When I want to see a movie or video in mac os x (with VLC, DivX Player, Quick Time) and want to load subtitles, these video player applications can't load my subtitle correctly show in strange text.

My subtitle language is Farsi (RTL language). I must change some Unicode settings, but I don't know where anyone has any idea?

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5 Answers 5


According to Trezoid answer on superuser the solution is:

By default the language encoding on VLC (and possibly others) is set to "default" which is windows-1252 (possibly only if your language is set to english, but I'm not sure)

This will not display other languages very well. To fix it, open up VLC preferences, click on the Subtitles and OSD tab, and change "default encoding" to UTF-8

This will give the program a much wider choice of characters to display from allowing it to render the characters as they should be.


I had the same problem and fixed it in this way: open VLC, preferences, subtitle/OSD, and change default coding to one of Arabic languages.


It could be (and looks like) a possible issue regrading encoding. It's probably not UTF-8, and something different.

That being said, if VLC can't play it nothing can. I suggest trying to find different subtitles.

  • I try to download my subtitle from many sites but all Farsi subtitle have the same problem. I can watch this subtitle in vlc in my windows I just have problem in my os x.
    – Am1rr3zA
    Commented Sep 1, 2010 at 22:48

Try with MplayerX which features:

  • Auto detect the encode method of subtitle file (with Universal Charset Detector)
    • Now could support multiple sub files with different encode method
    • Load subtitles while playing - just drag or double-click it
    • Letterbox for the subtitles
  • I turn off MplayerX auto encoding recognition and test as many as encoding that I think was related but still can't see them correct.
    – Am1rr3zA
    Commented Sep 20, 2010 at 21:11
  • Are you sure that the content is correctly encoded? Try to open the subtitle file with TextWrangler, it should display the charset in the status bar. At this point you can even save in UTF-8 and whatnot. Commented Sep 20, 2010 at 21:21

Try enca to guess and convert encoding of text files, e.g.

enca -x utf8 -L mylanguage file.srt

For list of supported languages, check man enca.


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