Spoken subtitles

Spoken subtitles are the reading aloud of interlingual subtitles in a spoken voice for viewers with vision or reading impairments. They can be either generated by the broadcaster and included with the programme as a supplementary audio track or generated by the viewer’s receiver using speech synthesis.

For countries in which a considerable proportion of programmes are in foreign languages and are available with subtitles in a national language, spoken subtitles can increase the overall availability of content access services for persons with visual impairments.

Viewers with sight loss will need to be able to access their own language subtitles using text to speech. Like audio description, the mixing of the spoken subtitles with the programme audio can be done either before broadcast or in the receiver. Production of the spoken output can be done using synthesised speech or preferably a real recorded voice.

Spoken subtitles can supplement interlingual subtitling to reduce the exclusion of persons who do not benefit fully from such subtitles because of poor reading skills or impairments such as receptive aphasias.