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Access. 1. Visual Media. 2. Audiovisual Translation. 3. Accessibility through transposition: (a) subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing; (b) audiodescription.

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Presentation on theme: "Access. 1. Visual Media. 2. Audiovisual Translation. 3. Accessibility through transposition: (a) subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing; (b) audiodescription."— Presentation transcript:

1 Access

2 1. Visual Media. 2. Audiovisual Translation. 3. Accessibility through transposition: (a) subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing; (b) audiodescription for the blind and partially sighted. … and the texts that emerge from these processes.

3 Given that language is an empowering tool, the mass media have had an important role to play in many places in promoting literacy or consolidating language policy. For example, television is recognised to have had a major role in the dissemination of the Italian language against the background of widespread dialect use.

4 the translation of media products has brought entire populations into contact with foreign cultures, however skewed these representations have often been. From the earliest films, mass audiences were introduced, for example, to American culture, even if reduced at times to Cowboys and Indians.

5 Key words for the 21st century; Inter-sub-disciplines (subtitling/audiosubtitling/real time subtitles) Technology (eye-tracking, statistical surveys) LANGUAGE RIGHTS language serving as a bridge we are agents of change

6 the least studied of all branches of translation Sergio Viaggio 1992

7 Can be seen as giving an audience access to foreign language products through adaptation for dubbing, subtitling, surtitling voiceover, simultaneous translation, real time subtitling etc. These genres all involve some textual change in mode, information structure and flow or register in general, and linguistic change through processes of condensation, paraphrase, reformulation, etc.

8 Given the power of film and television to transmit directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously, elements of local and national culture, this form of translation has opened windows to millions of people, and it is reasonable to assume that it has been instrumental in enhancing international understanding.

9 the extent to which cultural values are accessed by viewers through screen translation is a complex question. Translation specialists point to: lingua-cultural drops in translational voltage (Antonini & Chiaro, 2005: 39)

10 TV series like The Simpsons, Six Feet Under, Friends, etc. seem to be highly culture-bound and extremely difficult to translate. Quaglio wrote a whole book on the language of Friends, showing the inconsistencies, and pointing to the American-centredness of the show. … but it is extremely popular everywhere.

11 The translator becomes the 'motivator' behind the ideas expressed in the translation, but he/she may be either 'loyal' (adding or subtracting in the spirit of the source as they see it) or 'disloyal' (engaging in his/her own writing project). A reworking of the traditional distinction between translating and adapting is proposed, to shed light on the distinction between what someone wrote and what they might have written. (Mossop)

12 … access is provided via audiovisual translation (AVT) and even the most seemingly difficult audiovisual texts can be translated and understood, even if not exactly in the way initially intended.

13 Question of loss or gain. There is potential loss in incorporating a newly composed meaning in the fabric of an already complete polysemiotic text (Moran) But translators widen the scope for a bigger audience or for other audiences.

14 nowadays room is to be found for individual needs and circumstances … indeed, in the field of audiovisual translation, greater attention is being paid to the varying needs of people who cannot access the original productions for whatever reason… … to the deaf and hard of hearing and to the blind and sight impaired.

15 Problem arose after silent era and intertitles. Subtitles introduced in USA cinema in 1950s, television from 1970s. (UK 1960s, Italy 1986 Rear Window, then TV777.) Europe: Legislation in each country, of course, plays an important role in the process, and although the results of legislative acts have not always met expectations, or at least not as fast as had been hoped, an increase in the volume of subtitling has occurred and calendars have been drawn up for progressively achieving 100% subtitled programmes in the next few years, the UK leading the way (Díaz 2007, 2009).

