Vigo International Journal
of Applied Linguistics VIAL
Pablo Romero-Fresco (1): More haste less speed: Edited versus
verbatim respoken subtitles. VIAL. Number 6/2009: 109-133.
The choice between edited and verbatim subtitles has always been
a controversial issue in subtitling for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
(SDH). Whereas scholars often support editing, deaf associations
tend to demand verbatim subtitles as the only way to have full
access to audiovisual programmes. Now that European legislation
is making SDH no longer a privilege but a right for all viewers,
this demand for verbatim subtitles has also been extended to live
programmes. Yet, live subtitles, nowadays mostly produced by speech
recognition (respeaking), present a different situation and require
a different analysis. The aim of this article is to provide a
description of respoken subtitles, especially with regard to their
speed. First of all, an overview is given of the different parties
involved in the issue of subtitling speed, followed by a review
of the research carried out so far and of the guidelines that
have been implemented as a result, with particular focus on the
UK. Then, an analysis is presented of ten respoken programmes
broadcast by the BBC, providing data regarding the speed of the
original soundtrack, the speed of respoken subtitles, the amount
of editing carried out and the information lost in this process.
The results obtained in this analysis show that verbatim respoken
subtitles, at least in the programmes analysed, are rarely produced.
It is argued that editing, as currently carried out by respeakers,
causes a minimal loss of information, especially as compared to
the potential loss of information for viewers reading respoken
subtitles at the current speeds.
subtitles, live subtitling, respeaking, SDH, speed, verbatim subtitles.
(1) Roehampton University
/Transmedia Catalonia. Spain
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