Speech technology has made it possible to use speech recognition for the simultaneous subtitling of live television broadcasts using the technique of respeaking. Analyses show that live subtitles, like pre-recorded subtitles, are nearly always a reduced form of the spoken comments. However, the live-subtitling process in itself may have an effect on the reduction strategies used by live subtitlers. The aim of this study is to gain a better understanding of the causes and consequences of quantitative text reduction in live subtitling. Three excerpts of an infotainment talk show were subtitled by twelve respeakers of the Flemish public television channel, VRT. They were instructed to complete the task using three different reduction conditions. Various subtitle features, such as reduction percentages and delay, as well as measures of the respeakers’ working memory were collected. In a hierarchical multilevel analysis we defined which external factors affect the degree of reduction. The results show that reduction is not a random process. In contrast, its occurrence and form are largely determined by a number of external factors, viz. delay, amount of source text and the proportion of ‘full’ deletions. A large volume of evidence suggests that respeakers opt to omit certain comments rather than reducing them. It also appears that the decision to delete a comment seems not to be primarily based on the amount of input, while the decision to reduce partially is.
Translation revision (TR) is an important step in the translation workflow. However, translation revision competence (TRC) remains an ill-defined concept. This article addresses that gap by operationalizing TR and by presenting a theoretical TRC model. Subsequently, the article analyses and interprets the results of an empirical pilot study designed to test the presence of two TR subcompetences hypothesized by the TRC model, in an experimental group and a control group of 21 MA language students. The experimental group was given TR training whereas the control group was not. The two subcompetences that were tested using a pretest—posttest experimental design were declarative-procedural knowledge about TR and the procedural strategic revision subcompetence. Both groups of participants replied to questionnaires and performed controlled revision tasks, which were subjected to quantitative statistical analyses. This article provides a detailed analysis of the results and the causes of the limited progress. In addition, it discusses the lessons learnt for both TR training and further research.
Recent research on the reception of interlingual subtitling revealed that it is cognitively effective: watching a subtitled film results in a good understanding of the film content, it does not require a significant tradeoff between image processing and text processing, and it leads to a good performance in the recognition of the words and expressions contained in the subtitles. To date, the studies that revealed the effectiveness of subtitle processing have been conducted mono-nationally — e.g. d’Ydewalle and De Bruycker (2007) in Belgium; Wissmath et al. (2009) in Switzerland; Perego et al. (2010, 2015) in Italy; Hinkin et al. (2014) in the US. However, it has not yet been demonstrated empirically whether subtitle effectiveness varies depending on the familiarity of viewers with subtitles. The cross-national study described in this paper aims to fill this gap and appraise the cognitive performance and overall appreciation of a moderately complex subtitled film by viewers with different degrees of familiarity with subtitles, i.e., viewers living in countries (Italy, Spain, Poland and Dutch-speaking Belgium) with different audiovisual translation traditions. The main findings reveal that subtitling is effective irrespective of users’ familiarity with it, although it is not enjoyed equally among the tested populations.