Thursday, October 27, 2011

The BBC Gets Bashed, Thanks to Subtitling Blunders

                Deaf BBC viewers are frequently noticing some comical errors in the corporation’s subtitles/captions. The errors are so common that there is a website dedicated to recording them so that people can have a good laugh. Some of the slips include calling the leader of the Church of England the “arch bi***” of Canturbury, requesting “a moment’s violence” during the Queen Mother’s funeral, and describing pigs that enjoy nibbling on “wellies” (boots) as pigs that enjoy nibbling on “willies”.

                A number of groups are critiquing the BBC for the increasing number of mistakes and believe that the network should raise its subtitling and captioning standards. The captioning process usually involves a person viewing the program while speaking into a microphone that is connected to a computer. The computer then uses speech recognition to change the spoken words into captions for the hard of hearing. Speech recognition software is not perfect, and this is where the majority of the errors come into play. Such errors can occur on any network that is providing captioning; the reason that the BBC is under harsher criticism than other networks is because the BBC is the only broadcaster in the world to subtitle all of its programs.
                Despite the statements from a BBC spokesman that they “endeavor to ensure it is as accurate as possible,” they continue to receive regular complaints and demands to monitor the quality to reduce the number of mistakes.

If you would like to view some fun, intentionally incorrect dubbing, visit:

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