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The Function Of Visual Subtitles

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 2058 words Published: 10th Aug 2021

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According to Mitterer H, McQueen JM, their book named Foreign Subtitle Help but Native Language Subtitle Harm Foreign Speech Perception. Understanding the foreign speech is not easy in common, especially because of unusual mapping between sounds and words. It is known that audiences in their native language can use lexical knowledge (about now words ought to sound) to learn how to pronouns an unusual foreign word in the movie. Subtitles are normally prepared in a movie, to provide lexical information, support perceptual learning about foreign speech for those audiences.

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According to Cai Q, Brysbaert M, his book “SUBTLEX-CH: Chinese Word and Character”. Subtitles are also makes video more accessible for people with hearing disabilities or deaf. It is hard to listen when the unfamiliar regional accent is in unfamiliar foreign languages. The unusual foreign vowels and consonants may mismatch more with native sound categories, seriously will fail to match any native category. This situation arises, for example, when we watch a film in a non-native language, a Malaysian listener, fluent in English and Chinese, watching a Thailand movie. He or she may have considerable difficulty understanding the language used in the movie. To adopt all those films or movie into target language culture, filmmakers use dubbing, voice-over and subtitles to make the movie more acceptable to those foreign countries. Besides, subtitles can translate speech, signs, letters and show sounds to aid the deaf and hard of hearing to understand more and follow the plot of the film.

According to encyclopedia, it said that subtitle is used to interpret previously unheard words in a movie for those audiences. The ability to encode rules and to detect rule-violating events outside the focus of attention is vital for adaptive behavior.

“Our brain recordings reveal that violations of abstract auditory rules are processed even when the sounds are absent. When subjects performed a task related to the sounds but not to the rule, rule violations impaired task related to the sounds but not to the rule, rule violations impaired task performance and activated a network involving supratemporal, parietal and frontal areas although none of the subjects acquired explicit knowledge of the rule or became aware of rule violations. The finding that this happens even when subjects do not present the sounds supports the hypothesis that abstract rule encoding occurs unintentionally. The temporal and structural characteristics of the relevant brain response (MMN) were virtually identical in all conditions, that is, when subjects were ignoring the sounds, when they attended the sounds but rules were task-irrelevant, and when they attended the sounds and rules were task-relevant.”( Schröger E, Bendixen A, Trujillo-Barreto NJ, Roeber U ,2007)

According to the Wikipedia, It announces that subtitles displayed at the bottom of a movie or television screen that translate or transcribes the dialogue or narrative in the movie. It is also giving additional information about its content like monolog, mind-thinking and emotion. Those subtitles can be in different categories: narrative, forced, content, titles only, bonus, localized and extended/expanded. While distributing content, subtitles can appear in one of 3 types:

  1. Hard (also known as hard-subtitles or open subtitles),
  2. Prerendered (also known as closed subtitles are separate video frames that are overlaid on the original video stream while playing),
  3. Soft (also known as soft-subtitles or closed subtitles).

The positive effects of subtitles

According to Mitterer H and McQueen JM, their book “Foreign Subtitle Help but Native Language Subtitle Harm Foreign Speech Perception”, what the group found the greatest advantage of subtitles is the fact that it preserves the original audio track. Thanks to the subtitles, the actors speak with their original voice, and the ambience sounds are not disrupted by voice-over or inserted dubbing recordings. When the audiences read the subtitles, they will more understand about the action, emotion and the expression by the actors in the movie. Thus, the audiences will become more interest and can be followed the part on the movie. The subtitles in a movie also focus on the speech act of characters. Audience can follow the movie by reading the subtitles at the bottom of the screen. It serve as an aid not only for the deaf and hard of hearing, but also for people who learn the foreign languages or who need visual aid aside form audio input for study. It is to ensure the studying foreign language process is effective. So the effects are more important than lexical elements. Subtitles in the language of the film indicate which words are being spoken, and so can boost speech learning about foreign speech sounds and pronouns. The listeners can learn to interpret an ambiguous phoneme on the basis of disambiguating lexical contexts. That is why the movie always has prepared the foreign subtitles for the audiences.

According to Cai Q, Brysbaert M, the book was named “SUBTLEX-CH: Chinese Word and Character”. Subtitles given the prior work on lexical retuning within the native language, and the suggestion that adaptation to foreign-accented speech is in part lexically driven, may be lexical retuning also in second-language listening. That is, listeners may be able to retune speech-sound categories based on their knowledge about how foreign words ought to sound or pronouns. Within subtitles, those listeners can learn about unfamiliar regional accents in a foreign language in the movie by reading subtitles prepared. It is a mechanism of lexically-guided perceptual learning. English subtitles should give provided in the most of the films, because it is international language. It can provide the extra information about the words being spoken by a character.

