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A taxi driver recently cut me off on the motorway. Without hesitation, I machine-gunned a string of vulgarity at the poor man. What struck me was that every word that came out of my mouth was in Spanish. As a native speaker of English, having learned Spanish as an adult, English should have been the more readily accessible language. Yet there I was, cussing out this stranger in Mexican-accented Spanish alongside an assortment of inappropriate hand gestures. Most people will know what it’s like to have your emotions take control of you in a scenario like this, but why is it often so much easier to vent frustration in a language that is not your native one? As most foreign language learners will appreciate, anything taboo is fairly easy to pick up in a second language and even entertaining to use. While I wouldn’t profane in English in my grandma’s presence, in Spanish I’m a wannabe Tony Montana. Incidentally, there is a scientific explanation for why we often demonstrate greater emotional detachment in a foreign language. While this detachment can make it easier for us to say rather distasteful things, recent studies have also shown that it can affect our perception of morality. Language shapes our brain Along with genetics, our brains are shaped by experience and, from the moment we are born, we experience a great deal of life through language. Years of immersion in our native tongue afford us a deep understanding of the way it is used with certain people and in certain contexts. We know when it is appropriate to recount a bad case of gastroenteritis, for example, and when it isn’t. We learn to bite our tongues when we’re upset with our boss, and we can appreciate the flow of poetry when trying to woo a partner. Whether discussing taboo subjects, swearing, or even listening to certain lyrics and music, language readily prompts heightened emotional responses in certain contexts. In this sense, our native language and our emotions are woven together in a way that makes taboo words taboo or inspiring words inspiring precisely because our brains have been shaped through repeated experience.

Subsequently, our experiences influence the development of neural pathways in the areas of our brain responsible for the control and regulation of emotions, such as the insular cortex and amygdala. Our experiences also help shape the prefrontal cortex, which, in addition to regulating impulse control and emotion, is the seat of many of our higher order cognitive capacities such as reasoning and decision-making.

The combination of these processes makes emotion and decision-making inseparable. Given language’s pervasive role in our daily experiences, and its shared link between emotion and reason, it also readily influences our behaviours. But what about a non-native language?

Sticks and stones may break my bones …

Unfortunately, we make most decisions based on implicit, automatic, and very emotional reflexes. The parts of our brain that primarily engage with emotions are faster to respond than the more rational regions of the cortex. In general, however, emotion works in tandem with reason. The dichotomy of the two concepts is really a false one, as they are inextricably intertwined.

To drive the point home, consider the following question: would you take the life of a stranger in order to save the lives of others? Most people say they would, which would exhibit reasoning of the greater good, but careful thought of ending a life would no doubt prompt a heavy emotional response. After all, killing violates many of our moral intuitions.

However, a recent study sheds light on factors that disrupt the cooperation of reason and emotion. Faced with an ethical problem—choosing whether to kill a stranger in order to save many others—the study found that, when the dilemma was posed in their second language, less proficient foreign language speakers were more likely to decide to kill a stranger compared to more proficient second language or native speakers. Interestingly, this foreign language effect was stronger when the mode of killing was more intimate, such as pushing someone off of a footbridge as opposed to pulling a switch to divert an oncoming train.

The language we use to wrestle inner dilemmas affects our moral compass. Triff/Shutterstock

Many foreign language experiences are not as emotionally entrenched as those of a native language, so the study’s authors attribute the above result to reduced emotional reactivity between the speakers and their second language. The result is that the decision-making process is a slower and more deliberate cost-benefit judgement. In other words, decisions made in a foreign language were not as susceptible to emotional biases as those made in a native language.

True, our bilingual world is not exclusively made up of classroom learners such as those in the study, nor is the bilingual experience homogeneous. In fact, many bilinguals do have deep connections with their additional language(s). Nevertheless, it is clear that bilingualism can have broader implications than mere dinner table etiquette. In a globalising world, many of us may find ourselves making important decisions in non-native tongues. Whether it’s saving a life or voting for the next governmental official, an awareness of the many factors motivating our decisions could help us make sounder judgements.

While bilinguals do not roam the streets wreaking havoc in larger numbers than any other community, the next time you casually drop the F-bomb in Chinese over spilt milk, remember that bilingualism may offer a means to establish a meaningful collaboration between reason and emotion, or a means to end one.

