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Re: Bilingual captions conformance

From: David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 2014 15:12:57 -0400
Message-ID: <BLU436-SMTP898B134835D3C3BCBB4243FEEB0@phx.gbl>
To: WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Here is a response from a key player at the Canadian Association for the
Deaf. It appears to validate Loretta's position of not encouraging
captioning that involves any translation... Of course there are probably a
variety of opinions but this is an important one. It sounds like it's not a
great idea to mix translation and transcription in the same file.

For the two file approach I was suggesting on the call is probably risky if
encouraged too enthusiastically ... If the translation is poor then the
person who is deaf is stuck with two different language files, neither of
which is very good. But if there truly *were *professional translators, it
would be an acceptable approach to captioning but it's a big "if" and
pretty risky. Here's our interaction.

CAD representative:
“Captioning is a transcription, not a translation.”  Captions have to say
what is said on-screen, and that means that if Harper suddenly says
“Bonjour, mes amis” in the middle of an otherwise all-English speech on the
video, then the captions have to say *“Bonjour, mes amis”* and not
translate it into “Hello, my friends”.

David responds:
So would you say it would be a failure of proper captioning practice if a
bilingual video (only one audio track where Prime Minister speaks back and
forth between English and French), is on Youtube, and had an English
Caption file and a French caption file, whereas, each caption file had half
translation and half transcription, with translation provided by
professional translators?


It’s a tough call, David.  The translation would have to be done by
professional translators, and then you would need to get the captions done
separately, so you could be running into time and money problems.  When
faced with those problems, most producers are going to opt for the fastest
and cheapest options, which is to let the translation be done by that
intern who went to immersion French primary school 15 years ago.  Then you
get angry complaints from viewers whose first language is the intern’s
second language because he did a sucky job of it, and you get complaints
from caption viewers that the French captioning sucks (because it’s
transcribing the spoken translation that sucks).

I’d trust your gut feeling if I were you, and then learn from whatever
feedback you get.


I'm waiting on another opinion but the key person is on vacation.


David MacDonald

*Can**Adapt* *Solutions Inc.*

Tel:  613.235.4902

LinkedIn <http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidmacdonald100>


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On Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 12:41 PM, Sailesh Panchang <
sailesh.panchang@deque.com> wrote:

> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Loretta Guarino Reid <lorettaguarino@google.com>
> Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2014 12:50:06 -0700
> Subject: Re: Caption language
> To: Sailesh Panchang <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>
> Cc: Joshue O Connor <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>, Andrew Kirkpatrick
> <akirkpat@adobe.com>
> Yes, I looked up the definition of captions, and it is vague on this issue.
> "needed to understand the media content"  :-(
> I continue to believe that it is a slippery slope to start requiring
> content that is not already present in the original representation (in this
> case, the audio). If a web page author localizes the text of a web page,
> but does not localize the video, should the localized page fail WCAG? I
> claim not, since deaf users are no more disadvantaged than any other users.
> Of course, it is not the ideal experience for anyone.
> Should video authors offer captions in as many languages as possible? Of
> course (says the software engineer working on captions at Google). But "as
> many languages as possible" is not testable.
> On Tue, Aug 12, 2014 at 12:40 PM, Sailesh Panchang <
> sailesh.panchang@deque.com> wrote:
> > Hello Loretta,
> > The definition of captions  (called subtitles in some lands) as per
> > WCAG2 does not say what language it should be in. Neither does any
> > technique clarify this.
> > So when the spoken audio content is in a different lang from the
> > primary lang, the captions covering spoken content + non-verbal sound
> > descriptions may be in the language of the spoken audio. Or it may be
> > in the primary lang. I cannot see any reference to why it should fail
> > WCAG2 . You seemed to object to this statement when I voiced this on
> > the call today. Please can you help me understand what I am missing?
> > I added, from a usability viewpoint, it will be better if the same
> > lang is used for spoken text and other berbal sound descriptions.
> > I also referred to my survey comment that said in this case the user
> > should be given a choice to select the lang in which captions should
> > be rendered.
> > Thanks,
> > Sailesh Panchang
> > Phone 703-225-0380 ext 105
> > Mobile 571-344-1765
> >
Received on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 19:13:32 UTC

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