If you live with someone who doesn’t have hearing loss, is there a tension around having the subtitles on when you watch television together?
When my husband went away on a trip last year and I was home alone, at the first opportunity I got, I switched the subtitles to ‘on’ and had them on all the time. ‘On’ was not their normal default setting in our house at that time, you see. Normally, I would only ask to have them on when I was really struggling to follow the plot of a show.
Of subtitles, someone once said to me, “I don’t know how you can read the text and watch what’s going on at the same time.” When she said this, I was tempted to say, “I don’t know how you can’t.”
The fact of the matter is that if I’m watching a film or a drama with subtitles, I usually forget I’m reading — the words just simply appear in my brain. It’s no different to me than it is to watch a subtitled foreign language film.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Scandinavian dramas The Killing and The Bridge, but unlike the majority of viewers who liked them for their moodiness or storylines, I think what I most liked was that I had hour upon hour of TV viewing that didn’t require me to hear. For the evenings that we watched these subtitled programmes, I felt so much more relaxed before going to bed.
Thankfully, my husband realised this and now I’m happy to say that the default setting for subtitles in our house is ‘on’.