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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 Spain

← 94 | 95 →Chapter 4

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Abstract: This chapter presents the results of the long questionnaire prepared in the preliminary phase of the DTV4All project in Spain. By way of introduction, a general overview is provided on the profile and situation of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community in Spain along with a brief description of the audiovisual landscape in the country. Focusing on subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing, these lines shed light on the general perception on this accessibility tool first introduced on Spanish television in 1990. Current national practices, based on the UNE-153010 standard “Subtitling for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing. Subtitling through (analogue) teletext” issued in 2003 – and updated in 2012- by the Spanish Association for Standarization and Certification (AENOR) seem to condition users’ preferences, making viewers reluctant to accept new and different subtitling alternatives.

Keywords: DTV4All, preferences, questionnaire, subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing (SDH), television, users

This chapter presents the results of the long questionaire prepared as part of the DTV4All project in Spain. By way of introduction, a general overview is provided on the situation of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community in Spain along with a brief description of the audiovisual landscape in the country, particularly with regard to SDH.

Exact and official data about hearing loss in Spain is hard to come by. According to the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (National Statistics Institute – INE)1, in 2008 2.33% of the Spanish population from 6 to over...

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