A common factor among many Untergangers is that many of them don't speak English as their native language. When making English-speaking parodies, an Unterganger can commit many mistakes on the spelling and grammar of the parody subtitles. This mishap is common among Untergangers who are new in English-speaking parodies, or, in certain countries, use English regularly but are poor in writing it. However, making Downfall parodies can be a useful way to learn and improve one's English, if it is seen as such. Some of these mistakes include interchanging the words "there", "they're", and "their" as well as "your" and "you're".
There were also cases where the Unterganger was so poor in English that their parodies lack complete coherence, or in extreme cases, make absolutely no sense, and they subsequently became (in)famous for their poor English. It has been suggested that these people used Google Translate, that tend to output nonsensical, broken English when translating from certain languages.
Subtitles not making grammatical sense
In the end of the Hitler Reviews Scene, if Hitler is not saying "Fegelein", untergangers usually make him say "dammit", which, conjoined with the subtitles when Hitler says "Bringen sie mir Fegelein!", won't make any grammatical sense, e.g,. "I'm Hitler, dammit!"
Misspelling character names
Due to new Untergangers' unfamiliarity with the characters in Downfall, it is common for them to misspell the characters' names, even of those who are the flagship of the meme, such as Fegelein. Others force orthographies that are against German naming nuances, typically swapping ~ei~ with ~ie~. For example, Fegelein is misspelled as "Fegelien", "Fegelin", or even "Fagelan".
In some parodies, however, the misspelling is intentional and is part of the joke in the parody. These include mondegreens and titles such as My Fäilure.
Text too long for short lines, and vice versa
Some Untergangers make the text too long for short lines. In the Original Bunker Scene, when Krebs says "Steiner", or in the Hitler Reviews Scene, where Hitler says "Sofort!", some make it so he says something longer. However, this is much less frequent. This was parodied in a video, appropriately called Hitler is informed the subtitles are messed up.
Unreadable and annoying subtitles
Some Untergangers deviate from the standard of using sans-serif type fonts on subtitles, instead using decorative, stylized or cursive fonts such as Comic Sans MS and Lucida Handwriting. Inherently text set in these fonts takes considerably longer to read, and viewers are unable to finish reading it before it flashes out. There are font faces specifically designed for readability, such as those used on highway signs, but in most cases Arial which came standard in most operating systems would do just fine.
A more annoying type of subtitles is when they fade in and out. This is probably due to Untergangers being unable to find the correct title sequence in programs such as Windows Movie Maker. For users who use iMovie past version 9.0.9, the fading subtitles are unavoidable, as iMovie 10.0.1 and beyond has no option to turn off the fading, as shown in CanaDolfy98's early parodies. Another annoyance is the text being too big and occupying the centre of the screen, due to the aforementioned problem.
Subtitles are usually white and yellow in colour. It is advised to either change from the normal colours if the background of the text matches either colour or, if your video editor supports it, add outline to the text, as is the case of Untergangers like Subtitlecomedy.
These might be considered as mistakes, or sloppiness on editing:
- Subtitles are not properly synchronized with the dialogue.
- Sloppily-clipped scenes, where characters' dialogues are clipped in mid-sentence
- Vocals on musical parodies out of sync with the music.
- Backgrounds on chroma-keyed scenes do not change when the camera angle does.
- Characters face the same side of the screen when they are in fact talking to each other (180-degree rule violation.)
- Videos being rendered as interlaced rather than progressive. While interlacing cuts the bitrate in half, it degrades the video quality, displaying visible tear unless viewed with players (not YouTube's player, for one) that de-interlaces the video (as done by old television sets displaying interlaced analog TV signals).
Parodies of these mistakes
- KakashiBallZ addresses these issues and makes a mockery of them in Hitler describes a shitty Hitler Parody.
- Many of the issues are featured in Angry German Kid's Downfall parodies in AGKandvideomaker2000's video AGK episode 12 - Angry german kid makes a downfall parody (skip to 2:30 and 3:55 for the "parodies" in question).