In an accessible media and culture setting, physical, sensory and mental limitations do not hinder participation in socio-cultural life. To this end, various translation solutions have been developed. Some of these solutions are:
Audio description (abbreviated: AD)
Audio description makes it easier to follow the images of an audiovisual product, such as a film, series, opera, theatre performance, sports competition, concert or exhibition. An additional narrator or commentator's voice describes what is happening visually between the sound effects and dialogues: actions, characters, place, body language, facial expressions. This way you can follow everything by just listening. Audio description can be pre-recorded and mixed in the soundtrack, as with films or audio guides. The descriptions can also be read live or pre-recorded for play during a live performance (theatre play or a concert).
Audio introductions (abbreviated: AI)
Audio introductions are spoken texts of about 10 minutes that the audience can listen to before the start of a film, series or performance. These introductions contain practical information, a summary of the storyline, a description of visual aspects, such as costumes and decor or film techniques. Or they provide additional information about the vision and approach of the creator of a performance or film. For example, audio introductions are used in combination with audio description, to prepare the audience for the visual aspects of a performance, but they are also used to explain the storyline to people with mental or intellectual disabilities, or to provide additional background information to interested audience members.
Audio subtitles, also known as spoken subtitles (abbreviated: AST)
Audio subtitling is a spoken version of the written subtitles for an audiovisual text, so that people who cannot read the subtitles also get the translation. The titles are read out by a computer voice or by one or more voice actors. Usually the original dialogues in the foreign language can still be heard in the background, but sometimes the spoken titles completely replace the original dialogue. In the latter case, the voice actors actually start acting, rather than just reading out loud, so that you get the same effect as with dubbing.
Subtitling for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (abbreviated: SDH)
Subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing contain a written version of the spoken text as well as additional information about the sound effects: they indicate who is speaking (because you can't always see it in a film or series), they describe important sound effects that you can't derive from the images (for example a gunshot outside the screen) and they describe the music or the atmosphere that the music evokes.
Live subtitles are subtitles created for live programmes or events, such as news broadcasts, sports events or conferences. In order to get the subtitles on the screen shortly after the speaker has spoken, special techniques must be used to speed up the subtitling process. This can be done with a writing interpreter (who quickly types the spoken text, with or without a special keyboard) or with speech recognition software that automatically converts spoken text into written form. Because the speech recognition software does not yet work flawlessly, a "respeaker" is usually called in. This is an interpreter who repeats what the speaker says, but in such a way that the computer can recognize his voice more easily. In this way, less manual work is required to create fully correct live subtitles.
Sign Interpreter or Interpreter Flemish/Dutch Sign Language
A sign language interpreter converts spoken language into sign language. Sign language interpreters are used, for example, to make television programmes such as the news accessible to sign language users, or to translate a concert or theatre performance. However, sign language is not universal. Each country has its own sign language, such as Flemish, French or Dutch, although international signs do exist in the “International Sign Language.”