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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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Eye tracking in Spain

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Abstract: This chapter presents the main results of the second part of the DTV4All project in Spain, based on the analysis of perception processes undergoing SDH reading and obtained using eye-tracking technology. The aim is to shed light on the effect that different subtitling styles have on reading patterns and their related comprehension. Based on the results derived from the preliminary phase of the project -users’ preferences- a number of parameters and variables were analysed. Focusing on the most controversial and/or representative features of SDH -visual and typograhical features (boxes, borders and/ or shadows, justification), character identification, subtitle position on the screen, emotions and sound representation- a number of tests were run with a group of deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing participants. The results help us compare users’ preferences with the data derived from eye-tracking and comprehension questionnaires.

Keywords: DTV4All, eye tracking, reading patterns, subtitling styles, television

This chapter presents the main results of the second part of the DTV4All project in Spain, based on the analysis of perception processes undergoing SDH reading and obtained using eye-tracking technologies. The aim is to shed light on the effect different subtitling styles have on reading patterns and their related comprehension.

The participants were eight hearing, seven hard-of-hearing and seven deaf people, all of them between 25–45 years old and with higher education. An attempt was made to have an even number in all three groups, but not all participants finished the sessions. Some were tired and...

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