PhD project on machine translation and audio description

by Kim Steyaert, University of Antwerp

PhD project entitled: Towards a greater accessibility of audiovisual media: exploring machine translation for audio description from English into Dutch.

This project focuses on the influence of neural machine translation on audio description (AD). It has become a relevant topic, because recent EU legislation calls for an increased supply of AD in films and series. In order to meet this demand, it is important to investigate how the implementation of machine translation in the creation process of AD could be a solution. However, AD has its own translation problems. That is why this research is based on the following questions:

  • ¬†What is the effectiveness and efficiency of machine translation for audio description in Dutch?
  • Which innovative solutions can improve the quality level of machine translation for audio description?

The research is a mixed-methods study. This means that it consists of an experiment with professional audio describers, but also a text analysis and thorough, interdisciplinary study of the literature. In this way, the findings are linked to the latest developments in research into machine translation. The project constitutes a first step to gather fundamental knowledge regarding the study of technology for multimodal text types and strategic knowledge to start developing machine translation for audio description more systematically.

Candidate: Kim Steyaert

Supervisor: Nina Reviers

Funded by the BOF research fund of the University of Antwerp