American over-the-top content platform and production company, Netflix, has opted to discontinue support for Swahili subtitles on its platform. Via an email, the video streaming app sent out an email to users alerting them of the plans just two years after it was launched.
“As of July 30, 2021, we will no longer be supporting the Swahili language on your Netflix experience while we work to provide a better local experience to help you enjoy the movies and TV shows you love,” reads part of the email.
Netflix’s Swahili subtitles have been controversial over the years with users creating memes from their inaccuracies from direct translation.
I'm a little late to this Netflix Swahili caption thing, but…
Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife pic.twitter.com/tQKbExqJgu
— ᴉƃᴉɹᴉʍW@ 🇰🇪 (@Mwirigi) June 6, 2019
Actress: This is nuts!
Netflix Swahili subtitles: Hii ni karanga!😂
— Charles Thickens (@isthatyouCarol) June 29, 2021
While other users thought it was funny, others thought the subtitles did more harm than good, one user pointed out that a phrase like “bye guys” was translated to “kwaheri wanaume”. seeming sexist.
“Netflix will continue to be available in English and many other languages, this will include providing some of your favorite local and international entertainment in Swahili in the future,” the email further reads.