I recently heard that digital viewers who happen to be Polish will soon be able to use the red button on their remote controls to display polish subtitles…
Broadcasters are to introduce foreign language subtitles to accommodate immigrant workers from Eastern Europe.
Councils have already introduced road signs in Polish to help confused lorry drivers to follow diversions. Now television will do its bit to help new arrivals feel at home. S4C, the Welsh-language channel, will be the first in Britain to offer subtitles in Polish. Thousands of Poles have settled in the Principality since their country joined the EU in 2004. Digital viewers will be able to choose to have subtitles in English, Welsh or Polish by using the red button on the remote control. Almost 400,000 Poles have come to work in Britain, altering the make-up of many communities. The previously bilingual S4C, which has a mandate to bring Welsh culture to viewers, believes that the Polish influence on the country is here to stay.
Not meaning to sound cynical, honest! I wondered how nice, accommodating and at such speed this service has been introduced for the Polish community. One may argue that technology is now available to offer this compared to a few years ago.
Let us go back in time. When my parents first came to the UK in the late 1950s it is distressing to listen to the greeting that they received. It is too rude to repeat in detail – signs on doors publicly stating their preference of resident!
It takes more than Subtitles to get the best from communities!
Advertising, media and events continue to ignore the contribution that all members from different ethnic groups make to British society. In addition, what we see on TV, ironically with the increasingly added dimension of reality TV also bears no reflection of life. Society is divided and the token ethic family on soap with a stereotypical and stretched story line is not going to help either.
The impact of the media’s ‘head in the sand’ mentality will have an impact on our current and next generation. They will see no role models or representatives striving for a positive and optimistic attitude.
Does it mean we need to wait for a sports person to succeed so that they can be positioned appropriately?
It appears that some of the media are too wrapped up in the world of celebrity happenings and Big Brother sensationalism. Political commentary, challenging of real world and street issues are ignored or simply been left to what I call, ‘surface or skimmed’ reporting.
Maybe some may argue that the latter is just too boring. I would suggest that the serious issues are never really given a chance.
Let us also not forget that it is only the chosen few are selected and allowed to comment!
In summary, it therefore, takes more than subtitles to bring society together.