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C. Wang, D. Xu, J. Chen, X. Zhou, R. Xie, F. Lu; Reading Parameters for Chinese and English Text. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):5892.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
We measured 4 key parameters of Chinese and English reading: visual acuity threshold (VAT), maximum reading speed (MRS), critical print size (CPS) and acuity reserve (RA) to identify key reading parameters in Chinese and English. We compared the effect of non-phrase-splitting and forced phrase-splitting texts in rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP)on the reading speed of Chinese.
Thirty Chinese university students with VA ≥20/20 in both eyes (uncorrected or corrected) were recruited. VAT of Chinese and English was evaluated for all subjects using a self-designed visual acuity chart presented on a computer monitor. Reading speed of Chinese and English was tested in RSVP with font sizes from 5 to 41pt. Two reading patterns, non-phrase-splitting (one word in a paragraph presented at a time) and forced phrase-splitting (one phrase in a paragraph presented at a time) were used for the test of Chinese.
The VAT for Chinese (2.3±0.3point, pt, Mean±SD) was significantly higher than that for English (2.0±0.2pt) (p<0.01). Chinese reading speed increased significantly with increasing font sizes until font size reached 9.5pt where the reading speed was 249.3±43.3 wpm. This reading speed was maintained for font sizes ranging from 9.5 to 41pt and therefore was defined as MRS. English reading speed increased significantly with increasing font sizes until font size reached 8pt where MRS (133.2±18.5 wpm) was achieved. The MRS of Chinese was significantly higher than that of English among Chinese readers (p<0.01). The CPS for Chinese (9.5±0.7pt ) was significantly larger than that for English (8pt) (p<0.01). Reading speed increased with increasing RA until the RA reached 4.1±0.6 in Chinese and 4.0±0.4 in English then remained unchanged and there was no significant difference between Chinese and English RA (p>0.05). Chinese reading speed with non-phrase-splitting (10pt:385.0±43.2;16.5pt:389.3±39.1) was significantly higher than that of forced phrase-splitting (10pt:249.3±39.3;16.5pt:254.4±39.3) (p<0.01).
Language difference effects VAT, MRS and CPS, but not RA. That is, the requirement of Chinese and English for RA is similar. This finding suggests the visual system processes Chinese and English similarly. Furthermore, reading speed with forced phrase-splitting was much higher than that with non-phrase-splitting. This indicates that the reading pattern presented in RSVP for Chinese is the main factor influencing the reading speed.
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