The Audio Description of a Spanish Phenomenon: Torrente 3
Pilar Orero, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain
Steve Wharton, University of Bath, UK
While audio description as a technique has been round for centuries, its research in academia has just started. In some countries, such as Spain, norms and standards have been officially drafted before taking into consideration any scientific research results.This paper analyses some of the widely available audio description style sheets in Europe and the USA through a practical case: the creation of the audio description for the infamous Spanish film Torrente 3.
Audio description, accessibility, audio description style sheets, Spanish screen translation.
These three images are the posters which advertise the three Torrente films: Torrente, el brazo tonto de la ley (1998), Torrente 2, Operación Marbella (2001) and Torrente 3, el protector (2005) all directed by Santiago Segura who also plays the lead character, José Luis Torrente. The adjective which is most commonly used to describe him is casposo which is literally translated from Spanish as someone who has dandruff, or is repugnant, hence the title of the article.
Torrente is a right-wing ex cop and Costa (2002:61) has compared him with Judge Dredd --the character of the film based on the same name comic strip released in 1995 starring Silvester Stallone-- “esasperazione satirica del fascismo”. His films can be described as a cross between Carry On films and Benny Hill via Naked Gun, but with nothing left to the imagination. To cap it all, he is politically incorrect in all possible areas: sex, drugs, family, religion, women, gays, politics, education, etc. His peculiar style has enabled Torrente to have his own genre: “torrential” (Jorge 2005).
Why should a moronic character be taken seriously and studied in academia? Because Torrente’s trilogy is a recent film phenomenon in Spain, which should be of interest for Sociology, Media Studies and Film Studies. Costa (2002:62) classifies them as “derivazione dai movimenti contraculturali degli anni ‘70”. Torrente is also of interest to Translation Studies, and in particular to Media Accessibility. This article discusses the Torrente phenomenon and its audio description. The choice of film is simply because it was the film offered to be audio described by a Barcelona studio.
2. The films
While there is no need here to give the full plot of the film, Torrente 3 plays the part of a bodyguard to a ‘foxy’ Italian MEP. Whereas Torrente 1 & 2 were very popular, yet Torrente 3 seems to be disliked by most people, and it is hard to find any complimentary critics (Jorge F. 2005, Metralla 2005, Rodríguez 2005). Yet and surprisingly, given the topic and character, Torrente’s films always manage to be blockbusters (1), and go on to win Goya awards – the equivalent of the Spanish Oscar. Torrenteis also mentioned by the Spanish Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Carmen Calvo, in the Ministry’s cinema report of 2005 as one of the titles which helped to increase the Spanish film market by 3.5% over 2004(2), that is 16.74%. This wide acceptance by the Spanish audience means that the character, Torrente, has lost the possible intended transgressive effect.
Another remarkable fact with Torrente’s films is his ability to persuade often outspoken ‘leftwing’ members of the cinema fraternity to participate in his works appearing as actors, calling on such personalities as internationally acclaimed film directors like Oliver Stone or Fernando Trueba, famous actors like John Landis(3) or Javier Bardem, TV presenters such as Andreu Buenafuente or Máximo Pradera, veteran actors who have been away from the limelight for decades, such as Tony Leblanc or Marisa Medina, Spanish comedians such as Fofito, El Gran Wyoming or Carlos Latre. All these people are respected actors and, as indicated above with the soubriquet “leftwing”, are known for having taken a progressive political stand. Costa (2002: 65) comments on this choice of characters as Santiago Segura’s intention to use local popular myths which defined the imaginary landscape of those who were children during the late Franco period.
A short clip of his last film may illustrate the material we are dealing with:
3. Making Torrente accessible
The task of audio describing Torrente was done by putting into practice everything we had learned from the most veteran audio describers in the UK, US and Germany(4). It would also be a good opportunity to gather some audio description guidelines and test their validity and usefulness.
4. The Spanish UNE Standard 153020
The Spanish Standard UNE 153020:2005, "Audiodescripción para personas con discapacidad visual. Requisitos para la audiodescripción y elaboración de audioguías" was passed by the Spanish Standard Agency AENOR on 26th January 2005. The idea behind setting up written standards was an attempt by the government to standardise the formats used by those responsible for creating audio description to make media accessible in analogue broadcasting. Up to now two standards have been passed: subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing (UNE 153010: 2003), and audio description (UNE 153020: 2005). With the development of digital TV in Spain there is a need for research for new standards for both audio description and subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing.
The standard was written by a group of experts called in by the Spanish Department of Trade and Industry from key actors in the world of charitable associations and suchlike NGOs, from the industry and academia including the current author (Orero forthcoming). From the second meeting of the working group it was clear that the audio description standard was doomed to oblivion given the fact that it had been drafted in haste with no research to back up the many decisions which were being taken. Orero (2005) has already questioned many of the recommendations given, mainly because of their ambiguity, subjectivity, and also because too much is left to personal interpretation and taste.
5. Writing the AD script
Before doing the AD, five documents were used as points of reference when problematic issues needed some clarification.
- The Spanish Standard,
- “Audio description for recorded TV, Cinema and DVD Experimental Stylesheet” by Aline Remael (2005),
- Independent Television Commission (ITC) Guidance on Standards for Audio Description (2000),
- Bernd Benecke (5) and Elmar Dosch’s Wenn aus Bildern Worte werden. Durch Audio-Description zumHörfilm (2004),
- Joe Clark’s guidelines which can be found in his private website.
Before starting to produce a single line of AD we needed to find the type of vocabulary that we would use, so our first step was to choose and decide on the vocabulary.
One of the most salient features of Torrente’s films is the language used by the characters in the dialogue. Since the characters are either socially marginalised or simply outcasts, their language may be described as a sociolect heavily characterised by slang and jargon. The setting or location and the topics, also determine the vocabulary used in the dialogue.
Social outsiders such as pimps, ‘bent coppers’, drug dealers and addicts are dressed incongruously and inhabit a series of derelict flats and bars on the outskirts of Madrid. According to the Spanish Standard AD (2005: 7) the recommendation regarding vocabulary is “The describer has to consult the documentation regarding the work to be AD and the theme which is described, so it is guaranteed that adequate vocabulary is used”(6). This meant that we should use similar vocabulary and expressions to those used in the film. For example, the slang word flagroneta [van] should be used rather than the correct term furgoneta. The same could apply to the description of some of the characters: gitano [gypsy], puta [whore], chulo [pimp], sudaca [South American].
Common sense said that the use of such marked vocabulary should be avoided; hence we consulted the above mentioned guidelines. Remael (2005) recommends that “the language should not draw attention to itself”. Benecke & Dosch’s (2004: 24) section “What words do I use to describe?” which deals with vocabulary, style and terminology say(7) that the vocabulary chosen should match the tone of the film and a formal, written language must be avoided as this hinders a lively description following the motion and live of the movie. However no mention is made to the use of slang or dialects, though after a personal email consultation Benecke mentioned “We normally do not use slang or dialects but you will e.g. find more comic-style-language in a comedy (A Fish called Wanda, Chicken Run) and we sometimes use regional expressions like the south German “Bub” instead of “Junge” – both for boy – in films which take place in Bavaria or Austria.” Joe Clark does comment on the English ITC guidelines where dealing with sex or violence scenes (2000:33) it recommends “the rule, if at all possible, is to find a form of words to conjure up the intention of the scene, without undue discomfort”. ITC gives the example used in The Silence of Lambs:
Lieutenant Boyle hangs crucified on the cage bars, his stomach cut open, his insides removed
Which can be compared to Torrente 3 when he goes to his grandmother’s house, and enters through a corridor with no electric light holding a lighter saying:
Fuck, this is greatly improved thanks to PP, ha, ha, Christ. I’ve just trod in a puddle. Or a rat. Fucking hell…(8)
“the images are gruesome enough without verbal embellishment” (ITC 2000:33) so it was agreed that the vocabulary used for the AD should not be part of the film. This is a key point since the language of AD should be a neutral discourse written to be read aloud and narrated, rather than a description of the film which by its very similitude to the filmic discourse appears part of that film. The AD narrative is not an intrinsic part of the film, its plot or characters, and should therefore stand distant from it all.
But returning to the Spanish Standard we also found the following recommendation (2005:7): “the information offered must be made to match the audience: children, youth, adults, etc.”(9) Fray Metralla (2005) in the online journal Rebelión, Cultura y Cine comments “Torrente, el protector is for males under twenty. A brainless audience for which the film only prunes any attempt of intelligence development”.(10)
If the audience is a crowd of over-hormonal acne-faced morons, therefore the AD should use a very basic vocabulary, register and grammatical complexity. So for example rather than “Torrente le asesta un martillazo en la mano” (Torrente deals him a hammer blow to the hand) which is more to be read silently than aloud, it would be better in AD as “Torrente le da un martillazo en la mano” (Torrente hits him very hard on the hand with a hammer), but following the Spanish Standard it should be: “Torrente le arrea/clava un martillazo de la hostia” (Torrente smashes up his hand with a hammer). Again, this expression would be very much in line with the topic, genre and aesthetics of the film, but it was found to be inadequate for our purposes.
Linked to the issue of the choice of vocabulary is that of terminology. In Benecke & Dosch’s second chapter Filmbeschreibung in der Praxis (“The Practice of AD”) (2004:13) very briefly mentions that when looking at the programme for the first time, you should take notes of the advanced knowledge you will need for specific scenes (e.g. on mountaineering) and that you have to start your research based on this summary.
The Spanish Standard recommends: “The terminology should be adequate to the genre.”(ibid:11)
In this case we decided to interpret the Standard as using specific terminology for each situation required, according to the genre. Torrente is a composite of many film genres, and characters, which are parodied: Silvester Stallone (Rocky), Action films (Robert de Niro, Arnold Schwarzenegger), Martial Arts (Jacky Chan), Cops (Starsky and Hutch), etc. So for example when dealing with the scenes of fighting in the hangar we used words such as: ninja, nunchakus, katana, etc, etc.
As soon as the film starts we found ourselves with the problem of music, songs and lyrics. Unfortunately these aspects are not mentioned in the Spanish Standard, nor in Benecke & Dosch’s. In a personal consultation, Beneke comments: “We always try to find a middle way, which means leave some parts of the music or the song and use instrumental parts or some lines in between to describe what happens. Take as example the James Bond Song “Live and let die”. Some reference to music can be found in ITC in section 4.2 which deals with musicals where reads:
The main challenge for the describer is where to place the description. Many film songs came from stage shows and are well known and viewers want to listen to them without the describer talking over them. The describer must either try to pre-empt a song with a brief description of a dance or costumes, or, must judge carefully when to intervene and when to stay silent during a song, to cause least offence. The third option is to let the music play and say nothing at all. ITC (2000:24)
In Torrente 3 we find many problems regarding music. The song “Torrente El Protector” sung by Rosa, the winner of Operación Triunfo 1 --Spanish equivalent of British TV programmes Pop Idol or X Factor-- can be heard along with the credits which are a send up of James Bond-type credits, as in the American movie Spy Hard (Friedberg 1996). What should be done when a song is heard? When the song is in a different language? And when the song is in a different language and subtitles appear in the screen offering the translation? And finally when the music is for background and the lyrics have no link to the film, it is simply considered as background sound?
This issue is complex and further research will be needed to give some recommendations, given the fact that music is one of the most important elements of a film we leave the matter open for further research without giving any solution to these questions, and we move to the next section, which is intimately linked with this.
