If you watch ‘1899’ on Netflix, you need to change this setting
1899 was a massive hit for Netflix, but you might be wondering why does it feel a bit… quirky?
My wife talked about it after watching the show at her mother’s house. After asking a few questions, I realized she had been watching the dub instead of the subtitled version.
If you’re watching 1899, you absolutely can’t watch the dub.
Let me explain. For some people, it seems that in Netflix’s dialogue options, 1899 defaults to the “English – Dubs” setting.
When watching foreign language shows, some people prefer to watch with dubbing instead of subtitles – normally that’s fine – but with 1899 things are a bit different.
1899 is a mysterious spectacle set on a passenger ship en route from Europe to the United States, populated by characters from different countries, all speaking different languages. Some characters speak exclusively in English, others speak German or Polish or Spanish or Portuguese. Some characters, like the captain of the ship, are multilingual. He mainly alternates between speaking English to the passengers and German to his crew.
This is where things get weird.
In the dubbing, the English-speaking characters have their original actors. Characters who speak other languages are dubbed into English by different actors. It’s weird. It sounds weird, it feels weird. It sucks.
Worse still, it prevents large parts of the series from making sense.
Without getting into spoiler territory, there are sections of the show where some characters don’t understand key elements of what’s happening on the ship, because it’s communicated in a different language. For example, an English-speaking character hears the German captain explain something in German, but does not understand. Later, she finds the captain to make him explain in English. With a dubbing that makes absolutely no sense because everyone on the boat speaks English!
If a show is only set in a place where everyone speaks the same language – say Dark, where everyone speaks German – that kind of confusion doesn’t exist with dubbing. But in 1899, the confusion is constant because of the different languages spoken. All of that is lost if you don’t know which characters speak which language.
In short, if you prefer dubs to subs, I don’t judge! But this time around, I’m afraid this show only makes sense with subtitles.
How to change 1899 to subtitles
It’s quite simple. Once the show starts, use your remote and click on the little speech bubble option at the bottom of the screen. From there, I recommend changing what I show in the image above: Audio should be “English [Original] ” and the subtitles must be “English [CC] Obviously, there are people who need English Dubbed for different reasons (maybe they are visually impaired), but if you can, I recommend sticking with those options.
Enjoy the show anyway!
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