In search for standards for subtitling in Chinese
Conference name
Sino-Foreign Audiovisual Translation & Dubbing Cooperation Workshop
Standards in subtitling have been set in many Western countries and consensus has been reached as far as the main parameters are concerned. However, this is not the case for subtitles in Chinese, where there is a lack of both official standards and studies on subtitling, especially empirical ones, supporting current practices. This paper will present the result of two experiments that have been carried out to contribute to establishing standards in Chinese and filling this gap. The aim of the first experiment, based on an online questionnaire, was to determine user's preferences on subtitles in Chinese taking into account different variables, such as font, colour, and size, in the two kinds of Chinese orthography: traditional and simplified. The results show clear preferences as far as several variables are concerned: the preferred font type is SimHei (sans-serif), the preferred size is 14 (as opposed to 12), and the preferred colour is white (in opposition to yellow). These preferences are valid for both orthographies and for both groups of informants, Mainland China, on the one hand, and Taiwan and Hong Kong, on the other hand. There were, thus, no remarkable differences between the two groups, making it easier for a common policy on font selection in subtitling for both areas and orthographies and allowing for bidirectional exchange flows. Since the results were not conclusive as for size was concerned, a second experiment was carried out to determine users' preferences on size in Chinese subtitles using simplified orthography. A secondary aim was to explore whether font size has an influence on visual recall of the elements appearing on the screen and also on general comprehension of the subtitled clip. According to the results of the experiment, the least preferred font size is the biggest one (45), while sizes 25 and 35 show no significant differences between them in all questions regarding preference but one. Thus, the conclusion is that font size is rather a question of preference, and it does not affect more objective parameters such as the amount of subtitles participants were able to read or more subjective ones, such as recall and comprehension.
Submitted by Irene Hermosa … on Mon, 09/09/2019 - 12:49