I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes, Audiovisual Translation is all around us, but do we always know?
In my October blog, I spoke about some of the different types of audiovisual translation, and roles that an audiovisual translator may play. This month I’m turning my attention to where you might be able to find audiovisual translation in the world around you.
At the cinema
Probably the most obvious place that you can find audiovisual translation is at the cinema, and there’s plenty to go around. All four of the types of audiovisual translation that I wrote about in my previous blog can be found at the cinema, making the cinematic experience accessible to all. Foreign films may be dubbed or subtitled into the native language(s) of the country where it is being shown, and captions or audio description may be used to aid those with hearing or sight disabilities.
You can easily access audiovisual translation from the comfort of your own home, just by switching on the television. Similarly to films, foreign television programmes are often translated into the target language of the channel country to allow international shows to cross borders, irrespective of language. Television is also one of the main uses of live subtitling for accessibility purposes. Live subtitlers watch live television (slightly ahead of the airtime) and respeak what they hear to create live subtitles, adding punctuation and colours, so that those with hearing impairments can watch along with everybody else.
The applications of audiovisual translation online are almost endless. From streaming services to video sharing platforms, and from marketing content to online learning and everything in between, online video content has exploded in the last ten years. Companies use videos to promote their products, perhaps offering how-to guides, or running Q & A sessions online. This year, with many more of us spending time at home, video conferencing and online learning have also increased, and with them, so has the need for audiovisual translation.
Museums and galleries
Although many museums and galleries around the world have been closed for much of the last year, they are home to many instances of audiovisual translation. Multilingual tour guides, archival footage that is in a different language to the rest of the museum and interactive features that need to be made accessible to all are just a few examples.
Theatres and opera
The theatre is there to be enjoyed by all, and as such it should be accessible to all. Theatre captions are often used to allow deaf and hard of hearing people to read the dialogue spoken by the actors on stage, as well as any sounds and music in the performance. These captions are displayed on units either on or at the side of the stage and are sometimes also incorporated into the set or even the performance. At the opera, captions known as surtitles translate the lyrics being sang into a language the audience understands to help them understand the plot, whilst allowing the performance to be enjoyed in the language in which it was written. However, surtitles do not include information such as character names or sounds.
So there you have it, from the comfort of your own home to the escapism of the theatre, if you look for it, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion you’ll find that love, ahem audiovisual translation, actually is all around.