Benecke and Dosch do not really go into details about opening titles or credits. They only mention them in passing saying that the beginning of a film is often the hardest part to describe as you have to get a lot of information across (2004:12). Often, more recent movies start with an intensive action scene so there even is no time to describe the characters. With older films, they say, you can use part of the opening titles to already start the description. Benecke’s personal comments to this point were:
with credits it’s the same as with music, we try to find the middle way. This means for us to first get the description of what happens and then try to say what is possible of the credits, combine the names of the actors with their names in the film etc. Sometimes it’s not possible and you have to hope for the end.
More information on credits, logos, opening titles, are given in the ITC guidelines with:
Some opening titles using computer-generated text can move too rapidly for any helpful description to be given. A popular alternative is to provide the viewer with some useful information about the programme, for which there might not be time later. In other cases, the musical theme tune can be enjoyed for its own merit, without any description over it. But with American programme material there may be a contractual obligation to describe the opening logo… the opening credits often appear over an important action sequence and it may be necessary to compress them into a shorter space or to read them in advance of their actual appearance on screen, in order to be ready to describe the action as it begins. ITC (2004:22).
With these two comments in mind we also found that the part which proved most complex when deciding how to tackle its description was the credits, as anticipated by Benecke & Dosch: both at the beginning and at the end. In the case of Torrente 3 there were the following elements had to be taken into consideration:
- Music, composed especially for the film opening credits: the melody was very evocative, and the lyrics formed an integral part of the film.
- Credits, the name and surname of the cast were in themselves part of the action which required a description.
- The written credits by themselves.
- The story which took place within the credits: Torrente and a naked lady appear on and off running against each other, hiding, etc.
- A written onomatopoeia. That is at one point a gun shoots and out comes a little red flag with the word ‘bang’ written on it.
Taking all the above into consideration, the following possibilities were available:
A – To describe what appears on the screen in a synchronised way: that is alternating the images and the written credits, respecting the lyrics of the song.
B – To describe only the images respecting the song lyrics. The credits not read aloud but left for the end of the film along the end credits.
And after many doubts and attempts at different drafts a compromise was reached, in the sense that short descriptions were read during instrumental parts of the song in order to leave the lyrics fully available.
5. Film terminology
With regard to film terminology Benecke and Dosch (2004:25) say that it can be used, but that it should be restricted to those terms that are commonly known (such as ‘flashback’ or ‘black and white')(13). Sometimes, filmic techniques used can create a certain atmosphere, so then they should be mentioned. Joe Clark in his webpage agrees: “the director uses filmic techniques with a clear purpose, so not only can they be described, in many instances they have to be described”.
After looking at the ITC guidelines and not in the style guide but in the introduction we find:
The wide variety of backgrounds among the audience should be taken into account. Some will remember television and film quite clearly and may be familiar with cinematographic terminology. Others will have no experience of the media and may regard the describer merely as a storyteller. To many, expressions like in close-up, pan across, mid-shot, crane-shot etc, may not mean anything but it is important to try to understand why a director has chosen to film a sequence in a particular way and to describe it in terms which will be understood by the majority, if there is room to do so. ITC (2004: 6)
Let’s look at two examples from Torrente 3. The first is when Torrente is sitting in the bar with his son and remembers… Should the AD say ‘flashback’? The second is when half way through the film Torrente is training his men. Simultaneous split screens show the men getting ready. Should the AD read?
Split screens with simultaneous pictures of men wearing sun glasses, getting the arms ready, combing their hair, etc.
In the audio description it was decided to avoid any technicality, and rather than ‘flashback’ the verb ‘recuerda’ (remembers) was used for the first example, and for the second example a description of what took place in each screen was mentioned:
Los hombres se preparan; cargan las armas y se colocan auriculares. Se peinan, se acicalan y se ponen un traje negro con camisa blanca, y corbata negra. Se ponen las gafas de sol, algunas todavía con la etiqueta. Prueban los walkie-talkie. Afinan las pistolas.
