Reconsidering the balance between standardisation and creativity in media accessibility. Notes on training
The Journal of Specialised Translation
Year of publication
Research in audiovisual translation (AVT) and media accessibility (MA) is undergoing a process of ‘scientification’. The findings that were once obtained through the opinion of experts are now the result of empirical (and often user-informed) studies. Some of these studies are aimed at obtaining findings that can lead to standardised criteria, which works well in the current model in which translators and access experts do their jobs in isolation from the creators, applying specific sets of empirically based guidelines. However, as access is increasingly considered from inception through the collaboration between creators, access experts and users, new alternative and creative practices are becoming more common. Yet, training in MA does not normally account for these non-standard approaches. This article focuses firstly on how subtitling speed is being approached in the currently prevailing cognitive turn. A discussion follows about the positive and negative aspects of this model and how to reconcile creativity and standardisation in education. Finally, a tentative proposal is provided to rebalance the pedagogy in AVT/MA so that along with a technical side that is solidly backed up by empirical research, we can embrace creativity and approach AVT/MA not only as a technique, but also as (part of) an art.