Chapter 8 | Audio Description: Evolving Recommendations for Usable, Effective and Enjoyable Practices


Back to Publications   Back to The Routledge Handbook of Audiovisual Translation




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






The chapter opens with a definition of audio description (AD) – an accessible form of audiovisual translation for the blind and visually impaired people (VIPs). It describes the primary target audience of AD emphasizing its heterogeneity and diversified needs. It then tracks the history of AD both as a professional practice and as an academic discipline and focuses on AD guidelines in order to show the commonalities and the difference between the ones on the market, and to illustrate the change in perspective that took place over the last few years and that brought to the formulation of new user-centred and flexible recommendations in opposition to the former rigid norms that have governed the AD professional practice till recently. A brief overview of some of the most relevant aspects of the language of AD is offered based on corpus-based research, as well as an overview on the stylistic properties of AD and the unresolved debate on interpretation in AD. The chapter closes with an overview of the most relevant findings of reception research that has been carried out both on VIPs and on sighted viewers.



Elisa Perego is is Associate Professor of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Trieste, Italy. Her research focuses on audiovisual translation accessibility and reception; subtitling and audio description; and empirical and cross-national research methodology. She is currently the coordinator of the European project ADLAB PRO (2016–2019) on audio description.



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