Subtitles and British Sign Language

By Matthew Weston

What are subtitles?

Subtitles are captions displayed on a screen (usually at the bottom) that translate or transcribe the dialogue or narrative.

They can be used to translate a spoken foreign language, or for those who are deaf and hard-of-hearing to follow the dialogue.

Many of you will, we’re sure, be familiar with television subtitles, and for those of a certain vintage in the UK you’ll remember pressing 888 on Ceefax to activate them!

What is ‘Closed Captioning’?

Subtitles can also be referred to as “closed captions” in some countries. When you visit the video website YouTube, for example, you’ll notice that there is a tab labelled “CC” on certain videos.

Clicking the “CC” will toggle subtitles on or off on the video. If you’re going to host your own video on YouTube, then using closed captioning is a great option, as it allows people to toggle
them on or off at their own discretion.

What is British Sign Language?

British Sign Language (or BSL for short) is a form of sign language developed in the UK. It is the nation’s most common form of sign language and has been recognised by the UK government as an official minority language.

Sign Language is a visual means of communicating using gestures, facial expression, and body language. Sign Language is used mainly by people who are deaf or have hearing impairments.

Why use British Sign Language in videos?

Sign language is commonly seen on television programmes, with a professional signer at the corner of the screen translating to viewers who are deaf or have hearing impairments.

The practice is not as common in online videos, however. We think this is an area that many companies are overlooking.

Having sign language capabilities in your videos can open them up to a wider audience. Companies pride themselves on their diversity and accessibility, so it would make sense to include this benefit in any videos they create as part of a wider marketing campaign.

Here at Stone’s Throw Media we are happy to provide this service for any clients who request it.

Contact us today to see how we can help you!

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