More than meets the eye: An eye-tracking study on the effects of translation on the processing and memorisation of reversed subtitles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

85 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Reversed subtitling is a subtitling mode in which the original audiovisual product is in the native language of the viewer, and the subtitles are in the foreign language (L1 audio, L2 subtitles). Distinct acquisitional advantages of reversed subtitles have emerged from previous research, especially for L2 vocabulary retention, a crucial component of foreign language learning. Despite these benefits, however, reversed subtitles remain one of the least explored subtitling modes to date, with a particularly acute lack of knowledge regarding how they are processed and their impact on memory. The aim of this paper is to resume and expand the discussion on this type of interlingual subtitles, and fill this gap by presenting the initial results of a study on the effects of reversed subtitle translation on reading and retention of L2 input. Specifically, formal similarity (literal transfer) and formal discrepancy (non-literal transfer) were compared. To determine how the two translation conditions were processed, eye tracking was used. To ascertain their effect on retention, an immediate L2 recognition post-test was administered. The participants were English (L1) native speakers learning Italian (L2) at an upper-intermediate level (CEFR B2). Findings show that the reversed subtitles were processed, a large percentage of L2 input was retained after a single exposure to the video, and translation-specific factors are liable to affect the learner.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-128
Number of pages30
JournalJoSTrans: The Journal of Specialised Translation
Volume33
Issue numberSpecial issue "Experimental research and cognition in AVT"
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Subtitling
  • Reversed subtitles
  • Audiovisual translation (AVT)
  • Eye tracking
  • Cognition
  • Subtitle processing
  • Second Language Acquisition (SLA)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'More than meets the eye: An eye-tracking study on the effects of translation on the processing and memorisation of reversed subtitles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this