16 AD timeline (USA) 1981 audiodescription was invented by Margaret and Cody Pfanstiehl; 1986first audiodescription tours of museums; 1990Descriptive Video Services provides AD for TV viewers; 1992Motion Picture Access – providing AD for first-run films; 1994first opera performance; 1996Telecommunications Act 1996 led to recognition of audiodescription; 1998Congress amends Rehabilitiation Act – 2001 all film, video etc. produced by federal agencies must include AD; legal setbacks; 2007Audio Description Coalition publishes Standards for AD; 2009American Council of the Blind launches Audio Description Project.

17 Good progress has been made in the UK, Germany and Spain. Italy (see Arma, 2010) - between 352,000 and 380,000 blind people; - 1,500,000 with low vision (age, illness, etc.); - various intermediary stages. First AD Spartacus AD on RAI television: % circa – 60%?! Parliamentary Hearing on AD accessibility 2010

18 Subtitles for the deaf and HoH for films in the viewers own language; Translated subtitles for the deaf and HoH for films in a foreign language. Audiodescription in the listeners own language; Translated audiodescription for films in a foreign language, including audiosubtitling.

19 Deafness is a clinical but also a sociological condition, a cultural issue. Culture, as I have stressed, is what is normal Katan (2004) or, if you prefer … a system of congruent and interrelated beliefs, values, strategies and cognitive environments which guide the shared basis of behaviour (e.g. text production). The totally (prelocutive) deaf live in a non-hearing culture where concepts such as pitch, rhythm, volume, etc. are, at best, vaguely understood. They have a low reading speed, not knowing live langauge. The (postlocutive9 HoH have a hearing culture as a reference point.

20 Subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing do not enter into the fierce debate between subtitling and dubbing. They have their own features.

21 subtitles, however good they are, are always a summary of what is said and force the viewer to continually switch his/her gaze from the images to the lower part of the screen, thereby ruining the magic of the voice. (my translation)

22 economic maintain original dialogue advantage for Deaf and HoH alteration of original image partial loss of original content loss of overlap high degree of concentration required less manipulation of original less possibility to highlight sociolingusitic markers time/space constraints change of mode

23 economic: GOOD maintain original dialogue: IRRELEVANT advantage for Deaf and HoH: GOOD alteration of original image: INEVITABLE partial loss of original content: REGRETTABLE loss of overlap: NOT SERIOUS high degree of concentration required: ONLY VISUAL less manipulation of original: GOOD less possibility to highlight sociolinguistic markers: TRUE time/space constraints: PROBLEMATIC change of mode: NOT FOR DEAF

24 De Linde and Kay (1999) Ivarsson and Carroll (1998) Uzquiza (2007) much activity in Spain.

25 condensation longer exposition (6 second rule) (early intro) preference for one-liners (centred) simple syntax & unmarked lexis synchrony (some deaf can lip read, or hear a little) identity markers (e.g. colours) phonological metalanguage (e.g. gunshots, coughing) at top rightof screen. Dont overlap with dialogue. punctuation to capture stress, intonation, etc. (e.g. capitals for volume) (smileys, icons?) Songs

26 Subtitle under speaker Labels Colours (commonly used; viewers should be told colour/character combination; should alwats be the same in eg. series) Yellow on black for main character, etc. Where there is a dialogue between characters who have the same colour, use a dash. When two or more speak at the same time, use labels eg. BOTH, ALL

27 A successful German comedy film in DVD intralingual subtitles for the deaf and HoH interlingual subtitles in Italian (interlingual subtitles in Russian)

28 OriginalEnglish translation SDHItalian subtitle Die Klobrillen müssen von links nach rechts geputzt werden, sonst zerkratzen sie The toilet seat must be cleaned from left to right, otherwise it gets scratched Die Klobrillen putzt man von links nach rechts Lasse va pulita da sinistra a destra, sennò si graffia

29 non verbal sounds in brackets + full stop (Das Telefon läutet.) OFF SCREEN (Jemand spricht auf Anrufbeantworter:) Hier noch mal das Arbeitsamt

30 - Ab in die Küche (meaning comes from gestures)

