Original Language Subtitles: Their Effects on the Native and Foreign Viewer

Kruger, Jan-Louis and Doherty, Stephen and Soto-Sanfiel, María T. Original Language Subtitles: Their Effects on the Native and Foreign Viewer. Comunicar, 2017, vol. 25, n. 50, pp. 23-32. [Journal article (Paginated)]

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English abstract

This study investigates the impact of same-language subtitles on the immersion into audiovisual narratives as a function of the viewer’s language (native or foreigner). Students from two universities in Australia and one in Spain were assigned randomly to one of two experimental groups, in which they saw a drama with the original English soundtrack either with same-language English subtitles (n=81) or without subtitles (n=92). The sample included an English native control group, and Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and Spanish groups with English as a foreign language. Participants used post-hoc Likert scales to self-report their presence, transportation to the narrative world, perceived realism, identification with the characters, and enjoyment. The main results showed that subtitles did not significantly reduce these measures of immersion. However, subtitles produced higher transportation, identification with the characters, and perceived realism scores, where the first language of viewers and their viewing habits accounted for most of this variance. Moreover, presence and enjoyment were unaffected by either condition or language. Finally, the main results also revealed that transportation to the narrative world appears to be the most revealing measure of immersion in that it shows the strongest and most consistent correlations, and is a significant predictor of enjoyment.

Spanish abstract

Se estudia el impacto de los subtítulos en el mismo idioma de la narrativa audiovisual según el idioma del receptor (nativo o extranjero). Estudiantes de dos universidades australianas y una española fueron asignados al azar a uno de dos grupos experimentales en los que se veía un drama con la banda sonora original en inglés con subtítulos en esa misma lengua (n=81) o sin subtítulos (n=92). La muestra incluía un grupo control de hablantes nativos de inglés, además de grupos de hablantes nativos de chino mandarín, coreano y español con inglés como lengua extranjera. Como medidas post-hoc, los participantes reportaron, mediante escalas Likert, su percepción de presencia, transporte, realismo percibido, identificación con los personajes y disfrute. Los resultados muestran que los subtítulos no reducen las medidas de inmersión. Además, que los subtítulos producen mayores puntuaciones de transporte, identificación con los personajes y percepción de realismo, cuya varianza se explica, esencialmente, por la primera lengua de los receptores y sus hábitos de visionado. Asimismo, los resultados señalan que ni a la presencia y ni al disfrute les afectan la condición experimental o el idioma del receptor. Finalmente, muestran que el transporte es la medida más reveladora de la inmersión porque produce las correlaciones más fuertes y consistentes, aparte de ser un predictor significativo del disfrute de los espectadores.

Item type: Journal article (Paginated)
Keywords: Foreign language; subtitling; reception; enjoyment; immersion; perceived realism; transportation; identification with characters; Lengua extranjera; subtitulación; recepción; disfrute; inmersión; realismo percibido; transporte; identificación con los personajes
Subjects: B. Information use and sociology of information > BJ. Communication
G. Industry, profession and education.
G. Industry, profession and education. > GH. Education.
Depositing user: Alex Ruiz
Date deposited: 10 Jan 2017 21:47
Last modified: 10 Jan 2017 21:47
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10760/30595


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