Ableism in Subtitles
Something that really pisses me off is the litany of ableist issues found in subtitles. So, let's talk about 3 huge issues that need to stop.
Subtitles should never ever say [Speaking -language-]
When a hearing person is watching a TV show, or a stream, if someone starts speaking another language, if that hearing person knows that language, they will get to know what the person said, regardless of if the average viewer knows that foreign language.
Deaf and HOH viewers deserve the same opportunity, and to rob them of that opportunity by putting [speaking -language-] in the subtitles is ableist.
Every word spoken in a show or movie, unless given translated subtitles in the uncaptioned version of the show or movie, should have every word captioned exactly as it's spoken. If someone starts speaking Spanish, the words spoken in Spanish should be subtitled in Spanish. If someone starts speaking German, the words spoken in German should be subtitled in German.
When a show or movie is created, if you want a character to speak a foreign language, you get an actor who can speak that language. When you hire someone to transcribe a show into subtitles, your hire someone who can speak the languages spoken in the show, or you have them mark points where a foreign language speaker will need to assist and then have someone who speaks that language add in the parts that the transcriptionist can't.
Subtitles should never be cut short for convenience
This is something I see constantly. Shows and movies will frequently cut out words or even large chunks of a sentence from the subtitles to make the subtitles shorter.
When you remove descriptive words, parts of a sentence, or even whole sentences to cut down on the amount of subtitles in a given segment, you are completely changing the attitude, mood, and expression of those sentences. You can completely ruin all of the implicit feelings in a sentence if you remove words that show feelings or the way a person phrases things.
It is not your moral right, as a company or transcriptionist, to decide that deaf or HOH viewers shouldn't get the original phrasing.
I am not deaf or HOH. I have APD and have to use subtitles to keep up with what's being said, or I won't process it fast enough. Because of that, I get to see all of the ways subtitles deviate from the original wording all the time. This isn't an issue that just happens here and there. It happens in pretty much every episode of every show I've watched. And it's unacceptable.
Even if we ignore the way this impacts the intent of a sentence, this is ableist by its nature. When subtitles are made, they are made to fill the gap in a deaf or HOH person's TV experience. When you don't accurately fill that gap, or fill it partway, or half ass it, you are cutting corners on a disability aid. It's like if you sold someone a wheelchair with the wheels not pumped with enough air, or giving someone a hearing aid with damaged battery capacity.
When deaf or HOH people watch TV or movies and they use subtitles, they are relying on those subtitles to give them the most accurate wording possible. So why are companies directing or allowing their transcriptionists to half ass or cut down their subtitles? Every piece of media should be having its subtitles checked for accuracy before they're approved, and subtitles that cut corners should be amended before a show with subtitles is published or aired.
Subtitles should never censor words that aren't censored in audio
If a show or movie has swearing in it, of any kind, the subtitles should accurately depict what is happening audibly. If the audio has swear words censored, the subtitles should depict the noise - or lack thereof - that is used to censor the word. Subtitles should never be censored when the audio isn't.
Not only does this touch on the same issue from the last section, it's also ableist in another way. Not only are you giving deaf and HOH people a different experience than hearing people, you're also infantilizing them by disallowing them from hearing swear words that hearing viewers can hear.
Deaf and HOH adults are not children. They have just as much right to read the word "fuck" as a hearing person does to hear it. Censoring subtitles is disrespectful, ableist, and infantilizing and it needs to stop.
Make a change
I'm not familiar with the details of the ADA and how it regards subtitles, but if anyone would like to work with me to do something about this, I would really like to fight for subtitles to have more regulation.
If the ADA prohibits inaccurate subtitles, we should be reporting companies like Netflix who constantly provide inaccurate subtitles. If it doesn't, we should be fighting to amend the ADA to include regulations for subtitle accuracy.
Anyone who's researched this before or who knows more about it than I do, please tell me what you know or give me some sources I can look into myself. I would research from scratch but I'm disabled and don't have a lot of spoons for it, which is why I'd like to work together with others.
BEYOND obsessed with this house in fort worth, texas i mean
okay pretty normal, let’s look at the interior photos—
WHAT THE FUCK
here we see the first example of a pattern that will recur throughout the house, which is that once your eyes adjust to the bonkers dictator chic marble-and-gilded-everything, you notice some pretty egregiously shoddy workmanship. look at how that baseboard intersects with the outlet. look at how the marble... uh, thing on the wall (i was gonna call it a fireplace but it’s not a fireplace, i have no idea what that is) has gaps and weird angles wherever two pieces meet. it’s like they’re trying to recreate versailles on an ikea budget
i... don’t hate the kitchen. i mean, obviously it’s ugly and #toomuch and there was zero effort made to match the very modern appliances and sink to the cabinets, but still, i’m a sucker for a pass-through and a big sink with a window above it.
this ceiling Fucks but the wrinkly, uneven curtains and terrible caulking around the faux-column in the middle anti-Fuck
why did we suddenly completely switch aesthetics. why is there an old TV set into the wall at floor level. why is there a tiny set of doors next to it. why does the fireplace look like an asset ripped from the original dark souls. i feel a sinister presence sucking at my soul the longer i look at this photo
i feel like whoever designed this monstrosity started with the dining room and then once they’d finished it realized they’d blown half their budget on just this one room. it’s so overdecorated that the gaudiness feels intentional, like it’s a statement rather than a side effect of genuine tastelessness. i can applaud that.
here we have the antithesis of the dining room. i don’t know what this room is supposed to be but i hate it. i’m pretty sure everything in this photo literally came from ikea. there is a lack of commitment here and it is rancid
ladies, gentlemen, distinguished colleagues, we have now hit the cornerstone of any great tacky real estate listing: the heart-shaped bathtub! this one gets bonus points for being next to a gilded mirror and surrounded by bright red damask wallpaper. as a bathtub i’d give it a 1/10 because those angles look incredibly uncomfortable, but as a place to shoot my lover through the heart while wearing a gauzy fur-trimmed bathrobe before fleeing with our ill-gotten fortune i’d give it a solid 11/10
here we are with the lack of commitment again. this literally looks like the kitchen in my college dorm but with a weird fringey lamp and some curtains that are absolutely too long for their windows
again, the mix of styles here is just killing me. half damask wallpaper and carved wall panels, half normal-ass bathroom? really? isn’t there anything truly unhinged left in this house? anything truly opulent, decadent, off the chain, extravagant, gaudy—
THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT BAY BEE!!! THAT’S MORE THE FUCK LIKE IT!!! COMMIT! TO! THE! BIT! GO BIG OR GO HOME! IF YOU’RE GONNA STICK A CEILING DOME IN THE FOYER OF YOUR SUBURBAN TEXAS HOUSE IT HAD BETTER BE TWELVE FEET IN DIAMETER AND PAINTED WITH DOZENS OF FLOWERS OR ELSE WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE EVEN DOING HERE??
and finally, to close out the show, a reminder that this entire acid trip of a real estate listing took place in an ordinary, modern single-story house in texas, one with a backyard and utility boxes on the exterior walls and neighbors who may be blissfully unaware that they live mere feet from a yawning pit of madness.
i love tacky real estate listings.
Blackbeard based on Queen Maev by J. C. Leyendecker
[ID: A digital drawing of Ed from Our Flag Means Death. He is sitting on a throne and wearing Stede's bird and flower patterned robe. He is resting his head on his hand, looking at the viewer with a serious expression. He is surrounded by Stede's old robes and books. He is holding his pipe, and smoke is coming out of it. The colours in the image are warm and dark with purple tones. Behind the throne, lit candles illuminate the scene. End ID]