6. How are characters introduced, and when?
The Spanish Standard does not give any guidelines on this issue. Remael recommends to “Identify new characters early on in the film/scene, unless their identity must remain a secret. BUT: synchrony may be of the essence, e.g. in a comedy”. We find the guidelines from ITC guidelines (2000: 16) in the section 3.3 Giving Additional Information “Early identification of principle characters allows the viewer (14) to concentrate on the event, but if surprises are intended then they must not be given away.”
It was decided that characters should be introduced by presenting their attributes, and they could be named once the name has been used onscreen. It was possible to follow this rule throughout the film except in two cases. Torrente is not called by name until eight minutes into the film. It so happens that he is named by Josito, who coincidentally, was also impossible to fit a description before his name was uttered. So it was decided in both cases to introduce them with names and attributes since it did not change the development of plot and the enjoyment of the film, as also recommended by Benecke & Dosch (2004: 23).(15)
02:41:00 - 02:48:13
Torrente is in an Iberia plane. He is short, bold and fat. He wears sunglasses, beige blazier and a creased yellow shirt.(16)
And for Josito:
Two men walk by in Madrid’s outskirts. They enter a flat at street level. One wears burgundy colour trousers, a black jacket and a friar haircut. He is Josito.(17)
7. Should colours be described?
After some research on how to audio describe opera in Catalonia (Matamala & Orero forthcoming, Orero forthcoming) it was clear that blind people want to have colours audio described. This was confirmed by Benecke “Even people who were born blind know that green means nature, red means fire/emotion, blue water/sky/freshness. Some difficulties exist with non-natural colours like purple etc. but people who saw once in their life might even know how to deal with that. So colour is important!” But no guidelines could be found in the Spanish Standard so we looked at Remael who writes “However, metaphors (“a face like thunder”) and colours can be used: blind people live in the world of sighted people and have concepts of what the world around them looks like”. The ITC guidelines state:
Most visually impaired people have at some time seen colours and either retained the visual memory of colour or can remember the significance and impact of a particular colour. For the majority of people, colours are an important part of the description. People who are blind from birth or from an early age cannot ‘see’ colours but they do understand the significance of a particular colour by its association. They may not ‘see’ green, but the colour of flower stalks, leaves and grass, which people can touch and smell does mean something. Green is fresh, the colour of renewal and nature in spring. Red is the colour of fire and heat, exuberant and overt, blue is more reserved, yellow is the colour of the sun and ripe corn, etc. A person wearing bright colours is making a personal statement, wanting to be seen. Someone else wearing black may be being dramatic, mysterious or sad, depending on the situation. If the grass is brown, it may have been deprived of rain. And so on. Colours have a meaning and should be described. ITC (2000:21)
It was decided that colours would be described, as we have seen in the examples of the character description for both Josito and Torrente.
8. Written information: inserts
What should be done when any extra information appears as subtitle or a text on the screen? The Spanish Standard (2005: 8) recommends that “The script should have all the information given by the occasional subtitles, signposts, credit titles, contracting those which are excessively long for the time allowed”.(18)
For example in the film from time to time, the location and time are written on the bottom left hand corner of the screen:
Alojamiento de la Srta. Ricci
On some occasions it was possible to read it and also to provide a description of the place. But in other moments there was no time to do both: we had to prioritise. In the case of Torrente 3 it was decided that the written information would always be read but when there was no time, and in that case only the AD was read.
For example when on the screen appeared:
Despacho de Montelloni Roures
There were only four seconds to also say that Montelloni was laying face down with two girls at either side. One was giving him a massage, the other doing the manicure while he was on the phone. One girl slaps him on his bum and we can hear him complaining and the girls giggling. In this case it was decided to describe the action which took place in the office:
Montellini Roures’ office. Two exotic girls with white overalls give him a massage.(19)
9. What should be done when a text appears in the screen in a different language?
For example in Torrente 3 newspapers from Europe and US are shown. The headlines are in the original language. Should the headlines be translated and read aloud or just say what they portray: Torrente as international hero?
