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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 Italy

← 288 | 289 →Chapter 11

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Abstract: This chapter presents the results of the DTV4ALL eye-tracking tests on SDH in Italy. It will focus on overall comprehension and then on the technical parameters tested (character identification, subtitling style, position, emotions, sound, justification, boxes, borders and shadows). These parameters are analysed in terms of comprehension, time to first fixation, mean reading time and preferences. The comprehension data for each parameter is further subdivided into textual, visual and general comprehension, and presented in combination with eye-tracking data. The results partially confirm the validity and efficiency of the current standards for SDH in Italy, but they also suggest that new alternatives may be contemplated for character identification, position, emotions and sound if SDH are to be standardised and truly accessible for all Italian viewers.

Keywords: DTV4All, eye tracking, mean reading time, reading patterns, subtitling styles, time to first fixation

This chapter presents the results of the DTV4ALL eye-tracking tests on SDH in Italy. It will focus first of all on overall comprehension and then on the technical parameters tested (character identification, subtitling style, position, emotions, sound, justification, boxes, borders and shadows). These parameters are analysed in terms of comprehension, time to first fixation, mean reading time and preferences. The comprehension data for each parameter is further subdivided into textual, visual and general comprehension, and presented in combination with eye-tracking data.

The test was carried out with 21 volunteers from Rome and Milan, all graduates or university students aged between 20 and 43. Although...

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