Original language subtitles: Their effects on the native and foreign viewer

Jan Louis Kruger, Stephen Doherty, María T. Soto-Sanfiel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    43 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    This study investigates the impact of same-language subtitles on the immersion into audiovisual narratives as a function of the viewer's language (native or foreigner). Students from two universities in Australia and one in Spain were assigned randomly to one of two experimental groups, in which they saw a drama with the original English soundtrack either with same-language English subtitles (n=81) or without subtitles (n=92). The sample included an English native control group, and Mandarin Chinese, Korean, and Spanish groups with English as a foreign language. Participants used post-hoc Likert scales to self-report their presence, transportation to the narrative world, perceived realism, identification with the characters, and enjoyment. The main results showed that subtitles did not significantly reduce these measures of immersion. However, subtitles produced higher transportation, identification with the characters, and perceived realism scores, where the first language of viewers and their viewing habits accounted for most of this variance. Moreover, presence and enjoyment were unaffected by either condition or language. Finally, the main results also revealed that transportation to the narrative world appears to be the most revealing measure of immersion in that it shows the strongest and most consistent correlations, and is a significant predictor of enjoyment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23-32
    Number of pages10
    JournalComunicar
    Volume25
    Issue number50
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Bibliographical note

    Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

    Keywords

    • Enjoyment
    • Foreign language
    • Identification with characters
    • Immersion
    • Perceived realism
    • Reception
    • Subtitling
    • Transportation

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