Closed Captioning and Subtitles on YouTube Web Talks

Wilmette Institute Web Talks are now beginning to include closed captioning and subtitles, marking a beginning on an Institute goal. The first three Web Talks to have closed captioning and subtitles were Shahrokh Monjazeb’s talk on “A Divine Proclamation Like No Other! Bahá’u’lláh’s Súratu’l-Mulúk (The Epistle of the King)”; Louis Venters on “No Jim Crow Church: The History of the South Carolina Bahá’í Community”; and Annette Reynold’s on “Trudy and the Bahá’ís’ Spiritual Path in South Carolina” (these subtitles are still being corrected). You can access the closed captioning by clicking on the “cc” button on the right-hand side of the Web Talk screen.

Users of close captioning and subtitles, which appear at the very bottom of the screen, report that they are much less obtrusive than subtitles in movies. The closed captioning and subtitles are also helpful when a speaker talks very fast or with an accent. They also make it easier to catch unfamiliar words and terms in English and other languages.

The Wilmette Institute’s plan is to eventually add closed captions and subtitles to all its Web Talks. It is experimenting with transcribing the talks and adding subtitles; paying $1.00 a minutes to hire a service to do the same thing; using YouTube’s automatic close captioning and correcting errors; and using Google Translate and then correcting errors. If you are interested in volunteering to help the Wilmette Institute in correcting subtitles for Web Talks, please send an email to wi@usbnc.org, together with your qualifications.

The Institute has found that automatic translation services result in some amusing translations. For example, Taherzadeh is translated at “two hairs a day.” Wilmette Institute tends to come out as “women” and Bahá’í as “behind.”

The Wilmette Institute has received a number of requests for closed captioning and subtitles. We ask that you bear with the Institute as it works out the kinks and slowly works backward to add closed captioning to all its Web Talk, which, as of January 2017, number twenty-two.

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