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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 the UK

← 116 | 117 →Chapter 5

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Abstract: This chapter discusses the results of the long questionnaire on SDH conducted as part of the DTV4ALL project in the UK. Following a brief introduction to the community with hearing loss and the audiovisual landscape in the country, the core of the chapter is devoted to the results of the questionnaire, including information about the participants, their viewing habits and their general and specific preferences regarding SDH. These results help to shed some light on the extent to which current SDH practice is in line with viewers’ expectations and also on the difference between different types of viewers, especially depending on their degree of hearing loss. Although many of the current SDH conventions are ratified, some others could be reviewed in order to match the viewers’ preferences.

Keywords: audiovisual landscape, edited subtitles, hearing loss, SDH, verbatim subtitles, viewers’ preferences

Before discussing the results of the long questionnaire on SDH conducted as part of the DTV4ALL project in the UK, a brief overview is provided of the community with hearing loss and the audiovisual landscape in the country. The results of the questionnaire are divided into different sections, including information about the participants, their viewing habits, their general opinion on subtitling and their preferences regarding specific SDH parameters.

According to the latest figures published by Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) in 2013, there are currently more than 10.1 million people in the UK with some form of hearing loss, that is, one in...

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