I can't reproduce what made it happen, but since yesterday, for all the movies I play with VLC - their subtitles (Hebrew) are displayed as question marks.

Any resolution? Way to find the source of the issue?

enter image description here

Here is an excerpt from the subtitles file (*.srt):

00:02:04,800 --> 00:02:06,700
...מר דופריין, תאר את

00:02:07,700 --> 00:02:11,100
. העימות שהיה לך עם אישתך בלילה שנרצחה

00:02:16,600 --> 00:02:17,400
.זה היה מאוד מריר

00:02:18,700 --> 00:02:22,000
,היא אמרה שהיא שמחה שידעתי
.שהיא שנאה את כל ההתגנבויות מסביב
  • Can you check the file in an editor to see what encoding it has (e.g., BOM, Unicode, etc.)?
    – Synetech
    Jun 27, 2012 at 3:33
  • How can I check the encoding? I opened it with Notepad and I saw the above. Jun 27, 2012 at 10:28

5 Answers 5


I have solved it by changing the file encoding using NotePad:

  • Open the srt file in notepad
  • File -> Save As...
  • Change the encoding in the combo box near the "save" button below to "Unicode"
  • Save the file (Replace the existing one)

And now the hebrew subtitles are displayed correctly.

enter image description here


The problem should arise from subtitle character set encoding.

Go to Tools > Preferences (CTRL +P) and select Subtitles & OSD from the left pane. Now change the Default Encoding to Hebrew (Windows-1255) and you're done.

  • 1
    Nope. didn't help Jun 26, 2012 at 21:44
  • 1
    Did you restart VLC? I had the same problem with Turkish letters and the above solution worked for me... Jun 26, 2012 at 22:02
  • Yes, I did restart. Didn't help, I'm going crazy, all I wanted is to watch a movie. Now my adventure is to solve the issue and go to bed, movie will be for another time :( Jun 26, 2012 at 22:06
  • Well, I recommend you uninstalling VLC using the free version of Revo Uninstaller, and then reinstalling it. Then change the character encoding to the above setting and try again. Jun 26, 2012 at 22:11
  • 2
    OK meanwhile I'm using Media Player classic which displays the subs excellently! Jun 26, 2012 at 22:26

The below solution Worked on a Mac.

  1. Open the .srt file with Firefox web browser (FILE --> Open File...)
  2. Now you should see in the browser window the subtitles text with chinese characters instead of Greek
  3. From VIEW --> Character Encoding... select GREEK ISO encoding. Now magically the text in the browser window is displayed correctly with all the Greek characters
  4. Select ALL text from browser window and COPY --> PASTE to a simple text editor. You should see now the text in greek in the text editor application window.
  5. Save the file as plain text (.txt) in the location that you have the original subtitles.
  6. Rename the .txt file to .srt in order to be recognized from your media player (I use VLC). Just make sure that the whole name of your new .srt file you just created does not conflict with the previous file (you should rename your older file in order to let you rename the new file with the name you want).

That's it, now it should work and display properly the Greek subtitles.

  • 1
    The subtitles however are in hebrew ;p
    – Journeyman Geek
    Feb 24, 2013 at 11:29

If there were any other subtitles in the folder move them to another location. I had the same problem and this solved it.


It could be related to the .srt file not being Unicode as superuser (Manos)
or it could be a Region and Language Setting
Region and Language Settings issue in Windows.

Go to [Administrative] Tab > Change System Locale > "Choose wanted language"


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