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New Points of View on Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility


Anna Jankowska and Agnieszka Szarkowska

This collection of articles offers a comprehensive overview of some of the most current research approaches found in the field of audiovisual translation (AVT) and media accessibility across Europe. The authors, well-known experts in the field of AVT, reflect on new challenges and look into potential avenues for investigation in professional practices like subtitling, surtitling, dubbing and voiceover as well as audio description (AD), subtitling for the deaf and the hard-of-hearing (SDH) and audio subtitling.
The book is divided into four sections. The first part discusses some of the cultural challenges encountered by professionals when dubbing and subtitling audiovisual productions and when surtitling live events. The second part focuses on AVT training, particularly on the teaching and learning of voiceover and subtitling. The third section is dedicated to AD and provides a detailed overview of some of the latest developments taking place in this area. The last section examines some of the most prevalent issues in SDH.
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The Language of Audio Description in Dutch: Results of a Corpus Study


1.  Introduction

The European Union directive of 2007 on accessible audiovisual media services (2007/65/CE) was a landmark for the development of audio description (AD) in Europe. Five years later, AD is already firmly rooted as an access service for the visually impaired in several European countries, supported by academic research, formal standards and regulations (with the UK and Spain as pioneers). However, some countries are lagging behind. The Dutch-speaking parts of Europe, Flanders and the Netherlands, are a case in point. The first experiments with Dutch AD for television date back to the 1990s, but it is only in recent years that the service has become professionalized. Since 2009 some 13 commercial DVDs with AD have been released and several cinema screenings with open or closed AD have been organized (mainly in the Netherlands). The Flemish public broadcaster VRT has committed itself to air one described TV series a year, starting in 2012. Flanders also has a growing offer of AD in the theatre, at concerts and other live-events, including sports, and in museums (ADLAB).1 In brief, AD in Dutch has gotten off to a good start, but there are still barriers holding back its further development, among which the failure of the Flemish and Dutch governments to formulate enforceable policies and the lack of standards ensuring high quality AD-practice. Moreover, there is ← 167 | 168 → very little research specifically aimed at AD in Dutch. Even if the expertise developed elsewhere in Europe goes a long...

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