Percepcja filmu a ogólnoeuropejskie standardy audiodeskrypcji – polski wkład w projekt „Pear Tree”

Agnieszka Chmiel,

Iwona Mazur


Audio description (AD) is an intersemiotic translation technique that allows blind and
partially sighted people access to the visual side of various cultural events, such as fi lm,
play, exhibition, or dance performance. While Poland has only just begun work in this
area, other Western European countries and the USA have developed their own professional
audio description standards. Recently, there appeared an idea to harmonize such
standards so as to facilitate and accelerate the production of audiodescribed materials
(for example, by way of translating AD scripts). However, before this happens, it is
necessary to determine whether cultural differences in the perception and description of visual stimuli are not so signifi cant as to undermine the development of such harmonized
guidelines. This article presents the Polish contribution to the fi rst stage of
the international Pear Tree Project, whose purpose is to perform such verifi cation. The
project uses methodology on visual perception and narration developed by Chafe for
the Pear Stories Project in the 1970s, which can be applied to research such aspects essential
to AD as the presentation of events irrelevant to plot development, the neutral
description or subjective interpretation of events, the use of fi lm jargon, the type of
tense used, or stylistic variation. Some of the Polish data have been compared against
the data obtained in the original Pear Stories Project by Tannen (1980) for American
English and Greek as well as against the data from a test carried out as part of the
Pear Tree Project for Spanish (Orero 2008). It should be emphasized that the results
presented in the article are preliminary; however, in the authors’ opinion, they are very
promising for both AD research and practice.