Audience attitudes towards simil sync: a pilot study

Di Francesco, Valentina (2023) Audience attitudes towards simil sync: a pilot study, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Traduzione, interpretazione e interculturalità, 35 Ciclo.
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This thesis is based on a pilot investigation which explores the attitudes of a sample of Italian viewers towards the simil sync technique which in Italy is used for the dub of non-fictional television contents. The thesis seeks to analyse and define the characteristics of this dubbing modality which is often considered by scholars and professionals in the dubbing industry a hybrid modality of standard synchronised dubbing and voice-over. In order to investigate viewers’ attitudes, I organised 4 focus groups sessions which, due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, were carried out online. The online recruitment of participants, which was a difficult task, resulted in a small sample of eighteen participants (and two interviewees). The four online focus groups revealed that participants were aware of the simil sync technique. They recognised that the clips were dubbed in a different modality from standard synchronised dubbing. The characteristic that was mostly mentioned for detecting simil sync was the original soundtrack that was audible below the dub, followed by the identification of the genre of the programme in the clip and the absence of lip sync. Moreover, while simil sync with a barely audible original soundtrack received neutral or positive attitudes, simil sync with a more audible original soundtrack, instead, was tolerated or considered annoying. Simil sync passed unnoticed in the in-depth interviews in which the discussion about dubbing was not focused on the distinction between two dubbing modalities, for instance simil sync versus standard synchronised dubbing, but rather on the distinction between programmes that originated in Italian and those that were translated into Italian from another language and then dubbed.


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