A quest for effective and inclusive design of Chinese characters in subtitling

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Research on subtitling has developed rapidly in most Western countries in the last two decades, resulting in a certain consensus about standards. In response to new social and political challenges, in recent years the focus of research has broadened to include the usability and effectiveness of subtitles for all audiences. However, research on subtitling in Chinese- speaking territories is lagging behind, although their audiovisual industry is very powerful and that the rate of citizens with accessibility problems is growing. This paper carries out a literature review that reveals a lack of guidelines regarding appropiate typefaces, size, color, exposition time and number of characters per line, as well as a scarcity of empirical and experimental approaches backing up current practices. At present, the manner information is displayed through subtitles prioritizes attractiveness over its effectiveness. Therefore, they are not inclusive enough, since they do not always meet the needs of particular audiences, such as the elderly, the visually impaired or the deaf or hard of hearing. This article synthesizes and critically reviews the state of the art, highlighting those aspects of Chinese subtitling practices that need further study vis-à-vis establishing guidelines to assure the information they convey is usable and effective for all audiences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-47
JournalInternational Journal of Asian Language Processing (IJALP)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

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