Audio describing films. Course design and training in Hong Kong
Conference name
II Congreso Internacional sobre Investigación en Didáctica de la Traducción
Audio description (AD) can be considered “a means of translating the visual impression of an object into words” mainly for the blind and partially sighted viewers (de Coster and Muhleis, 2007:187). Through AD, visual and sound elements are described and translated into verbal elements, thus making audiovisual material accessible to viewers with a visual impairment. In films, for example, audio describers strive to depict the actors’ body language, facial expressions and movements/actions during silences in the dialogue.

As the number of viewers in this group is quite significant all over the world and as awareness of media accessibility is also increasing, the demand of AD has grown substantially in recent years. In order to meet demand, it is essential to design and develop appropriate courses to train future audio describers. Although some scholars have carried out research on the didactics of AD (Matamala and Orero, 2007; Yeung, 2007) and some universities have started developing courses and workshops to provide AD training, this is still a relatively unexplored area, especially in places such as Mainland China, Taiwan or Hong Kong.

After providing an overview of current AD training available around the world, this paper sets out to bridge this gap by exploring curriculum design in AD and offering some didactic proposals for the development of courses in this area. Some of the objectives are to define the competences needed in AD and to explore how they can be taught, drawing on the author’s experience in designing three AD modules for tertiary education at undergraduate level in Hong Kong. Special attention will be paid to the elements which need to be described in audiovisual programmes and to the need to familiarize students with different film genres, as well as with the specific needs of the visually impaired.
Submitted by Irene Tor on Fri, 17/05/2019 - 13:53