David Miller is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Reading. This article was originally featured on The Conversation.

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How To Enlarge Your Iphone Keyboard For Easier Typing

If you have trouble using the small keys of your iPhone keyboard, there are several simple methods to make them bigger and enhance visibility, ensuring a more comfortable typing experience.

Apple provides no clear button or slider to adjust the iOS keyboard size. However, by tweaking a few system settings or using third-party apps, you can enlarge the on-screen keyboard and ensure it’s easier to see each key and type without straining your eyes or adjusting your glasses.

This change is obviously more helpful for people with vision problems and anyone who can’t accurately hit the small virtual keys.

1. Make your keyboard bold

Enabling bold text will make these keys thicker & darker and thus easier to see. Here are the before and after screenshots:

To turn on system-wide bold text:

Go to iPhone Settings and tap Display & Brightness.

Switch on Bold Text.

2. Always show the UPPERCASE keys on the keyboard

All keys of the iPhone keyboard switch between showing lowercase (a, b, c) and uppercase (A, B, C) letters depending on the caps lock setting you use while typing. To make the identification of each key prominent, you can configure your iPhone to always show the uppercase keys. This will make its appearance like a physical keyboard where all the keys are printed in capital letters.

It’s just a visual change. You can obviously type in lowercase letters with this setting enabled.

Here’s how your keyboard will look:

Go through these steps to show only uppercase keys on your iPhone keyboard:

Open the Settings app and tap Accessibility.

Tap Keyboards.

Turn off the switch for Show Lowercase Keys.

3. Use system-wide Larger Text

You can quickly set your iPhone to use slightly larger text and zoomed elements throughout the operating system. Once you do this, the overall height of the iOS keyboard also increases along with everything else. Here’s how it looks:

Follow these steps to turn on display zoom for your iPhone:

Open the Settings app.

Tap Display & Brightness.

Scroll to the bottom and tap Display Zoom.

Choose Larger Text.

Tap Done from the top right and confirm by tapping Use Zoomed.

4. Type in landscape mode

One of the easiest ways to make the keyboard bigger is to type in landscape mode.

Here’s how you can do that:

Open the iPhone Control Center and tap the screen rotation button so that its symbol appears white (and not red).

Go inside an app like Notes, Messages, or WhatsApp.

Rotate your iPhone in landscape mode, and the screen will also turn sideways.

Now start typing with the enlarged keyboard.

5. Use a combination of the above settings

You’re not limited to following just one of the above suggestions.

You can use all the above methods to have a keyboard that’s larger, bolder, and shows bigger uppercase keys in both portrait and landscape orientations.

6. Install and use third-party keyboard apps

You can try some third-party keyboard apps if none of the above tweaks to make your stock iPhone keyboard bigger do the trick.

My all-time favorite iOS keyboard apps are Microsoft SwiftKey and Google Gboard. But they do not have options to increase the onscreen keyboard size. Therefore, you will have to use one of the less popular apps to get a large keyboard on your iPhone.

Note: There may be security implications with using third-party keyboard apps.

That said, I tried several apps that add a big onscreen virtual keyboard to your iPhone. You can download them for free from the App Store, get a hands-on experience, tweak their settings, and settle on the one that seems most comfortable to you.

The steps to set up all these apps are identical to any third-party iPhone keyboard.

Here are seven iPhone apps that offer large onscreen keyboards:

Viskey

This keyboard can also speak every letter you type.

Download Viskey

Big Keys Keyboard

Drag the A slider to increase the keyboard key size.

Download Big Keys

1C Keyboard Lite

Using this, you can add a huge virtual keyboard on your iPhone with almost circular keys, helping you see and type with fat fingers.

Download 1C Keyboard Lite

Reboard

When typing with this keyboard, tap the settings key and use the plus (+) button to increase the iPhone keyboard size.

Download Reboard

TuneKey

This app’s ‘Slide to adjust Key Size‘ option lets you customize the width of your iPhone keyboard keys.

Download TuneKey

Typewise

The hexagon keyboard provided by this app seems large and can appeal to some.

Download Typewise

Type Nine – T9 Keyboard

Finally, if you or an elderly family member like your grandparents want to use the T9 typing which was omnipresent on older phones, then you can use the Type Nine app. You can also make the keyboard huge by tapping the menu icon from the bottom left and choosing Resize.

