Eye tracking as a method to study reading and subtitling. The DTV4ALL Project
Title of edited book
The Reception of Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Europe
Year of publication
Esté Hefer-Jordaan provides an introduction to this part of the volume with an overview of how eye tracking has been used so far in the literature to study both reading and subtitle viewing. She then focuses more specifically on the two measures that have been used in the present study: time to first fixation and mean reading time. They are used to analyse, respectively, the time it takes viewers to find a subtitle once it has been displayed on the screen and the percentage of time spent reading the subtitles as compared to the time spent on the images. As acknowledged by Hefer-Jordaan while eye tracking provides accurate information on eye movements, it cannot obtain comprehensive insight into the mental processes underlying the reading process. It can tell us what viewers see, but not what they think or understand. For this reason, a series of comprehension questionnaires were handed out to the participants in this second part of the project after testing each variable. The respondents were also asked to complete another brief questionnaire on preferences after the eye- tracking sessions. The aim in this case was to ascertain the extent to which the eye- tracking test and the exposure to the different subtitling variables could change the respondents' minds with regard to their answers on preferences in the long questionnaire completed in the first part of the study. Hefer-Jordaan's introduction concludes with a description of the rationale and methodology used for the tests.