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Auteur: Zuzanna LAMŻA

Tell Me What You Feel - Translating Emotions to Text in Audio Description

Abstract/Résumé: As stated in The Standards for Audio Description and Code of Professional Conduct for Describers published by Audio Description Coalition, Audio Description (AD), a still relatively new branch of audiovisual translation, „helps to ensure that people who are blind or have low vision enjoy equal access to cultural events by providing the essential visual information. AD uses the natural pauses in dialogue or narration to insert descriptions of the essential visual elements.” This new, multidimensional and highly constricted (limited by pauses between dialogue lines or in the soundtrack, the kind and genre of the “translated” text etc.) kind of discourse starts to become an object of interest for many sciences, including linguistics. In my presentation I would like to describe the results of a comparison between the manner of conceptualizing and presenting emotions in original (not translated) English and Spanish AD scripts of commercially successful films of different genres. As the key issue in AD is in what proportion the “visual” is (or isn’t) made “verbal”, the question of translating the emotions onscreen into the verbal message arises: whether one should do it and, if yes, how should it be done? Using the examples I have gathered I shall illustrate the various cognitive strategies used for the purpose of translating emotions to text in an “objective” manner (AD intends to describe and not to interpret the image, which is especially difficult with regard to emotions). Furthermore, I will attempt to discuss basic sources of differences found: starting with typically cultural factors, through the differing expectations of blind and visually impaired members of audience, to the differences that result from the application (or rejection) of highly variable existing standards of AD. Selected references: AENOR: Norma española UNE 153020: Audiodescripción para personas con discapacidad visual. Requisitos para la audiodescripción y elaboración de audioguías. ITC Guidance on Standards for Audio Description. AD Coalition: The Standards for Audio Description and Code of Professional Conduct for Describers. Braun S.: “Audio Description from a discourse perspective”, in: Linguistica Antverpiensia 6/2007, pp. 357 – 369. Jiménez Hurtado C.: “De imágenes a palabras: la audiodescripción como una nueva modalidad de traducción y de representación del conocimiento”, in: Wojtlak G.: Quo vadis Translatologie?, Leipzig: Frank und Timme, pp. 143-160. Jiménez Hurtado C.: “La Audiodescripción desde la representación del conocimiento general. Configuración semántica de una gramática local del texto audiodescrito”, in: Linguistica Antverpiensia, pp. 345 -356.