Gangnam Style in Ubuntu

Gangnam Style is a song by Korean rapper PSY (pronounced as in PSYchology), and it is currently one of the most popular songs on the Internets. It’s now the No 8 most viewed video of all time on Youtube. It is definitely the most popular Korean (k-pop) song worldwide.

Gangnam Style Official Cover

Gangnam Style Official Cover

The Gangnam Style video on Youtube was released on 15th July 2012, and currently it has been viewed over 470 million times.

The song is in Korean with only a few verses in English, making it difficult to lip sync.

Thus, I created phonetic subtitle files (.srt) in order to aid in lip synching the song; subtitles are found at

Currently there are phonetic subtitles for

  1. English
  2. Greek

So, you downloaded the subtitles. How do you download locally the Youtube video? Start the Software Centre and search for Youtube. There are several clients that support the downloading of the videos. For example, the youtube-dl command line client. In this case, you would run

youtube-dl ""

which will download by default the FullHD version of the video clip.

Other Youtube download programs are minitube (some people complain it may not work well in 12.10) and jDownloader.

GangmanStyle in Totem, showing subtitles

Gangman Style in Totem, showing subtitles

Then, you can load the video clip in Totem (the default video player in Ubuntu), and select at View→Subtitles→Select subtitles… the appropriate subtitle file.

If you prefer a command-line video player, you can install mplayer2 (this is a fork for the «mplayer» project). The mplayer2 package defaults to UTF-8 subtitles which is good. You would play the video clip with a command line like

mplayer PSY\ -\ GANGNAM\ STYLE\ \(강남스타일\)\ M_V\(360p_H.264-AAC\).mp4 \
   -sub PSY\ -\ GANGNAM\ STYLE\ \(강남스타일\)\ M_V\(360p_H.264-AAC\)

How do you create your own phonetic subtitles for your language? You can use one of the several subtitle editors in Ubuntu, such as GNOME Subtitles, Subtitle Editor, Subtitle Composer and Aegisub.

Aegisub 2.1 with Gangman Style subtitles

Aegisub 2.1 with Gangman Style subtitles

I used Aegisub in order to create the English and Greek phonetic subtitles. In Aegisub, you load an existing .srt file, the video clip file, and then you extract the audio from the video file. Afterwards you can edit in place each subtitle line.

If you manage to create phonetic subtitles for your language, feel free to send them over to add to the repository.

Gangnam Style with Werewolf

Gangnam Style with Werewolf  Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

PSY has been doing a lot of promotional appearences.

If you can work out the lip syncing, you can then try to record a video singing Gangman Style. See Nixie Pixel‘s guide to recording video in Ubuntu using your webcam.

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  1. From SUSECon 2012, Orlando.

    open SUSE Style – Gangnam Style Parody

    • Thanos on October 17, 2012 at 20:15
    • Reply

    I don’t understand what you used Aegisub for… Couldn’t you get the korean subtitles and then use a script (if it exists) to convert korean to phonetic english and then from phonetic english to phonetic greek (if something automated also exists)? Is this what you did? Or maybe you found a phonetic english sub and did manually the greek one? Because from the post, I thought you can speek korean and did the subtitles manually from scratch… Which would be also awesome 🙂

    Didn’t know that you are a kpop fan.. :p Nice post but what it’s really missing is a video of you doing the dance or at least doing a voice cover. So what we have to do to see this video on youtube? :p

  2. That’s no werewolf– that appears to be Hugh Jackman as the Marvel comic book character Wolverine, and it looks like PSY has similar props on his hands as Jackman does.

    Apologies– I’m a geek… unless “Wolverine” has somehow been translated as “Werewolf” in certain markets, well, it should be “Wolverine”. Maybe I’m missing something…

  3. @Thanos: I started with an .srt file with the lyrics in romanised Korean. Romanised Korean is not phonetic, so I had to listen to each line with Aegisub and transcribe it phonetically.

    Aegisub helped because it has a feature to play easily again and again the current subtitle line you are working on.

    Also, with Aegisub I fixed some of the timings of the subtitles, and also added some lines that were missing.

    Having done the Greek phonetic version, it was easy to convert (manually) into English phonetic. I did not use IPA as I suppose very few people can make use of it. I hope my English phonetic is easy to understand. Patches welcome.

    It is possible to put these on Youtube.

  4. @jaklumen: You are right, it’s «Wolverine», and the picture shows Hugh Jackman and PSY with the retracting claws prop. I updated the post.

    • Thanos on October 17, 2012 at 22:55
    • Reply

    Thanks Simos for the explanation. Must have been quite a bit of work to make them then. About Youtube, I meant, that I want to see YOU in a video, gangnam style :p Are you trying to avoid it?

  5. @Thanos: My first priority would be to put the subtitles on a Youtube video. Sadly, Youtube says no,

    A gangman style parody requires a group of volunteers. Are you offering yourself to such a venture? :p

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