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2018.02.20 Theater App for Multiple Language Subtitles
On January 16, 2017, GalaPrompter, a company based in Israel, started a service that offers translations as well as commentaries of plays and opera as real-time subtitles and voice-overs. The app’s name is GalaPro, and it is designed to be used on smartphones and tablets. 

Up until now, subtitles have been available in operas on the peripheries of the stage, but this is usually limited to just one language, and depending on the seating, the text can be hard to see. GalaPro was developed both for people who are visually or aurally challenged and for those seeking a translation of the script.With this app, subtitles and voice-overs in multiple languages are available on one’s smartphone. To ensure that its use does not become a distraction for the stage as well as for other audience members, the display background is kept black, and the voice-over can only be heard through earphones. Additionally, when GalaPro is set up and in operation, phone calls and other apps are disabled. The translation and voice-overs progress simultaneously with what is happening onstage. 

GalaPrompter partnered with Shubert Organization, which owns many Broadway theaters, to provide this service. The available languages depend on the production, and translations are prepared beforehand to ensure quality. Is Japanese offered for any of the shows? Galaprompter responded that they were first aiming for an “accessible” theater environment for the visually or aurally challenged; currently, there are no Galapro Japanese language services for Broadway shows.

The day may not be so far away that visitors to Japan will be able to enjoy Kabuki theater in their own language, or Japanese tourists can watch a play in Japanese anywhere in the world.

For details, please visit: