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New Points of View on Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility

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Edited By 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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Audio Describing Silence: Lost for Words

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1.  Introduction

With the introduction of sound in movies, the use of silence has become an interesting topic for analysis in many areas, from Film Studies to Philosophy or Sound Design. According to O’Rowe (2006: 395), sound and silence are complementary and mutually inclusive: ‘[silence] is never absolute and achieves significance in relation to what it denies, displaces, or disavows. It is impossible to think, speak or write about silence without invoking sound’. This argument was later supported by Kenny (2011: 114), who claims that ‘the arrival of sound provided opportunities for the creative inclusion of silences within and around a narrative. The necessary silence of earlier film was overtaken by the threatening or communicative silence of later works’. Silence has been rediscovered, reinvented and elevated to the role of a protagonist rather than that of a mere pause in the dialogue. It has even become the title of some movies like Ingmar Bergman’s The Silence (1963), James Wan’s Dead Silence (2007), Baran bo Odar’s The Silence (2010) and Martin Scorsese’s Silence (2015), among others.

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