Segmenting with consideration to the deaf viewers

When I segment, I do not voice the laughing, groans etc. I always segment with the viewer in mind. Many channels, in their guidelines for segmenting the video, list words not to segment. I admit I never segmented with consideration of a deaf viewer. Segmenting, subbing, and channel rules would involve some changes to be considerate of the viewer who is deaf. As a segmenter, I think the following should be voiced:

Laughing, sobbing, background noises (pertinent to understanding what the actor heard), the oh’s and ah’s, the doorbell/ phone ringing, etc.

I would like to know how others feel about this and/or what you think should be voiced for the deaf viewer.

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To be honest this came to mind sometimes too when I segment but on the other hand how to do all those sound effects? I mean putting them with the other subs might be too confusing. I know that on tv those things have an other color then the normal spoken stuff but on Viki we cannot use different colors.

All in all I think that the possibilities in the current seg timer and sub editor are to limited to work with it properly. Same problem as with variety shows when many people talk and on top of that there are random captions on the screen.


I once had contact to a group of hearing impaired people, so to really make it with all the sounds and so on. You would need an extra line, as it was in earlier years you would have one line for caps and one for the subtitles, or another font, or colour to make a visible difference.
But many say it is already helping with just the subtitles.
Do you have contact to hearing impaired people, so you have detailed feedback on what they really would like or need?
I once asked Viki about an “instrument” to make viewing at Viki a better experience for hearing impaired but more than a consideration on their part, did not come back.
There once was a short interview with the actress Marlee Matlin, but I can’t find it at Viki, maybe it was on the blog, or it’s somewhere on the community page. I didn’t find it right away, maybe you have more luck.

I agree with you dudie that the current timer/editor is limited with the functions needed. My thought path was similar to the musical notes used to identify song lyrics. With the array of creativity possessed by viki volunteers, I thought there might be a way to depict different things to avoid the confusion and annoyance to other viewers. I have segmented on channels that provide a list of things to segment and not segment. It mainly was a list of what is considered “universal” words not to segment (oh, ah, huh, ok, etc). I do think this practice of not segmenting certain words could be omitted. Another consideration I failed to make is the “change” may be confusing to the deaf viewer also.

Lutra, I do not have a contact with any groups of hearing impaired. It was mentioned to me in regards to viewers. I watched that video with Marlee Matlin, but that seems ages ago lol. I posted this discussion mainly to see if there were ways that we could improve the segmenting/subbing to enhance the viewing experience for this group of viewers.

I’m glad you brought this up! I think it was about a year ago that Viki launched the Billion Words March, which had me questioning many practices and wondering about the differences between subtitling and captioning. In some ways, I believe we could easily improve captioning at Viki, such as by including relevant fillers/expressions in the subtitles or by indicating off-screen speakers. In other ways, getting creative may be necessary, but maybe that is ok. I also wondered if the extra information would bother viewers, since it is not so common to see in online translated content. I remember trying to find out Viki’s stance on this, and someone from the community team only said, “At Viki, we do hope that closed captioning becomes increasingly important.” But it sounded like it would be up to the contributors to really make decisions and put anything into action.

Maybe some more things to consider (from the FCC):

In order to be accurate, captions must also provide nonverbal information that is not observable, such as who is speaking, the existence of music (even when there are no lyrics to be captioned), sound effects, and audience reaction,114 to the greatest extent possible, given the nature of the program.115 If there is more than one speaker, the proper placement of captions dictates that each speaker be identified, through caption identification or caption placement, so that viewers can understand who is speaking at any given time.116 When a speaker is not on the screen, identification of that individual in the caption text must also be provided if viewers not using captions are able, from the program’s audio content, to discern the speaker’s identity.117 Finally, in order to be considered accurate, captions must also be legible, with appropriate spacing between words to allow for readability.

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Still you should think about who is making subtitles at Viki - it’s amateurs.
No matter how skilled one is, it should not make end in an activity you need to put more effort than in the job that feeds somebody. It still should be somehow easy to partake and not take you several hours studying how to make subtitles.
That’s only the opinion of mine, though.

I think that the ideal solution would be that 1 video can be segmented in 2 different ways: one just for translation and one for deaf viewers.

I once saw a movie with subtitles for deaf viewers and things like ‘Dramatic music’, ‘sound of a door opening’ etc. were included as well. If you’d include this in the normal subtitles it would 1. be very confusing to people 2. be a lot of extra work for both segmenters & subbers and 3. be harder to read the subtitles because sometimes sounds and text can be at the same moment.

So if it would be possible to segment a video in 2 different ways and just use 1 for subtitles for deaf viewers, it would be possible to include all those extra sounds and segmenters & subbers can take more time to work on that without making the other viewers wait longer until the subs are done.

But I don’t know if Viki would be able to create something like a second segment timer nor do I know if there are a lot of deaf viewers here who would like more specific subs.


Mazza, I have read FCC’s recommendations for the captions and a few other organizations. It is daunting. As others have posted, first the timer/editor is not compliant, the confusion to other viewers, and some other requirements. Even with these obstacles, I think with a few small changes we could improve the experience of the hearing impaired here on viki. To start with, don’t omit words considered universal. As a segmenter some practices are a habit now. One option is to practice some techniques on a channel for both segmenting and subbing. Maybe then, we could discover a way to improve the subtitles for the hearing impaired and not be confusing to other viewers. I think it will take a group of people interested in taking steps to make improvements then spread the methods that work on viki. I am not suggesting a major overhaul, minor changes at first, then progress slowly. The volunteers have made the changes for segmenting and subbing in the past. I think this will also have to be initiated by the volunteers.

