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  • iheartsubtitles 3:40 pm on May 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , You Tube   

    CCAC – Collaborative for Communication Access via Captioning 

    If you visit this blog via the homepage then you may have noticed this logo sitting on the right with the letters CCAC. Go look —>

    If you wondering why this blog isn’t always updated, part of the reason is I’m busy reading and contributing when I can to the CCAC mailing list which is full of information on all kinds of captioning events, products, services, campaigns  – you name it – from across the globe.  It’s members contribute to a great amount of shared knowledge and experience whether in advocacy, experience in using/relying on captions or the technology that can bring captioning to life.  The CCAC has just created a You Tube channel and needs your help:

    I’m going to get my thinking cap on, I share most of my thoughts on the topic here on this blog but how to make it in video form…. its a challenge. I’ll get back to you on that. I hope others contribute too!

    • roselle 3:51 pm on August 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      You’re a brave soul posting a vlog! But why isn’t it captioned? Am I missing something here by using my sidekick for access?


      • iheartsubtitles 12:11 am on February 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Rosie, you may need to turn the captions on – click the CC button on bottom left to do so.


    • ls 8:58 am on February 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      nice to see this new activity here – hope all are well, i heart subtitles included! let’s talk soon,


      • iheartsubtitles 7:47 pm on February 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Sure, feel free to email me. I’m sad I had to stop this for a while. I’ve a *lot* of emails to catch up on in my inbox and with CCAC list.


  • iheartsubtitles 8:33 pm on January 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , You Tube   

    Subtitles to learn a second language – good or bad? 

    I’ve already made several posts on this blog pointing to evidence and examples of how subtitling can improve literacy and help same language learning via SLS (Same Language Subtitling). But what about learning English as second language? (ESL) I came across an article online recently that gives some strong arguments as to why using subtitles may not be the best method:

    (a) reading and listening constitute two very different brain functions, which, when attempted simultaneously, tend to cancel each other out. Or do your most scintillating conversations with your spouse take place when he or she is reading the Sunday papers?

    (b) As an EFL learner, you can visit England, Scotland, Canada or New Zealand; but not Subtitled England; Subtitled Scotland; Subtitled Canada (“ay?”) and Subtitled New Zealand. If we want to equip learners to function in English in the real world, we shouldn’t create an artificial learning medium which simply doesn’t exist in that real world.

    (c) A corollary to (b): half the battle in language learning is building up self-confidence in the target language, even if not everything is understood and production mistakes are made. To lull learners into a false sense of security via subtitles, only to yank them away in real-life situations when they really need to execute on unassisted comprehension, can do much to harm a learner’s self-confidence. That’s why the first phase of our Video Booster video-based exercises on English Attack! is called Survival Test. The exercise is designed to foster confidence in understanding the gist of a video passage, without subtitles, even if not every single word or fact is understood: in fact, it’s healthy to convey to learners that even mother-tongue English speakers don’t understand every single word in an English language film (Trainspotting, anyone?).

    SOURCE: English Attack!

    On the other hand, the musicESL channel on You Tube encourages learning English through music with its subtitled videos:


    I’m not a multi-lingual person and I always struggled with learning other languages at school. I was much better at reading a foreign language than I was speaking it or understanding someone speaking it. Some people I’ve spoken to have told me that when learning ESL they used subtitles on DVDs to help. I think subtitles can help, but perhaps more in learning to write the language than a real life scenario of understanding speaking and speaking the language back? What are other people’s views?

    • Dianrez 10:22 pm on January 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Not being a language teacher, I hesitate to comment here. These studies, however, come from hearing populations, and auditory input is prominient in this discussion.

      For Deaf people, captioning/subtitling is a major input. It parallels reading English in print such as books, graphic novels, newspapers, etc. There is no significant hearing input here.

      Personally, I found it interesting when reading books such as “A Clockwork Orange” where a fictional language is interleaved with English text, that I was picking up the fictional language and its unique syntax rather easily. It occured to me that likewise interleaving Spanish or French with English text would enable me to pick it up. But maybe that’s just me, as I pick up visible words easily and this might not be true of the next Deaf person.

