Although same-language subtitles and captions are produced primarily with the deaf and hard-of-hearing in mind, many hearing film and television viewers choose to use them. This is often done because the presence of closed captioning and subtitles ensures that not one word of dialog will be missed. Bars and other noisy public places often turn make closed captions visible for patrons where dialogue would otherwise be drowned out. Films and television shows often have subtitles displayed in the same language, if the speaker has a speech disability and/or an accent. In addition, captions may further reveal information that would be difficult to pick up on otherwise. Some examples of this would be the song lyrics; dialog spoken quietly or by those with unfamiliar accents; or supportive, minor dialog from background characters. It is argued that such additional information and detail will enhance the overall experience and allow the viewer a better grasp on the material. Furthermore, people learning a foreign language may sometimes use same-language subtitles to better understand the dialog while not having to resort to a translation.
In some Asian television programming, captioning is considered a part of the genre, and has evolved beyond simply capturing what is being said. The captions are used artistically; it is common to see the words appear one by one as they are spoken, in a multitude of fonts, colors, and sizes that capture the spirit of what is being said. Languages like Japanese also have a rich vocabulary of onomatopoeia which are used in captioning.
In some East Asian countries, such as China, Korea and Japan, subtitling is common in some genres of television. In these languages, written text is less ambiguous than spoken text, so subtitling may offer a distinct advantage to aid comprehension. Furthermore, the various spoken dialects of Chinese are mutually incomprehensible, but all understand the one standard form of written Chinese. Subtitling means someone who only understands one dialect could watch a show filmed in another. Subtitling is also common in taped interviews during news broadcasts, as accents in East Asian languages can be difficult to understand.
In India, Same Language Subtitling (SLS) are common for films and music videos. SLS refers to the idea of subtitling in the same language as the audio. SLS is highlighted in perfect timing, as they are sung (or spoken). The idea of SLS was initiated to shore up literacy rates as SLS makes reading practice an incidental, automatic, and subconscious part of popular TV entertainment. His idea was well received by the Government of India who now uses SLS on several national channels, including Doordarshan.
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