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Radio Show Host, Travel Expert, Stephanie Abrams' Travel Blog

Auto-Correct Subtitles Makes Travel Communication Difficult!

CNN, in their attempt to communicate Amy Klobushar’s remarks from vocal form to broadcast closed captions, which I found fascinating, and hilarious, presented in closed captioning  what appears to be, a new member of my family: New-Cum Beber! Beber is my maiden name so I was tickled by this error in trying to communicate through closed captioning creating the sense of there being a member of the family we don’t know about. Ridiculous inaccuracies happen far too often in closed captioning subtitles as most are auto-populated by a  computer program that, in the world of travel, tourism and hospitality, do not translate well from sound to text. I have found this to be particularly true experiencing overseeing the creation of subtitles/closed captions for my TV show episodes.

Communications is at the very core of what we do which provides images, stories, in-depth  information, and the opportunity for web visitors to connect with us by means of questions they can place in our Forums to creation of their own travel blogs at Travelers411.com.  At the moment, we are creating accurate closed captioning/subtitles manually for 22 episodes of  Travel TV WITH Stephanie Abrams anticipating the debut at Amazon Studios of my show, “Travel TV WITH Stephanie Abrams.”

Recently, I doubled over with laughter when the automatic creation of closed captions for Episode 21 of my TV show translated the words for ‘round of applause,’ which in Irish is “bualadh bos,” pronounced, “boolah bus,”  said by the moderator of the Lanesboro, County Longford, Ireland St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2019 the first time he said, “Let’s give a big bualadh bos to. . . “ the women dressed in costume for their performance of the play ‘Sister Act’  who marched in that parade, which you’ll find at 10:43 into the episode:  “Let’s give the Sisters of Bullets. . . !”

And, once again, while the local TD (member of Irish Government representing the region) in thanking the parade organizers by offering  a big bualadh bos to as the sisters in the production of Sister Act who were marching by, he said, at 11:05: “Give the organizers a big bowl of us. . .”  I nearly fell off my chair from laughing so hard!


This is the reason we are going through the very slow process of creating closed captioning “by hand” with text that is truly customized and accurate!

It is a Federal law that TV programs must have closed captioning but, apparently,  nothing in the law has been interpreted to mean that it has to be correct. What is offered as a representation of what is being said by those on the screen is, for the most part, hideously inaccurate and often laughable and would be downright funny if it weren’t for the fact that there are those trying to connect with story content, whether on the news or in other forms of entertainment, where they are relying on accuracy of the closed captioning/subtitles in order to have the same experience of those who choose to, or are able to, listen to the audio.  For those who have no choice and must read the closed captioning because their hearing capabilities do not function at a level that allows them to follow the audio directly, it’s an absolute travesty that films, TV shows, news programming and other shows are allowed to be considered in compliance with Federal law by presenting the grossly inaccurate captioning that one finds minute-to-minute on TV.

But, I must say, that I’ve decided to change the name of my first travel guide to include a bit of the above in the title so when it publishes this spring the title will be:

“1001 Reasons to Visit Ireland: A Big Bowl of  Us,” which gives the sense of inclusion of everyone as part of the Cead Mile Failte, 100,000 Welcomes, mentality of the Irish and the relevance of a Big Bowl of Us and its derivation  appear in an explanation in the Prologue!

And if it weren’t for disastrous closed captions, I wouldn’t be welcoming the imaginary New-Com Beber into my family. So, I have to be thankful for that and the new sub-title to my first travel guide! As Oscar Wilde would have said had computers been available in his generation, “From small auto-correct mistakes, big errors grow,” or something more clever than that!

Justin Bieber May Be My Cousin but New-Cum Beber Certainly Is!

I have always wanted to make the time to do a bit of research about Justin Bieber’s father and his father’s ancestry as, long before I was born, my grandfather’s last name as Bieber. Through some bureaucratic paperwork which may have been a US Census or the National Draft sign-up papers that all males had to file in the early 1940’s, somewhere therein the “i” “Bieber” was left out. So by the time I was born, my father’s last name was Beber, as was mine. I’ve always wondered if Justin Bieber is a cousin of mine but today, our small family has, apparently, added a new member who may well be an great-uncle or a cousin brought into our lives by the pronouncement of CNN in their attempt to communicate Amy Klobushar’s remarks from vocal form to broadcast closed captions which I found fascinating, and hilarious, as Klobushar’s comments were presented in closed captioning that introduced, what appears to be, a new member of my family: New-Cum Beber!

