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The Reception of Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Europe

UK, Spain, Italy, Poland, Denmark, France and Germany

Edited By Pablo Romero-Fresco

This is the first volume to deal specifically with the quality of subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing (SDH) in Europe, with contributions from the UK, Spain, Italy, Poland, Denmark, France and Germany. Drawing on the results of the EU-funded project DTV4ALL, the book looks at the issue of quality in the reception of SDH in Europe as a combination of three factors: what viewers think about SDH, how they understand these subtitles and how they view them. The viewers’ preferences have been obtained through questionnaires and their comprehension has been analysed with tests, involving clips with SDH and questions. The viewers’ perception has been measured with eye-tracking technology, involving the analysis of 71,070 subtitles in what is so far the largest international eye-tracking study on subtitling. With this research, we have sought to obtain both subjective (preferences) and objective (comprehension and perception) data that can inform national guidelines on SDH. The book also introduces the notion of viewing speed and points to the existence of certain universals of SDH and subtitling that can contribute to advance our understanding of how different types of viewers from different nationalities view, process and understand subtitles as a means to access audiovisual content.
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Long questionnaire in Poland

← 44 | 45 →Chapter 2

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Abstract: In this chapter we present the results of the questionnaire on preferences regarding a number of parameters related to subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing conducted as part of the DTV4ALL project in Poland. We depart from a brief overview of the hearing-impaired community in Poland and of the Polish audiovisual landscape, particularly with regard to SDH and sign language interpreting. We then present the detailed results of the study, which was carried out both online and in the traditional paper form among 172 Polish participants with various degrees of hearing loss. The results indicate that the current volume of subtitling on Polish television is insufficient; that most viewers prefer verbatim subtitling; that Polish Sign Language is preferred to Signed Polish and that real-time subtitling should be introduced for live programmes.

Keywords: audiovisual landscape, edited subtitling, hearing-impaired community, Polish Sign Language, Signed Polish, verbatim subtitling

In this chapter we present the results of the long questionnaire on SDH conducted as part of the DTV4ALL project in Poland. Before moving on to discuss detailed results, we offer a brief overview of the hearing-impaired community in Poland and the Polish audiovisual landscape, particularly with regard to SDH and sign language interpreting.

Poland is a country of over 38 million people. According to the Polish Association for the Deaf (Polski Zwia˛zek Głuchych, PZG), the largest ← 45 | 46 →nationwide organisation supporting people with hearing loss, the number of deaf Poles (i.e. those with...

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