Talaván, Noa, Ávila-Cabrera, José Javier and Costal, Tomás (eds) (2016). Traducción y Accesibilidad Audiovisual.
Barcelona: UOC, pp. 189, €22.00. ISBN: 978 8491164685.
Edited by Talaván, Ávila-Cabrera and Costal, Traducción y Accesibilidad Audiovisual is an attempt to provide a full and accurate picture of audiovisual translation and its more emblematic modalities for translation teachers and scholars.
The book is divided into four chapters with a self-assessment test at the end of each chapter. The first offers a complete overview of Audiovisual Translation Studies. The second and third chapters focus on the representative modalities of subtitling and dubbing. Finally, the fourth chapter pivots around media accessibility (subtitling for the deaf and hard-of-hearing and audio description).
Chapter 1 introduces the reader to AVT and provides them with a broad theoretical framework of the current state of the art thinking in the field. It starts by looking at the historical approach and moves on to discuss the existing challenges of audiovisual translators. It then goes on to lay the foundations to examine subtitling, dubbing and accessibility in greater depth.
Chapter 2 defines the types of subtitles and clearly points out the spatial, temporal and orthotypographical conventions in subtitling. The readers will find a description of the process of subtitling and of the challenges faced by the translator, which are pared down to: a) the condensation of the message and semiotic cohesion, b) the way of segmenting subtitles and c) strategies for the translation of taboo language, humour and cultural references.
A definition of dubbing, by comparison with other audiovisual modalities, in Chapter 3 leads to a depiction of the stages, the documents and conventions that the professional translator has to follow in order to dub a text, all of which is accompanied by examples that clearly illustrate the whole process. The chapter also includes a description of the different types of synchrony in dubbing and the problems they may imply for the translator. To conclude, the authors deal with the current issue of the relationship between dubbing and transmedia products like videogames.
The last chapter, divided into two parts, is devoted to media accessibility. In the first part, subtitling for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, the contributions of renowned academics in the field are compiled. The recapitulation of the most relevant aspects of Norm UNE 153015 in relation to time and space and the detailed description of the conventions for identifying characters or displaying sound effects on screen is certainly invaluable. These conventions are exemplified by stills that can be enlightening for the reader. This part closes by issuing some challenges for future improvements in the field. The second part of the chapter, concerned with audio description, begins with the definition of this modality that makes audiovisual texts accessible to blind people, providing a taxonomy that helps the reader understand the uses of audio description and covering the four competences (linguistic, content, technological and general) that are the basis of audio description. The depiction of its distinguishing characteristics is followed by a trip through its history, from the first audiodescribed films to the latest mobile apps, and concludes with a presentation of the main challenges the translator has to face in this modality.
In a nutshell, the value of this book is its twofold use: 1) a valuable source for scholars who will find the core of AVT Studies concisely summarized and 2) a potentially pedagogical tool that makes it a fascinating and recommendable handbook for class thanks to the carefully structured contents and the self-assessment tests which guide the learning of the reader.
University of Zaragoza