All the talk about “caption this” on Twitter the past few days has made me look into how much captioning we have here.
Recently I blogged about my use of the Smartlink device to hear better through my hearing aids, but what about if you don’t have it nearby and only have your remote control to your hearing aid and need to be able to hear the bank teller or the cashier when you buy a cinema ticket?
Now, not all stores or places do it, but you can look for this sign of the T with the loop around it and you know you can turn on the teleloop to your hearing aid. The quality is very different from place to place; the one I was most happy with was the one at the desks at the train stations. They were loud enough and very clear. The worst one I’ve tried was surprisingly in the church. It was so low that I couldn’t hear the priest at all and gave up. So look out for the sign…
Captions make it easier for me to watch TV, movies, and shows in cinemas. There is a good reason I always watch foreign movies both in cinemas and on TV, because they are always subtitled. I recently went to see a Danish movie called “The Royal Affair”, which was very beautifully made. I am sad though that I almost fell asleep because I missed more than half of what was said in the movie. I did learn a week later that a few cinemas – after the deaf union pleaded and asked – showed it with Danish subtitles for about a week. I missed it, so I will have to wait until it comes out on DVD. For once I don’t think that is fair. The cinemas reported that close to 500,000 people have seen it (there are about 5 million Danish people, so the numbers are quite high in that case), but it only showed with subtitles for one week. I only learned about this because I saw it by pure luck when I did some research back then. I’ve always wondered if normal hearing people understood all that was said in the movie or would they benefit from having subtitles in the movie too?
The same goes for TV. However, on Danish movies and series, the TV stations are getting somewhat better as they do caption most of what is shown. The government has suggested that it should be captioned 100% already by today, but only between 80-85% is captioned, so there is still a way to go. The main “excuse” is that the machinery to do the captioning is too expensive, but in fact, they will earn back the money faster if they did the right investment today instead of having to do it in say maybe 2-5 years from now. One of the few things I’m sad is not captioned very well at all if at all, is when there are elections, speeches, and campaigns. They are mostly not captioned at all. That is a great lost because where do I put my mark on which party I want to vote on, if I can’t follow their talk and what they stand for? On a funny note, when you learn English and some terms in English as well, you can find yourself bemused when you see the translations from English to Danish. I take it with a smile…
So I mostly go to the cinema to watch a movie with good subtitles or if there is a good movie on the TV I will watch from home. Happy Sunday out there!
The Quiet Photographer