Sunday, November 06, 2011


Last week I was stuck in a hotel where BBC1 had been set to display subtitles without any apparent way to switch them off. This was annoying in the evening but the next morning on breakfast news it turned out to be hilarious.

One article about Russians doing a fake Mars walk ended with the presenter's comment "And all in the name of science!" which the subtitler translated into

"And all in the name of signs!"

Later, a package on the effects of bonfire night on pets included a comment by "some vets at one animal charity," which became mangled into

"Sunbeds at one animal charity..."

And in the same package when explaining that the nervous dog they wanted to "interview" was on his way into the studio but would be late on account of his owners' car having broke down, we got

"The owners kart broke down."

Being a big fan of Damn You Auto Correct I wondered whether there was a special site for subtitling howlers, but all I could find was a few blogs with examples - a bit like this one really :o) Digital Spy does have an interesting explanation about how they're done for live broadcast. An operator rereads the speech into voice recognition software, so that explains a lot!

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