Edited by Silvia Hansen-Schirra and Sambor Grucza, the book Eyetracking and Applied Linguistics looks at the powerful tool eyetracking has become in applied linguistics and translation studies. The articles in this anthology are based on talks give at the first International Conference on Eyetracking and Applied Linguistics (ICEAL) in Warsaw, that brought together researchers who use eyetracking to “empirically answer their research questions”. The conference was intended to “bring together researchers who use eyetracking to empirically answer their research questions. It was intended to bridge the gaps between applied linguistics, translation studies, cognitive science and computational linguistics on the one hand and to further encourage innovative research methodologies and data triangulation on the other hand”.

The article Integrated titles: An improved viewing experience? illustrates a first look at the extensive eye tracking study that was also the basis for my doctoral thesis. While there are few examples of (sub)titles placed individually in the image as a means of translation of an additional language into the film’s main language, this practice has not yet been used to commercially translate a complete film for a foreign audience. Using eye tracking data, this study examines to what extent the placement and design of (sub)titles affect reading time and the visual perception of the image. The applied placement strategies were based on the undistracted focus points of 14 English native participants and image composition principles from film studies. Additional 31 German participants with little or no knowledge of English watched the English film with traditional subtitles or integrated titles. The results of the eye tracking data analysis indicate that, while reaction time (time to first fixation) increases, the reading time (total visit duration) for integrated titles decreases, the viewers are less likely to focus on the title area before the title appears and their focus resembles the undistracted gaze behaviour of the native participants to a much greater degree. Additionally, the split attention between image and title shifts towards the image. Integrated titles appear to motivate the viewer to return to the focal points faster and spend more time exploring the image in between titles. Their placement allows for shorter saccades and thereby decreases the time in which no visual information is obtained.

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