About closed captioning

What is closed captioning? It is the text displayed on a TV screen that represents the audio and video signals. It was previously used for the deaf people or for those who wanted to learn English. The fact that the work ‘closed’ appears in the term is a meaning of the possibility of the user to have or not the caption on the screen.

So it’s about being able to choose. The opposite of it is open captioning that appears on the screen no matter what.

There is a frequent idea that captioning and subtitles are the same thing, but they’re not. Subtitles are actually used for translating movies in other languages and displaying the translation as text. This helps the viewers of foreign films to understand what’s happening and to follow the storyline. Close captioning is enabled to describe the audio montage of the show as text. So no translation with the captions.

The purpose of close captioning is to serve those who don’t hear very well in order to assure they are enjoying the show properly. Besides the dialogs, the captions also contain the non verbal sounds. With closed captioning the characters are introduced in music and sounds are represented with symbols.

Another benefit of close captioning is that you can turn of the volume of the TV, for instance when you are speaking on the phone, and still enjoy the show by following the caption. Also if someone Is trying to learn a certain language and doesn’t understand well the pronunciation, the captioning will help with the learning process.

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