The Lonely Goatherd: An Analysis

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This article is a commentary on the subtitling of ‘The Lonely Goatherd’, an excerpt from the famous 1965 film: The Sound of Music, with the purpose of critically analysing different aspects in the subtitling process. The subtitles are created specifically for the deaf and hard-of-hearing children. The following three topics are discussed respectively with examples from both the subtitles and the theoretical resources: a briefing on the subtitling for the deaf and hard-of-hearing (SDH) and how it is applied to this video clip, the strategies used to promote children’s learning and, the technical issues during the subtitling process. 2. Subtitling for the Deaf and Hard-of-hearing (SDH) and Its Application SDH is an audiovisual communication…show more content…
Apart from providing information to the children audience, another main purpose of the SDH subtitles is to facilitate their learning. As is proposed by Neuman and Koskinen, ‘captioned television’ is beneficial in ‘learning vocabularies and concepts’ (1992: 96). In order to help the deaf and hard-of-hearing children enjoy the content and learn vocabularies at the same time, specific strategies are applied in subtitling process. 3. Analysis of Subtitling Strategies Used in ‘The Lonely Goatherd’ 3.1 Title of the Song ‘The Lonely Goatherd’ is a popular song in the film: The Sound of Music. In general SDH practice, well-known song and music titles are usually researched, and then subtitled with detailed information, such as the performer, writer and composer. However, since the target audience of this video clip is children, amendments should be made in order to provide them with the most relevant and instructive information. (Figure…show more content…
In Figure 6, the reading speed increases to 188 words per minute. In comparison, a standard 160 word-per-minute speed can be reached if the ellipsis and round brackets are removed. Generally, it may be difficult for deaf and hard-of-hearing children to catch up with high reading speeds, but it is still acceptable in this case, given that ‘The Lonely Goatherd’ is featured with ‘yodelling’, a special form of singing with rapid switches between high and low pitches. It is shown in the video clip that a large amount of repeated onomatopoeia is used in the lyrics. Thus, it becomes easier for the audience to recognise the lyrics as the song goes on. As is also suggested by BBC in their subtitling guidelines, song lyrics should be ‘verbatim’, and for such well-known songs, lyrics should ‘never be edited’, although it means subtitles may be ‘considerably faster’ (BBC 2009: 32). Therefore, the transcribed lyrics and the additional punctuation for clarification are all kept in the

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