BBC's mangled subtitles anger viewersDeaf people have expressed their shock at being told a town was expecting a visit from the “Arch b**** of Canterbury” during one local BBC news broadcast.In another embarrassing faux pas, a reporter visiting a farm spoke of how the pigs “love to nibble anything that comes into the shed, like our wellies.”
Unfortunately the subtitles alongside the report changed the last word to a rather childish homophone. After one viewer captured it on screen the error became an Internet sensation. During the Queen Mother’s funeral, the solemn words “We’ll now have a moment’s silence for the Queen Mother” became “We’ll now have a moment’s violence for the Queen Mother” in one BBC broadcast.
The blunders have become so regular that a dedicated website has been set up by bemused viewers. One found in another broadcast a BBC announcer said “government making holes for surgeons” instead of “making helpful decisions.” While the Labour leader was referred to as “Ed Miller Band” in a news broadcast earlier this year. And in one Daily Politics show, one politician announced to the presenter, Andrew Neil, that he did not believe in “soliciting” himself, when he had actually said “shortlisting”.
Pre-recorded subtitles are done before transmission and appear in time with the programme. Live subtitles, however, are made by a stenographer typing words phonetically as they listen to a show, or with speech recognition, where someone talks into a microphone while listening to the broadcast, and a computer recognises their words. The latter can lead to the use of words that sound similar to the intended one, but give a very different meaning.
Broadcast regulator Ofcom has compiled research which has found that many people who could benefit from subtitles just make do for example by turning up the volume. daily times monitor