Emerging topics in translation: Audio description


The volume deals with several aspects of audio description for the blind and sight impaired which came to the surface during the AD session of the conference Emerging topics in translation and interpreting held at the Department of Language, Translation and Interpreting Studies of the University of Trieste, 16-18 June 2010. The topics dealt with in the volume range from the more established (linguistic analysis of ADs in various languages, strategies to overcome possible obstacles while audio describing) to the very pioneering (need to depart from guidelines, textto- speech audio description, reception research in AD, environmental description). The contributions by well-known authors (Saveria Arma, Bernd Benecke, Agnieszka Chmiel, Anna Jankowska, Riitta Lahtinen, Nathalie Mälzer-Semlinger, Iwona Mazur, Pilar Orero, Russ Palmer, Agnieszka Szarkowska) offer palatable food-for-thought to anyone interested in media accessibility.
Il volume approfondisce svariati aspetti dell’audio descrizione per ciechi e ipovedenti che sono emersi durante il convegno Nuovi percorsi in traduzione e interpretazione tenutosi al Dipartimento di Scienze del linguaggio, dell’interpretazione e della traduzione dell’Università di Trieste, 16-18 giugno 2010. I temi trattati spaziano da quelli più consueti (analisi linguistiche dell’AD in diverse lingue, strategie per la risoluzione di problemi pratici che si pongono all’audio descrittore) a quelli più attuali (necessità di staccarsi da linee guida talvolta troppo rigide, audio descrizioni prodotte da sistemi di sintesi vocale, studi orientati alla ricezione dell’audio descrizione, descrizione ambientale). I contributi sono riconducibili ad autori noti del settore (Saveria Arma, Bernd Benecke, Agnieszka Chmiel, Anna Jankowska, Riitta Lahtinen, Nathalie Mälzer-Semlinger, Iwona Mazur, Pilar Orero, Russ Palmer, Agnieszka Szarkowska) e si pongono come spunti appetibili per tutti coloro che sono interessati ad approfondire il tema dell’accessibilità dei media.

Il presente progetto è finanziato con il sostegno della Commissione europea. L'autore è il solo responsabile di questa pubblicazione e la Commissione declina ogni responsabilità sull'uso che potrà essere fatto delle informazioni in essa contenute.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Elisa Perego is a tenured research fellow in English Language and Linguistics at the University of Trieste, where she started to work in 2006. Prior to coming to Trieste, she studied at the University of Pavia where she graduated with merit in Foreign Languages (English and Hungarian) and was awarded a PhD in Linguistics (2004). Her recent research interests and publications lie mainly in the field of audiovisual translation, in particular on subtitle usability and the cognitive processing of translated and non-translated audiovisual material.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 10
  • Publication
    Bionotes Authors
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2012)
      661  612
  • Publication
    Environmental description
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2012)
    Lahtinen, Riitta
    Palmer, Russ
    Environmental description is the description of general, physical, personal and social space and action, where visual, auditory and other sensory information is shared with the receiver in spoken, written or sign language, either vocally, i.e. producing sounds or in another form (pointing, touching, drawing). It can be divided into the expression of basic characteristics, basic description, precise and extended description, and it can be carried out physically on the spot (close description) or far away from the target (distant description). Description can be carried out spontaneously in real time, in joint action systematically i.e. pre-prepared description or it can be recorded beforehand as a text format, or as consecutive i.e. a postponed description after the event. The target group may be one person or a group. In addition to verbal description, environmental description can be produced with various sounds, such as vocalization without words or other sources of sounds e.g. musical instruments. Interaction in a situation between the describer and the receiver may be a one-way description or a dialogue. It can further be divided into functional dialogue, reciprocal description supporting sensory perceptions, telling and pointing in front of the target, reciprocal description by drawing or through movements and the exploration of objects. In detailed descriptions the main subjects are followed by details. Description can be classified according to the size of the space that is extensive, large, in a room or nearby.
      5081  3283
  • Publication
    Audio description and audio subtitling in a dubbing country: Case studies
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2012)
    Benecke, Bernd
    In many European countries foreign films are not dubbed but subtitled. An audio describer has to include all the written subtitles in his script and try to make the description fit in between. Dubbing countries like Spain, Italy and Germany are also used to combining audio description and audio subtitling – for different reasons. This presentation shows how audio subtitling affects the work of describers in a dubbing country like Germany. It will present examples from daily work to show how many different ways are used to deal with the subtitles.
      2785  2351
  • Publication
    Text-to-speech audio description of voiced-over films. A case study of audio described Volver in Polish
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2012)
    Szarkowska, Agnieszka
    Jankowska, Anna
    Given that the production (esp. recording) of AD is quite costly, there are not very many audio described films available on the Polish market. Moreover, there is practically no audio description to foreign films in Poland since it has been assumed that blind and partially sighted audiences will not manage to assimilate multiple soundtracks (original soundtrack in foreign language, voiceover and audio description). In order to overcome the cost hurdle, we propose text-to-speech audio description (TTS AD) as a cheaper alternative to traditionally produced AD. We will demonstrate how TTS AD can be combined with voice-over to produce AD to foreign films on the example of Volver by Pedro Almodovar. We will also present the results of a survey conducted among a group of blind and partially sighted audience after a screening of voiced-over Volver with TTS AD. The results of the survey demonstrate that the participants are quite open to the idea of TTS AD both as an interim solution – until there are more audio described films available – and as a permanent solution.
      1816  1467
  • Publication
    AD reception research: Some methodological considerations
    (EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2012)
    Chmiel, Agnieszka
    Mazur, Iwona
    AD reception research, or collection of feedback from the blind and partially sighted as the target audience of audio described films, seems to be one of the best sources of information to be applied when creating both AD standards and audio descriptions proper. This paper presents experiences gained by the authors when conducting two reception studies. The first one involved a questionnaire distributed to 18 viewers with vision dysfunctions immediately after two screenings of audio described films. The other one is a larger-scale work-in-progress, whose results will be applied in the development of Polish AD standards reflecting the preferences of the blind and visually impaired viewers in Poland, where the participants are being interviewed and presented with AD samples. The authors discuss various methodological issues, including problems with obtaining a sufficient number of participants, reflecting feedback from visuallyimpaired AD consultants in the surveys and discovering user preferences. It is suggested that responses concerning objectivity or subjectivity of descriptions should be elicited indirectly (implicitly) rather than directly (explicitly) and that research results are more meaningful if interviews involve comprehension questions and AD samples.
      2380  2529