Subtitles are captions that provide a transcription of the spoken parts of a film, play, opera or other similar event or recording. Subtitles are most commonly used in place of dubbing or lectoring to help widen the audience of a film or event, and make them accessible to people with hearing impairments.
Subtitling for films and the arts is becoming far more popular now in countries that have traditionally used dubbing, and lectoring (in which a single narrator describes the actions taking place and speaks over the original recording, which can be heard in the background). Despite its shortcomings, lectoring did at least provide audiences with a minimal understanding of foreign language films, and as such arguably helped widen the film's potential audience. This technique was particularly used in Eastern European countries. However, lectoring often led one person to take on all of the film's roles: this cuts the vital link between verbal and non-verbal expression and reduces a voice over to little more than dry descriptions of a scene. In contrast, in countries where dubbing was more prominent, it at least replaced the original actors' voices with a dialogue spoken by trained voice over artists. Unfortunately, dubbing also creates an (often clearly) artificial environment in which an actor's voice seem to
have little correlation with his or her body language.
In contrast, subtitles enable an audience to hear the original speaker's voice and follow his or her tone, intonation and flow. Consequently, subtitles provide an excellent means of translating a film or event without distracting from the original work. However, if an audience is to properly follow a dialogue, subtitles must be properly set and concise, while still conveying the meaning of a dialogue in a way that reflects its tone and form; the challenge in subtitling is to do this using two lines and a total of 34 characters at a time. txtpress provides high quality subtitles using specialised software to help ensure the captions are clear, concise and set at exactly the correct moment.
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