ZDF: Interpreting children’s content into creative and engaging sign language

ZDF logo

05/11/2023

>>> See full library

Subtitles are an effective way to make audio-visual content accessible to those with hearing impairments, but for many deaf people, sign language interpretation is the preferred option and is considered to be more accessible than text-based captions. This is particularly true for children, whose reading abilities are lower than those of adults.

Taking this into consideration, the German broadcaster ZDF translated the entire dialogue of the children’s fairy tale programme, “Der Zwerg Nase” (The Dwarf Nose), into German Sign Language (DGS). This ground-breaking initiative made it the first fiction programme to air with SL interpretation on ZDF Germany (online only).

The sign language interpretation was unique in that the interpreter appeared in the bottom right corner of the screen dressed up as the on-screen characters, and used costumes and props to interpret the spoken dialogue into German Sign Language. While the same interpreter delivered the sign language throughout the entire programme, he transformed himself into a variety of different characters to capture the imagination of those watching at home.

Subtitles are an effective way to make audio-visual content accessible to those with hearing impairments, but for many deaf people, sign language interpretation is the preferred option and is considered to be more accessible than text-based captions. This is particularly true for children, whose reading abilities are lower than those of adults.

Taking this into consideration, the German broadcaster ZDF translated the entire dialogue of the children’s fairy tale programme, “Der Zwerg Nase” (The Dwarf Nose), into German Sign Language (DGS). This ground-breaking initiative made it the first fiction programme to air with SL interpretation on ZDF Germany (online only).

The sign language interpretation was unique in that the interpreter appeared in the bottom right corner of the screen dressed up as the on-screen characters, and used costumes and props to interpret the spoken dialogue into German Sign Language. While the same interpreter delivered the sign language throughout the entire programme, he transformed himself into a variety of different characters to capture the imagination of those watching at home.

ZDF – “Der Zwerg Nase” (The Dwarf Nose) with German Sign Language (DGS) and English subtitles