– Mark E. Smith

T minus 12 days to ATypI Brighton 2007: Captioning

Since captioning and subtitling always have been, are, and always will be two separate things, even in the U.K. and Ireland, it stands to reason that you can have both at once. In fact, you can’t pass off a subtitled production as being accessible to deaf people, because they can’t tell who’s talking, sound effects are left out, and tons of dialogue is omitted or simply unrendered.

An easy example that the intellectuals are hot for is Ночной дозор (Night Watch) by Timur Bekmambetov. The intellectuals are all hot for the picture’s animated subtitles, but they’re too ignorant to notice those subtitles are “typeset” in Arial Narrow, use double hyphens for dashes, and use three different kinds of apostrophes (neutral and curled and, indicating a non-English keyboard, grave accent).

Anyway, it’s a good example of simultaneous captions and subtitles. We can use them for sound effects:

Caption reads [ Male Voice Shouting ]

(Note how the actor’s arm covers the subtitles, one of the animated effects the intellectuals are all hot for.)

Or unrendered dialogue:

Subtitled scene has positioned caption reading Mm-hmm

Or speaker identification:

Caption at screen top reads [ Man #2 ]

(Bigger images on Flickr.)

Now please tell me how a deaf person is supposed to understand this picture from subtitling alone. I’ll wait.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2007.08.31 13:57. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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