Good points eurasia. Using Master’s Sun as an example, we could put “eerie” music, thump-thump sounds, etc. I really was not thinking of a massive undertaking, just a few initial minor changes. With your suggestion of a video being segmented in 2 different ways, perhaps viki could upload it twice. One for normal segmenting and one for hearing impaired viewers. That would contain the confusion for the other viewers. I really believe that there can be small or simple changes that would not interfere with the viewing experience of others.

I also think that it would be good to include universal words. That wouldn’t really take extra effort or bother anyone. Even in general, sometimes there are expressions that are omitted because they are very common in the language, but they probably aren’t understandable to everyone. There may be other information that could be added without other viewers minding, but I’m not sure.

I agree with you @eurasia. That would be really nice. I have a feeling two different sets of segments and subs would be too much for Viki and/or volunteers though, unless they can come up with a good method. :disappointed: But I’m not sure one set would work, either, if most viewers only want a translation. Even if we had the ability to mark informational segments as “CC” to only show for a closed captioning option, I think information would leak into the “non-CC” subs.

Yes I think a good start in this will be to start segging/subbing the aigoo, omo, ah, oh, uhm, aish, omo and that kind of stuff. I already seg those sometimes because I think they sometimes can be translated as something else which might be fitting the scene…like “seriously?!” or “are you kidding me?!”.

And I also think 2 sets is to much work for both seggers and subbers and the viewers are getting more and more demanding too. Back in the day the timed comments where used to add translator notes and such, later people started to use it as a comment section to respond to a scene and some people even use it as a slow chatter etc. Maybe such thing can be added for us with some extra features (other color, can be timed properly, editing, other position) for us to make it work.


It would be two teams of volunteers. One to seg/sub the main video. The other team would seg/sub the other video of the same title. (only if viki could upload the video twice). That way it would not interfere with speed of the non-cc video. Most popular channels are turning away volunteer after they reach that specific number they need. Two teams would not be an impossible goal. Or have several teams that mainly seg/sub for the cc video. This would take time in developing the seg/subs using the timer that is available now. I think it would depend on volunteers who are interested in assisting in developing a method. The subs use html codes, so I wonder if they couldn’t be coded for colors. I never played with the subs to be honest. I do have a channel I could experiment on.

I do think a good start is seg/sub the universal words that normally omitted and some of the gestures. It won’t be confusing to the viewers and not time demanding of the volunteers, but it will help in improving the viewing experience for the hearing impaired.

Yes, it’s not possible to have a version that works for both sets of people. I have watched film versions like that and it’s super annoying. On DVDs you can sometimes choose one or the other, but here we have only one set of segments for everybody.
Maybe if it was marked as a separate language, subbers could put the indication together with the dialogue (when there’s no dialogue, there couldn’t be anything, though).

I was reminded of this topic today, because I was watching a drama where they made extra segments. In some places, the subbers just put a dot:
At other points they described the sounds.

The sounds I understand, it’s for the deaf. But what about this? Who exactly is THAT for? If you’re that blind that you cannot see those people bowing or the next one reaching into his pocket, I think you won’t be able to read the subs either.


P.S. I’m supposed to translate that show, so I’m debating what to do. I’m probably going to go for dots as well.


Or perhaps a translator’s note on the importance of bowing? :rofl:

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Where did you get yourself into. 50 eps! Good luck!

Why not asking the Chief segger if there’s one or asking kindly if sb in charge could delete the bowing segment?

The segment was not for the sign in white and orange? Maybe you could translate the sign if you got the translation?

It would make a long list for the subber and the viewer to have actors’ every move, cui bono?

The risk is: won’t it become un inventaire à la Prévert?

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The drama is from 2014, there’s nobody around anymore. I barely found the CM after quite some time and she graciously accepted to add me. Moreover this was their decision at the time, to include this stuff, and I’m an OL mod, who am I to tell them their decision is not right? Although it’s done quite randomly, because not all important sounds and actions have been added. I have a feeling that the editors didn’t know how to delete segments, so they just filled them in with whatever so that the show wouldn’t give the impression of being incomplete. I don’t know, I’m only guessing. Moreover, how could I ask someone to go and change 50 episodes? It’s a huge job for someone who has probably moved on since a long time ago.

The sign (restaurant name) was translated a little earlier. But there are many such instances, where there are no signs.

Oh, I’ve watched 4 episodes and I just love it, it’s brilliant and very funny! A house with an assortment of people, most of which are pickpockets or gangsters. And the new tenant is a nice guy who tries to bring the girl he likes on the right path.

I actually asked for it as a training ground for my Italian subber course (not to be confused with the NSSA Italian Subbing Academy - this is my own thing, done as I think it should be done)
The Italian team had abandoned it after 3,5 episodes (they also translated the ending episode, for some reason). There were some other dramas in the same predicament, but I chose this one because I liked it. Call me spoiled, but I don’t want to work in projects that leave me indifferent.


Now I’m getting curious … What’s the title?

I’m going to send you a PM, there might be a way but I don’t know if it still works.

I totally understand you! I’ve taken enough dramas like that alone or with someone else and now, I don’t even have the idea of taking anything like that lol We will never have enough time to enjoy all the good things in life, why should we burden ourseves with things that bore us?

Good luck!