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professional lip reading

Real-time lip reading deciphers speech from facial expressions

The demand for expert lip readers is on the rise. We can determine what people are saying without hearing a word.

Lip readers interpret speech by recognising visual information derived from the movements of a person’s mouth, primarily the lips, teeth, and tongue.

The art of lip reading serves as an alternative form of speech-based communication. A valuable service for all individuals and organisations in need of audio clarification.

4 Types of Lip Reading Customers

  1. Lawyers and law enforcement
  2. Security and surveillance companies
  3. The media looking for the inside scoop
  4. People with tracheotomies or on ventilators

Imagine if the police were investigating a violent crime and they had video evidence, but the audio is completely distorted or worse they received a ransom demand, but the audio isn’t available.

Not to worry. Forensic lip reading can assist in deciphering the audio. The video footage is simply sent to 121 Captions for professional lip reading and transcription.

We’ll start with an initial analysis of your video to determine if it is lip-readable, only charging a one-hour flat fee for the initial assessment. If we decide lip reading is possible, we will send you a quote. 

Contact us today and find out how our real-time lip reading can benefit you

professional lip reading

Video Transcriptions and Live Translations

The best lip readers are those who lip read people on a daily basis and rely on lip reading as their main method of communication. When choosing a professional lip reader, make sure they have a fluent command of the language you’re requesting them to transcribe.

121 Captions founder and owner, Tina Lannin was born deaf and relies predominantly on lip reading for communication. Using her knowledge and expertise Tina has been the official lip reader for several public events, including the Royal Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Tina is a qualified lip reading teacher, certified with ATLA in the UK. Not only is Tina an expert lip reader, but she can also lip read Arabic, German, Japanese, and Spanish.

professional lip reading

professional lip readingprofessional lip reading

Satisfied 121 Captions Clients

  • Sky News, ITN News, ITV, Walt Disney, ABC News, CNN
  • Metropolitan Police, Dubai Police, HM Prison Service, NHS England
  • The Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Independent, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, NY Daily News

Here’s a video of Tina having a close-up look at what the England team’s players said during the 2014 World Cup football match.

Tina and her team of lip reading professionals receive weekly requests from all over the world. Based in the UK, they have over 40 years of lip reading experience.

Before starting 121 Captions, Tina worked as an expert forensic lip reader, assisting law enforcement in solving crimes. She is listed on the Expert Witness Register and has won a prestigious award at the Expert Witness Awards.

Forensic lip reading evidence is increasingly becoming a feature in criminal prosecutions. Metropolitan Police, Dubai Police and HM Prison Service have all made use of 121 Captions superior forensic lip reading services.

professional lip reading

121 Captions lip reading services

Accurate lip reading can be an enormous benefit to many individuals and organisations.

  • Forensic lip reading is a tool used to gather information or evidence from surveillance agencies, private detectives, and the police. They frequently use expert lip readers to interpret what was said on CCTV material and TV footage, especially applicable to agencies involved in counter-terrorism.
  • Tracheotomy patients are assisted by a lip reader deciphering what they’re trying to communicate, allowing health care providers to spend more time providing patient-centred care and less time trying to interpret the patients’ message.
  • The Media constantly request professional lip readers to interpret what was said between celebrities or players at a sports event. For example, tabloids and news media frequently request tennis and football matches be “decoded” by an expert lip reader.

Lip reading customer testimonials

I have always found Tina to be extremely professional, with copy arriving just as ordered. To newspapers, deadlines are extremely important on busy news days, and 121 Captions know how to deliver on a tight schedule. Brilliant stuff.

– David Collins, Deputy Insight Editor at Sunday Times and News Reporter of the Year 2012, England

Get the inside scoop, receive help interpreting a tracheotomy patient’s silent speech, or help put a criminal behind bars with our professional lip reading services: Contact us

Frequently Asked Lip Reading Questions

How much do you charge for lip reading video footage?

Each video submission is unique, and there are many factors to consider in determining the lip readability of your footage:

  • Camera movement and camera angle
  • Lighting
  • Camera distance
  • Zooming, colour and image quality
  • Speaker movement, speaker accent
  • Academy or industry specific jargon
  • Knowledge of context and content

After the initial 1 hour assessment, it takes an average of 1 hour to view, interpret and transcribe each minute of visible speech footage.

For your convenience, we have various methods of payment available, including Credit Card, Electronic Bank Transfer, Cheque, and PayPal.

How do I submit my video for transcription?

VHS videos and DVDs must be in 625 line 50Hz PAL format, coded for Region 2. We use software such as Quicktime to play online videos. If your surveillance footage is encrypted or saved on an FTP server, please ensure you send us a password.

DVDs can be sent to us (UK only) by post, or online via WeTransfer or Dropbox. Contact us for a secure mailing address. Email us at bookings[at] to make arrangements.

Send us your video and specific request, and we’ll send you a quote.

What information must I include with my video submission?

When requesting lip reading services for individuals and the media, we need detailed information regarding:

  • The circumstances of the video (context)
  • Who appears on the footage and who you want the lip reader to focus on
  • If there is a particular moment in the video that interests you
  • The language you require the lip reader to be fluent in
  • Your deadline

When sending a video for the court or law enforcement, it’s important that you DO NOT include any information regarding the case. The forensic lip reader needs to remain subjective and knowing such information can influence their reading of the material, resulting in the transcript getting thrown out of court. Contact us to inquire about our forensic lip reading services.

How does lip reading for people with tracheotomies or on ventilators work?

Face-to-face lip reading should be requested a few days in advance; booking is essential. Work is billable by the hour and is done live, right there and then, so the health care professional or family member can know immediately what the person is trying to say.

Lip reading people who have a tracheotomy lessens the frustration often felt by family members and caregivers, who are trying desperately to understand the needs and wants of the person. We can only provide this service in the UK.

How reliable is lip reading?

Lip reading is admissible in court, but it is not 100% reliable. A professional lip reader should have an excellent command of the language being communicated and be quick enough to compute all the visual cues into a coherent whole.

Approximately 30% of lip shapes are visible on the lips. Other lip shapes are inferred from the movement of the jaw, neck, chin, cheeks, expression, eyes, and context, this must all be taken into consideration, which is why you need an expert lip reader.

Can a lip reader detect foreign accents?

Yes. The lip shapes are different for some vowels when communicating in different accents, which changes the way a word looks. e.g. ‘bath’ can be spoken with a long or short vowel.

I read lips, how can I join the 121 Captions team?

If you are an exceptional lip reader and have your Bamford Kowal Bench test result or are willing to undergo testing, we want to hear from you.