Not lost in trans­la­tion

Business Spotlight - - ISRAEL / US -

Sub­ti­tles have long been used to make for­eign-lan­guage films un­der­stand­able. Oper­a­go­ers are fa­mil­iar with sur­titles — the trans­lated texts of lyrics and dialogue that ap­pear above the stage. Now, Broad­way the­aters are ex­per­i­ment­ing with a mo­bile trans­la­tion app that will help for­eign au­di­ences un­der­stand di­a­logues and lyrics in plays and mu­si­cals.

The Wall Street Jour­nal re­ports that the app is being de­vel­oped by a three-year-old Is­raeli com­pany called Galapro. Six mu­si­cals — The Phan­tom of the Opera, The Band’s Visit, A Bronx Tale, Chicago, Come from Away, and School of Rock — be­gan us­ing the app at the end of June.

The­aters are pay­ing the com­pany between $5,000 and $7,000 to set up the sys­tem, with an ad­di­tional trans­la­tion charge of $2,000 to $3,000 per lan­guage and show. Au­di­ences who choose to use the app will pay a fee of about $5. Among the most pop­u­lar lan­guages are Span­ish, Chi­nese, Ja­panese, and Por­tuguese.

Mean­while, af­ter years of trying to per­suade au­di­ences to turn off their mo­bile phones, New York City theater man­agers will now have to al­low it, at least for trans­la­tion app users.

“It’s re­vers­ing ev­ery­thing [au­di­ences] have been taught,” com­ments Galapro CEO Yonat Burlin.

Musical: Chicago on stage

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