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In brief

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cita SPA Subtitulación para sordos


origen  origins

Subtitling for the deaf and hard-of hearing, originally known as Closed Captioning, was born in the 70s, in the United States. However, it was not until the 80s that subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing appeared in some US TV channels. In Europe, it was introduced through the United Kingdom in 1979 and it gradually extended to other European countries. It took more than eleven years to arrive to Spain, in 1990.

origen  other names

On streaming platforms it is named CC (Closed Captioning).

resumen  abstract

Subtitling for the deaf and hard-of-hearing (SDH) is a multimodal translation modality which is aimed at conveying information transmitted aurally (dialogues, music, and sound effects) through the verbal written mode. It can be open (in audiovisual productions), closed (in teletext) or live (in opera or any live TV program).

SDH is an intersemiotic translation modality, involving two semiotic modes in the translation process of non-linguistic sounds into words. It can also be classified as intralingual translation, given that it entails translating verbal oral language into written verbal language in the same natural language.

Knowing the deaf and hard-of-hearing culture and commanding some of the basic principles of sign language are two of the main competences for SDH. Although the deaf community is highly heterogeneous and demands different translated products, it is advisable to translate for those receivers with the greatest difficulties accessing the target language, who are usually deaf native signers.

The debate over the different forms of creating SDH, either transcribing the original dialogue or simplifying and adapting it through language or icons (e.g., using emojis or pictograms), is still open. Further reception studies on the preferences and access to subtitled multimodal products by the heterogenous receivers continues to be necessary.

A turning point in the standardization of SDH was, beyond any doubt, the creation and updating of the British guidelines by the BBC (2018) and the German standard (Untertitel-Standards 2015). In Spain, the early publication of the UNE standard 153010 (2003), which was improved and updated in 2012 thanks to critical revisions (Pereira Rodríguez & Lorenzo García 2005), has enjoyed widespread acceptance and  has contributed to the standardization of SDH (Arnáiz-Urquiza 2015). The Spanish standard has established the systematic and functional use of colours and other strategies for identifying characters and the location on screen of sound effects. This standard has led to the homogenization of key aspects of SDH, thus counteracting the cognitive reading effort made by deaf receivers. However, further studies are still needed to evaluate to what extent these guidelines are appropriate (Cuéllar 2018: 61).


ficha   record

autor Silvia Martínez Martínez
fecha de publicación 2022
referencia (cómo citar) Martínez Martínez, Silvia. 2022. "Subtitling for the deaf and hard-of-hearing" @ ENTI (Encyclopedia of translation and interpreting). AIETI.
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