res!
    Tidus: Uhh... Okay?
    Tidus: (caveman grunts and motions in the air) Err... What...? Charades?
    - Tidus meeting the Al Bhed in Final Fantasy X, their language subtitled as you read it here.
  • October 1, 2012
    arromdee
    Used in early issues of the League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic book, where Chinese people were given dialog in Chinese with no translation for this reason.
  • October 4, 2012
    m8e
    • Ghost Dog: Ghost Dog's best friend a french speaking icecream seller isn't subbed because Ghost Dog doesn't understand the language.
      Pearline: Can't you understand what he's saying?
      Ghost Dog: No, I don't understand him. I don't speak French, only English. I never understand a word he says.
      Pearline: And that's your best friend?
      Ghost Dog: Yeah.
  • October 5, 2012
    Elyandarin
    In Megatokyo, most Japanese is shown as English within brackets - except when non-Japanese-speaker Largo is the viewpoint character, in which case it is written phonetically, as he would hear it.
  • October 8, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    If we get a better title?
  • January 16, 2013
    TheAnswer
    Wizardsof Waverly Place the movie subverts this. Alex can't understand the native's Spanish so she uses a spell to make subtitles appear in front of them.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=jtyxe2wbgrd8ukmtqtyqzch9&trope=RealityHasNoSubtitles