Subtitling - An Issue of Speed?
This research set out to evaluate deaf people's experiences of subtitling, looking specifically at how comprehension and enjoyment of different types of programmes are affected by the speed of the words on screen.
The sample of respondents consisted of a range of moderately, severely and profoundly deaf subtitle users and included people from across a wide range of literacy levels.
There are a number of interacting variables which make the issue of speed extremely complex. Degree of deafness, age, reliance on subtitles, and literacy level all play a part. For people who utilise more than one sensory input, subtitles are often used as a useful reference point if they miss a word, so speed is not such a critical factor. For those who rely more heavily on subtitles, speed is much more of an issue because if they cannot read them fast enough they will literally lose the plot.