Mplayer and VLC problems with unicode Chinese subtitles

Bug #589576 reported by Daemonax
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
mplayer (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: mplayer

In Ubuntu 10.4 subtitles with Chinese fonts are no longer working.

This was not a problem in Ubuntu 9.10. I have tried with both the mplayer from the repos and compiling my own, neither worked. I've also tried with VLC.

I've made a screenshot here.

So that other people can test this, the video I've used in the example is this TED talk

And the subtitle (srt format) can be downloaded via this page using the link for the TED talk.

The srt file is in utf-8.

The file displays correctly in Totem, but not in mplayer or VLC.

Revision history for this message
Daemonax (v-daemonax-orcon-net-nz) wrote :

Have found that the solution is to use the -ass flag (I had tried other flags, like -utf8 with no success), which seems silly as I was trying to use an srt subtitle file, not an ass file. Seems that this isn't a problem with ubuntu, but with mplayer.

Revision history for this message
Frans Oilinki (moilinki) wrote :

For me -ass flag did not work, at least not for a particular .mkv video with embedded subtitles.
But when I followed the advice in, and run mplayer with
"LC_CTYPE=zh_CN.utf-8" environment set, I got Chinese subtitles (both traditional and simplified
Chinese) perfectly working.

(You could have alias

    alias zh-mplayer='LC_CTYPE=zh_CN.utf-8 /usr/bin/mplayer'

to use if you do not want to set LC_CTYPE permanently.)

Revision history for this message
Augustin (augustin-kde) wrote :

I confirm this bug on Kubuntu 9.10, too.
Adding the -ass option solved the problem.

I added it in ~/.mplayer/config:
  # Turn on SSA/ASS subtitle rendering.

This kind of things (subtitles with non-ascii characters) should work by default.

Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in mplayer (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Henrik Pitkala (hekkup) wrote :

Another solution is to use a TTF font specifically made for Chinese, for example I got it working with 'WenQuanYi Micro Hei Mono' font.

mplayer ... -sub <> -utf8 -font 'WenQuanYi Micro Hei Mono'

This font is from package 'ttf-wqy-microhei'. I used the command 'fc-list' to find the font name. Arial, Times New Roman et al. didn't work. This works in Ubuntu 12.04.

To post a comment you must log in.
This report contains Public information  
Everyone can see this information.

Other bug subscribers

Remote bug watches

Bug watches keep track of this bug in other bug trackers.