LECTURE: AUDIO DESCRIPTION AND HUMOUR: A MATCH MADE ... IN NETFLIX
Graça Bigotte Chorão holds a Ph.D. in Translation (University of Vigo) and a Master's Degree in Anglo-American Studies . She is the Coordinator of the undergraduate program in Administrative Assistance and Translation of the Porto Polytechnic Institute where she teaches Technical Translation, Subtitling and Interpreting. In 2018 and 2019/20, she collaborated with the Hamad bin Khalifa University in Qatar as Visiting Professor. Her research interests include Audiovisual Translation, Media Accessibility, Interpreting, and Humour. Her publications focus on themes such as Dubbing and its impact on younger audiences, the perception and translation of humour as well as translators' training topics. She is a member of the Portuguese section of the Transmedia Research Group.
Streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV are steadily expanding, enabling viewers to watch full-featured films, TV shows, and other programs anywhere, any time. This new mediascape offers unlimited possibilities to the audiovisual industry, allowing diversified audiences to easily access these contents. One example is situational comedies or sitcoms, a popular comedy sub-genre in which humour seems to be conveyed through visual and verbal gags.
Some sitcoms make use of an additional soundtrack called the laugh track (LT) or canned laughter (CL), added to mirror the reactions of a live audience, highlight the presence of humour and trigger laughter.
Some sitcoms are broadcasted with audio description (AD) to respond to the needs of visually impaired audiences. With this new accessibility feature, humour transfer becomes critical as most of these shows are supported by visually based humour. As part of an ongoing investigation, we will look into a corpus of different audio described sitcoms, with and without CL, to analyse the rendering of visual humour in the AD script and the strategies in place.