Chapter 17 | Multimodality and Audiovisual Translation: Cohesion in Accessible Films


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Publication date: 13 September 2018
Copyright date 2019
Hardback ISBN: 9781138859524
E-book ISBN 9781315717166
You can order this volume on the Routledge website






Multimodal productions, which make use of verbal, visual and aural modes to create a coherent message, need to fulfil basic textual requirements, one of which is that of textual cohesion, in this case multimodal cohesion. This chapter analyzes the challenges involved when such texts are made accessible for visually or aurally impaired audiences (e.g. through audio description and subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing), since in such texts the original multimodal cohesion is altered. This chapter first defines and discusses the concept of multimodality, multimodal cohesion and cross-modal interaction. It discusses the analytical tools for multimodal analysis developed to date within social semiotics on the basis of seminal publications by van Leeuwen (2005), Royce (2007) and Tseng (2013). The chapter goes on to explore how these concepts and, in particular, the concept of ‘cohesive chains’ developed by Tseng, can be applied in the analysis of accessible multimodal texts. This is exemplified in a detailed multimodal transcription and analysis of a scene from Nights in Rodanthe (Wolfe 2008). It illustrates and evaluates the above-mentioned analytical tools and inventorizes the ways in which multimodal cohesion is established in AD and SDH – thus paving the way for the development of new multimodal research methods within AVT.



Aline Remael is Professor of Translation Theory, Interpreting and Audiovisual Translation at the University of Antwerp (TricS research group). Her main research interests and publications are in AVT/media accessibility, including audio description, live subtitling with speech recognition. She leads a national Flemish project on accessible theatre (2017-2019) and is currently a partner in three Erasmus+ projects: ACT (Accessible Culture and Training), ADLAB PRO and project ILSA (Interlingual Live Subtitling for Access).




Nina Reviers has recently completed her PhD research in the field of media accessibility at the University of Antwerp (TricS research group). She helped develop Flemish guidelines for the audio description of live-events as a member of the Transmedia Benelux Research Group. She has collaborated in the European project ADLAB, ADLAB PRO and is a member of the editorial board of the newly established Journal of Audiovisual Translation.



The Routledge Handbook of Audiovisual Translation Studies provides an authoritative and straightforward overview of the field through thirty-two specially commissioned chapters written by leading scholars in the field.

This state-of-the-art reference work is divided in four sections. The first part focuses on established and emerging audiovisual translation modalities, explores the changing contexts in which they have been and continue to be used, and examine how cultural and technological changes are directing their future trajectories. The second part explores the interface between audiovisual translation and a range of theoretical models that have proved particularly productive in steering research in audiovisual translation studies. Some of these models are associated with disciplines that have long intersected with audiovisual translation, while others are drawn from areas of knowledge that are only now beginning to make their presence felt in the audiovisual translation literature. The third part surveys a range of methodological approaches supporting traditional and innovative ways of interrogating audiovisual translation data. The final part addresses a range of themes pertaining to the place of audiovisual translation in society: these include the institutionalization, academization and technologization of audiovisual translation, as well as its role as a force for social change, both within and outside the industry. This Handbook gives audiovisual translation studies the voice it needs to make its presence felt within the Humanities research landscape.


Back to Publications   Back to The Routledge Handbook of Audiovisual Translation