What are The Challenges of Subtitling for The Deaf and Hard of Hearing?

June 13, 2022

As the world continues to evolve and embrace diversity, it is crucial to make sure that everyone, without exception, has access to video content. Video content takes over the media content considering people prefer to watch rather than read. That is why the subtitle is significant to provide accessibility so everyone, even those who are deaf and hard of hearing, can understand the content. The subtitle is not new, but subtitle for people who are deaf or hard of hearing makes them more essential than ever. 

Subtitling for the deaf or hard of hearing is a bit different from general subtitles because it should be content for all aspects of the video. It does not only transcript for dialogue only but includes all elements. In short, creating subtitles for people who are deaf or hard of hearing and people with hard of hearing is challenging that you need to address. 

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Synchronizing Text with Video

The biggest challenge of creating subtitles for people with hard of hearing is synchronizing the text with video. The subtitle should be synced perfectly to appear at the appropriate time and match perfectly with the spoken words. The biggest challenge of adding subtitles is that they do not correspond with the spoken words and appear at the wrong time. This needs to be clarified among audiences, and worse, it makes them wrongly understand the video. 

Human-made or Machine Made

Subtitles used to be human-made, but technology makes it possible to create subtitles using specific tools. The machine-made subtitle is quite popular because it is more accessible and cheap. You need to insert a video, and it generates subtitles automatically. The thing with machine-made subtitles is the accuracy. Machine-made subtitle sometimes needs to be more accurate and provide correct transcription. Conversely, the human-made subtitle is accurate as it is written manually, but it is costly and takes time to produce. 

Tujju Media offers human-made subtitles for video content that has high accuracy for all audiences. It is manually written and perfectly synced for the quality of the video. 


Accuracy is essential when subtitling for the deaf or hard of hearing. Subtitles should be accurate and deliver the dialogue correctly. More than accuracy is needed to make audiences understand the content correctly. Even though it is shortened for timing purposes, the subtitle should ideally reflect the dialogue, sounds, and other sound effects. 

Subtitle Placement

Even though subtitle is significant for the video, they should not abrupt the screen. The subtitle usually appears on the bottom of the screen so it does not interfere with the element of the video, such as the expression of the actors or background setting. However, the subtitle should be visible enough in fonts and colors so it does not just blend with the video. 

Incomplete Subtitle

The thing about a subtitle for people with hard hearing is it should be complete. There should be no gaps between scenes. All actions or elements should be translated into the text as the scene continues. Incomplete subtitles disrupt the audience’s understanding. 

Subtitling for the deaf or hard of hearing is challenging because you have to include all video elements in the text. That is the only way the audience can understand the content of the video, regardless of their ability. 

Also Read: Mastering Audio Dubbing: Elements of a Great Dubbing Studio
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