My professional life narrowed from being second-in-command of a $1.5 billion company overseeing a wide range of administrative tasks running the company with emphasis on marketing and globalization of the company to being immersed in communications in all of its various forms from print to digital to broadcast to personal appearances, communicating valuable information related to travel and tourism which happened within month of the Twin Towers plummeting to the ground on September 11, 2001. The spoken word through my broadcasts which take the form of archived and audio and podcasts online and the written word in print and online have been an important vehicle at our family of award-winning websites which also provides access to archived video of my TV shows.

Communications is at the very core of what we do which provides images, stories, in-depth information, and the opportunity for web visitors to connect with us by means of questions they can place in our Forums to creation of their own travel blogs at Travelers411.com. And while we have access to archived video of Travel TV WITH Stephanie Abrams, we are planning to debut a massive video features soon! In preparation for our website’s video section and for our debut at Amazon Studios who has congratulated us on their pick-up of our show, “Travel TV WITH Stephanie Abrams,” we have progressed into placement of closed captioning for those who prefer to keep the sound low or off or who have hearing challenges so that they can absorb vocal content without use of sound of which I was reminded today when CNN’s closed captioning translated Amy Klobushar’s comment that confused ‘cool newcomer’ with the expression, ‘cool cucumber’ leading her to announce, in reference to Mayor Pete, that he represents a ‘cool newcumber’ to the political scene.

Oddly enough, the closed captioning, an option we use in our offices so that we can keep up with the new affecting travelers and tourism so we don’t have to compete with sound while still connecting with breaking news, can often be categorized as comedy as the transliteration of the spoken word to the written closed caption is often hilarious! Today’s hilarity presented Amy Klobushar’s ‘newcumber’ as ‘New-Cum Beber.’

New-Cum Beber, probably better known as ‘Newcomb Beber’ by his friends and family, a newly invented personality by CNN’s Closed Captioning Director, must be a cousin of mine, joining the small family made up of myself and cousins Harold Beber and Sandra Lynn Beber. Amazing that this interesting transcription of the vocal comments of Klobushar morphed into what I will always regard as the moment when our newest cousin, albeit an invisible, mythological, leprechaun of a cousin, New-Cum Beber, arrived on the scene. Coming from a small family constellation, this new entry blossoming on our family tree is a welcome blessing.

Closed Captioning is often created by using a computerized system that auto-translates sound to written word. The results are often similar to auto-correct changing words you wish to use in an email into words you had no intention of using and are nothing short of dead wrong and, often, hilarious. While I am tickled at the interaction of New-Cum Beber into my life, I doubled over with laughter when the automatic creation of closed captions for this particular episode of my TV show translated the words for ‘round of applause,’ which in Irish is “bualadh bos,” pronounced, “boolah bus,” said by the moderator of the Lanesboro, County Longford, Ireland St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2019 (click here for Episode 20 and scroll to the times mentioned below) the first time he said, “Let’s give a big bualadh bos to. . . “ the women dressed in costume for their performance of the play ‘Sister Act’ who marched in that parade, which you’ll find at 10:43 into the episode: “Let’s give the sisters a big bowl of us!”

And, once again, in thanking the parade organizers and asking the crowd to give a big bualadh bos to to those performing as the sisters in the production of Sister Act at 11:05: “Give the sister of bullets. . . “

Once more, later in the show’s presentation of the parade, a “big bowl of us” is the translation of the auto-translation of the audio into closed captioning for a “big bualadh bos” and this is the reason we are going through the very slow process of creating closed captioning that is accurate!

It is a Federal law that TV programs must have closed captioning but nothing in the law says it has to be correct. What is offered as a representation of what is being said by those on the screen is, for the most part, hideously inaccurate and often laughable and would be downright funny if it weren’t for the fact that there are those trying to connect with story content, whether on the news or in other forms of entertainment where they are relying on accuracy of the closed captioning/subtitles in order to have the same experience of those who choose to listen to the audio. For those who have no choice and must read the closed captioning because their hearing capabilities do not function at a level that allows them to follow the audio directly, it’s an absolute travesty that films, TV shows, news programming and other shows are allowed to be considered in compliance with Federal law by presenting the grossly inaccurate captioning that one finds minute-to-minute on TV.

But, I must say, that I’ve decided to change the name of my first travel guide to include a bit of the above in the title so when it publishes this spring the title will be:

“1001 Reasons to Visit Ireland: A Big Bowl of Us,” which gives the sense of inclusion of everyone as part of the Cead Mile Failte, 100,000 Welcomes, mentality of the Irish and the relevance of a Big Bowl of Us appears in the Prologue!

And if it weren’t for disastrous closed captions, I wouldn’t be welcoming the imaginary New-Com Beber into my family. So, I have to be thankful for that and the new sub-title to my first travel guide!

bualadh bos

--Gotta Fly Now!sm
Your Personal Travel Expert
Nationally syndiated radio show host
Stephanie Abrams

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