31 Psst! Ruhe!

32 more freedom in word order affermative to interrogative and vice-versa change to simple past from perfect tense shorter synonyms neutralisation of slang, etc. no cultural mediation required

33 Franco and Santiago Araújo (2003) conclude, following a pilot study on intralingual subtitling in Brazil, that … 1. deaf subjects differ from hearing subjects in their requirements; 2. condensation and editing are crucial; 3. necessary orality markers and soundtrack noises must be integrated, requiring skilful condensing to not lose image-subtitle synchrony; 4. all should be checked with the help of deaf subjects; (see also Pagano and colleagues on SFL in translation)

34 Two complete interlingual subtitled versions of Episode Ten of The West Wing were produced, one for hearers and one for the deaf. They were tested, via questionnaires, respectively on hearing and deaf audiences. Then the hearers version was tried on the deaf and vice-versa. Neither were successful so modifications were made in the search for a HARMONISED version that might suit both audiences (see Ivarsson, 1992).

35 The original text goes through continuous changes: original English > Italian translation > Italian adaptation for subtitles > harmonised version > 1st experimental version for SDH > … nth experimental version. …and reveals some cracks.



38 What is Audiodescription? an enabling service for blind and partially sighted audiences* (…) describing clearly, vividly and succinctly what is happening on screen or theatre stage in the silent intervals between progamme commentary or dialogue – in order to convey the principal visual elements of a production. (Royal National Institute of the Blind) the visual made verbal Joel Snyder

39 avoidance of obscure vocabulary and jargon. avoidance of clashes with dialogue and other sounds. avoidance of complicated sentences with subordinate clauses

40 use of colourful adjectives and adverbs where appropriate exploitation of verb variations: Eg. Walk – stagger, stroll, stride, etc. use of stress, rhythm, intonation, etc…

41 remember that audiodescription ADDS to the cognitive load (cf. subtitles) cluttered descriptions distract (studies show that humans can only remember three things at a time) time is of the essence! (usually) cf. Penelope Cruzs song in Volver where the description (and translation of the subtitles) has to be fitted into pauses in the singing.

42 As with the Deaf, the audiodescriber needs a thorough knowledge of the needs of a visually impaired audience. Royal Institute for the Blind, etc. collaborate with television producers. In Trieste we collaborate with the Istituto Rittmeyer per i Ciechi, Senza Barriere and Cineforum Senza Barriere.

43 no time constraints natural expression details lists spatially oriented localised (in the foreground…) perspective (from above..) interpretation

44 A student in Trieste audiodescribed a short advertisement for Martini.


46 Gwyneth Paltrow è seduta su un letto, di spalle, nuda. Si infila una camicia bianca maschile. (Where are you going?) Si gira verso luomo che giace sul letto, e gli lancia uno sguardo complice e un sorriso ammiccante. Si affaccia sul corridoio, è in un albergo. Percorre il corridoio di soppiatto, con addosso solo la camicia bianca. Si trova al bar dellalbergo. Scende tre scalini. Scavalca il bancone del bar. Ha ai piedi un paio di sandali neri con il tacco alto. Appoggia due bicchieri vuoti sopra il bancone. Prende la bottiglia di Martini da dietro le sue spalle. I bicchieri sono ora pieni di ghiaccio. Versa il Martini nei bicchieri. Aggiunge uno spicchio di limone in ciascun bicchiere. Afferra la bottiglia e si volta per rimetterla al suo posto. Un uomo e una donna, giovani ed eleganti, si avvicinano al bancone. Gwyneth Paltrow si gira verso di loro. I due giovani hanno preso i due bicchieri che erano sul banco, si voltano e fanno per andarsene. (Good night!) Gwyneth Paltrow abbassa lo sguardo con unaria di ironica rassegnazione. I due giovani si voltano verso di lei e luomo si avvicina di nuovo al bancone. Gwyneth ha unaria interrogativa. Lui porge una banconota. Gwyneth Paltrow sorride stupita. Bottiglia di Martini in primo piano, logo in sovraimpressione. La mano di Gwyneth afferra un bicchiere e lo solleva. (My Martini, please) Sorride, guarda avanti a sé e si avvicina il bicchiere alle labbra. Beve.

