A Brief Introduction To The Concept Of Closed Captioning

Technology has made giant strides into every walk of our life, and we have benefitted and are continuing to do so every moment from it. As the end users, each one of us wants to benefit completely from these technologies. It is imperative that technology and its application reach every corner of the world.
So are we able to cater to every sector equally?
Let me just talk about one important aspect of our life, ‘Entertainment’. It is a must for each and every one of us and the best way to be entertained is to go watch a fun movie with our dear ones. As ‘Better equipped people’ we can enjoy it at the fullest both visually and audibly. But for a person who is not so well equipped, who can’t hear – the hearing impaired, what about them? Has technology provided to suit their needs?

How do you think a deaf person can feel the same exhilarating effect as a person who is equipped to enjoy thoroughly.

Yes, constant experimentation’s and the human need to be the best provider have made this a very simple and interesting task.

This is where we get to know and talk about Subtitling and Captioning services.
One has to rely on the tiny words scrolling at the bottom of the screen. Generally they are termed as ‘Subtitles’. But it is too generalized a term. So let us have closer look at it and see what best suits and why.

Subtitles: – what, why and where?
Subtitles are the tiny words scrolling at the bottom of a television, computer screen or any video being watched, transcribing the spoken part to text part for the convenience of the viewers. Here the viewer is assumed to be a person who can hear, but may be facing difficulties to understand the clipping due to language, accent or such other issues. So the dialogues are transcribed and displayed for the comfort of the viewers. This way any clipping in any language can be understood and enjoyed by one and all. This works both ways for business development and also personal satisfaction.

The essentiality is that it should match with the timings of the dialogue delivery and should be well contrasted with the background to be clearly visible.

Captioning: – What, why and where?
There is a very subtle but very important difference here. Captioning is the same as Subtitling, but it aims at that part of audience that is hearing impaired. It aims to describe and transcribe the audio content completely along with the sound effects in words and symbols for this special audience so that they can be entertained equally!!

Now why do we say Captioning and not Subtitling??
Captioning is gaining more relevance nowadays and replacing the word Subtitling due to this very subtle difference of the viewership. It has, in many parts of the world, become mandatory to cater to the hearing impaired equally in all walks of life. Nothing can help better than Captioning to create the complete effect for them.

Closed Captioning and Subtitling Helps Develop Literary Skills in Children Worldwide

captioning and subtitling

As we all know, closed captioning or subtitling is the textual interpretation displayed in visual display screens in synchronization with the visual cues. A recent study has revealed that school students are able to improve their literary skills as they read through closed captions or subtitles while watching their favorite TV programs.

There are many schools around the world, during holidays, instruct their students to watch television programs of their choice with the closed captions turned on. At the same time, the schools advised their parents to have a look for the age-appropriateness of the content the kids are watching. The idea was to ensure that the students continue reading away from school and also enjoy their holidays.

A classic example of how consuming closed caption enhances literacy skills can be found looking at how Finnish children score the best, in the world, when it comes to reading. Even though Finnish kids start their formal education only when they are 7 years of age, they pick up reading so fast, thanks to the TV programs they watch with closed captions or subtitles on. The Finnish families are known to be one of the highest consumers of closed captions/subtitles. The Fins watch quite a few English programs, which they find it difficult to dub into Finnish, so they watch them in English with Finnish subtitles scrolling on their screens. The kids watching these programs develop their reading skills as they have to read these captions/subtitles pretty fast.

Nowadays, schools seem to have loved this idea of introducing students to captioning and subtitling. This is because kids are actually reading and reading quite fast without their knowledge while enjoying their favorite TV programs. The schools are receiving positive feedback from parents about their kids improving their reading habits as a result of watching these programs with captions/subtitles.

Reading through closed captions/subtitles is not only beneficial for school students, but also for people learning languages and those who struggle with illiteracy.

It is always a good idea to encourage children to watch their favorite television programs with closed captions or subtitles running on the screen.