No guideline has been found on this topic. If the AD offers a translation of the headlines the result is that AD is more explicit than the film. After all, the person who is watching the film and does not know English cannot understand what is said. The objective of these frames was to show Torrente as an internationally famous person. Given the lack of time to offer a translation of each headline, and to avoid being more explicit than the original film, the solution was the following AD:
01:27:21:00 - 01:27:41:09
The whole screen is a picture of Torrente, which turns to be the photo of a hero on first page of international papers such as The Times, The New York Times, Il Corriere de la Sera, Le Monde, El Mundo and El Metro which says “Veteran policeman saves the situation”. Torrente shakes hands with Mariano Rajoy (leader of the Spanish conservative party Partido Popular), José Luís Zapatero (Spanish PM) is in the background. (20)
Benecke, after a personal email consultation, commented:
We normally would read the text in that foreign language but this sounds special here. Sometimes in old films their translated the text in the film, made a new shot with German text or give subtitles. That would give us the chance to use this translation. In some rare examples we really did a translation in the AD without having that in the film but that had special reasons and tells you that every rule might need some exceptions.
10. Length of sentences
Another question is that of the duration of the period in a sentence. In Spanish it is quite normal to have very long sentences. While this style is for written language it is not the case for a colloquial setting in which short sentences are used following Grice’s maxims. When writing AD in order to reduce time and get as much information as possible in the shortest time, one possibility is to write very long sentences, such as:
Torrente se levanta, Josito apura su bebida, coge las aceitunas que han quedado en un plato y se las mete en el bolsillo. [Torrente gets up, finishes his drink and snatches the few remaining olives from the little dish putting them in the pocket.]
But it has been agreed that the language of the AD while it should be syntactically and grammatically correct, should be one that is read aloud. Hence it should follow conversational features and that of short simple style is the one AD should be followed, as recommended by both the Spanish Standard and by Benecke and Dosch. In their guidelines (2004: 24) this comes down to: 1) avoid complex sentences even though they might give you the impression you are telling a lot and 2) give only one piece of information per sentence. (21)
Torrente se levanta. Josito apura su bebida, coge las aceitunas del plato y las guarda en el bolsillo.
This article has taken the first steps in engaging with the multiple linguistic, theoretical and filmic, indeed metafilmic, aspects of AD work. As such it seeks to be the starting point for professional and paraprofessional dialogue on the subject, and the need to contribute to the definition of standards for AD across Europe and beyond. Drawing on the character of Torrente himself, the bald fact is “could do better”.
With thanks to Anna Matamala, Aline Remael, Lourdes Melcion, Josélia Neves, Lucile Desblache and Jorge Díaz Cintas for their useful suggestions.
- Fernández, Joaquin R. 2005. “Torrente tres. El protector”. La Butaca. Revista de Cine Online. www.labutaca.net/films/35/torrente31.htm
- Jorge, F. 2005. “Torrente 3: El Protector”. Cine Cuak. www.cuak.com/?p=19
- Metralla, Fray. 2005. “Torrente tres”. Rebelión, Cultura y Cine. www.rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=20776
- Matamala, Anna & Pilar Orero (forthcoming): “Accessible Opera in Catalan: Opera for All”, in Díaz Cintas, Jorge, Pilar Orero & Aline Remael (eds.) Media for all. Accessibility in Audiovisual Translation. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
- Orero, Pilar. 2005. “Audio Description: Professional Recognition, Practice and Standards in Spain”. Translation Watch Quarterly 1: 7-18.
- Orero Pilar. Forthcoming. “Audio subtitling: A Possible Solution for Opera Accessibility in Catalonia”. Cadernos de Tradução.