Download Type Nine

7. Other suggestions

Besides the above options, here are a few things you can do to type comfortably.

Get a physical keyboard

You can pair an actual keyboard with your iPhone and use it for longer typing sessions. Here are two greatly reviewed options from Logitech:

Upgrade to the Plus or Max model

For obvious reasons, the keyboard of an iPhone mini will be smaller than that of an iPhone Plus or iPhone Max. So, if you constantly have difficulty typing, consider buying a bigger iPhone the next time you decide to switch.

Type on iPad

Even the iPad mini (8.3-inch screen) has a larger keyboard (and more screen area) than any iPhone. If you write a lot of notes or send many messages every day, you can do all that comfortably from your iPad’s big keyboard.

Other keyboard tips:

One Telltale Sign It’s Time To Replace Your Laptop Battery

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The pace of progress with a lot of consumer technology has finally slowed down. In 2010, a three year-old laptop was two years out of date. Now, it’s common to see people holding onto phones and computers for a lot longer which has prevented us from constantly splurging to upgrade our gadgets. 

But some components cannot keep up with the longer lives of our devices, which has resulted in more and more people having to deal with major battery problems. 

“Batteries are consumable”, explains Craig Lloyd, head of content operations at iFixit, “and more people are starting to realize that.” 

A few years ago if your battery died it made more sense to just get a new smartphone. But people are starting to realize that getting a new battery will leave their phones as good as new. And that’s more than enough to run the latest apps—even for devices with two or three years of use. 

In most cases, you’ll notice something is up with a battery because the power in your phone or laptop won’t last as long between charges. Some devices will also notify you when a battery is approaching the end of its rated lifespan. Devices running MacOS, for example, are known for notifying users earlier than other operating systems when batteries are holding a subpar amount of energy. 

What happens when a battery “dies”?

Each time you put your battery through a charge cycle—where it uses all its stored power and is then fully recharged—you wear it down a little. That’s because you can recharge your battery at its full capacity only a limited number of times. You can find this stat for your device online or in the product manuals under maximum rated cycle count.

However, when a smartphone, laptop, and other consumer device batteries “die” they mostly just won’t hold a charge for as long. 

“My wife’s laptop went seven years before I replaced the battery,” says Lloyd, “And it was at the point where the battery only lasted an hour or two when it should have lasted eight or ten.” 

[Related: Cell phone batteries are destined to die, and we have physics to blame]

But this doesn’t affect the device, which is still safe to use and won’t suddenly explode. Those kinds of failures are normally the result of manufacturing defects or damage, not regular use, explains Lloyd. If you’re curious, you can check how many cycles your laptop has already gone through and compare it to its rated lifespan as stated in its user’s manual. 

On a PC, open Command Prompt (you can find it by searching for it next to the start menu), type powercfg /batteryreport, and then hit Enter. Next, open File Explorer and go to your user folder. (If you have trouble finding it, type C:Users[YOUR USERNAME] in the folder navigation bar. Once you’re there, open the file called battery-report.html. There you’ll find your battery’s cycle count, as well as other information about it like how much capacity it currently has. 

When to replace your device battery

In short, whenever you want to.

Regardless of what your laptop or smartphone is telling you, if your device is still performing normally, you don’t have to change the battery. And even if it’s not holding as much charge as it used to, if it’s still lasting long enough for you, then you don’t have to do anything about it. It’s only when the drop in performance starts to affect you that you really need to get another one. 

But if you’re planning to keep your gadgets around for longer, you should plan on replacing their battery at some point. 

“You have to think of your phone like a car,” says Lloyd. “There are things that can degrade and wear out over time that just need to be replaced.”

How to replace a battery

How easy it will be to replace a battery will depend on the device you’re working with. It can be a simple process involving a single screw, or an incredibly complicated enterprise that requires you to disassemble your entire computer and melt an incredibly sticky adhesive while you try not to break anything (we’re looking at you Apple). 

If the battery starts to fail within the warranty period, the easiest thing to do is to contact the manufacturer, as they might cover the part and the replacement. If your warranty is expired, you can take your device to a repair store—or replace the battery yourself. 

