If you’re anything like me, that motto will give you shivers of excitement! Yes, the Olympics are just around the corner, surely the purest test of the capabilities of the human body. Once more, records will tumble and we will find out exactly how fast, how high and how strong we can be.
Here in Subtitling Land, the Olympics are arguably our greatest test too. Thousands of athletes competing in 306 events, each requiring expert knowledge and an individual editorial approach. There really is no challenge quite like it.
And the Olympic motto is just as relevant to subtitlers as it is to athletes. If only the IOC hadn’t got there first! We too are constantly striving to be faster, higher, stronger.
I’m sure Usain Bolt wants to shave a few nanoseconds off his fastest man in the world title. Well, we want to produce subtitles faster too. In live subtitling we are working on new solutions to reduce the delay between Michael Johnson’s commentary and our subtitles hitting your screens. We think we’ve come up with something only slightly less ingenious than time travel – so watch this space! And in pre-recorded subtitling, the faster we can produce word-perfect subtitles, the more the team can produce in a day, and the more programmes can be subtitled. To this end we’re working with cutting-edge automatic speech recognition and alignment tools to speed up every stage of our workflow.
Jessica Ennis-Hill won’t rest until she’s high-jumped higher than ever, and nor will we rest in our mission for higher accuracy levels in live subtitling. This area has developed massively in the last 20 years. Thanks to advances in respeaking technology and the new subtitling software that we co-designed, live subtitles are more accurate than they’ve ever been.
Nicola Adams is no doubt stronger than ever this year, and so is our workforce. We subtitle more types of programme in more countries than any other provider, which is why we consider ourselves to be the strongest choice for Access Services provision.
And that’s why we can’t wait for Rio 2016. Now go Team GB!
Rachel Thorn, Subtitler