New Insights Into Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility: Media for All 2


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This volume aims to take the pulse of the changes taking place in the thriving field of Audiovisual Translation and to offer new insights into both theoretical and practical issues. Academics and practitioners of proven international reputation are given voice in three distinctive sections pivoting around the main areas of subtitling and dubbing, media accessibility subtitling for the deaf and hard-of-hearing and audio description , and didactic applications of AVT.

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Many countries, languages, transfer modes, audiences and genres are considered in order to provide the reader with a wide overview of the current state of the art in the field. This volume will be of interest not only for researchers, teachers and students in linguistics, translation and film studies, but also to translators and language professionals who want to expand their sphere of activity. More Options Prices excl. Add to Cart. View PDF Flyer. Contents About. Pages: 3—8. Pages: 9. Pages: 11— By: Patrick Zabalbeascoa.

Course Catalogue - Audiovisual Translation Research (CLLC)

Pages: 23— Pages: 41— By: Jenny Mattsson. Pages: 51— No probabilistic techniques were used to select participants for various reasons. First, we wanted to reach as many participants as possible, and second, in Spain we do not know the exact population of young DHH audiences cf. Depending on the information source, there are between 1 and 6 million DHH people in Spain.

The audiovisual material selected for the experimental study was kept short enough to avoid fatigue, bearing in mind the young age of participants, but at the same time was long enough to be audiovisually meaningful. To this end, all the videos contained a short story that retained their meaning outside the context of their episode or film.

New Insights into Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility

All the samples were between 1 and 3. The final selection of video material took into account the presence of difficult vocabulary and the representation of practices shown in the descriptive study. The subjects were divided into two groups, both of which watched the same number of videos 14 with either TV or ALT subtitling. No time limit was set for participants to complete the questionnaire and as a result, sessions lasted between 45 min and 2 h depending on the time participants needed, allowing time for a break if necessary.

Two groups were formed in order to avoid watching the same video twice once with TV and once with ALT subtitling as that would imply previous knowledge of the content. Ad hoc questionnaires were created for each clip. We also offered to explain questions in oral or sign language and gave subjects the opportunity to explain their answer in oral or sign language to minimise the likelihood of their guessing the correct response.

The questionnaires contained 25 questions on vocabulary and 16 on syntax. The number of questions for each variable depended on the content of the audiovisual product. Before the experiment, all participants, assisted by their parents or tutors, filled out a demographic questionnaire similar to those used in previous research on SDH cf. This questionnaire included 19 questions regarding personal data age, sex, etc. Although the research had to address all the above-mentioned characteristics, the number of fixed factors might lower the power of the regression model, and the results and discussion derived from the regression model should therefore be considered with caution.

A total of subtitles were analysed in the descriptive study, which identified cases 5. Of these cases, vocabulary was adapted or omitted in 5.

The usual practice is therefore to use verbatim subtitles, in line with both the recommendations of the UNE Standard in Spain [ 54 ] and audience preferences. Verbatim transcription was also observed for syntax when technical limitations maximum number of characters per line, for example allowed it. Following recommendations in the literature [ 20 , 38 , 43 ], the decision of what strategy to take was based on the function of the vocabulary in its audiovisual context.

Media for All 2

Hence, when difficult vocabulary only reflected an idiosyncratic aspect of the character, it was modified or omitted as shown in Figure 1 b , but when the aim was to acquire difficult vocabulary, it was enhanced as shown in Figure 2 and, if possible, left for longer on screen and repeated in later subtitles. Subtitle speed was reduced to 10 characters per second to allow longer time on screen whenever possible, that is, when there was no requirement for a change of subtitle resulting from a new shot or scene, or the intervention of another character.

When repeated in subsequent subtitles, the enhanced word was also present in the soundtrack. Unlike the case of simple vocabulary, when difficult vocabulary appeared in the soundtrack, priority was given to repeating the word rather than including other elements; this sometimes led to further editing of the linguistic code reformulation, condensation, or omission of information to allow for repetition of difficult vocabulary.

