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2018.07.20 Broadway Installs a Musical Translation App
When we hear Broadway, we think of it as the Mecca of musicals with rows of theaters lining the streets. According to the Broadway League, an industry trade group, a consecutive translation app for smartphones will be available at the end of June. This is a new measure that will replace large-scale subtitle systems and interpreting equipment that were loaned out by individual theaters up until now.

The translation app was developed by an Israeli company called GalaPro. Once you start up the app and choose the play you will be watching, subtitles will appear in real time when the musical begins. Several languages are available in addition to Japanese and it also supports a closed caption feature for the audibly challenged. Furthermore, by inserting ear phones, it can turn into a voice-over device or use it as volume enhancer. 

However, there are concerns over the implementation of the translation app. One of them is the necessity to change the regulations over the use of cell phones during plays. Theaters usually prohibit the usage of cell phones during plays. Subsequently, the app has been developed by implementing the following features: the dimming of the screen when subtitles appear; the requirement of earphones when listening to voice-over features to be mindful of the surrounding. Other than these services, it is designed to make the play enjoyable for the user by limiting the number of subtitle characters to 120. 

The implementation of this app will make it possible for non-English speakers as well as auditorily challenged playgoers to equally enjoy the musical. The Broadway League calculated that roughly a quarter of annual Broadway audience for the 10 seasons of 2016-2017 were foreigners. The app is easier to use than the conventional translation devices, which will increase the number of audiences enjoying the play.

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