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Where to break up? A study on line breaks in intralingual subtitling.

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A study on viewers' preferences regarding linguistic line breaks in English to English subtitling

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Where to break up? A study on line breaks in intralingual subtitling.

  1. 1. Where to break up? A study on line breaks in intralingual subtitling. Agnieszka Szarkowska Centre for Translation Studies, UCL Olivia Gerber Morón Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Intermedia 2017 25-26 September 2017 Poznań, Poland
  2. 2. How to segment two-line subtitles? “ If necessary, sentences should be broken […] at natural linguistic breaks so that each subtitle forms an understandable segment. OFCOM, Guidelines on the provision of television access services
  3. 3. How to segment two-line subtitles? “ Lines should be broken at logical points. The ideal line-break will be at a piece of punctuation like a full stop, comma or dash. BBC, Online Subtitling Editorial Guidelines V1.1
  4. 4. “ If the break has to be elsewhere in the sentence, avoid splitting the following parts of speech: ▪ article and noun (the + table; a + book) ▪ preposition and following phrase (on + the table; in + a way; about + his life) ▪ conjunction and following phrase/clause (and + those books; but + I went there) ▪ pronoun and verb (he + is; they + will come; it + comes) ▪ parts of a complex verb (have + eaten; will + have + been + doing) BBC, Online Subtitling Editorial Guidelines V1.1
  5. 5. “ Where breaks occur, the split should be made in a way that makes clear that there is more to come. This can be achieved by ending the first subtitle with a conjunction, a colon or semi-colon as appropriate, or even a short run of dots. OFCOM, Guidelines on the provision of television access services
  6. 6. Why bother segmenting? “ Good line-breaks are extremely important because they make the process of reading and understanding far easier. BBC, Online Subtitling Editorial Guidelines V1.1
  7. 7. Perego et al. 2010 ▪ Noun + Adjective capelli biondi ‘‘blond hair’’ ▪ Noun + Prepositional Phrase colpi di fucile ‘‘shots of a rifle’’ ▪ Adjective + Noun preciso ricordo ‘‘precise memory’’ ▪ Determiner + Noun quel giorno ‘‘that day’’
  8. 8. “ No indication of differences in processing or performance related to subtitling segmentation quality was found. Subtitle segmentation quality did not have a significant impact in our study. Perego et al. 2010
  9. 9. DO PEOPLE THINK THAT SUBTITLE SEGMENTATION IS IMPORTANT?
  10. 10. Participants ▪ 88 people – 69 Hearing • 22 English • 21 Polish • 26 Spanish – 10 Hard of hearing – 9 Deaf ▪ Aged 19-74, M=30.7, SD=11.23, median=27
  11. 11. Design ▪ Mixed factorial ▪ Independent between-subject variables – Language – Hearing loss ▪ Dependent within-subject variables – Preference for segmented vs. non-segmented linguistic units – Time to click – Eye tracking measures • dwell time • fixation count • mean fixation duration • revisits
  12. 12. Materials ▪ 30 pairs of screenshots from BBC’s Sherlock ▪ Counterbalanced order of segmented vs. non-segmented screenshots ▪ Randomised order of presentation
  13. 13. Linguistic units 1. Indefinite article + Noun phrase 2. Definite article + Noun phrase 3. Compound (Noun + Noun) 4. to infinitive 5. Preposition + Noun phrase 6. Possessive 7. Adjective + Noun 8. Conjunction 9. Auxiliary + lexical verb 10. Subject + predicate
  14. 14. 0 20 40 60 80 100 Indefinite article + noun Definite article + noun To-infinitive Compound Auxiliary + lexical verb Subject and predicate Preposition + noun phrase Possessive Adjective + noun Conjunction Percentage of people Preferences for segmented and non-segmented text Segmented Non-segmented
  15. 15. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% English Polish Spanish Definite article by language segmented non-segmented
  16. 16. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Hearing Hard of hearing Deaf Definite article by hearing segmented non-segmented
  17. 17. Deaf participants ▪ Highest preference for non-segmented subtitles in: – Indefinite article – Definite article – Adjective + Noun ▪ Lowest preference for segmented subtitles in: – Definite article – Preposition – Possessive – Conjunction
  18. 18. Deafness and function words ▪ Many function words do not exist in sign languages ▪ Difficulties with articles – overuse the definite article – avoid the indefinite article (Channon & Sayers,2007; Wolbers, Dostal, & Bowers, 2012) ▪ Problems with demonstratives, determiners, and dependent clause markers (Channon & Sayers, 2007)
  19. 19. 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000 Indefinite article Definite article To-infinitive Compound Auxiliary + verb Subject + Predicate Preposition Possessive Adjective + Noun Conjunction Time to click (Hearing people only) Segmented Non-segmented
  20. 20. 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000 10000 Indefinite article Definite article To-infinitive Compound Auxiliary + verb Subject + Predicate Preposition Possessive Adjective + Noun Conjunction Time to click (English hearing, hard of hearing and deaf) Segmented Non-segmented
  21. 21. 0 20 40 60 80 100 semantic and syntactic phrases pyramid-shaped rectangle-shaped I don't know What was most important for you when deciding which subtitles were better?
  22. 22. 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% English Polish Spanish Deaf and Hard of hearing Segmentation preferences by group I don't know rectangle-shaped pyramid-shaped semantic and syntactic phrases
  23. 23. “ Line breaks have their value, yet when you are reading fast, most of the time it becomes less relevant. Deaf participant
  24. 24. So what? ▪ Viewers show marked preference for segmented subtitles ▪ People spent more time deciding in the non-segmented condition ▪ Revise Ofcom’s subtitling standards – no conjunctions at the end of lines ▪ Subtitles as linguistic input for the Deaf
  25. 25. www.facebook.com/SureProject This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No. 702606

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