Verbatim TV subtitles b and omission of difficult vocabulary tronco , colloquial word meaning friend in ALT subtitling a. Both enhancement of new vocabulary b and its definition a in ALT subtitling to facilitate vocabulary acquisition.

Frequency of answers for questions about vocabulary with alternative subtitles ALT and television subtitles TV. As stated earlier, these results should be interpreted with caution due to the large number of fixed factors. A total of 16 questions were asked to gauge syntax comprehension. Two main strategies were applied to adapt subtitles: using simple syntactic structures subject-verb-object , and prioritising coordinate over subordinate clauses, whenever possible. Frequency of answers for questions on syntax with alternative subtitles ALT and television subtitles TV.

Generally speaking, fairly simple vocabulary is used in the dialogues in the corpus analysed in the descriptive study. Nevertheless, the few cases with difficult audible vocabulary tended to be transcribed verbatim into subtitles, following recommendations in the UNE Standard in Spain [ 54 ] but ignoring previous research such as that by Neves [ 14 ], Lorenzo [ 38 ], and Lorenzo and Pereira [ 43 ]. This practice might lead to difficulties in processing vocabulary, failure to understand the linguistic code, and, consequently, low motivation to read and poor language development.

Turning to the second variable, syntax, the corpus analysed in the descriptive study generally contained simple phrases and coordinate clauses, which seems to be in line with previous recommendations for research in this field. However, audiovisual products designed for young audiences would presumably bear in mind their cultural and linguistic background, and would therefore tend to have less complex structures and vocabulary.

In the experimental study, although omission or simplification of difficult vocabulary might entail a loss in pragmatic reward [ 61 ], on receiving audiovisual content, results for this variable prove empirically that some of the recommendations on simplification [ 14 , 38 ] and the use of orthotypographic resources [ 26 ] are useful for young DHH audiences.

While previous research has focused on the lack of importance of language level in subtitling in visually rich audiovisual content as in the case of audiovisual content designed for children and young audiences in which much information is transmitted through the visual channel or is made redundant by the oral channel and subtitles [ 62 , 63 ] the results in this experiment show that language level does play a key role in the understanding of the linguistic code.

The results encourage us to press home the importance of avoiding verbatim subtitles in SDH for children, because edited omitted or simplified vocabulary increases comprehension, as some authors have previously suggested [ 41 , 64 ]. The decision to simplify or omit is never easy; recent guidelines, such as the BBC Subtitling Guidelines [ 65 ] advocate omissions, rather than simplification of vocabulary, to reduce sentence length and, thus, subtitle speed.

Data in this study suggest that decisions on whether to adapt, omit, simplify, or enhance vocabulary have to be taken conscientiously, considering basic language issues, such as relevance and adequacy or function of the linguistic code in the audiovisual text. These results also bring to the fore a long discussed issue: the fact that SDH goes far beyond the pure transcription of oral into written text and that the subtitling practice needs to be carried out from a profoundly reflexive starting point to guarantee real accessibility.

Providing captions that do not meet the needs and the reading abilities of the audience they are intended for means the audiovisual product is not accessible, and to achieve accessibility, we must first start reflecting on the real and varying needs of the diverse groups that make up DHH audiences. Regarding syntax, we cannot conclude from this study that the changes in the ALT subtitling lead to enhanced comprehension.


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However, although our results were not statistically significant, we cannot ignore the debate between recommendations in previous research to simplify syntax when it does not involve distorting the narrative discourse [ 17 , 26 , 49 , 66 , 67 ], and the recommendations of current guidelines in favour of verbatim subtitles [ 54 ] and non-simplified syntax [ 65 ]. In addition, vocabulary has been shown to play a key role in the comprehension of syntactical structures [ 9 , 10 , 26 ].

