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Title: Film reading for writing audio descriptions: A word is worth a thousand images?
Authors: Orero, Pilar
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Pilar Orero, "Film reading for writing audio descriptions: A word is worth a thousand images?", in Elisa Perego (edited by): "Emerging topics in translation: Audio description", Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2012, pp. 13-28.
While English, German, Catalan, Music, Mathematics are languages which have a
vocabulary, a grammar and a syntax – which needs to be learnt before being able to
read – film language is understood by babies before they can speak or read. Films can
be enjoyed naturally without acquiring any fluency in its language, and this natural
approach seems to be taken by many when drafting audio descriptions. Though much
international attention has been paid recently to draft audio descriptions standards
and guidelines (Benecke 2004; Ofcom 2006; Orero and Wharton 2007; Puigdomènech
et al. 2007; Remael 2005; Snyder 2006; AENOR 2005; Vercauteren 2007), little attention
has been devoted to the most basic elements of film: its vocabulary, how to read it and
its meaning (an exception could be made with sound since we already have articles by
Remael forthcoming and Igareda forthcoming). This article departs from basic concepts
such as the artistic experience, its channels of reception and how films are presented
and perceived. Film languages are then discussed to focus on the image and the many
possibilities of its reading. It is through the integration of all the readings and meanings that
a deep understanding of the film is achieved; hence a comprehensive audio description can
be drafted. It is interesting to note the differences between reading – which is the focus of this
article – and telling a story visually. This latter issue is key when drafting audio descriptions
for films, since narration will play the leading role, but it is not the focus of this article.
Type: Book Chapter
ISBN: 978-88-8303-347-6
Appears in Collections:Emerging topics in translation: Audio description

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