Captions vs. Subtitles: Do You Know the Difference?
When referring to words that appear on the screen of a video, many people tend to use the terms captions and subtitles interchangeably.
But, contrary to popular belief, the two are not synonymous. They differ from each other in definition and purpose – captions are designed for viewers who cannot hear the audio in a video, while subtitles are designed for viewers who can hear, but do not understand the language being spoken in the video.
What are captions?
Whether open or closed, captions differ from subtitles in that they’re designed to ensure that the viewer can understand all essential audio in a video – which may include more than just the spoken audio. Non-speech sounds that are necessary to a viewer’s understanding should be included in proper captioning and are normally shown in brackets, such as in these examples.
What are subtitles?
Subtitles were introduced in the 1930s, when silent film transitioned to film with spoken audio in order to accommodate foreign audiences who didn’t understand the language used in a film.
Still today, the primary purpose of subtitling is to translate spoken audio into a language the viewer will understand. In most cases, subtitles are not an appropriate accommodation for deaf or hard of hearing viewers because they don’t include the aforementioned non-speech sounds that provide a comprehensive, equitable viewing experience for people who cannot hear audio.
Want to learn more about captions and subtitles? Download the free Beginner’s Guide to Captioning!
The Benefits of In-Player Captions
When streaming your next live event, you’ll want to ensure it’s live captioned. Live captions not only make your live streams more accessible, but they also make them more engaging for viewers. Innovative technology has made it easier to include captions on…
AODA Video Requirements & Canadian Accessibility Standards
Ontario offers some of the most comprehensive web accessibility standards in the world. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was instated in 2005 with the intention of creating a barrier-free Ontario by 2025. The AODA regulates accessibility standards across government,…
Live Professional Captions vs. Live Auto Captions: Which is Right for You?
If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably interested in adding captions to your next live event. This is a great step in making live streams accessible to all audiences, including viewers who are d/Deaf or hard-of-hearing. After deciding to add live captions,…