29(2) - 2017

La (auto)censura en audiodescripción. El sexo silenciado

Raquel Sanz-Moreno


Self-censorship in audio description. The silenced sex


Audio description (AD) is an emergent audiovisual translation modality which aims to provide accessibility to blind or visually impaired people. It often conditions (and even determines) the mental image the receptor is building when watching a film. Sex must also be described when present in a film. Since sex is traditionally considered a taboo topic, the AD is a huge challenge for the describer. The describer is often tempted to self-censor the sexually explicit scenes that may cause discomfort in the receptors. Our study focuses on a preliminary descriptive analysis of the AD of sex scenes in nine films dubbed into Spanish. Following a descriptive methodology, we evaluate the sexual references present in the film and determine the translation techniques used to describe sex. By doing so, we analyse the alterations, reductions or even omissions made by the describer. As we will see, more than 50% of the sexual references have not been duly conveyed to the receptor, and as a result there is a lack of information for the blind or visually impaired.


Audiovisual translation, accessibility, audio description, sex, self-censorship

DOI 10.17462/para.2017.02.04

October 26, 2017
  29(2) - 2017