Blind people and listening comprehension

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Re: Blind people and listening comprehension

Postby Serpent » Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:37 pm

I've had luck even with normal speed audiobooks :D accelerated or deliberately suboptimal audio is also interesting ;)
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Re: Blind people and listening comprehension

Postby sfuqua » Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:01 pm

It doesn't seem that there is any one source of information that covers how fast one can eventually learn to process language. It seems that even without training native speakers have little loss of comprehension of audiobooks at 210 wpm. It isn't as comfortable, but the comprehension is there. I imagine that one could easily get used to it.
I don't know if this would improve comprehension at normal speeds, but it suggests that it may be useful just to increase the amount of input one gets...
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Re: Blind people and listening comprehension

Postby steyyan » Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:00 am

I personally don't think there's anything to it; they just practice listening to their TTS software at higher speeds until they are able to understand it. That way, they can have their texts read aloud without anyone else "eavesdropping" on them.

I know a few blind people (am severly visually impaired, attend gatherings semi-often), and they did it that way. When listening to audibooks etc. they seem to prefer normal speed though, or at least, those I know do.

EDIT: I have tried to speed up youtube videos on some occasions, and I had no problems understanding German sped up to 200% (when spoken clearly into a microphone, never tried it with TV shows that have lotss of ambient noise and so forth), even thout it's my third language.
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Re: Blind people and listening comprehension

Postby robarb » Fri Aug 21, 2015 5:00 pm

For me, my native English at 200% speed poses no problem for understanding the language if the original was something spoken slowly and clearly, like an audiobook or a lecture. The real problem is following the content. I may be able to read for content at a similar or faster speed, but that's because I can skim, backtrack, and adjust my speed. When listening, your minimum, maximum, and average speed are all the same. So I find I can only handle 200% speed audio when I'm quite familiar with the content.

It is definitely true that you get better at this kind of thing if your brain doesn't have to deal with vision. Both because there are brain resources that would have otherwise been left idle, and because you spend more of your life attending to and training the auditory abilities. I would imagine, though, that there are also plenty of blind people who aren't good at listening to audiobooks really fast, just as there are plenty of sighted people who aren't good at reading at all.
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Re: Blind people and listening comprehension

Postby rdearman » Fri Aug 21, 2015 5:07 pm

I was told back when I was being taught to be a trainer, that people can understand ~250-300 words per minute, but the average speaking speed can be anywhere from 70 to 130 words per minute. This is why people get bored during lectures, you are talking at way below the level their brain can take in information.
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