A Functional Approach to Audio Description





functionalism, text types, skopos theory, audio description, translation studies


The article discusses a functional approach to audio description (AD) and first proposes a classification of text types, followed by a model of source text (ST) analysis which encompasses three layers: the contextual, the macrotextual and the microtextual. The functional model helps identify the functional priorities in a given ST, which may then guide the audio describer’s decision-making process: the results of contextual and macrotextual analyses will assist the describer in the selection of the so-called macro strategy, while the microtextual analysis may help in making lower-level decisions called micro strategies. Although the model has been designed primarily for didactic purposes, its principles may also be useful for more experienced describers. Additionally, the model constitutes a theoretical conceptualisation of AD and attempts to better integrate AD within the field of translation studies.


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Author Biography

Iwona Mazur, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan

Iwona Mazur is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Translation Studies, Faculty of English, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. Her research focuses on translation theory and audio description. She has participated in a number of local and international research projects, including ADLAB (2011-2014) and ADLAB PRO (2016-2019). She has co-authored a book on audio description in Polish (Audiodeskrypcja, 2014) and co-edited a special issue of Linguistica Antverpiensia on media accessibility training (2019). She is a member of the Intermedia Research Group that organises biennial conferences on audiovisual translation in Poland. More information: http://wa.amu.edu.pl/wa/Mazur_Iwona




How to Cite

Mazur, I. (2020). A Functional Approach to Audio Description. Journal of Audiovisual Translation, 3(2), 226–245. https://doi.org/10.47476/jat.v3i2.2020.139



Special Issue: November 2020