- York, Greg. Forthcoming. “Audio introduction for opera and ballet”, in Díaz Cintas, Jorge, Pilar Orero and Aline Remael (eds.) Media Accessibility. Media for all. Accessibility in Audiovisual Translation. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
Biography: Dr Pilar Orero
Pilar Orero holds an MA in Translation by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Spain, and a PhD in Translation by UMIST, UK. She coordinates the Online Master in Audiovisual Translation offered by the UAB (www.fti.uab.es/onptav). She is the co-editor of The Translator's Dialogue (1997) and the editor of Topics in Audiovisual
Translation (2004) both published by John Benjamins. She is co-editor
of a forthcoming book on voice-over and a member of the editorial board of The Journal of Specialised Translation and New Voices in Translation Studies. Her research interests are Nonsense Literature, Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility. She is a member of the international research group TransMedia.
Biography: Steve Wharton
Steve Wharton is Senior Lecturer in French and Communication in the Department of European Studies and Modern Languages at the University of Bath (UK). He researches and has published on contemporary LGBT activism in Britain and France, Occupied France and propaganda, and contemporary European cinema with particular emphasis on identity. He also teaches translation on the University's MA/Diploma in Interpreting and Translation.
- Torrente 3 sold 1.380,000 tickets on the first week making over seven million Euros with 465 copies. It overtook the third episode of Star Wars.
- http://www.mcu.es/gabipren/notas/2006/enero/cul_26_cinespanol.pdf accessed on 8th/8/2006
- Costa (2002:65) suggests John Landis as the key representative of the New American Comedy, film genre to which Santiago Segura may be associated to along with the Farrelly brothers.
- We are indebted to James O’Hara’s, Veronika Hyks’s, Joel Snyder’s course notes (workshop at Roehampton University February 2003 and March 2005, Polytechnic Leiria October 2003, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona June 2005) and Gert Vercauteren’s comments.
- Special thanks to Bernd Benecke for his help and assistance with the translation and comments of his guidelines.
- El audiodescriptor debe consultar la documentación referente al entorno y la temática de la obra que se describe, de forma que se garantice la utilización del vocabulario adecuado. All translations from the Spanish Standard are our own.
- Die Sprache bzw. die Wortwahl der Beschreibung muss natürlich dem Ton des Films angemessen sein. Das Schriftdeutsch ist meist wenig hilfreich, Film bedeutet Bewegung und wirkliches Leben. Jeder Text, der zu formal oder zu trocken ist, behindert da.
- Joder!! Como ha mejorao esto con los del PP, jeje, coño! Ya he pisao un charco! O si no una rata! Me cago en…… (Our attempted translation)
- La información debe ser adecuada al tipo de obra y a las necesidades del público al que se dirige (por ejemplo público infantil, juvenile, adulto).
- Torrente, el protector va directo a un público masculino de menos de veinte años. A un público de descerebrados, al que la película no hace más que podar cualquier intento de cerebración http://www.rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=20776 accessed on 8th/8/2006
- Debe utilizarse la terminología específica apropiada para cada obra que se describa.
- Die Feuerprobe jeder Beschreibung ist der Anfang eines Films. … Am Anfang muss man den Kunstgriff schaffen, alle Räume und alle Personen einzuführen, und trotzdem die Handlung nicht zu vernachlässigen. …
- Um alle Informationen unterzukriegen, kann man bei älteren Filmen vielfach den Trick nutzen, über einen Teil des Vorspanns zu sprechen. In neuen Werken werden die einführenden Titel aber oft einfach der laufenden Handlung unterlegt, da entfällt so etwas.
- Sehr sparsam umgehen sollte man … mit filmtechnischen Begriffen. Meist kann und darf man nicht voraussetzen, dass jeder Zuschauende mit diesen Begriffen und ihrer Bedeutung vertraut ist. Außerdem ist in einem Film ja selten der technische Effekt selbst als vielmehr seine Wirkung zu sehen, die muss dann auch beschrieben werden.
