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vknphysique Group

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Sebastian Perez
Sebastian Perez

30 For 30 (2009) Subtitles LINK

Attachments (additional files, such as fonts for subtitles) are only supported in Matroska,[16] MP4 and QTFF. M2TS supports attachments as multiple files in a specific file structure: fonts for subtitles are in .otf files in the /BDMV/AUXDATA/ directory.

30 for 30 (2009) subtitles

Converting image subtitles to text formats is possible using third-party tools[127] but relies on optical character recognition, which is not perfectly accurate and can at best extract basic formatting. Conversion of text to images is possible while preserving content and style. Round-trip format conversion between text formats may not be possible without losing some formatting features.

Understanding foreign speech is difficult, in part because of unusual mappings between sounds and words. It is known that listeners in their native language can use lexical knowledge (about how words ought to sound) to learn how to interpret unusual speech-sounds. We therefore investigated whether subtitles, which provide lexical information, support perceptual learning about foreign speech. Dutch participants, unfamiliar with Scottish and Australian regional accents of English, watched Scottish or Australian English videos with Dutch, English or no subtitles, and then repeated audio fragments of both accents. Repetition of novel fragments was worse after Dutch-subtitle exposure but better after English-subtitle exposure. Native-language subtitles appear to create lexical interference, but foreign-language subtitles assist speech learning by indicating which words (and hence sounds) are being spoken.

Listeners have difficulty understanding unfamiliar regional accents of their native language [1]. This is in part because the speech sounds of the accent mismatch those of the language standard (and/or with the listener's own accent). Listening difficulty is magnified when the unfamiliar regional accent is in a foreign language: The unusual foreign vowels and consonants may mismatch more with native sound categories, and may even fail to match any native category [2]. This situation arises, for example, when we watch a film in a second language. Imagine a American listener, fluent in Mexican Spanish, watching El Laberinto del fauno [Pan's Labyrinth, 3]. She may have considerable difficulty understanding the European Spanish if she is unfamiliar with that language variety. How might she be able to cope better? We argue here that subtitles can help. Critically, the subtitles should be in Spanish, not English. This is because subtitles in the language of the film indicate which words are being spoken, and so can boost speech learning about foreign speech sounds.

We thus tested whether subtitles help or hinder adaptation to an unfamiliar regional accent in a second language. Dutch participants, fluent in English, watched 25 minutes of video material with either strongly-accented Australian English [an episode of the Australian sitcom Kath & Kim, 20] or strongly-accented Scottish English [excerpts from the British movie Trainspotting, 21]. In each case, separate groups had either English, Dutch, or no subtitles. After this exposure, all six groups were asked to repeat back excerpts from both the Australian and the Scottish material. The groups exposed to Scottish English thus provide no-exposure control data for the Australian English excerpts, and vice versa. Because the focus was on adaptation in listening, the excerpts were audio only. There were 160 excerpts in total. Eighty excerpts (spoken by the main characters in each video) were taken from the exposure material (forty from each source). Eighty excerpts were completely new, but from the same speakers (again, forty Scottish and forty Australian excerpts). The latter material in particular allowed us to assess how well listeners adapted to the accent during exposure.

We present analyses of the proportion of words repeated correctly overall (see Materials and Methods). We scored how many words (content and function words) were repeated correctly per excerpt. Table 1 shows the proportion of correctly repeated words per excerpt, split by old and new items and by accent type. We predicted success on individual trials using a linear-mixed effect model [22] with a logit as a linking function because of the limited range of the dependent variable ([0, 1]). Individual data points were predicted with crossed fixed and random effects. For categorical predictor variables, one level is mapped onto the intercept and binary dummy variables are created for the other levels. To best estimate the effect of subtitling, we mapped the no-subtitles condition onto the intercept.

