I previously wrote about studying Japanese through the use of Anime, Dramas, and Movies, but I always felt that there was still a step missing from the equation. I mean, sure, you can use great tools like Subs2SRS to ease the creation of Anki cards, but what about the process of actually watching the video? How do you efficiently look up words and try to understand sentences while you are watching it? This was a question that bugged me for a long time. While there are some solutions, such as opening up the script in a text file and following along, loading the video and script into Aegisub to go line by line, or even rigging up AGTH to capture the text output from the player; all of these methods are pretty clunky and leave something to be desired.
But just recently, I came across PotPlayer, and discovered that it actually makes the whole process as smooth as you could ever imagine! It feels like some of the features in this player were practically designed for someone who is learning a language! A few great features that I love about it:
- Click on words to either perform a search or copy it to the clipboard
- Copy the entire subtitle line to the clipboard, can be assigned to a shortcut key
- Shortcuts to seek to the next/previous subtitle, allowing you to easily replay a line
- Subtitle explorer displays all lines in a separate window for you to browse and seek to a particular line
- Load multiple subtitle streams, so you can have Japanese and English at the same time
- It remembers the last file you had open as well as your position within it, making it easy to pick up where you left off
- Has options for adjusting the synchronization of subtitles, as well as the font
- Is an otherwise completely full featured player, with tons of options and advanced features
I honestly don’t know what else I could want or expect in regards to watching subtitled video. This works great in conjunction with JGlossator, which will automatically look up helpful information on any Japanese subtitles that get copied to the clipboard.
I’ve put together a short video showing how to get up and started with using PotPlayer to study Japanese from subtitles:
Do you know any other software or tools to help with studying Japanese while watching videos? Let me know in the comments!