News – Bizarre mistakes in live transcription
Errors in Ceefax subtitling
The Guardian today reports on some of the mistakes encountered on the BBC subtitling service, ahead of Ceefax’s 35th anniversary in September. While pre-recorded captioning is now very accurate, the article finds that ‘live news text is often a laugh a minute, with howlers attributed to straight-faced newsreaders, celebs and unsuspecting politicians.’
Subtitling is of course a complex process, and the BBC explain that ‘achieving 100% accuracy live on air is incredibly difficult.’ The subtitles are created either by stenographers on a special phonetic keyboard or by subtitlers via a speech-recognition system. Mistakes therefore creep in when phonetic sounds are miskeyed, or revoicing is misrecognised.
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