According to encyclopedia.com, subtitles are a very useful ways of communicating what is being said on the movie to deaf people. Subtitles are also used for many other reasons than this, and deaf people often prefer not to have them or to use another method because of the drawback of subtitling. In addition, foreign movie are often subtitled to allow the people who do not know the language to follow the action. As a good example, a lot of Thailand movie are subtitled with English for the audiences to make sure the movie acceptable by others in foreign countries like Malaysia.

According to the United Kingdom News and magazine, there wrote some comment about the subtitles. Subtitles can provide an additional source of information about the words that being spoken, and hence the sounds being heard, and so ought to reinforce lexically-guided learning. Our database is the first to include information about the contextual diversity of the words and to provide good frequency estimates for multi-character words and the different syntactic roles in which the words are used. The word frequencies are freely available for research purposes. Subtitles are a good estimate of daily language exposure and capture much of the variance in words processing efficiency.

According to the Wikipedia, it announces that subtitle is a blessing and it really helps the people to understand the plot of the movie. It is also not a problem for people who watching movie in an overload background music and ambient noise environment. It is a good reason why the parents can take care their child when watching a movie. If you do not understand a word that have been spoken by the actor, you may look at the subtitle, it helps hearing impaired people understand a movie. People will more understand what the characters are saying and get a better idea of what is happening.

The negative effects of subtitles

“Subtitles are limited both in time and space. An average subtitle consists of one or two lines of text, maximum 35 characters each. This limitation combined with the fact that on subtitle is at most displayed for four seconds gives us hard time to cover long utterances in dialogs.”(Richard Curtis, 2003)

According to United Kingdom News and magazine, another main disadvantage is the subtitles are mainly aiming at literate people with reading skills developed to a high extent. It is required from audience to read quick enough and do not only concentrate on the subtitles, but also the image above or just behind the subtitles, and often requires from them to use both skills simultaneously. Is that impossible concentrates on both in a whole movie? Of course, for non-deaf people they can still hear the emotion in an actor’s voice even if it is in a different or foreign language but it is not easy to follow so many things. Other countries prefer to dub program and film-where an actor speaking the language of the country where it is to be shown is recorded over the original language. But this is costly and time consuming and only worth the while of the crew if it is to be shown to a large number of people. But again, similar arguments prevail with regards to nuances being lost-especially as the subtitles tend to be an exact translation rather than taking idiom into account, and emotions being lost.

Leo Freedman has a comment about the problem.

“I saw a superb subtitle mistake a couple of month ago…there was a report on the news about a new employment policy that would benefit millions of unemployed and impoverished Indian citizens …the subtitle read “If this policy works, it may be set to achieve even more that my hammock man Ghandi!” That kept me amused for weeks! Or maybe Muhatma had a hammock company I am unaware of?”

According to the Wikipedia, it said that translation of subtitling is sometimes very different from the translation of written text. Usually, the editor will watch the picture and listen to the audio sentence by sentence when a film or a movie is subtitled. The editor may or may not have access to a written transcript of the dialog. Especially in commercial subtitles, the editor often interprets what is meant, rather than translating how it is said, meaning being more important than form. The audience does not always appreciate this, and it can be frustrating to those who know some of the spoken language, because spoken language may contain verbal padding or culturally implied meaning, in confusing words, if not adapted in the written subtitles. The editor does this when the dialog must be condensed in order to achieve an acceptable reading speed, it purpose being more important than form. The result suggested that foreign subtitles are very helpful but that native-language subtitles provide no benefit or less benefit. Only one study focused on phonological processing; negligible benefits for non-native subtitles were found. Clear predictions can nevertheless still be made about the effects of subtitle language on speech learning. If lexically-guided retuning operates in second-language listening, and is open to any influence from subtitles, then the influence should depend on the language of the subtitles.

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According to encyclopedia.com, the native subtitles may be easier for observes to read, but providing misleading or misunderstand information about the phonological forms being spoken. If the audiences are more concentrated in reading the subtitles than is watching the movie, he or she will not learn the new language. The audience can hear the original sound, voice of the movie and see the correct timing of expressions on the actor’s faces as they speak their lines? This is hard to finish reading the subtitles at the bottom of a movie because it is past fast and not easy to digest. Lowering sight towards the bottom of the movie while reading the subtitles can become tiresome and/or distract from appreciating details, facial expressions and the emotion of those actors. The audience might be having such a good time reading the subtitle that is could prevent from watching the actual movie, it could block things in the movie and make audiences hard to focus on the action.


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