An Introduction to Audio Description: A practical guide, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

An Introduction to Audio Description

A practical guide, 1st Edition

By Louise Fryer


194 pages

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An Introduction to Audio Description is the first comprehensive, user-friendly student guide to the theory and practice of audio description, or media narration, providing readers with the skills needed for the effective translation of images into words for the blind and partially-sighted.


A wide range of examples – from film to multimedia events and touch tours in theatre, along with comments throughout from audio description users, serve to illustrate the following key themes:

  • the history of audio description
  • the audience
  • the legal background
  • how to write, prepare and deliver a script.


Covering the key genres of audio description and supplemented with exercises and discussion points throughout, this is the essential textbook for all students and translators involved in the practice of audio description. Accompanying film clips are also available at: and on the Routledge Translation Studies Portal:


'This book provides an extraordinary resource for researchers and practitioners of audio description. It not only surveys international research, and evaluates existing standards , but also offers practical, common sense advice that still allows for innovation.' Georgina Kleege, University of California, Berkeley, USA

'For anybody who knows a little about AD and wishes to conduct more research, or wishes to audio describe, this book is indispensable. (…) Beautifully written, clear, practical and thought-provoking, this book is an AVT-study gem.' Kristijan Nikolic, University College London, London, UK

'[I]t is an essential reading for anyone interested and involved in audio description practice and/or research.' Anna Jankowska, Jagiellonian University in Kraków/Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Poland

Table of Contents


List of Tables

How to Use This Book


Glossary and List of Abbreviations


Chapter 1.Introducing Audio Description?

Chapter 2. A Brief history, Legislation and Guidelines

Chapter 3. Putting the Audio into Audio Description

Chapter 4. The Audience for Audio Description

Chapter 5. Audio Description Skills: Writing

Chapter 6 Audio Description Skills: Script preparation

Chapter 7 Audio Description Skills: Delivery

Chapter 8 Beyond the Basics: AD by genre

Chapter 9 Beyond the Basics: Text on Screen

Chapter 10. Beyond the Basics: Accessible film-making and Describing Camerawork

Chapter 11 AD and Censorship

Chapter 12 Audio introductions

Chapter 13 Contentious Issues and Future Directions in AD

Chapter 14 Afterword

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

About the Originator

About the Series

Translation Practices Explained

Translation Practices Explained is a series of coursebooks designed to help self-learners and students on translation and interpreting courses. Each volume focuses on a specific aspect of professional translation and interpreting practice, usually corresponding to courses available in translator- and interpreter-training institutions. The authors are practicing translators, interpreters, and/or translator or interpreter trainers. Although specialists, they explain their professional insights in a manner accessible to the wider learning public.

Each volume includes activities and exercises designed to help learners consolidate their knowledge, while updated reading lists and website addresses will also help individual learners gain further insight into the realities of professional practice.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Translating & Interpreting


Joining the Dots (with audio description)

Video  |  AD version transcription

Joining the Dots (without audio description)

Video  |  Non AD version transcription

Notes on Blindness (with audio description)

Video  |  AD transcription

Notes on Blindness (without audio description)

Video  |  Non AD transcription


Video  |  Verbal Description


Video  |  Transcription