An empirical analysis on the efficiency of five interlingual live subtitling workflows
Pablo Romero-Fresco – Luis Alonso-Bacigalupe
Interlingual Live Subtitling (ILS) is an innovative translation and accessibility method where a written text in one language is produced live from an oral source in another language. ILS can be provided through different methods, some of which involve the participation of one or more humans, whereas others are fully automatic.
Speech-to-text interpreting (STTI) is a form of human-mediated ILS that is situated at the crossroads of audiovisual translation, media accessibility and simultaneous interpreting, as well as between human-mediated translation and automatic language processing systems. One of the most promising forms of STTI is interlingual respeaking. It builds upon intralingual respeaking (the most common form of speech-to-text captioning, which does not include language transfer) and involves the participation of a human interpreter plus speech recognition software.
Although interlingual respeaking is in great demand, there are other approaches to STTI -with different degrees of human intervention- which are currently being used by broadcasters and conference organizers. The purpose of this research is to test the efficiency of five of those methods, namely, (1) interlingual respeaking, (2) simultaneous interpreting plus intralingual respeaking, (3) simultaneous interpreting plus automatic speech recognition, (4) intralingual respeaking plus machine translation and (5) automatic speech recognition plus machine translation.
The results provide a useful insight into the current efficiency of five different ILS methods and strengthen the idea that efficiency is not restricted to accuracy, but includes factors such as delay and the type of resources (either human or machine) required. It is hoped that this research may help provide the industry with tools to make informed choices between different forms of ILS (at least for the language combination English-Spanish) while offering employment opportunities for simultaneous interpreters and respeakers in the digital era.
Key words: Interlingual live subtitling (ILS), speech to text interpreting (STTI), intra and interlingual respeaking, accessibility, automatic speech recognition (ASR), machine translation (MT)