My Note –
This was just so nifty that I had to share it. There are a number of things covered in this little video about how the subtitles are made and how they are done during live broadcasts. Very amazing really. It is amazing both for the ways that it is being done, the massive amount of content which all needs it, and amazing for the further innovations that could be available for it. When the “reader” was speaking into the microphone all the words from a live broadcast to have subtitles using an almost robotic mechanical clearly enunciated manner of speaking, it was something he noted for the video that names in breaking news from any language than English becomes a garbled mess by the computer’s interpretation of the words. That could use something innovative added.
But, overall what is most impressive to me, was the efforts being made to have all programming subtitled. We have the majority of our programs and movies in the United States with subtitles and one of my favorite things to do with movies and dvds is to play them with the other language choices that are included. It is very good practice, especially if I already know the movie very well in English.
The subtitles for some of our shows are much like the audience members described in this BBC Two video clip, where sometimes the words don’t match what is being said or there is a bit of a delay that makes it tedious to try and work with it. I use the subtitles on all the tvs I have and when I go elsewhere too – not because of a hearing difficulty, but because of an understanding difficulty. Without seeing the people’s faces, which most of the time on tv isn’t possible, especially on the news as other things about the story are shown and on movies as camera views change to show action or other elements while talking continues – it is harder for me to understand how the sounds form the words to which they belong. I think that when I can see the person talking, it is easier to find the edges where the words start and stop. There are visual pauses in between the groups of sound that are easy to see. Without the words on the screen, I get some of the words, but mostly it is fabric of sound without edges. I find it easier today than I did many years ago, but still I work on it and using the words from subtitles helps to do that. It is a great tool that really connects what the sounds mean with the written words that fit to them.
One reason that I watch the same movies over and over again, is that it is always new in many ways to me. I don’t always get all the words or understand all the things that are happening in it or the entire flow and underlying nuances of the storylines woven through it. Every time the camera angle shows something away from the character that is speaking, I might not have captured that part when I saw the movie the last time. If the words are playing in the subtitles, then the story makes sense and those parts are included. If they are not, I might not get that part at all. That probably seems strange, considering that I write all the time and can perceive most of what things mean when they are said on the news or in a news story. But, I don’t just listen to it. I make notes. I have the words going on the tv with what they are saying and then I look it up online, too. Maybe it is why I don’t watch soap operas and rarely look at the reality shows that are so common. It doesn’t seem worth all that effort to understand them and there is no way to look it up to try and get what it is about (and why they are saying and doing those things, little of which I understand.) At least with the news, I know that it is about the history of our time that is unfolding in the world around me and something that affects me directly and affects my family and my community. That is worth the effort to understand it, (for me.)
To be honest, I think that having the words on the television irritates a lot of people who don’t need them. I wish that wasn’t so. It makes it possible for me to enjoy what I’m seeing and to understand what is going on in the movie or the show that I am watching. The subtitles are literally an adaptive living tool (one of many) that makes more things possible for me. It does that for other people that use them as well. It is very impressive to see the efforts that are being made behind the scenes to make them available. Amazing.
This video clip explains how the subtitles are created from the video broadcasting materials in ways that I would’ve never guessed. I’m very glad I found the clip about it. That is pretty nifty.
Thankyou BBC . . . and the folks that put the video clip together. It is great.
Oh yeah, and the note was made during the clip that stenographers are needed in greater numbers than we have right now. I would suppose that is true every where and would make a good set of employment possibilities available. A good skill set to have.