Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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Interesting article on closed captioning, or as I like to call them, subtitles. My first exposure to subtitles was anime of course, but these days I vastly prefer having subtitles on any show, even if it’s dubbed in a language I do understand. From the article:

“Why do you have captions on?” I asked.

“It helps me with my ADHD: I can focus on the words, I catch things I missed, and I never have to go back,” she replied. “And I can text while I watch.”

I don’t think I have ADHD, that’s not something diagnosed very often over here, though I’m sure I exhibit a certain lack of focus. But I can relate to how subtitles help me avoid having to rewind a show for something I missed. The subtitles act like a kind of fallback to the verbal/audio cues, helping me when I get distracted (quite easily) and when I’m multitasking. They also help with accents and murmured words and things like that.

There are people who don’t like subtitles when they aren’t necessary, complaining that having to read distracts them from the film. I imagine those people are the same kind of people who don’t like reading books or reading in general.

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roytang.net is a personal site; I post about a random assortment of topics that interest me including software development, Magic the Gathering, pop culture, gaming, and tech life. This site is perpetually under renovation.