"Subtitles can't be used"

Tried to import a YouTube video with Spanish subtitles using the Lingq browser extension but it says “Error: detail: Subtitles can’t be used.” How to fix this?

Hi, Tried to do the same with german, same problem

same problem here, I hope they fix it soon, because its basically the only reason why I use LingQ

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Same here… I’ve had moments when it started to work again but most of the time in the past few days I’ve been getting that message.

Any solution to this issue?

I had one video work for me, but another seems to completely fail for no particular reason.

There are now three separate threads about this matter on the site and I think I am correct that there has been only one recent response from Lingq about it…Zoran 4 days ago. I do not think it unreasonable that we should have more news about resolving this problem even if it is one of no progress yet!


This happened to me this morning with a french video from Le Monde

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I did some more research into this issue and I believe that it has something to do with the language of the subtitles that the uploader has provided and the original language of the video…

I uploaded a small test video with some subtitles to YouTube. I had the video’s language set to “Chinese (China)” and then I uploaded the subtitles as “Chinese (Simplified)”. This configuration did not work.

I toyed around with it for a bit and figured out that changing the video’s language to “English” and the subtitles to “Chinese (China)” allowed me to import the video through the LingQ Safari extension.

Video in question: Lil Dicky - Earth (Official Music Video) - YouTube

Of course, this does not help for videos that you don’t own on your own channel but I thought the information might be useful for the developers at LingQ. I am praying that this issue gets fixed soon, it’s really annoying.


Wow that’s really interesting, thank you for taking the time to try this out. Yes hopefully this well help the LingQ team figure this out and get it fixed. :slight_smile:

I am getting this stupid error couple of times lately.

Since browser extension sometimes imports only first part of long youtube videos and leaves out the rest (another bug of many), I copy the subtitle to a txt file and import it by “import e-book” option. I get this error there, not from extension. Then, when I remove characters “[” and “]” from text they got imported correctly.

Getting an error as “Subtitles can’t be used” for trying to import a txt file just because there are [ and ] in it is extremely annoying. A text file with proper spacing and characters is as simple as an input can get for importer yet it can’t be imported without a workaround.

When I try to import one of those videos from extension to see if it can be imported directly, then I got a different error as “Error:No appropriate captions found.”

Same issue for me importing ebook.

Thanks. Another user complained about the same issue and I am investigating it. We will get it fixed.

hi @zoran

Just in case it is of help, I suspect the error is related to the .txt file itself. It may have encoding errors or binary characters which cause the issue. If you want I can provide a sample file which triggers the crash. The feature works fine otherwise.

Thanks for that. I already have some example files that cause this error, so it’s fine for now. This issue has been reported to our team and I hope we will have it fixed soon. I’ll keep you updated.

alright cool!