September 08, 2004

Speaking Puerto Rican

Speaking of closed captioning stupidities (which I discussed here and Mark Liberman explained more fully here), Lance Nathan of MIT writes to say that he backs the idea of very uninformed and poorly trained humans being involved. He reminds me of a story of a moment from the Oscars a few years ago. A reporter caught Benicio del Toro outside the theatre, and asked him whether his family would be watching. Yes, he said, they were at home in Puerto Rico. She asked whether he would like to say anything to them, and he nodded and said something in Spanish. The closed captioning read: "[speaks Puerto Rican]".

Says Lance: "mistakes like that do leave me with images of 16 year old captioning slaves chained to desks."

Posted by Geoffrey K. Pullum at September 8, 2004 01:11 AM