[Related: Make your laptop battery last all day]

If you choose the DIY path, check out iFixit’s step by step guides to see what’s involved. Keep in mind that it may be a bigger job than you’re prepared to do, and if that’s the case, it’s totally fine to reach out to a repair shop. If you feel confident and are ready to get your hands dirty, iFixit also sells kits that include reputable sourced parts and all the tools you’ll need for most popular devices. 

7 Ways To Fix Your Chromebook Microphone If It’s Not Working

7 Ways to Fix Your Chromebook Microphone if It’s Not Working Chromebook microphone will not work if the sensitivity is low

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The Chromebook microphone may not work if the microphone sensitivity is low.

An outdated Chromebook can cause issues with its microphone interaction with apps.

Set your microphone as the default audio input for conferencing app to fix the issue.

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INSTALL BY CLICKING THE DOWNLOAD FILE

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Download Fortect and install it on your PC.

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Using a Chromebook allows you to get your tasks done faster and easier, but you can experience many difficulties with the device. The Chromebook microphone not working is one of the problems users complain about when using the tablet.

Many people are imbibing the idea of using Chromebook for work and school purposes, making it more sorted. It is a laptop that runs on the Linux-based Chrome OS as its operating system.

It uses web apps like Google Chrome browser for performing tasks and also can install & run Android and full-fledged Linux apps.

However, running into issues with the Chromebook is not surprising as users complain about numerous problems plaguing the device. Some are the Chromebook camera and microphone not working.

Furthermore, you may experience the microphone not working on the Chromebook in several instances.

The Chromebook microphone can stop working in apps Zoom and Chrome that use the microphone. However, the issues can occur for many reasons, and we’ll discuss how to fix them in this article.

Where is the microphone on Chromebook?

The Chromebook’s microphone is beside the camera at the top of the screen. It looks like a small hole, protecting the device from being damaged.

Why is the microphone not working on Chromebook?

Startup errors on the Chromebook: Chromebook users may experience issues with devices on their Chromebook, like microphones and cameras, because of startup issues. The device can encounter numerous difficulties during boot that may affect how it interacts with its components and peripherals. Likewise, shutting down the Chromebook suddenly causes malfunctions and can impede its performance.

Issues with the app using the microphone on Chromebook: There is a chance that the app you’re trying to use the microphone on is not running correctly. It can result in the Chromebook microphone not working on apps like Zoom and Meet. Also, the microphone may not work on Chrome if it’s not working correctly.

Outdated Chromebook: An outdated Chromebook can cause many issues with its functionality and performance. It can result in bug infestations that affect the device. The Chrome OS updates and patches help you fix bugs that may be affecting the Chromebook. So, if the Chromebook is not up-to-date, it won’t have access to such patches.

Issues with audio input settings on Chromebook: You may experience problems using the microphone on Chromebook if the audio input is disabled. It prevents your device from using the audio input feature in the microphone. So, the HP Chromebook microphone not working can be due to audio input settings issues.

Low microphone sensitivity: Low sensitivity can also make your Chromebook microphone not work. If the microphone sensitivity on your Chromebook is low, it’ll be hard to pick up sounds, making it seem like the microphone isn’t working.

Also, read how to fix Wi-Fi connection issues on Chromebook in no time.

How do I fix the Chromebook microphone if it’s not working? 1. Restart your Chromebook

Ensure that you unplug any device connected to the Chromebook before restarting it. Try using the microphone and check if the issue persists.

Updating the Chromebook will fix bugs and issues causing the microphone not to work and improve the device’s performance.

3. Increase microphone sensitivity on Chromebook

Expert tip:

4. Set the app to use your mic

Conferencing apps like Zoom or Google Meet may experience difficulties with the audio input if you don’t specify the one to use.

Hence, set your mic as the default audio input. Check the example above for Google Meet.

5. Check audio input settings on Chromebook

You can perform a Chromebook microphone test by recording a video on your device check if it records sound.

6. Try using the microphone in other apps

The problem you’re experiencing may be limited to only the app you’re currently using. So, we recommend you try using the microphone in another app to check if the issue persists.

Although this is not always the case, this can not be ruled out as an option. If you try the microphone on a different app and it works fine, you may need to reinstall or troubleshoot the previous app.

7. Disable interfering extensions

You may be interested in how to connect a Canon printer with your Chromebook in a few steps.

