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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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Henrik Gottlieb is Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He was a TV subtitler from 1980–92 and has an MA in English and Applied Linguistics (1990) and a Ph.D. in Translation Studies (1997). He has taught subtitling at MA level since 1991. His fields of research are translation theory, audiovisual translation, language politics, lexicography, contact linguistics and linguistic borrowing. He has lectured extensively in Europe and abroad. A full list of publications (1989 to date) is available at: . You may contact the author at:

Agnieszka Szarkowska, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Institute of Applied Linguistics at the University of Warsaw. She is the founder and head of the Audiovisual Translation Lab, a research group working on media accessibility. Her main research interest lies in audiovisual translation, especially subtitling for the deaf and the hard of hearing and audio description. Her recent research project include Respeaking – Process, Competences and Quality, HBB4ALL, Open Art, ClipFlair, Audio Description for Foreign Films, and a number of eyetracking studies on subtitling.

Joanna Pietrulewicz, MA, is a graduate of the Institute of Applied Linguistics at the University of Warsaw. She is also a professional SDH subtitler and audio describer. She is interested in audio description for children.

Anna Jankowska, PhD, is Assistant Lecturer in the UNESCO Chair for Translation Studies and Intercultural Communication at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow. Her recent research projects include studies on the viability of...

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