47 Gwyneth Paltrow è seduta su un letto, di spalle, nuda. Si infila una camicia bianca. (Where are you going?) Si volta verso luomo che giace sul letto, sorride. Si affaccia sul corridoio dellalbergo, lo percorre di soppiatto. E al bar dellalbergo, larredamento è molto ricercato. Scavalca il bancone del bar. Ha ai piedi una paio di sandali neri con il tacco alto. Appoggia due bicchieri sul bancone. Si volta e prende una bottiglia di Martini. Riempie i bicchieri. Aggiunge una fetta di limone in ciascun bicchiere. Si volta per rimettere a posto la bottiglia. Un uomo e una donna, giovani ed eleganti, si avvicinano al bancone e afferrano i due bicchieri. Si voltano per andarsene. (Good night!) Gwyneth ha unaria di ironica rassegnazione. Luomo torna al bancone, e le porge una banconota. Gwyneth sorride stupita. Bottiglia in primo piano e logo del Martini. Una mano in secondo piano afferra un bicchiere. (My Martini, please) Gwyneth sorride, e beve.

48 Gwyneth Paltrow è seduta su un letto, di spalle, nuda. Si infila una camicia bianca. (Where are you going?) Si volta verso luomo che giace sul letto, sorride. Esce di soppiatto dalla stanza. E al bar dellalbergo. Scavalca il bancone. Appoggia due bicchieri sul bancone. Si volta e prende una bottiglia di Martini. Riempie i bicchieri. Si volta per rimettere a posto la bottiglia. Un uomo e una donna, giovani ed eleganti, si avvicinano al bancone e afferrano i due bicchieri. Si allontanano. (Good night!) Gwyneth ha unaria di ironica rassegnazione. Luomo torna al bancone, e le porge una banconota. Gwyneth sorride stupita. Bottiglia e logo del Martini. Una mano afferra un bicchiere. (My Martini, please) Gwyneth sorride, e beve.

49 (DEFINITIVE VERSION) Gwyneth Paltrow è seduta su un letto di albergo, di spalle, nuda. Si infila una camicia bianca. (Where are you going?) Sorride complice alluomo che giace accanto a lei. Esce di soppiatto dalla stanza. E al bar. Scavalca il bancone. Appoggia due bicchieri sul bancone. Prende una bottiglia di Martini e li riempie. Si volta per rimettere a posto la bottiglia. Una coppia giovane ed elegante si avvicina, afferra i due bicchieri e si allontana. (Good night!) Gwyneth ha unaria seccata, ma ironica. Luomo torna al bancone, e le porge una banconota. Gwyneth sorride stupita. Bottiglia e logo del Martini. Una mano afferra un bicchiere. (My Martini, please) Gwyneth sorride, e beve.

50 time constraints! less natural less detailed spatial orientation (and) temporal orientation interpretation - judgements, appraisal??

51 On-line describing also entails validity judgements, epistemic expressions, attitudinal meaning, etc. It is difficult to avoid interpreting from our own experience and expertise. e.g. I think this is …. He seems angry… …and it is charming, lovely, amazing, etc.

52 Appraisal is … the language of evaluation, attitude and emotion, of judgement, appreciation and engagement. (see Martin, 2000) It can be explicit or implicit, positive or negative.

53 Adjectives Adverbs Verbs Nouns

54 happy, sad, sure, bored proudly, passionately vow, suspect, trust fear, glee

55 greedy, innocent, crazy rightly, wrongly terrorise, deceive integrity, racism, liar

56 unique, interesting, tedious beautifully, monotonously harmonise, unify best-seller, quality-time

57 This has been frowned upon in audiodescription. GUIDANCE ON STANDARDS FOR AUDIO DESCRIPTION (ITC) the best audiodescribers objectively recount the visual aspects of an image. Subjective or qualitative judgements or comment get in the way. but there again…

58 Allow listeners to form their own opinions and draw their own conclusions. Dont editorialise, interpret, explain, analyze or help listeners in any other way.