      It stands to reason, however, that words presented in print are not as fleeting as through-the-air language, and in that way is more likely to be absorbed.

      Educators are saying that a child’s first language, once established, forms a bridge to learning a second language. If the first language is sign, and thus through the air, and the second language is English in written form, one needs to think about what this means for literacy.


    • KellyAnn 5:21 pm on January 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I’m learning Spanish in my free time (I should be fluent sometime in 2050!), and with television shows, the lag in the subtitles vs what is spoken enables me to double-check words I’m unsure of when I hear them. For me subtitles can be helpful but are not a magic bullet to learning another language.


      • iheartsubtitles 5:59 pm on January 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for commenting. I think this is probably how most people feel with regards to subtitles. I struggle without them regardless of the language, but that is not the case for everyone obviously.


    • Marga Burke 6:44 pm on January 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I’m a translator from French and Italian into English, and I’ve also studied some German and Spanish. In my personal experience, same-language subtitles are definitely helpful in moderation. They also have their disadvantages and I think the points made by English Attack! about confidence, the real world and not needing to understand every single word are very valid.

      To me, what it comes down to is the language learner’s level of comprehension and how easy or difficult it would be for them to understand the video on its own. If they can get the gist of it without subtitles, that’s great for building confidence and improving listening comprehension. And if the video is part of an EFL programme and has been chosen or created to match their level of understanding – stretching them but not totally baffling them – I agree that subtitles wouldn’t be needed for *most* learners and could make it harder for them to gain “real world” language skills.

      On the other hand, what if you want to watch a film that you just can’t follow without a little help? Maybe the dialogue is very fast, or strong accents or dialect are involved, and your second-language skills aren’t up to the job yet. It was in situations like this – with films in my second languages that I was watching for pleasure as well as education, and not as part of a structured course – that I found same-language subtitles really helpful. My reading comprehension would usually be ahead of my listening comprehension anyway, so watching a film with the subtitles on allowed me to enjoy it and helped me improve my knowledge of the language at the same time.

      Regarding point (a), I agree that they are different brain functions and if you’re reading the subtitles, it may well be your reading skills that improve rather than your understanding of the spoken language. That’s why I think it’s best to turn the subtitles off if you can get the gist of the video without them. But there’s a world of difference between trying to read a newspaper and carry on a conversation at the same time, and trying to read text while simultaneously hearing it spoken. In fact, one of my friends has software which reads texts aloud to her because she finds it easiest to concentrate with the information coming at her both visually and aurally (she doesn’t have a visual impairment).

      Of course, I’m writing all this from a hearing perspective and language learners who are deaf or hard of hearing will have different requirements. So while I completely understand English Attack!’s decision not to use subtitles as part of the routine teaching process, I think they should be made available for learners who need them.


      • iheartsubtitles 6:00 pm on January 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Some very interesting points. Thanks for commenting. I think that things like dialect can be a problem even when it is from your first language!


    • Marta Ortells 7:44 am on January 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Hi! 🙂

      I’m translator from English and French to Spanish and Catalan. I completely agree with Marga’s point of view.
      Same-language subtitles can help to better understanding and then one should “jump without a net” to train a listening ability for real-life situations.

      I remember buying Speak Up magazine (http://www.revistasadomicilio.es/fotos/revistas/detalle/speakup.jpg) monthly 20 years ago because an English subtitled film (videocassette format) came with it. 🙂


    • amy 7:26 pm on January 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      interesting. I just reviewed a kids’ Spanish program out of Europe. It has subtitles (English and Spanish) that can be turned on and off. MY son is a 10 year old implant user and I can tell you that he learned Spanish in a few short weeks (basics) because of them. He does NOT pronounce things correct and we had to work on that..but they are key for us in every subject..

