Between Linux and Anime

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Playing (Simplified) Chinese SRT Subtitles in Mplayer

Was a little disappointed that chinese subtitles don’t work out-the-box on mplayer. Well, ass ones seem to work fine, but srt ones don’t work at all and I had to Google it. Anyway, assuming you already have fonts that can display chinese characters, you can get mplayer to play chinese subs by giving it the parameter -subcp cp936.

mplayer -subcp cp936 your.moviefile

Edit: -subcp enca:zh:BIG5 also works, and seems to work better in some cases:

mplayer -subcp enca:zh:BIG5 your.moviefile

(thanks to Kees in the comments)

You can also use the -font option to manually specify a font that mplayer should use. Source.

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  1. cician

    Mplayer could not/did not guess the code page. Relying on magic auto-detection is often not reliable anyway.

    How many decades more until people will finally switch to UNICODE? The worst problem of not using unicode is NOT specifying the code page anywhere.

  2. Jason "moofang"

    Yeah I pretty much suspected it’s not mplayer’s “fault”. The sad thing though is I always get snipe comments about Linux’s usability when I deploy seemingly arcane workarounds like these – even when the same may not be easier (or possible) on Windows.

    I do wonder how Windows players fare with Chinese SRT subs…

  3. Kees

    I had to use the following options to get Chinese subtitles to work:

    mplayer -subcp enca:zh:BIG5 -ass -sub

    Hope this helps anyone.

  4. GloW

    you can also convert sub to utf8 using enconv :

    enconv -L zh -x UTF8

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