The ins and outs of live captioning services

The introduction of technology has impacted every aspect of our lives. People can now attend webinars, lectures, or live events without being physically present. Captioning your events live is vital for many reasons. This article will introduce everything you need to know about live captioning.

What is live captioning?

Captions created and displayed at the exact time of an event use live or real-time captioning. In most cases, these captions are white letters imposed on a dark background. Because there can be multilingual live captioning, you do not need to restrict your captions to one language.

You can use real-time captioning in multiple scenarios, including webinars, sports events, lectures, presentations, or live events where you don’t have time to prepare offline captions. Live captioning simultaneously converts spoken words into their printed form using computer-aided translation. It makes it easy for people to follow an event even when they can’t hear the speaker directly.

Automated live captioning

There are two primary types of live captioning for events — automated and professional captioning. Automated captioning uses Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) to recognise the spoken words and convert them to machine-based captions with an accuracy of up to 90%. This can be achieved when the speaker is easily heard. Platforms that offer this feature include Zoom, Google Meet, WebEx and Adobe Connect.

Professional live captioning

Professional captioning involves employing an expert captioner (human) to manually create an accurate caption for a real-time event, ensuring fidelity to fulfil accessibility rules. Unlike automated captioning, a professional captioner will understand the underlying context of the conversation; thus, they’ll be able to provide a higher level of accuracy.

Hearing impairment | live captioning

An easy way to increase inclusivity and accessibility for your events is by using live captioning. Though live captioning is not a strict requirement for live events as it is for television broadcasting, you should keep in mind that some of your audience might have a hearing impairment. Therefore, using live captions will help them considerably.

Language barrier | live captioning

Live captioning for events helps people who do not speak English as their first language. Seeing the printed transcript on the screen will ensure they don’t miss any words. This is even more useful if you implement multilingual live captioning, as some of your audience may not be fluent in the presentation language. With multilingual live captioning, you can reach a larger audience in real-time.

What events is live captioning suitable for?

When an audience needs to understand what’s happening in real-time, live captioning is perfect. This makes it an important feature to use during conferences or webinars, when people want to discuss details of the presentations and ask questions. Also, live captioning is vital for college lectures and sales presentations.

The process of live captioning for events

The first thing to consider is the technology required to let your audience see your captions. Do you want the text to appear on a big screen or people’s mobile devices? Will it be available for everybody or a few people who requested live captioning before the event? 

Costs involved in live captioning

The cost of live captioning for events can differ depending on the type of captioning and whether it is all automated or there is human intervention. Several other factors can affect the cost. First, the time for the event can increase the cost. For instance, if you’re paying for a one-hour seminar, keep in mind that it could run to three hours. Other factors include equipment and experience. Partnering with a us will take away many of these headaches as we can determine the best and most cost effective way to use live captioning.

Methods to improve quality of multilingual live captioning for events

When it comes to making your content more accessible, including live captions is best practice. One of the ways to improve the quality of live captioning for events is having a solid internet connection. With a reliable internet connection, you can avoid interruptions to the live stream. Other ways to improve live captioning for webinars include:

  • High-quality audio
  • Little to no background noise
  • Clear speech and pronunciation
  • Include word lists
  • Minimise overlapping speakers

Equipment needed when live captioning for webinars

When we run the live captions at an event we will also provide all of the relevant equipment and this would be included in our costs and is part of the full service approach we offer. Typically these include a caption encoder, computer, video source, captioning software, and stenographic keyboard.

Top use cases for live captioning

In today’s world, several brands and companies are adopting live captioning for webinars to engage with their target audience. With the high demand for virtual events and live streams, businesses make their video content more accessible with live captions. We’ll discuss the top use cases for live captioning for events. A study conducted by the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, discovered that:

  • 42% of students utilise live captions to stay more focused.
  • Students expressed that captioning helps them understand their course material.

Live captioning use cases — online learning for colleges, universities and businesses

For several years now, universities and colleges have offered online classes as an alternative to physical or in-person lectures. With live captioning for webinars, the educational institution has accommodated students with different learning styles, needs, and schedules. Instead, elementary and high schools that solely depend on in-person classes were forced to shift focus to live classes when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

For that reason, many educational institutions use video platforms with live-streaming capabilities to connect to students around the world. Video platforms like Zoom include features like Q&A tab and chat windows to enhance engagement virtually. Captioning these live classes makes the lectures accessible to students with hearing loss and also aids information retention.

But it’s not just educational institutions that are taking advantage of this technology. Many businesses use live captioning in their online learning and training. This is especially true for large global organisations where the learning content needs to be localised to make it accessible to employees world wide.

Government and remote corporate meetings and webinars

Another live captioning for events use case is government and municipal groups. Most of these sectors usually live stream board and town hall meetings for their citizens. When these events can’t be done in person, governments conduct live events and make them more accessible to the citizens via live captions.

Live captioning for webinars and remote corporate meetings is another top use case. When organisations can’t conduct in-person meetings, remote meetings are an excellent alternative. With virtual meetings, employees working from home can connect with one another. Indeed, employers can remove language barriers from their working environment when multilingual live captioning is used.

What to look for in a live captioning vendor?

When deciding on a partner for your live captioning needs, there are some things you should consider to ensure a seamless experience. First, look for a vendor that provides streamlined scheduling accessible anytime. Also, ensure a captioning vendor can offer a backup plan in case of a bad network. So when your stream is interrupted, closed captions can seamlessly take over.

Global Lingo offers seamless live captions to government agencies, businesses and educational institutions thanks to a team of professional captioners with over 15 years experience in more than 150 languages. In short, with a team of expert interpreters, translators and project managers, we can take any project from inception to completion. Whether in presence or remotely we will achieve the result you were looking for.

Final thoughts on live captioning for events

In this article, we’ve discussed everything you need to get started with live captioning for events. Without a doubt, the future of live captioning is promising. It’s an excellent way to make your live events accessible to a broader audience. To make sure the experience is as seamless as possible, letting Global Lingo handle the captioning for you make sense.

FAQs on live captioning for events

What are the types of captioning?

Captioning can be in two forms — open and closed. Open captions are embedded into the video, while closed captioning can be turned on and off.

What is the difference between closed captioning and live captioning?

Live captioning is a real-time process, while closed captioning needs to be time-coded so the correct text can show at the right time.

How accurate is real-time captioning?

The accuracy of live captioning for events has been estimated to be around 70-90% per cent.

What is automatic live captioning?

Automatic live captioning for events is created by Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology. Auto captions have a lower accuracy rate than human-based captions.

Looking for translation services?

Our global translation services help companies distribute content to other audiences across the world. Whether this is information in documents, web content, product or marketing campaigns, or audio-visual media, our team of experienced, industry-qualified translators offers an exceptional level of service.

Did you know?

Global Lingo has one of the largest pool of linguists in the industry. Everyone is a native speaker in the language they are translating into, and we can translate into and from 150+ languages. So, whatever your project, whatever the language, Global Lingo can help.

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