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Translating Audio Description Scripts

Translation as a New Strategy of Creating Audio Description


Anna Jankowska

Translating audio description scripts from foreign into source language seems to be a tempting alternative strategy of creating audio description scripts in those countries where audio description is still scarce. This book presents the results of a three-stage study. This study was conducted to test whether the translation of audio description scripts written by experienced British audio describers into Polish is a solution that is less time and money consuming. Besides it was analysed whether the scripts created through the application of the translation strategy preserve the quality that satisfies the target recipients. The obtained results prove that translation of audio description scripts is not only possible, but also beneficial when it comes to time consumption, costs and quality of audio description.
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Audio description (AD) is an additional verbal description of the most important elements of a picture, i.e. a technique that provides visually impaired people with information that other viewers perceive only visually. This way, audio description gives the visually impaired access to visual and audiovisual products, in a broad sense of this word. The technique of audio description is used in television, cinema, during stage and sports shows, as well as in museums and galleries. Also DVD and Blu-ray recordings are made available through audio description. It is commonly said that it is a young, practically fledgling field. In fact, audio description has existed for almost thirty years, even for over fifty, according to some, and it was invented as a practical service that provides visually impaired people with an access to visual and audiovisual culture. Initially, it was mostly of interest to its beneficiaries: visually impaired people and non-governmental organisations that act in their interest and spend the funds they gather on, e.g. audio describing films and theatre shows. In the course of time, however, audio description was found interesting by scientists – universities conduct research, organise scientific conferences and teach the difficult craft of audio describing. Recently, many national and international initiatives were undertaken, aiming at the development of audio description and integrating theory with practice. With such a dynamic development of audio description in mind, in March 2013 the participants of Advanced Research Seminar on Audio Description (ARSAD), which takes place in Barcelona every two years...

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