The importance of subtitling - by Clarisa Capuano
Subtitling was born to deal with the linguistic barrier posed by spoken English cinema during the late 20s; however, today it extends beyond cinematographic entertainment. Nowadays, it is considered a crucial tool that prevents language from being a barrier to connect, learn, and enjoy audiovisual content.
The availability of audiovisual material is constantly growing, and it is necessary to know the advantages of subtitling all content to increase the potential audience.
To start with, subtitled content opens a door to knowledge and entertainment for those who do not speak the original language of the audiovisual material. It allows the viewer to access the value of cinema, learn about places and cultures, ways of life, entertainment, and participate in virtual classrooms that can be located anywhere. The original sounds and voices are not hidden, so phrases can be listened to in the original language and read in the language that the receiver understands.
If, on the contrary, what you want is to read the text in the original language in order to understand its technical content and terminology, you can use closed captions. The main difference is that this second option assumes that people seeing the content have difficulties hearing it, closed captioning is an inclusive tool. For this reason, the text gives details not only about the dialogues in the original language but also about the environmental sounds and music.
But this is not all, these two types of tools give us access to online training, launched by renowned institutions around the world, where you can learn about the most diverse topics, many times without costs. In the isolation period in which we live, they have been essential.
In addition, it should be added that subtitling and closed captioning are very useful in the age of virtual meetings, all team participants can stay connected and pay attention to the speakers, whether they share the language or not. Well-known applications used for video conferencing offer closed captions for all participants to understand in real-time what is being said during meetings.
In conclusion, the benefits offered by these tools are varied and cannot be considered exclusively as part of the entertainment industry. Their use expands virtual learning opportunities or #eLearning that otherwise will not be accessible to those who want to excel themselves in these times of new challenges.
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