Closed Captioning to learn a language – old tech meets new tech

I have blogged before about whether using subtitles to learn a second language is a good or bad thing, but recently I came across a nifty project that aims to help people do just that. Easy Way Language Center has hooked up a computer to capture the closed captions of Brazilian TV stations. The computer then uses Google Translate to translate the captions into another language of your choice. Click on the image below to watch the video explaining how this works.

Image - Easy Way Subtitles

Easy Way Subtitles uses Closed Captioning [CC] and Google Translate

Image - Easy Way Subtitles

Easy Way Subtitles – A computer hooked up to the TV captures all the closed captioning to put into Google Translate

Image - Easy Way Subtitles on iPhone

Easy Way Subtitles – The translation is streamed to a second screen

The Easy Way Subtitles website allows you to select the TV channel and the language you wish to translate the captions into online and you can watch the subtitles stream back to you on the web page, although without the context of knowing what is airing on the channel itself at the time you do this makes it difficult to apply any context to what you are reading. Still I like the use of technology here. What do you think? A good way to learn, or not enough quality control to avoid translation mistakes? After all the captions themselves in the original language might not be correct in the first place though of course they should be.

Advertisements