      A question for the blogger here.. I am a homeschooler. I have a HUGE pet peeve within the curriculum in the Homeschooling community- CAPTIONS are almost non-existent. (MUS is one math program that is an exception.) But I am reviewing another online curriculum right now and there is almost no captioning. Is there a ‘lobby’ group I can get involved with? My son has other issues -autisticish. And so he got his implant..we concentrated on that.. then we dealt with the other and the pendulum is swinging back. Thanks for any way you can direct me


    • eslteachertim 5:16 pm on April 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent post and some fantastic comments… being a teacher of English in China I find myself always recommending to my students to watch English movies with the Chinese subtitles first, then re-watch the movie but with English subtitles… by now the students have become familiar with the film and reading the English is helped by the previous reading in Chinese. Finally, if they’re not too overwhelmed, watch the film with no subtitles. If you want to do this in class you would consider just a 15 min clip of a film so the students can watch it three times there and then, followed by further, related activities.
      It’s also a great lesson if you play a film with no sound and the students have to make their own subtitles to the movie…
      A remarkable blog you’ve got here… thanks


    • lee 5:05 am on September 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I agree with Marga. I am trying to learn Italian though I cannot speak or understand spoken language easily though I understand the substance. I prefer watching movies or videos with Italian subtitles so that I can read and understand better and repeat the movie again and again till I get the hang of it. English subtitles donot help much really. In fact it may be useful to have both language titles at the same time. But at the same time one may get used subtitles and pay less attension to the actual audio or video. I watched Italian TV without any subtitles and in few weeks manage to pick up words. But now that I am out of Italy I prefer to see the subtitles and go for the dictionary it I cannot understand.


    • Mike Fabrikant 11:26 pm on November 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I designed a website for learning languages with subtitles. It’s basically a subtitle search engine of audio clips and their translations. For the tv and movie content that is used, the translations are often inaccurate and the tenses lost. However, they still serve well as hints to the meaning of what’s spoken to anyone with prior experience in the language. Soon logged in users will have the ability to improve translations. This site is http://www.audioverb.com. Feed back is appreciated. Thanks!


    • Meez 1:50 pm on October 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Hi there! Learning languages with the help of subtitles is a perfect idea!
      You can easily find a huge amount of subtitles at http://subtitlesbank.com


    • Adriana Balseca 5:43 am on September 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Hi.My name is Adriana. I’m from Ecuador. I’m a teacher and I’m studying to get my master’s degree. I’m doing my thesis about Closed Caption. Technological application Closed Caption for listening skill. I’d like you to share with me some information related to it or maybe some links where I can do my research. Thanks for your help! 🙂


    • PeterM 2:57 pm on April 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I too have created a website for learning languages from subtitles. http://sublearning.com Essentially its a flash card learning site. I wanted this for myself to learn spanish but thought it might be useful for others too. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated


    • rdalliah 8:04 am on May 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Hi. May I get the link for the online article you mentioned please?


  • iheartsubtitles 10:29 pm on January 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , You Tube   

    Cee Lo Green – Fuck You – part 2 

    Ok so this isn’t technically about subtitling or captioning but thought it made a nice follow up to this post which actually on topic. Having already provided the song is English, Spanish, and German text, Cee Lo Green’s Fuck You or radio friendly Forget You song has now also been translated into American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) online. Happy viewing!

  • iheartsubtitles 5:26 pm on December 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , You Tube   

    Ever tried to lip-read a cartoon? 

    In my last post I mentioned that I often struggled watching Disney animated films as a child since subtitled cinema was not available. This is why I love the work being done on the You Tube channel ccartoons.

    Using You Tube’s closed captioning facility you can find lots of cartoon clips with closed captioning and captioning transcripts that allow you to jump to a section of dialogue in the clip should you wish to.

    There are currently over 50 cartoon clips available to watch with more being added all the time. My favourite is this classic Superman Fleischer episode:

    Visit cccartoons and happy viewing 🙂

    • acsbloggo 6:31 pm on December 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      This is awesome. Thanks for sharing.


    • bill 6:44 pm on December 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Yourlocalcinema.com used have posters that said “ever try to lip-read spiderman?”


      • iheartsubtitles 10:29 am on December 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Yes they did – I don’t know why it has been taken off the website – I like it. I have it somewhere saved on my PC (I think).


