Captions — Hit or Miss?

We’ve all seen those captioning bloopers that do the rounds on social media every now and then; and to be fair there are some really funny ones. And, as us deafies are not without a sense of humour, often we’ll see the funny side. But, joking apart, how does it make you feel when the captions are so badly wrong?

Here in the UK, I think we do pretty well for the availability of ‘subtitled television’. (In the UK, the term ‘subtitle’ is more commonly used than the term ‘caption’, despite there being a difference between the definitions.) The BBC is clearly committed to making shows accessible and the other main UK channels tend to also be quite good.

But where all channels come unstuck is with subtitling the news.

The worst I’ve found is Channel 4 news (which is unfortunate for me because it is my preferred news programme). The subtitles are so far behind and so often inaccurate that I do better by just lipreading and listening than by trying to make sense of the subtitles that are so far out of sync. Continue reading “Captions — Hit or Miss?”

With or Without Sound?

When you watch television with captions, do you have the sound on or off?

I’ve always seen subtitles as an aid to lipreading and lipreading as an aid to working out what I’m hearing and for that reason, I have both sound and captions on whilst watching television.

However, when I visited a friend who also has severe hearing loss, I noticed she opts for the captions only. I asked her why this was and she explained that because of her Meniere’s, audio from the television sounded distorted and made it impossible for her to watch. Continue reading “With or Without Sound?”

Subtitles: On or Off in a Shared Home?

If you live with someone who doesn’t have hearing loss, is there a tension around having the subtitles on when you watch television together?

When my husband went away on a trip last year and I was home alone, at the first opportunity I got, I switched the subtitles to ‘on’ and had them on all the time. ‘On’ was not their normal default setting in our house at that time, you see. Normally, I would only ask to have them on when I was really struggling to follow the plot of a show.

Of subtitles, someone once said to me, “I don’t know how you can read the text and watch what’s going on at the same time.” When she said this, I was tempted to say, “I don’t know how you can’t.” Continue reading “Subtitles: On or Off in a Shared Home?”