Recreating multimodal cohesion in audio description : a case study of audio subtitling in Dutch multilingual films
Faculty of Arts. Translators and Interpreters
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
Faculty of Arts. Linguistics and Literature
New voices in translation studies. - London
, p. 50-78
University of Antwerp
This article aims to explore the complex issue of multimodal cohesion in audiovisual texts and their translations. It focuses on the analysis of Dutch multilingual audio-described films that combine audio description (AD) with audio subtitling (AST), a type of audiovisual translation (AVT) that raises many issues relevant to multimodal cohesion analysis in general. The article first discusses some of the standard multimodal textual features of translated audiovisual texts. It then looks at audiovisual texts that combine AD with AST, surveying some of the relevant literature on multimodality and the functioning of multimodal cohesion as opposed to linguistic cohesion. Finally the article surveys film clips from two Dutch productions that combine AD with AST, Oorlogswinter [Winter in Wartime] (Koolhoven 2008) and Süskind [Süskind] (van den Berg 2012), analysing how multimodal textual cohesion operates in these texts and pointing out the potential challenges for visually impaired users (VIPs). Generally speaking, it seems that AD and AST incorporate different types of explicit and implicit cohesive links that should allow a VIP audience to create a coherent audio text. However, further research will need to investigate whether these cues are sufficient for a VIP audience to understand the film and to what extent apparent shifts in textual cohesion may affect the reconstruction effort required. KEYWORDS: audio description, audio subtitling, coherence, cohesion, multimodality.