    • cccartoons 10:15 pm on December 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for sharing this. I’m the dude from cccartoons. I’ve been working with video for 12 years – mostly involving synchronizing video to legal transcripts. I read about the captioning or subtitles on YouTube and, while I was impressed with the technology, I was completely underwhelmed by the lack of content. It seemed like a lot of people were talking about it, but few were actually doing it. I found out the reason why – it’s not easy, especially when you don’t have the transcript. After doing about 10 videos, I was “done”. I had mastered the process and understood what it could do and how to use it.

      I then started getting e-mails thanking me for my work as well as requests for particular cartoons.
      After reading these e-mails, I decided that I must continue. The combination of the gratitude and the realization that my hearing is a gift, have kept this project alive. My channel now has 81 videos. I have been getting my content from the Internet Archive. If there is anything specific you would like, please ask. If the video is in the public domain and of reasonable quality (I crop, color correct, and upscale everything to HD) I will try and subtitle it. Finally, please know that this is not a commercial effort. For me, this is not about making money. It’s more of a karma thing.


      • iheartsubtitles 3:43 pm on December 31, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Glad you found my post on your you tube channel. Subtitling seems quite trivial to those that are lucky enough not to need them. For those of us that do, it is a lifeline. And I am sure the emails you receive say a similar thing. I hope the positive response makes it all worthwhile. Keep up the good work. 🙂


  • iheartsubtitles 1:31 pm on October 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , You Tube   

    Cats – Now with subtitles 

    Because it’s too cute not to share.  Thanks to subtitles we can now understand these furry friends.  If your not a cat person you might want to skip this post. There are many translations, I think this is the best one for attempting to dissect English words from miaow’s:

    Carry on…. Normal service on this blog will resume shortly.

  • iheartsubtitles 1:28 pm on September 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , You Tube   

    You Tube Subtitling/Captioning 

    If only more people did this.  This is a shout out to anyone who uploads content to You Tube.   Please consider writing a transcript of said video.  You Tube are trying to make it easier for you.  In the same way that Google is using speech recognition technology to automatically add captioning to videos uploaded to You Tube, it can automatically time stamp a transcript you upload. If anyone has done this, tried it – would love to hear your feedback.  It has to be said that the speech recognition automated subtitles has some way to go – for complete accuracy you need a human being listening and doing the audio translations.

    Here is an entertaining and informative video explaining how to add subtitles to your You Tube video (which also adds the transcript):

    If you don’t want to create a subtitle file using a text editor this is one alternative I have found. It’s a free resource called VideoCritter that allows you to add subtitles/captions to any You Tube video via playback to create the subtitle file. Watch the video below:

    Also from Google and free to use is Caption Tube, though you will need to a google account to sign in with.

    There are many more resources which I will share as and when I discover them. Get captioning!/subtitling!

    • Fluid Spanish 6:12 pm on January 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for liking my blog! Love the idea for your blog “i heart subtitles”. Awesome.


  • iheartsubtitles 12:32 pm on September 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , You Tube   

    Downfall Parodies 

    Surely one of the biggest internet meme’s of the last few years, certainly the biggest that uses creative subtitling is the parody of  the German language film Downfall.  This article explains the history.  There is even a forum dedicated to them.  More recently however in April 2010 it was reported that the video’s were being removed from internet sites at the request of the film’s production and distribution company Constanin Films.  So guess what? Now that in itself has spawned parodies such as this one:

    There are hundreds of other examples.  I’m sure you’ve come across them already. And I am sure for German speaking people this meme has less appeal.  For the rest of us, you wonder if and when this meme will run out of steam!

  • iheartsubtitles 6:43 pm on March 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , You Tube   

    You Tube – Captioning / 22 Frames 

    Last year Google announced it would provide automated captioning for videos on its site.  And I’ve recently noticed the “cc” option is now available to all users to turn them on. The technology has some way to go but I welcome this option being available and will definitely be making use of them. If you are someone who uploads content to You Tube, the link above contains info on how to enable auto captioning for your content. See also Caption Tube.

    If you are interested in only watching captioned or subtitled content online OR content that can be watched without the need for audio – check out 22 Frames – you can help contribute by submitting video links you think should be included if it is not already.

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