If you have ever watched a television show or movie and noticed words crawling across the top or bottom of the screen, you have seen closed captions. Though these titles are typically used by those with difficulty hearing, they can also provide a deeper understanding of the material onscreen for those who can hear the audio perfectly well. More and more frequently, closed captioning is available in multiple languages to suit the needs of an increasingly multicultural society.
Captions for a Multilingual World
Today’s captioning companies understand that the deaf and hard of hearing community is not solely English-speaking. There are many people of many cultures who rely on closed captions to understand the entertainment, news and informative programs they watch. Giving them text to read in their own language improves understanding and makes watching these shows easier and more enjoyable.
The Difference in Closed Captions and Subtitles
Many people confuse closed captioning with subtitling. Though the two are certainly similar, there is one marked difference between them. While subtitles provide a text version of what the narrators, characters or people on-screen are saying, closed captions also include a readable version of all discernible sounds as well. This includes musical accompaniment, background audio, sound effects and more. Giving viewers a text version of these sounds enriches the experience of watching the movie or show, and helps them better understand what is happening.
Those who provide closed captioning services are indispensable to the deaf and hard of hearing community. Regardless of language spoken or place of residence, all people who watch movies, view television programs or watch the news deserve to enjoy doing so. Captioning professionals help make this possible in an increasingly multilingual world.