A wiki about subtitling for accessibility, education and creativity | Audio description | Languages | Wiki features | Logo

A wiki about subtitling for accessibility, education and creativity

By Claude Almansi and Roberta Ranzani

The idea to make a wiki about subtitling for accessibility, education and creativity, arose from our collaborative subtitling experiences and the exchanges we have about these experiences, both between ourselves and with others. These exchanges showed that subtitling are perhaps not the most thrilling activity per se, but the choices subtitling entails, the various uses that can be made of it, are interesting and often open up on other fields: accessibility, education, creativity. So we thought it would be interesting if subtitlers could share similar reflections in a public online place. We first tried to write a blog post that others could comment, but blogs are too linear and hierarchic: hence the idea of a wiki where all people who practice subtitling and who are interested in it could write.
The short URL for this wiki is http://bit.ly/subtitling .

Audio description

Subtitling is obviously necessary to make the audio content of a video accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Similarly, audio descriptions are essential when important information in a video is only conveyed visually. Unfortunately, audio descriptions cannot be added as a separate track to a video in online platforms like YouTube, vimeo, blip, etc.
Nevertheless, there are promising developments in this field, and some workarounds can already be used in order to provide audio descriptions. Moreover, providing audio descriptions that will not bore blind users to tears is certainly a creative activity that could be used in writing and foreign language courses.
Finally, if you want to add an audio description to a video, you must first script it as a time-coded text, in order to synchronize it with the audio of the video. In that, making audio descriptions is akin to subtitling, up to a point. For these reasons, contributions about audio description will be most welcome in this wiki.


You can write here in any of the languages covered by Google Translate. However, bear in mind its limitations: try to keep your sentences simple, and please provide a summary in English if you write in another language.

Wiki features

  • Wikis are collaborative tools. If you do not want that others modify a page you are writing, please say so at the beginning of the page.
  • Wikis record a history of all revisions, which can be accessed via the HISTORY tab of any page. This means that even if a page is accidentally mangled, it is always possible to revert to a former version.
  • Wiki pages have a discussion area, which can be accessed via their DISCUSSION tab. Consider using this discussion area rather than modifying someone else's text, beyond correcting typing mistakes.
  • On wikispaces.com, tags can be added to any page. In normal viewing, click on the little triangle[1] on the right of the PAGE tab. This opens a scrolling menu, where "Details and Tags" are the first option. The tags for this wiki, and the pages they link to, are gathered in the Tag Cloud linked to in the navigation bar: you can use it to browse the content of this wiki by themes.


The logo of this wiki is a detail of Henry Fuseli's Titania liebkost den eselköpfigen Bottom(via Wikimedia; "Titania caresses donkey-headed Bottom"), in homage to Bottom's words in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (IV, i):
"The eye
of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not
seen, man's hand is not able to taste, his tongue
to conceive, nor his heart to report, what my dream

(in progress - calmansi calmansi Sep 8, 2011)
  1. ^ Alternative description ("alt attribute") for this triangle: 'submenu'.