Subtitles and closed captioning are two terms many people use interchangeably. While they may appear to be similar at first glance, they are vastly different. Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SDH) combine both characteristics.
If subtitles weren’t included in video content, a significant chunk of the world’s population wouldn’t be able to understand or access it. Ensuring that your entire audience has options for understanding your content is crucial. SDH captions are critical to achieving this.
What are SDH Subtitles?
SDH subtitles combine the information provided by captions and subtitles. Measuring SDH vs. CC and knowing the difference between the two is essential for comprehension in those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Conventional subtitles assume the person does not speak the language of the people on-screen or struggles with the accent. Closed captions assume the person cannot hear and provide every piece of audio, including sound effects. They are also required for practically all programming in the United States.
So, what does SDH mean in the context of audio? SDH subtitles are designed to make content accessible to all by translating foreign languages and highlighting everything closed captions present.
The SDH subtitles meaning also pertains to the fact that they can be provided in foreign languages and the viewer’s native language.
SDH Subtitles vs. Closed Captions
There are several similarities between English SDH subtitles and closed captions. The two most significant differences, however, are appearance and placement.
All SDH subtitles will appear with the font proportional to the translated subtitles, whereas closed captions will appear as white text upon a black band. Increasingly, streaming services are providing options for altering the text's size, color, and font.
The other difference is in where they are placed on the screen. Closed captions are aligned to different parts of the screen to help the audience identify speakers and help viewers decipher overlapping conversations.
English SDH is typically centered on the bottom third of the screen. Again, some user control options allow for moving the position of this text.
Benefits of SDH Subtitles
Now you know the English SDH meaning, what are the benefits of incorporating them into your content?
Here are the primary benefits of opting for subtitles (SDH).
Improve the Accessibility of Videos
With millions of people being classified as deaf or hard of hearing, providing English SDH subtitles improves how accessible your videos are. Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 400 million people worldwide are either deaf or suffer from hearing disabilities.
Moreover, they are convenient even for those who do not deal with any hearing loss. For example, many people choose to watch Facebook videos without turning on their audio. The convenience of understanding the content without audio is a significant plus for everybody.
Help Children Learn to Read
Beyond the apparent benefit of supporting those with disabilities, SDH subtitles help children to learn to read. Reading along with a favorite movie, TV show, or YouTube streamer supports their learning.
It also has the dual benefit of helping children to learn a second language, which is immensely helpful, particularly in multilingual households.
Widen Your Reach
SDH subtitles also support brands and content creators to reach more people. Video content has never been more popular among the population. Unfortunately, unlike blogs and images, search engines like Google cannot analyze video material.
Google’s crawlers can only read your video's title and description. Including subtitles provides a text-based transcript for search engines to work with. Over time, producing SDH subtitles will attract more traffic to your content.
Your reach is also enhanced because SDH can be translated into foreign languages at the click of a button.
Even if you are not necessarily providing independent translations of your videos, encoding SDH into your content allows your viewers to translate your content into their native languages quickly and easily.
Make Listening Easier in Sound-Sensitive Environments
Sound-sensitive environments are those where viewers are present who may have sensitivity to specific sound frequencies. These individuals can pick up sounds that the average person cannot. The downside to this sensitivity is that the brain processes and perceives these sounds at a higher intensity.
Someone who suffers from sound sensitivity often finds it incredibly uncomfortable to listen to many sounds and frequencies.
Providing an SDH option can counter this when listening to the audio becomes too much for these viewers.
Create SDH Subtitles at the Click of a Button with Sonix
Incorporating SDH into your video content is an excellent way to improve accessibility for the deaf or hard of hearing. Subtitling your content does not have to be costly or inconvenient for creators.
Sonix can provide you with automated transcription, translation, and subtitling in minutes using the power of artificial intelligence. To learn more about how to add subtitles to video and how this software works, try Sonix for free now.