Movies and TV shows you choose to play on your Apple devices have different language support for audio playback and captions or subtitles. As such, if the media player includes an alternative audio language, it should readily make that language accessible while watching. Often, this can be done via ‘Audio & Subtitles‘ menu seen as the ‘Speech Bubble‘ icon, residing at the bottom of device’s screen. Also, some apps or web-based media players might display a CC button or other custom controls for the same. Whatever the case is, this tutorial will guide you through the process to change the subtitle or audio language in Apple devices.

Method to change the subtitle or audio language in Apple devices

Firstly, it is important to know if there’s any difference between ‘Captions‘ and ‘Subtitles‘. While captions refer to a transcription of a dialogue, subtitles represent the translation of it. So, although both appear the same, they are fundamentally distinct. You can change the subtitle or audio language,

  1. On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
  2. On your Mac or PC
  3. On your Apple TV
  4. On your iPod nano (7th generation)

Apple products are designed for all, including visually impaired people and people who are hard of hearing. Keeping this in mind, some video content seen under the iTunes Store and Apple TV app, includes support for alternative audio languages or other accessibility features such as

  • Closed captions (CC)
  • Subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing (SDH)
  • Audio-described (AD) content

You can use them on your iOS device, Mac computer, Apple TV, and in some other apps and services.

1] On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

While watching a movie, tap the screen to make the playback controls visible.

Tap the ‘Speech Bubble’ icon.

Select the language or subtitles that you would like to use.

If you don’t see an option for SDH, or you want to turn on CC or SDH by default, navigate to ‘Settings’ > ‘General’ > ‘Accessibility’.

Scroll to the Media section to locate ‘Subtitles & Captioning’.

Tap the option.

Tap ‘Closed Captions + SDH’ to turn it on. If you would like to customize captions or subtitles, tap ‘Style’, then choose from the options.

To select the audio languages that are downloaded with your videos, go to the ‘Settings’ app, tap ‘TV’, then tap ‘Audio Languages’.

Next, choose ‘Add Audio Language to Download’ and select the languages that you would like to add.

2] On your Mac or PC

Move your pointer over the video.

Click the ‘Speech Bubble’ icon.

Here, select the language or subtitles that you would like to use.

If SDH option is not visible to you or you would like to turn on CC or SDH by default, follow these steps:

On a Mac, navigate to Apple menu, click it.

From the list of options displayed, select ‘System Preferences’ > ‘Accessibility’ and then hit the ‘Captions’ button in the sidebar.

Now, choose ‘Prefer closed captions and SDH’ to turn it on. If you would like to customize captions and subtitles, choose from the options on this screen.

If you are using a Windows 10 PC, make sure you have the latest version of the iTunes installed.

Open iTunes on your PC, choose ‘Edit’ > ‘Preferences’ from the menu visible at the top of the iTunes window.

Next, click the ‘Playback’ tab. Check the ‘Prefer Closed Captions and SDH’ box to turn it on.

3] On your Apple TV

Play the movie or a video clip on your Apple TV. While watching a video, swipe down on your remote’s ‘Touch’ surface.

Now, swipe right to see the ‘Subtitles’ or ‘Audio’ menu.

Again, swipe down and choose the language or subtitles that you wish to use.

If, SDH cannot be accesses i.e., the option is not displayed or you want to turn on CC or SDH by default, go to Settings, select General > Accessibility > Subtitles and Captioning.

Here, make sure to select ‘Closed Captions and SDH’ to turn it on. Alternatively, if you would like to customize captions and subtitles, choose Style, then choose from the options.

For Apple TV (2nd generation) or Apple TV (3rd generation) the procedure varies slightly. Hold down ‘Select’ on your remote for three seconds while a video is playing to bring up the ‘Subtitles’ tab. Likewise, On your smart TV, if you have Apple TV app installed,

Click the down arrow on your TV remote (You can use iPhone as your Apple TV Remote) while watching a video. Some manufacturers might use different buttons.

Then, go to the ‘Subtitles’ or ‘Audio’ menu.

Choose one of the language or subtitle options that you want to use.

If you don’t see an option for SDH, move to ‘Settings’ > ‘Accessibility’ > ‘Subtitles’ and ‘Captioning’.

Here, choose ‘Closed Captions and SDH’ to turn it on. If you want to customize captions and subtitles, choose Style, then select from the options displayed there.

4] On your iPod nano (7th generation)

This Apple iPod, like earlier versions has buttons that let you pause, play and change the songs or videos. Besides, it features a multi-touch display of 2.5-inch, that displays pictures, plays videos and movies of your choice.

While watching a video on your iPod nano (7th generation) tap the screen to reveal the playback controls.

Select the ‘Speech Bubble’ icon to open the ‘Audio & Subtitles’ menu.

Choose the language or subtitles that you wish to use.

For some reasons, if you don’t find an option for SDH, or you would like to turn on CC or SDH by default, simply follow this procedure.

Go to ‘Settings’ > ‘General’ > ‘Accessibility’ > ‘Subtitles & Captioning’.

Here, you can also choose customize captions and subtitles from this screen.

Lastly, it is important to note that some apps and websites offer customized caption controls for videos. If you don’t see caption controls when watching a video from an app or website, contact the app developer or website owner for more information.

That’s all to it! Interested in knowing how to how to add music to your Facebook Stories? Refer our earlier post – Method to add music to Facebook Stories.