However, we have detailed guides on other Chromebook issues you are likely to encounter. You can read about how to fix difficulties connecting your Chromebook to an external monitor.

Likewise, you may check the fixes for camera file system errors on your Chromebook. Some users have reported they encounter this camera issue also on their Chromebook.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab: Second Helping

Samsung Galaxy Tab: second helping [Video]

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab is shaping up to be the device of IFA 2010, and while we spent some hands-on time – complete with video – with the Froyo slate right after the launch yesterday, we thought we’d head back today to see if our positive first impressions held true.  After the cut, more hands-on video and pictures of the Galaxy Tab, plus details on launch plans, Samsung’s intentions for future tablets, and more!

Second time round, the Tab proved equally appealing.  It’s well-sized for the hand, and, unlike the iPad, you can actually slot it into an inside jacket pocket without tearing the seams.  Side by side with the Galaxy S, and the Tab’s LCD panel does a decent job holding its own against Super AMOLED.  Although 4-inches versus 7-inches doesn’t sound a vast difference, as you can see in our comparison photos it’s actually a considerably increase in screen real-estate.

That’s allowed Samsung some extra flexibility in their custom software, with the email app – that supports multiple accounts, including POP, IMAP and Exchange among others – offering a two-column view in landscape orientation that’s similar to the iPad.  You can pick from a unified inbox or separate views by account, and you can adjust the split between the two columns to resize as preferred.  The calendar app, too, pulls in appointments from multiple accounts, all color coded, including Facebook dates and others.

Samsung Galaxy Tab hands-on:

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For multimedia, meanwhile, Samsung has partnered with 7digital to offer on-device DRM-free audio files.  That can obviously be mixed with side-loaded content.  7digital doesn’t offer video, but you can view content via Samsung’s AllShare streamed over wireless connections.  Thanks to the HDMI dock you can output 1080p Full HD video to your HDTV, complete with 5.1-channel surround sound, and there’s also Samsung’s free “QWERTY Remote Control” app for operating their IP-connected TVs.

While Samsung has ticked all the boxes for Android Market inclusion, of course most current apps aren’t scaled appropriately for the slate’s 1024 x 600 display.  To accommodate that, the company has built in some clever app-resizing that stretches standard software (say, designed for WVGA smartphones).  While you might expect apps to look blocky, the end result is actually pretty impressive; we’d say it looks better than, say, iPhone apps running on the iPad, and it’s all done automatically and supports screen rotation (if the app itself does).

In terms of accessories, Samsung will be of course offering the HDMI Dock we spotted yesterday, together with a regular desk dock and a keyboard dock for those wanting to enter large amounts of text.  A stylus suited to capacitive touchscreens will also be on offer.  They also confirmed the unusual Bluetooth stylus spotted last week; it turns out that the stylus works as a Bluetooth handset – a pen-sized Moshi Moshi, as it were – which can be kept in your shirt or jacket pocket and then used as a hands-free kit when calls come in.

Despite the rumors and speculation seen online, Samsung told us that the Galaxy Tab’s price has still not been finalized.  That’s because they’re still in talks with carriers, negotiating subsidies and data packages.  The Galaxy Tab will actually launch in Italy first, later in September, shortly followed by the UK before the end of the month (we’ve heard Vodafone are the likely carrier, though obviously Samsung wouldn’t confirm that).  The expectation is that broader availability – including the US – will happen in October 2010, with Samsung preparing multiple versions of the Galaxy Tab for different US carriers, just as they have done with the Galaxy S smartphone.

Samsung told us that the Galaxy Tab is, unsurprisingly, just the first in what they see as an expanding range of tablets that will launch throughout 2011.  That range will include larger and smaller versions – the company wouldn’t tell us which is coming next, though we wouldn’t be surprised to see a bigger-screen Tab intended to directly challenge the iPad and potentially running Android 3.0 Gingerbread or 3.5 Honeycomb –  as well as models that target different sub-segments.  This first Galaxy Tab, for instance, has a 3-megapixel camera, partly because of size restraints but also, we were told, because the model is intended predominantly for media consumption and browsing, rather than content creation.  Future Tab slates could approach things differently.

