Mplayer and VLC problems with unicode Chinese subtitles

Bug #589576 reported by Daemonax
22
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
mplayer (Ubuntu)
Confirmed
Undecided
Unassigned

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. http://omploader.org/vNGh4eA

So that other people can test this, the video I've used in the example is this TED talk http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/hans_rosling_asia_s_rise_how_and_when.html

And the subtitle (srt format) can be downloaded via this page using the link for the TED talk. http://tedtalksubtitledownload.appspot.com/

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 http://www.helpsworld.org/blog/?p=434, 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.
  ass=yes

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.srt> -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.

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