Although the Australian English proved overall more difficult to repeat than the Scottish English (in the control conditions, 71% of the Australian and 78% of the Scottish words were repeated correctly), accent type did not modulate any other effects. Neither the interaction of Exposure Materials with Subtitles Condition and Old/New (pmin>0.2) nor the interaction of Exposure Materials with Subtitles Condition (pmin>0.3) produced significant regression weights. The raw values in Table 1 may appear to suggest that performance was especially bad when participants who had been exposed to Dutch subtitles with the Australian material had to repeat new materials. The comparisons to the control conditions, however, show that the pattern of learning effects is similar for both material sets, if somewhat more pronounced for the Australian materials.

We therefore collapsed over exposure materials (see Figure 1) and analyzed the proportion of correctly repeated words with condition (English subtitles, Dutch subtitles, No subtitles, Control) and repetition (Old vs. New items) as factors. The effects of the subtitles were different for old and new items (p

We asked two questions. First, we tested whether audiovisual exposure allows listeners to adapt to an unfamiliar foreign accent. Second, we asked whether subtitles can influence this process. Our results show that this kind of adaptation is possible, and that subtitles which match the foreign spoken language help adaptation while subtitles in the listener's native language hinder adaptation.

The most dramatic aspect of our results was how different the effects of the English and Dutch subtitles were. English subtitles were associated with the best performance on both old and new items. But although Dutch subtitles also enhanced performance on the old items, they led to worse performance on the new materials. The participants apparently used the semantic information in the Dutch subtitles when listening to the English [cf. 18], and did not ignore the English speech. Indeed, the Dutch subtitles appear to have helped the participants to decipher which English words had been uttered, as seen in the benefit on recognition of previously heard materials. But this did not allow participants to retune their phonetic categories so as to improve their understanding of new utterances from the same speaker. Why was this the case? Phonological knowledge is automatically retrieved during print exposure [27], so the Dutch subtitles provided phonological information that was inconsistent with the spoken English word forms. This would weaken the influence of English lexical-phonological knowledge on perceptual learning. The account based on the mechanism of lexically-guided retuning thus explains both the positive effect of subtitles in the language of the film and the negative effect of subtitles in the perceiver's native language. According to this account, the orthographic information in subtitles can influence learning in speech perception either in a facilitatory manner (as when the English subtitles indicated which words, and hence phonemes, were being spoken) or in an inhibitory manner (as when the Dutch subtitles specified the wrong phonological information).

As we used real subtitles, our results also have practical implications. Although the use of real subtitles meant that the listeners did not get a word-by-word transcription of the dialogue, it allows us to generalize our results to visual media exposure outside the laboratory. It appears that the largest benefit from this kind of real-world exposure, in the recognition of regional accents in a second language, comes from the use of subtitles in that language. But foreign-language subtitles are not what television viewers and filmgoers are familiar with. In many European countries (e.g., Germany) there is considerable public concern about international comparisons of scholarly achievements [e.g., 32]. Yet viewers are denied access to foreign-language speech, even on publicly-financed television programs. Instead, foreign languages are dubbed. In countries which use subtitles instead of dubbing (e.g., the Netherlands), only native-language subtitles are available, so again listeners are denied potential benefits in speech learning. Native-language subtitles are obviously essential for listeners who do not already speak a second language, and may thus be the only practical solution in cinemas. With the advent of digital television broadcasting, however, it is now possible to broadcast multiple audio channels and multiple types of subtitles. We suggest that it is now time to exploit these possibilities. Individuals can already take matters into their own hands, however. It is often possible to select foreign subtitles on commercial DVDs. So if, for example, an American speaker of Mexican Spanish wants to improve her understanding of European Spanish, we suggest that she should watch some DVDs of European Spanish films with Spanish subtitles.

Such same-language subtitles indicate which words are being spoken, and so, via the lexically-guided retuning mechanism, they can boost speech learning and hence facilitate language understanding. This happens even though the words are in a foreign language and the speech is in an unfamiliar foreign regional accent. It might seem remarkable that lexically-guided learning can operate under these non-ideal conditions, yet it is under these sorts of circumstances that speech learning can yield the greatest benefits in speech understanding. 041b061a72


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