59 If the conclusion is that a character is angry, describe what led to that conclusion – the gestures/facial expressions of the character.

60 Use only those adjectives and adverbs that do not offer value judgements and that are not themselves subject to interpretation.

61 Shocking bursts of gunfire. Carefully, the Beduoin eases the mask… The effect is curious. Its a warriors face. Kip is young, lithe, contained, utterly focussed. Hana hurries past, walking carelessly up the road. Its so surreal.

62 Bullets tear holes in the fuselage. ___________________________ a young Sikh officer. Hana walks past. ___________________________

63 the eyelids droop as the inner corners of the brows rise, the corners of the lips pull down, and the lower lip pushes up in a pout

64 She is sad She looks sad. She has a sad look on her face.

65 … or do we want sometimes to use our better judgement, based on our knowledge of the film and our (and the audiences) knowledge of the world. Is it a question of what you see what we think what they want? (NOT to be patronised)

66 Eg. In the film Gran Torino we see a copy of a hospital admittance form. This becomes important only at the end when the protagonist in effect lets himself be killed knowing that he is going to die anyway. Anchoring Cf. House - toothpick


68 Soaring over steel grey water …with flat fields stretching out into the distance. this is Sweden appraisal non-finite clause

69 A narrow track meanders though the headlands rough, undulating terrain noun phrase themeverb variation vivid description

70 Parked up is a car. Two young women … stride purposefully away from the car human theme non-finite clause verb variation appraisal

71 The drivers right eyelid flickers faintly His hand rests on the dashboard His taxi-driver ID.. is speckled with blood. tight anaphoric reference colourful lexis

72 One of the women lets a blood-soaked knife fall from her hand. anchoring (credits) Kenneth Branagh Wallander Firewall

73 Wallanders estate car draws to a halt on the grassy headland introduction of main reiteration character and status

74 The two teenagers are sitting placidly in the back of the police car. Wallander stares at them thoughtfully as it passes. appraisal

75 Later, in an interview room at the police station, Sonia sits solemnly …Wallander sits back frustratedly subject time adjunct place adjunct appraisal

76 Wallanders mobile. He holds the phone in his hand It displays the name Inga. written information isolated noun phrase Arriving home wearily …

77 … steel grey water … (implicit coldness, negative, graded) Appraisal resources are used to establish the tone or mood of a passage of discourse. (Martin and Rose, 2003)

78 … stride purposefully … (force, appreciation, positive)

79 … sitting placidly … (judgement – quiet, correct – but theyve just commited murder! Cf. … Sonia sits solemnly …(judgement, serious, balance – but shes provoking!)

80 Audiodescription involves a particular use of language – present tense, solely declarative, vivid vocabulary, etc. It also displays particular theme choices and progression. All clauses are declarative, so often the subject is theme, often pronouns, predominantly, if not exclusively, third person.

81 Theme structures and theme patterns affect information structure and information flow. They determine ease of comprehension and semantic relevance. The blind audience, more than most, need clear presentation of information.

82 01:04:04 A Red Cross troop train. A young French-Canadian nurse, Hana, adjusts the belt of her uniform. She walks into a carriage where wounded soldiers lie one above the other on bunks. (Passing between them) she stops beside a young man. 01:04:39 She bends over him. 01:04:45 She moves on between the bunks. 01:04:58 She joins her colleagues.

83 Number of clauses: Screenplay 2,700 Audiodescription 747

84 Noun(s)2,000c Pronouns (3° person) 400 Pronouns (1° person) 8 Time adjunct 120 Place adjunct 140 Manner adjunct 32 Existential There (is) 32

85 Noun(s)302 Pronouns (3° person) 239 Time adjunct 38 Place adjunct 62 Manner adjunct 26 Adjectives6 Non-finite clauses 74!

