An End User Based Study on Subtitling for the d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Turkey
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Reception research in audiovisual translation (AVT), particularly on the intersection between AVT and media accessibility (MA) has been a research avenue to interest for translation scholars in the last couple of decades. However, research in reception studies in countries like Turkey, where MA practices are relatively new in terms of legislative mandates on the subject, are still scarce. This thesis aims to contribute to the field by investigating the reception of subtitles for the d/Deaf and hard of hearing (SDH) by the intended audience, Turkish d/Deaf and hard of hearing (HOH) viewers. The present study places itself in the intersection of Descriptive Translation Studies (DTS) and Reception Studies (RS) within AVT. First, guidelines and current practices of SDH were investigated to reveal the norms with a focus on specific parameters. Second, a questionnaire was designed to elicit the opinions of viewers on these practices. The English template of the Digital TV for All (DTV4ALL) questionnaire was adapted to the Turkish context (Romero-Fresco, 2015). The project in which the original questionnaire was used aimed to facilitate provision of access services and provide feedback from viewers that could be relevant to stakeholders in improving the quality of SDH. The Turkish questionnaire, designed with a similar objective in mind, consisted of questions regarding demographic and personal data, viewing habits and preferences, and opinions on particular SDH parameters. Data was collected from 237 participants through online and paper questionnaires. Findings were compared with previous similar studies and discussed. In conclusion, as regards the specific SDH parameters investigated, current practices seem to accomplish their skopos. The provision of more subtitled programmes on free-to-air linear broadcast with a wider variety of types of programmes, and offering of accessible versions with premieres of programmes are areas that, according to the end users, could be improved on.