Friday, August 29, 2008

The Visual Made Verbal

As I mentioned in the last post, at the FIT conference, I learned about a different kind of translation.

Joel Snyder gave a very interesting presentation on audio description, which can be said to be a form of translation for blind people. He defines audio description as “a verbal version of the visual image.” In other words, while visually impaired people listen to a tv show or movie or even a live performance, they not only hear the dialogue, but they also hear a description of what is being shown.

Mr. Snyder gave an entertaining and informative presentation and since his
website offers a lot of details on audio description, I won’t repeat it here. However, what I want to emphasize in this post is that learning about this field broadened my understanding of translation. Mr. Snyder may not translate from one language to another, but he does translate from one format to another and he transfers cultural and visual elements for his customers.

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