Dyfodol i’r Iaith have discovered evidence that S4C are considering the introduction of enforced English subtitles on a range of programmes in the future.
This goes against repeated statements made by S4C that this week’s English subtitles campaign was to last for 5 days only, and that the channel had no intention of imposing English subtitles in the future.
In their main corporate strategic policy document, S4C: Looking To The Future, p.33 S4C states:
“Until now, the main way of doing this (reaching a non-Welsh-speaking audience) was by providing optional subtitles – i.e. English subtitles the viewers themselves must select by pressing a button. We still believe that forcing Welsh speakers to watch every programme with on screen English subtitles would disrupt their viewing experience.
We believe that it is possible to experiment further with open subtitles, but without making that the norm for all programmes. We will, as we do now, when repeating dramas, continue to do so with open subtitles. We will also consider experimenting by creating specific sections of the schedule, for example after 10 o’clock, when every programme without exception would carry open subtitles.”
S4C is therefore of the opinion that it will be possible to experiment further with open subtitles. Specifically, they will consider their introduction to sections of the timetable and to a wide range of programmes during these hours. During these times, it will not be possible to turn off the English subtitles.
Heini Gruffudd, Dyfodol i’r Iaith’s Chair said: “It is now difficult to give credence to S4C’s managers who have deliberately tried to mislead the whole of Wales. The Head and Chair of S4C now need to consider their positions in the face of this treacherous behaviour.
“The reaction of Welsh-speakers throughout Wales. Including young people who have posted their reaction on social media, has been unanimous
“It is a pitiful situation that we can no longer trust our channel’s managers.”