What is captioning?

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Example of a standard caption: a frame from a movie showing a girl on the phone watching a television with the caption below 'Are you listening to me?'Captioning is the text version of speech and other sound that can be provided on television, DVDs, online videos, and at cinemas and theatres.

Captioning is usually displayed on the bottom of a video screen or on a separate screen and in some cases is positioned to show which character is speaking or where the sound is coming from. Colouring may also be used to distinguish between sounds.

Example of captioned lyrics: frame from movie showing animated camels with afros singing in a car with captions: 'SONG: #Oh, dance with me, baby'Example of positioned lyrics: Frame from a movie showing a girl saying to her father "Dad, you don't have to have the telly so loud" with positioned captions


Types of captions

Symbol for closed captions: 2 black C's on a white background with a black border (resembling a TV)

Captions are either selected as desired (closed captions), usually by turning the captions function on or off, or they are included so that they automatically appear on a screen (open captions). You may see the 'CC' symbol for closed captions or the 'OC' symbol for open captions on TV program guides, DVDs and accessible cinema session guides.

Who uses captions?

Symbol for open captions: white letters OC on a black square backgroundCaptions are particularly useful for people who are Deaf or hearing impaired, as well as those who are viewing content in a noisy environment, teaching or training and who are learning English.

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