86 When the figures are adjusted, we see that the screenplay thematises twice as many nouns, but fewer pronouns. Perhaps because the describer uses anaphoric reference more tightly for reasons of time.

87 nomads The horribly burned pilot has been found by nomads. they … they cover his blackened flesh. He is barely alive. They They investigate his belongings.

88 The AD uses almost twice as many place adjuncts and three times as many manner adjuncts. Presumably this is because the blind audience need spatial orientation and need more information on how things are being done. The temporal dynamic seems to need no extra input.

89 But the most striking feature is the massive use of non-finite clauses in the AD and their virtual absence in the screenplay.

90 Passing between them,… Swathed in blankets,… Seated behind the pilot,… Standing behind a railing,… Forcing open a door,… Wearing a simple skirt,… Finishing his photography,…

91 We do and we are while we speak. But for the blind, characters in films speak their roles but cannot be seen doing or being. Non-finite phrases provide that input succinctly.


93 Eye-tracking technology has provided a window to the mind (dYdewalle, Perego, Kaltenbacher & Kaltenbacher). Fixations and saccades can be compared to verbal foci. So describe what you actually see. Fixations can be on objects, locations, directions, attributes, activities, etc. with different levels of specificity and different degrees of creativity. But what do viewers actually look at? What is foregrounded?





98 One consideration is not to translate and start from scratch. Another is to use the original AD as a template for all other translations. Another is to consider that different nationalities/cultures /languages may need different adaptations.

99 A translation into Italian of the audiodescription seems to follow the English theme patterns and descriptions almost completely. Exceptions: (1) Dimly, he sees the outline of his rescuers (-) riesce a malapena a vedere il profilo dei suoi salvatori (2) Desperately she runs towards the mangled jeep (-) corre disperatamente verso la jeep distrutta

100 But there is evidence that different languages/cultures perceive (and therefore describe) things and events in different ways. Subjects in eleven countries were asked to describe a short film and, for example, to describe a man picking pears.

101 Direct or indirect reference to film Verb tense The fall of the child from the bicycle: attribution of cause objects quoted Denomination of: The man picking the pears The group of three boys who help the fallen child

102 In this film you see a man picking pears… In the short movie you see a man who is picking pears… There is a farmer who is picking some pears… A man is picking pears… There is a farmer in the countryside who is picking some pears… We are in an outdoors… The first scene of the film shows a rather tall and sturdy man picking some pears…

103 Hierarchical classification (Cluster Analysis): Single Linkage; Interval: Euclidean Distances; Cluster method: Nearest neighbour; Objects variables



106 Dato medio (tipologia di modalità/numero partecipanti gruppo) moltiplicato 100

107 Dato medio (modalità-citazioni/numero partecipanti gruppo) moltiplicato 100


109 Tutto Brilla Deaf and blind The Hours

110 Katan D. (2004) Translating Cultures: An Introduction for Translators, Interpreters and Mediators, II ed., St. Jerome Publishing, Manchester, p329 a system of congruent and interrelated beliefs, values, strategies and cognitive environments which guide the shared basis of behaviour (e.g. text production). Katan D. (2004) From Honeymoons to Realities: The Role of Intercultural Sensitivity Models in Sensitising Translators, in ESRFD (a cura di), Interaction entre culture et traduction, Universite Abdelmalek Essaadi, Ecole Supérieure Roi Fahd de Traduction, Tangier, pp

111 Lemke, J. (1998) Multiplying Meaning: visual and verbal semiotics in scientific text. In Martin, J. and Veel, R. Reading Science. London: Routledge. Bishop, R. (1991) There is nothing natural about natural conversation. A look at dialogue in fiction and drama. Oral tradition 6/1, pp

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