For this reason, it seems advisable to edit the linguistic code so as to promote a balance between syntax and vocabulary levels. This type of editing should also provide more exposure time for difficult vocabulary and the gradual introduction of complex syntactic structures to allow the appropriate implementation of the key word strategy [ 9 , 10 ] so viewers are able to comprehend the linguistic code and audiovisual texts in their integrity.

In general, the way spoken language is transferred into SDH for children in Spain is fairly uniform.

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Signifying codes of audiovisual products:

The linguistic code of audiovisual products designed for children in Spanish DTTV has simple syntax and vocabulary, and no specific effort is made to further simplify such language in the form of written subtitles to benefit language and content processing. This practice is in line with the official recommendations in Spain, but not with previous studies and suggestions drawn from research. When the authors edited subtitles with the aim of improving subtitle processing, as seen in the experimental study, comprehension of vocabulary improved. Only significant results for edited subtitles ALT were found with adapted vocabulary, but not with adapted syntax.

Be that as it may, audiovisual products have a complex multimodal and multisemiotic nature in which it seems difficult, and somewhat incoherent, to talk about only part of the linguistic code, as the audience will be processing the audiovisual text as a whole, with its images, its written text, and its acoustic channel, in the case of DHH audiences with residual hearing.

Ana Tamayo and Frederic Chaume conceived and designed the experiments; Ana Tamayo performed the experiments and analyzed the data; Ana Tamayo and Frederic Chaume contributed with the materials and analysis tools; Ana Tamayo and Frederic Chaume wrote the paper. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

The founding sponsors had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, and in the decision to publish the results. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Brain Sci v.


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  • Brain Sci. Published online Jun Heather Bortfeld, Academic Editor. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Received Feb 21; Accepted Jun Abstract In order to understand and fully comprehend a subtitle, two parameters within the linguistic code of audiovisual texts are key in the processing of the subtitle itself, namely, vocabulary and syntax.


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    Keywords: subtitling, SDH, captioning, audiovisual translation, accessibility, deaf children, linguistic code, vocabulary, syntax. Introduction There is little doubt that, nowadays, audiovisual products lead the way we access and consume culture and information from an early age [ 1 ], and as such, are essential to how oral and written language is acquired and developed. Methods and Materials This research presents two clearly differentiated but complementary studies describing current practices in the captioning of the linguistic code, both concerned with vocabulary and syntax, and experimenting with alternative solutions based on previous research and existing technical resources to enhance language acquisition and development.

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    The alternative captions were created by making the changes in the variables, as shown in Table 1 , taking into account recommendations from the authors mentioned above: Table 1 Changes made in the linguistic code to facilitate subtitle comprehension. Changes in Vocabulary Use of simple and denotative vocabulary that avoids abstract or figurative meaning when the intention of the audiovisual text is not to acquire such vocabulary.

    When difficult vocabulary is captioned, use of orthotypographic resources bold and underlining to enhance vocabulary, use of interphrasal redundancy, and reduction of subtitling speed, whenever possible. Changes in Syntax Use of simple phrasal structure subject-verb-object structure whenever possible. Avoidance of subordinate clauses and use of coordinate clauses, whenever possible.

    Open in a separate window. Results A total of subtitles were analysed in the descriptive study, which identified cases 5. Figure 1. Figure 2.

    New Insights Into Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility: Media for All 2 New Insights Into Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility: Media for All 2
    New Insights Into Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility: Media for All 2 New Insights Into Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility: Media for All 2
    New Insights Into Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility: Media for All 2 New Insights Into Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility: Media for All 2
    New Insights Into Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility: Media for All 2 New Insights Into Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility: Media for All 2
    New Insights Into Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility: Media for All 2 New Insights Into Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility: Media for All 2
    New Insights Into Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility: Media for All 2 New Insights Into Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility: Media for All 2
    New Insights Into Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility: Media for All 2 New Insights Into Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility: Media for All 2
    New Insights Into Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility: Media for All 2 New Insights Into Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility: Media for All 2
    New Insights Into Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility: Media for All 2

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