Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility Training in the EMT Network




training, university settings, accessibility, technology, EMT


The increase in demand for the localisation of audiovisual media content has led to increased incorporation of audiovisual translation and accessibility modules into university curricula in many regions (Bolaños-García-Escribano et al., 2021). This study aims to map part of the audiovisual translation (AVT) and media accessibility (MA) training landscape in Europe, presenting the findings of the 2020 Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility Training Survey conducted among the European Master’s in Translation network. It reflects on the results obtained from 55 European Master’s programmes focused on the training of future translators and shows that the majority provide AVT and some MA training, mainly within broad AVT modules and, to a much lesser extent, in dedicated compulsory modules. The insights gained from this study are relevant to establishing a benchmark that will make it possible to track any developments in the teaching of AVT and MA in the EMT network and beyond.

Lay summary

In recent years, the need to translate audiovisual content for speakers of other languages and to make it accessible to those with disabilities has increased. This has led to growth in courses in audiovisual translation and accessibility in university programs in many parts of the world.

Because of this, we wanted to understand the current situation with regards to  audiovisual translation and media accessibility training in Europe. To do so, we conducted a survey focusing on European Master's programs in translation.

We focused on programs that belong to the European Master's in Translation network. This network is a partnership between the European Commission's Translation Department and universities. It's a quality stamp for Master's translation programs that meet the high standards of the European Commission's Translation Department.

We used a survey to collect data from 55 European Master's programs. We discovered that most of these programs offered some level of training in audiovisual translation, and some of them also trained students in media accessibility (for people with disabilities). Audiovisual translation was mostly taught in more general modules, and media accessibility was less common and was often part of optional modules. We now also understand better what is taught, the extent to which practical and theoretical training in this field is offered, the main working languages, the tools used, and to what extent the programs cooperate with industry professionals.

So, why is this study important? It helps us better understand the current status of audiovisual translation and media accessibility education in Europe. By studying these Master's programs, we have created a starting point for tracking future changes in audiovisual translation and media accessibility training in the European Master's in Translation network and beyond. This information is important for educators and policymakers who want to improve existing opportunities and offer more training in audiovisual translation and accessibility.

In summary, this research sheds light on how audiovisual translation and media accessibility are taught in European Master's programs. It highlights the need for more structured and comprehensive training in these areas to meet the growing demand for accessible audiovisual content.


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Author Biographies

Susana Valdez, Leiden University Centre for Linguistics

Susana Valdez is an Assistant Professor in Translation Studies at Leiden University. Before taking up her current position, she had spent 15 years working in the translation industry, and she was an invited lecturer at NOVA School of Social Sciences and Humanities, as well as Lisbon University School of Arts and Humanities (Lisbon, Portugal). Her current research focuses on health communication, migration, machine translation, and pivot templates. She is a Reviews editor and member of the Editorial Board of JAT - Journal of Audiovisual Translation, and co-editor of a special issue on pivot audiovisual translation (Perspectives 2023). For more information see:

Alina Secara, Centre for Translation Studies, University of Vienna

Alina Secară is Senior Scientist at the University of Vienna Centre for Translation Studies, where she investigates accessibility practices and technologies with a focus on cultural settings, and teaches subtitling, captioning and multimedia localization processes and technologies. She is a UK Stagetext accredited theatre captioner and she worked in EU-funded DigiLing, eCoLoTrain and eCoLoMedia projects contributing to the creation of multilingual, multimedia e-learning resources for digital linguists.

Emília Perez, Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra

Emília Perez is an associate professor and head of the Department of Translation Studies, Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Slovakia. In both research and training she focuses on audiovisual translation and media accessibility, translator competences and business administration in translation. Since 2019, she has been a member of the Executive Board of the European Master’s in Translation network (EMT) established by the DGT of the European Commission. In 2020 she set up the EMT working group on AVT and media accessibility training in Europe (31 members from 13 countries) which she leads to the present day. She is a member of the Board of the European Association for Studies in Screen Translation (ESIST), the editorial board of the journal Bridge: Trends and Traditions in Translation and Interpreting Studies and the scientific board of the Journal of Audiovisual Translation (JAT). She has participated as an invited expert, coordinator and trainer in domestic and international initiatives in AVT, e.g. the One World Film Festival 2020-2023; the Directorate-General for Translation of the European Parliament, Luxembourg (2020-2022); the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission, Brussels (2021).

Lindsay Bywood, University of Westminster

Lindsay Bywood is a Translation Studies academic, trainer and practitioner. She holds a PhD in subtitling from University College London, an MA in German and Philosophy from the University of Oxford, and an MA in Translation Studies from the University of Salford. Before becoming an academic she worked for many years in the audiovisual translation industry. She has worked as a project manager in subtitling and dubbing, and trained many students in all aspects of AVT. She is Director of the European Association for Studies in Screen Translation (ESIST), a Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, and a member of the advisory committee for the Languages & The Media conference series. Her research has spanned the diachronic variation of subtitles in the German to English language pair, machine translation, subtitling, and post-editing, inclusive design and audio description.




How to Cite

Valdez, S., Secara, A., Perez, E., & Bywood, L. (2023). Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility Training in the EMT Network. Journal of Audiovisual Translation, 6(1), 19–44.



Research articles