Nov 2008

IFA Friday Lecture

On 21 November 2008 I gave a talk as part of the IFA Friday Lecture series (together with Iwona Mazur). Here’s the abstract:

Audio Description – intersemiotic audiovisual translation
What is Audio Description? How is making visual arts accessible to the blind relevant for audiovisual translation? What do pears have to do with visual impairment? Why is “a sexy brunette” inappropriate as a description for the blind? Why would you employ eye-tracking as a research technique in Audio Description studies?

The presentation will answer the above questions and shed more light on Audio Description as a new intersemiotic trend in audiovisual translation research. We will show how Audio Description makes films more accessible to people with visual impairments. This will be followed by some details about two projects currently underway: AD-Verba, which aims at developing Polish standards for Audio Description, and Pear Tree Project, which is a European project focusing on AD practices across Europe.

Eye-Tracker Training in Barcelona

I participated in the 1st Seminar on Eye-Tracking and Audiovisual Translation organised by Transmedia Catalonia Research Group, UAB and Tobii-Alt64 in Barcelona (UAB) on 17-18 November 2008. The seminar resulted in many ideas for potential research projects involving eye-tracking in the study of audio description and SDHH.

New publication

My article “Boothmates forever? - On teamwork in a simultaneous interpreting booth” is out. It is published in Across Languages and Cultures 9 (2). Available online. Here’s the abstract:

Simultaneous interpreting (SI) is a cognitively demanding task. This is why there are typically two interpreters working in a booth and taking turns every 30 minutes or so. Interpreters work in pairs not only to be able to overcome fatigue, but also to cooperate and help each other. This article is an attempt to shed some light on the process of booth teamwork. Cooperation in the booth is examined in the professional context, which leads to conclusions regarding the incorporation of this skill in conference interpreter training. A survey was conducted among 200 free-lance interpreters associated in AIIC and working on various markets to find out more about their expectations and needs as regards assistance from their booth partners. The respondents were asked about their mode of operation, activities in the booth when off-mike and their perception of the need to teach cooperation to interpretation trainees. It turns out that there are some factors that may impede teamwork in the simultaneous interpreting booth. Interpreters who are off-mike can engage in last-minute preparation using materials supplied by the organizers shortly before the commencement of a conference. Additionally, fatigue may prevent them from actively listening to the input and assisting their boothmate. The results of the survey may help answer the question if teamwork and turn-taking should be part of simultaneous interpreting courses.

This paper was originally presented at INTERMEDIA Conference in Łódź in April 2007.