Samsung is also working closely with Google on Android development, with regular “high level meetings” and plenty of shared code.  That bodes well for how much work they – and indeed other tablet manufacturers – may have to do to finesse Android for larger-screen devices, reducing the amount of customisation and thus helping cut down on OS upgrade delays.  The company couldn’t say, though, whether developers would have access to their own particular customized apps on the Galaxy Tab, such as the new calendar app, but they will be able to easily produce their own software suited to the 1024 x 600 display.

Head over here for our first Samsung Galaxy Tab report, including more video!

How To Change The Language On Netflix

Netflix is nearly everywhere (well, except mainland China, Crimea, North Korea, and Syria). Out of the 193 million Netflix users worldwide, many would describe Netflix as a “must-have” subscription because of the quality programming it creates and distributes. In April 2023, Netflix won seven Academy Awards, more than any other distributor. For that reason alone, it’s probably worth subscribing to it.

Supporting over 20 languages, Netflix makes it easy to set the display language for the platform. The display language you choose is used for things like movie descriptions, names of genre categories, and the controls on the app itself, like the Play and Next Episode buttons. We’ll show you how to change the display language as well as the audio and subtitles language for a particular movie or show.

Table of Contents

How to Change Language via the Netflix Website

Whether you’re on a computer or another device, go to chúng tôi in a browser to change the display language. You won’t find the language option on the phone or tablet apps. 

Select the user profile you want to update.

In the Language dropdown, select your preferred language.

Select the Save button.

Select the Done button.

If you’re already logged into the Netflix website, you can always find these settings again by selecting your profile image in the top-right corner. Then select Manage Profiles.

From there you can change the display language and tell Netflix what languages you like to watch movies in. Netflix says, “Letting us know helps set up your audio and subtitles.”

Whichever way you get there, you can always change the language on Netflix by editing your profile. 

Let’s say you switch from English to Español as the language. The next time you login, Netflix will ask, “¿Quién está viendo ahora?” instead of “Who’s watching?” Bueno.

If you want to watch Netflix on your phone or tablet after making these changes, logout and log back in for the changes to take effect. 

How to Change a Show’s Language or Add Subtitles

Let’s say you decide to watch a foreign film or a show a friend told you about. If it’s in a language you don’t understand, you can either change the show’s audio language or add subtitles. These steps work for virtually all versions of Netflix, whether you’re watching in a browser, on a smartphone or tablet, or with other Netflix apps like the ones for Roku or Windows 10.

Play the show you want to watch.

From the menu, select the Audio & Subtitles button. It looks like a speech bubble.

If you don’t mind dubbed movies, you can choose an audio language that’s different from the original. In the example above, the audio isn’t offered in English, but English subtitles are available. 

You might find that dubbed audio isn’t always produced very well, and the same goes for subtitles. The quality of audio tracks and subtitles can vary wildly, depending on who created them.

How to Search for Shows in a Particular Language

Anyone who is learning a new language knows how helpful it can be to watch movies or television in that language. It’s great practice!

Search Via the Search Box

You’ll see some search results, including genres reflecting your language of choice. For instance, a recent search for “French language” yielded links to these subgenres:

French-Language TV Shows

French-Language Movies

Suspenseful French-Language TV Shows

Critically-acclaimed French-Language Movies

French-Language Documentaries

Gritty French-Language Movies

Romantic French-Language Movies

You can also watch a show originally made in your native language and choose to change the Audio or Subtitles to the language you’re learning. Again, options may be limited.

Searching Netflix by Audio or Subtitle Language

As you can see, the search results include movies that provide an Italian audio track, not just movies made in Italian. Try sorting by A-Z, Z-A, or by year to see different results.

You can do the same thing to search for shows that have subtitles in a particular language. We’ll search for shows that have Japanese subtitles.

Changing the Appearance of Subtitles

While we’re at it, let’s look at how to change the size, position, and color of subtitles on Netflix. 

Select your profile image.

Select Account.

In the Profile & Parental Controls section, select a profile.

In the Subtitle Appearance section, select Change.

From here you can change the way subtitles appear for this user no matter which device they’re using.

Note: If you’re using an Apple device, follow Netflix’s instructions for your device to change the appearance of subtitles via the device settings.

Expand Your Horizons

You can become a more well-rounded global citizen just by watching a movie in a different language. After all, as the old saying goes, “To learn a new language is to make a new friend.” Or, if you prefer, “Aprender un nuevo idioma es hacer un nuevo amigo!”

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