Speed of subtitles

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JohnColby
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Joined: Apr 17 2004

Question from another forum concerned with disability - what reading speed is assumed when displaying subtitles? There's some information on the web but can anyone point us in the direction of some specific references that deal with current practice?

John

harlequin
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Joined: Aug 16 2000

define who needs to read them ?

i have a very good disability awareness person that i work with.
he is blind ( so subtitles on tv would not be his field ) but he is always saying that you cannot cover all possible disability mixtures.

a deaf person with good reading ability can read as any other person can.
a deaf person with either learning disabilities or literacy problems cannot read at the same rate.

i would suggest looking at bbc1's subtitling for example 'Eastenders' or ITV's subtitling of 'The Bill'
That should give you a rough guess about 'reading speed'
After all , neither of the above organisations wants to be the first in court under the new disability awareness laws.

Gary MacKenzie

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JohnColby
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Joined: Apr 17 2004

Gary

That's the problem.

These subtitles, according to the people who need them (I'm on a foprume populated by people who have varying degrees of deafness) - are sometimes much too quick. I'm looking for any research in the area. Current practice varies and is not always right, even on the BBC.

I can't find much reseacrch - only recommendations that are not much use, quite frankly, as the people they're supposed to benefit can't actually use them - so were potentially disadvantaging a porportion of the population.

John

harlequin
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I am back at work on the 5th Jan.
I will try to contact the above person and see if he can give me some contact info.

in my mind , the biggest problem is that the info has to be in time with the action , and if it isn't , the subtitling isn't much use.

for many dwaf people , signing is still a better system , though hard to do when it comes to films etc with much off-screen info required , which we 'the hearing people' take for granted.

Gary MacKenzie

sepulce@hotmail.com ( an account only used for forum messages )

Thinkserver TS140 , 750ti Graphics card  & LG 27" uws led backlight , Edius 8

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JohnColby
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Joined: Apr 17 2004

Gary

Someone was dreaming in one of our faculties about animations for signing. They mentioned XML and data storage which is when our director of research pushed it in my direction. I'll let you know what develops.

I;m getting soem good answers on the other forum regarding speed - no-one can give me much direct research apart from an agreement that "this works, that doesn't". I;ll keep you posed - and yes, I'd lke to hear what your guy has to say. I'll ask my lot as well.

John

infocus
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Joined: Jul 18 2003

Surely the answer must be along the lines of "the same speed as the dialogue being subtitled"? True, some people may find that too fast, but what's the alternative? You can't have a one hour film for which the subtitles last (say) two hours, just to meet an ideal theoretical speed figure! Neither can you realistically drop half the dialogue.

Perhaps it may be possible to simplify the subtitles to keep the speed down, without losing too much of the sense?

Chirpy
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Joined: Sep 7 2000

John,

Not sure if it's along the right lines but this link to Ofcom may prove useful, especially article 3: Subtitling for the Intended Audience.

I've been attending sign language classes for the past few months and was thinking of adding subtitles to my videos too as I have a 12 year old niece who's just lost her hearing due to having a brain tumour removed.

Quote:
Originally posted by infocus:
Perhaps it may be possible to simplify the subtitles to keep the speed down, without losing too much of the sense?

Actually the deaf don't tend to read subtitles as we would need to read them.

For instance, this might make sense to us: "How many friends do you have? What are their names?" But to a deaf person all they would need is: "Friends, many? Names what?"

Chirpy

Chirpy's Big Breakfast can be heard on Radio England International. These are repeat shows (he's retired now) played Monday to Friday 8am-12 noon and repeated in the evening from 8pm-midnight. Also, Sunday 8am-12 noon. (Click link to listen) www.onlineradio5.com/2013/06/radio-england-international.html

JohnColby
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Joined: Apr 17 2004

Thanks to all. These are some of the resources thrown up on the RNID forum (the other one I've been referring to)

Subtitling and captioning research http://www.sign-lang.uni-hamburg.de/BibWeb/Lidat.acgi?KEYWORDALTID=723 (German)

Commercial organisation http://www.handsonaccess.com/xhtml/Default.asp?PageName=1

Subtitled samples http://www.yourlocalcinema.com/subtitled.trailers.html

Audio Described Samples http://www.yourlocalcinema.com/ad.html#trailers

Subtitles on DVDs http://www.dvd-subtitles.com/

Subtitle effectiveness by movie producer http://www.dvd-subtitles.com./studio_report.php

John

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

One thing to remember is that subtitles shouldn't cross an edit if at all possible. If they do they get 'read again' - much to the annoyance of the viewer.

tom.

DAVE M
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Joined: May 17 1999

I've done a bit of subtitles work with Eurotitler (on an Amiga)that was intended for use with foreign languages. (ie no colour changes for characters)

I work with some deaf theatre students and as said above, most speak BSL which is not English. They seem to prefer an in-vison signer to subs.

I've always hacked the dialogue to allow the reading speed to be kept up and again, as said above, some BSL speakers have low English literacy - some don't. So I tend to leave them on screen for as long as possible

Sign Zone has one of our ex students as a signer

GG
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Joined: Mar 16 2002

I can't really help much with speed, as I'm not sure there really is a set standard.

However we use Screen subtitling systems kit for all our subitling needs, and I think so do many other broadcasters.

http://www.screen.subtitling.com/

The main software is Polyscript.

If you contact these guys they may be able to help you.

HTH

GG

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