- Szenenwechsel ist zum Beispiel ein Wort, das man immer wieder benutzen möchte, man braucht es aber nicht. Denn einen Szenenwechsel sieht man ja streng genommen nicht, was man sieht ist ein neuer Raum, eine neue Szene, die muss man beschreiben: In der Küche, Wieder auf der Straße etc. Begriffe wie Abblende/Weißblende kann man auch ignorieren, statt dessen lieber: Das Bild wird dunkel, das Bild wird ganz hell.
- Als Ausnahme von der Regel hat sich zum Beispiel der Ausdruck Zeitlupe etabliert. Nach unserer Erfahrung können auch Sehgeschädigte mit diesem Begriff gut umgehen, zudem lässt sich diese rein filmische Besonderheit auch schwierig umschreiben. Gerne geben wir auch die Information "in schwarz-weiß", weil sich viele nicht von Geburt an Blinde meist noch gut an diese Art Film erinnern und damit ja auch eine bestimmte Atmosphäre erzeugt wird.
- While at first we thought the “viewer” must have been a mistake, Benecke confirmed that “blind and visual impaired people see themselves also as “viewers” of TV or cinema. “I have seen this film with Audio-Description” is what they say and of course they say “Auf Wiedersehen”.
- Problematisch ist auch die Einführung der Namen der Hauptfiguren. Eigentlich dürfte eine Person ihren Namen erst bekommen, wenn er im Film gefallen ist. Bis dahin bleibt jemand “Der Mann mit dem Hut“, “Die Frau mit dem Hund“ etc.
- Immer wieder wird es aber Filme geben, die selbst wichtige Personen lange Zeit ohne Namen lassen. Da wird der Beschreiber eingreifen wollen, nicht zuletzt, um sich seine Arbeit für den Rest des Films zu vereinfachen.
Auch wir entscheiden uns meistens dazu, wichtigen Personen, die erst spät benannt werden, ihren Namen möglichst früh zu geben. Dafür haben wir uns (etwa in den ersten 10 Minuten des Films) eine Stelle gesucht, an der es neben der Namensnennung auch gleich möglich war, mehr Informationen über die Hauptfigur (also zu Alter, Statur, Haarfarbe etc. siehe oben) unterzubringen.
- En un avión de Iberia está Torrente, bajito, calvo y regordete. Lleva gafas de sol, una americana beige y una camisa amarilla arrugada.
- Dos tipos caminan por un barrio en las afueras de Madrid y entran en unos bajos. Uno lleva unos pantalones burdeos, una chaqueta negra y un corte de pelo como de fraile. Es Josito.
- En el guión se debe incluir la información aportada por subtítulos ocasionales, letreros, avisos y títulos de crédito, resumiendo aquellos que sean excesivamente largos cuando el hueco de mensaje sea corto para permitir su audiodescripción literal.
- Despacho de Montellini Roures. Dos chicas exóticas con batas blancas le dan un masaje a Montellini.
- Toda la pantalla es una foto de la cara de Torrente, que se convierte en la foto de la primera plana de periódicos internacionales como héroe: El Times, New York Times, El Corriere de la Sera, Le Monde, El Mundo, y el Metro que dice “Policía veterano salva la situación”. Torrente le da la mano a Rajoy, Zapatero está en el fondo.
- Da alle Beschreibungen in die oft sehr kurzen Dialogpausen passen sollen, ist klar, dass auch die Sätze, mit denen beschrieben wird, möglichst kurz sind. Sie müssen aber trotzdem verständlich sein, als goldene Regel gilt hier: Nicht mehr als eine Information pro Satz. Komplizierte Konstruktionen, mit denen man vermeintlich viel rüberkriegt, verwirren nur uns sind auch schlechter zu sprechen.