Nowadays, subtitling is becoming more and more common – not just for translation! Generally speaking, more and more content is accessible through subtitles. This is very positive because it helps to increase digital accessibility, learning, reading…! Therefore, in order to continue in this direction, it is important to be able to subtitle very different and specific types of content. Especially content dedicated to children. This is why we have decided today to shed some light on subtitling for children.
First of all, it should be noted that children are a special type of audience, there are specificities to be taken into account when addressing content to them. A child is a young human being, still developing and dependent on parents or adults.
That is why it is important to ensure their proper development. In particular, by not leaving young children too much time in front of screens – televisions, computers, smartphones, tablets. This is especially important for children under the age of 3.
Moreover, the definition of childhood differs from one discipline to another. For some, it begins at birth or at the age of speech. And it ends either in adolescence – with the onset of puberty – or in adulthood or at the legal age of majority. This also differs from country to country.
Thus, it is no coincidence that in the child’s development, we distinguish several age groups: under 3 years, between 3 and 6 years, between 6 and 10 years… This corresponds to his psychological development, his understanding of the environment that surrounds him… Indeed, the child under 6 years is still in the game, whereas from 6 years he also starts to learn and to forge his own personality.
Until he is fully in control of his ressources, independent, the information and resources he receives must be “adapted” to his young age.
In fact, in the topic that interests us here – the child and his access to subtitled content – it must be understood that we are therefore addressing children from the age of five/six. Children who are able to read this type of written content.
Subtitles are very interesting for them on several levels. Indeed, there are several interest/benefits of adopting subtitling content intended for children:
Here we raise several ideas to keep in mind when promoting children’s subtitling: youth, learning, disabilities, digital and cultural accessibility, and of course, distractions. Regardless of their profile, children find great interest in reading these famous subtitles at several points in their lives… Both on television and on the web!
In fact, the French and international audiovisual landscape is working for greater quality in content subtitling intended for children. The AQEPA, for instance, believes that it is necessary for a child today to learn to master technological tools as early as possible. In particular for subtitles. Indeed, children should be introduced to subtitles at an early age – while looking at the picture and grasping the various information that is also transmitted through them. The child will thus be encouraged to use subtitles as a support and learning tool.
Furthermore, according to the CSA, in terms of guaranteeing rights and freedoms, the rights of people with disabilities with regard to subtitling, and accessibility, there are some developments. For cable channels aimed at young children, the obligation to subtitle has been replaced by the obligation to broadcast a French sign language learning programme (LSF) and a programme translated into LSF since 2011.
In addition, programs relating to the world of the deaf and hard of hearing are also broadcast on Gulli and Canal J. Admittedly, this is rather positive in certain aspects, but perhaps we could take inspiration from the United States where subtitles are completely integrated into television. And this applies to people with disabilities as well as to foreigners – for a long time now!
In concrete terms, whether we are talking to a deaf or hard of hearing child – who wears a hearing aid – establishing a relationship between the image and the subtitles helps to better understand and memorize the information broadcast.
In fact, just like reading a paper or a digital book, subtitling – with its written and on-screen texts – reinforces the child’s motivation to read, to be informed, to learn. Moreover, subtitling also has a positive impact on the child’s psychological and cognitive development. In fact, captioned television programs allow children to better perceive the emotional states of the various characters, since they can better follow the dialogue and pay attention to certain details. The skills and personality traits developed are therefore not limited to reading! It extends to the child’s language skills and the development of critical thinking and critical thinking skills.
Subtitling is therefore a non-negligible pedagogical tool and a formidable lever for imagination, information and discovery!
As the public is specific, there are some questions to be asked about the results of this whole process. Thus, the reflections first revolve around the form of subtitling for children. In other words, the format and speed that subtitles will take for television programmes – and by extension on the web today – aimed at children and young people.
The possibility of also maintaining a transcript – or not – word by word, instead of, for example, a summary.
Reflecting on these issues will enable broadcasters to respond better to digital accessibility for children, to their needs and to the requests of their parents. Who are responsible for what their children watch!
At Authôt, we contribute to this acceleration of subtitle use thanks to our dedicated pole. In three parts, you obtain complete subtitles, accessible for everyone and for all your contents. Synchronization, overlay and translation are our daily business.
The younger generation certainly still watches television, but in fact there is still a long way to go today in terms of subtitling to meet their consumption of programmes, shows on the Internet.
Technically, children cannot access the main social networks until they are 13 years old. But in reality, not only are the boundaries are getting narrower and narrower, but they still consume programmes elsewhere. On YouTube or on replay platforms of their favourite shows, for example! While many children are delighted to watch the adventures of their heroes on their tablet, children with disabilities can quickly find themselves limited… Subtitling for children is therefore a solution that should be widely adopted in every respect!
In short, we hope that this article on children’s subtitling will have made you think about new possibilities for making adapted content more accessible from a very young age. Whether the child has reading and learning difficulties, has a disability or simply likes to have fun and be independent, subtitling is the answer to his or her desires! If you are a company or a media company and you are interested in our subtitling expertise, do not hesitate to contact us!
Authôt. You speak. We write.