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Are Americans needing subtitles because of Aussie accents?

<i>Mad Max</i> was famously dubbed by Americans.

Mad Max was famously dubbed by Americans. Photo: Getty

A large cohort of young Americans are likely to put on subtitles when watching a show, and for many, it’s all because of the accents.

A recent YouGov survey found that 38 per cent of Americans prefer to have the subtitles on, even while watching English-language shows.

Surprisingly, the survey found 63 per cent of people aged under 30 will turn subtitles on, compared to 37 per cent of 30 to 44-year-olds and 29 per cent of 45 to 64-year-olds.

Do people really struggle with accents?

One of the many reasons why plenty of people lean on subtitles is due to the accents.

Streaming services have helped people all over the world access content they usually wouldn’t be able to watch from other countries.

YouGov found 40 per cent of Americans use them to help them understand the accents in a show.

Famously, the very first Mad Max film, which was released in 1979, was dubbed in American accents for American audiences.

Not only is the Australian accent sometimes hard for people from overseas to follow, but some of the slang is understandably puzzling.

So it’s not too surprising that Americans might be struggling to understand what is being said in Australian or even British shows, despite many using English.

Why are young people using subtitles?

Only about 23 per cent of people aged under 30 will have subtitles on all the time when watching a TV show and a further 28 per cent will have them on most of the time.

This indicates it could depend on what they are watching.

For those who watch foreign TV shows, 21 per cent will go to settings and turn them on without fail, even if the show is in a language they understand.

For people who love fantasy, 15 per cent will have subtitles on all the time, and 27 per cent will have them on most of the time.

For those watching science fiction content, one-third of people will have them on all the time.

The majority of Americans will have subtitles on at least “occasionally” when watching a TV show in a language they know.

pictured is a graph showing why people use subtitles.

People use subtitles for an array of reasons.

“While 13 per cent always watch TV with subtitles on, 17 per cent say they do this most of the time, 15 per cent do so sometimes, and 21 per cent do so rarely,” YouGov said.

“About one-third (34 per cent) say they never watch TV with the subtitles on.”

The survey also found that among those who always use subtitles, 40 per cent do so because they say it “enhances their comprehension”.

About 30 per cent will do so because they have hearing difficulties and 33 per cent say it’s usually because they’re watching something in a noisy environment.

About 20 per cent appreciate the dialogue, which is why they have subtitles switched on, and 22 per cent don’t want to disturb others by turning up the volume.

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