Captioning and Subtitling for d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing Audiences

Soledad Zárate


ISBN: 9781787357129

Publication: January 14, 2021

Captioning and Subtitling for d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing Audiences is a comprehensive guide to the theory and practice of captioning and subtitling, a discipline that has evolved quickly in recent years.

This guide is of a practical nature and contains examples and exercises at the end of each chapter. Some of the tasks stimulate reflection on the practice and reception, while others focus on particular captioning and SDH areas, such as paralinguistic features, music and sound effects. The requirements of d/Deaf and hard of hearing audiences are analysed in detail and are accompanied by linguistic and technical considerations. These considerations, though shared with generic subtitling parameters, are discussed specifically with d/Deaf and hard of hearing audiences in mind. The reader will become familiar with the characteristics of d/Deaf and hard of hearing audiences, and the diversity – including cultural and linguistic differences – within this group of people.

Based on first-hand experience in the field, the book also provides a step-by-step guide to making live performances accessible to d/Deaf and hard of hearing audiences. As well as exploring all linguistic and technical matters related to the creation of captions, aspects related to the overall set up of the captioned performance are discussed. The guide will be valuable reading to students of audiovisual translation at undergraduate and postgraduate level, to professional subtitlers and captioners, and to any organisation or venue that engages with d/Deaf and hard of hearing people.

Soledad Zárate is Teaching Fellow at UCL, where she convenes and teaches the module Subtitling and Captioning for d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing People as part of the MSc in Specialised Translation.

List of figures
List of tables
List of abbreviations
1 Subtitling for d/Deaf and hard of hearing audiences 
1.1 The history of subtitles 
1.2 SDH within audiovisual translation (AVT) 
1.3 Legislation on accessibility 
1.3.1 Television and video-on-demand quotas 
1.3.2 SDH at the cinema 
1.4 The SDH subtitler 
1.4.1 The live subtitler 
1.5 Discussion points 
2 Who is our audience? 
2.1 Models of deafness and disabilities 
2.2 A spoken language for d/Deaf and hard of hearing
2.3 Deafness 
2.3.1 Causes, types and degrees 
2.3.2 Hearing devices Hearing aids Cochlear implantation 
2.4 d/Deaf children 
2.5 Discussion points 
3 Linguistic considerations 
3.1 Text editing 
3.1.1 What can be omitted 
3.1.2 Children’s programmes 
3.2 Segmentation and line-breaks 
3.3 Non-standard language 
3.3.1 Children’s programmes 
3.4 Orthotypographical conventions 
3.4.1 Upper case 
3.4.2 Italics 
3.4.3 Single and double quotes 
3.4.4 Round brackets 
3.4.5 Suspension dots 
3.4.6 Dashes and hyphens 
3.4.7 Symbols 
3.5 Discussion points 
4 Technical considerations 
4.1 Synchronisation between subtitle and sound/image 
4.2 Subtitle presentation rates: Reading speeds 
4.3 Minimum gap between subtitles 
4.4 Shot changes 
4.5 Subtitle layout 
4.5.1 Font and size 
4.5.2 Number of lines 
4.5.3 Line length 
4.6 Position of subtitle on screen 
4.6.1 The safe area 
4.7 Subtitle file formats 
4.8 Discussion points 
5 Specific requirements 
5.1 Speaker identification 
5.1.1 Colours 
5.1.2 Labels and dashes or hyphens 
5.2 Paralinguistic features 
5.2.1 Accents and pronunciation 
5.2.2 Intonation Emphasis Whispering Lyrics Sarcasm Other voice qualifiers 
5.2.3 Vocal non-verbal sounds 
5.2.4 Pauses and hesitations 
5.3 Music 
5.4 Sound effects 
5.5 Silence 
5.6 Discussion points 
6 Captioning theatre and subtitling live events 
6.1 Captioning theatre plays 
6.1.1 Open captioning in theatres around the world 
6.1.2 Closed-captioning solutions in theatres 
6.1.3 The role of the theatre captioner 
6.2 Captioning puppet theatre 
6.2.1 The Puppet Theatre Barge 
6.2.2 Puppet shows for younger children 
6.2.3 Puppet shows for older children 
6.2.4 Puppet shows for adults 
6.3 Marketing the captioned performance 
6.4 Before the captioned performance 
6.5 On the day of the captioned performance 
6.6 Audience’s feedback on captioned puppet shows 
6.6.1 Audience demographics 
6.6.2 Visibility of the caption unit 
6.6.3 Did captions improve access to or enjoyment
of the play? 
6.7 Subtitling live events 
6.8 Discussion points 
Appendix 1 Questionnaire collected after a captioned performance 
Appendix 2 Summary of feedback from captioned puppet shows 
Appendix 3 Example of subtitles for clip from School of Rock 
Films and other audiovisual material 

Format: Hardback

Size: 234 × 156 mm

176 Pages

19 colour illustrations

Copyright: © 2021

ISBN: 9781787357129

Publication: January 14, 2021

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