There are lots of reasons why a television programme or film that you are watching has subtitles.
It might be a World film or foreign language film that has been translated and subtitled. It might be a mainstream programme that is subtitled for the hearing impaired and even a specialist programme, where participants speak in heavily accented or dialectal English.
YouTube, the world’s most popular video-sharing website where almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day , offers an auto-captioning service. The captions are created by generated by machine-learning algorithms, and so the accuracy and the quality of the captions vary. 
“Automatic captions are available in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.”
There are obviously going to be times when subtitles fail, due to human error or lack of sophisticated algorithms.
Human error – whether that be spelling, unfamiliarity with the subject, mishearing or lack of concentration – can lead to a subtitle fail. This is especially amusing when subtitles are used to capture a sound, an action or an emotion, where dialogue is not involved, for example, Doctor Who, Breaking Bad and Orange is the New Black. 
Other fails happen where the subtitles don’t match what is happening on the screen. This occurs when the typist is not checking that the subtitles matches the action.
Seagulls that meow, a motorbike disguised as a car and a man speaking a foreign language dressed as a mountain
Famous characters or franchises can suffer at the hands of subtitling when then typist is unfamiliar with the person, character, plot, subject or series.
Harry Potter’s owl, Hedwig
Sergei Lavrov – Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs
Here is a selection of screen shots from movie subtitle fails.
Fingertips Typing Services uses a workforce of experienced and accurate typists to offer a subtitling service for a wide variety of media:
We have worked on subtitling projects for a variety of media and production companies, who commission television shows, films and projects.
Visit Fingertips Typing Services today to see how we help you subtitle your media project.
Written by: Debbie Rowe, Typist for Fingertips Typing