Maija Hirvonen

Person

Description of research and teaching

In my postdoctoral research project (blogs.helsinki.fi/audiodescription), I study translating from the perspective of multimodal interaction and collaboration between translators and users. As a case in point is the translation process in which a team of sighted and blind describers creates an audio description of a film. Audio description means verbally translating visual elements of an audiovisual narrative for the benefit of visually impaired persons, enhancing their access to visual and audiovisual culture.

Translation process is traditionally regarded as individual translator’s mental processing. In recent years, however, translating is increasingly being considered as a product of collaboration and interaction between translators and their social network and workplace. In my research, I seek to render new insight into the collaborative making of a translation by analysing how translations are created and shared multimodally in interaction by a translating team. I investigate the use of multimodal resources, the organisation of work and the participant roles in the audio description process and take special focus on three topics:

1) how the cognitive operations related to translating (e.g. comprehension, decision-making) are displayed and shared through speech, gestures, and other bodily communication;

2) how non-sighted describers make use of auditory resources (e.g. film soundtrack and collaborators' speech) in interacting with the team and in interpreting the source material, i.e. the film;

3) how the perception-related asymmetry between the participants affects interaction and collaboration.

My project combines Translation Studies, Linguistics and Film Studies with interactional, multimodal, and cognitive scientific perspectives. Drawing on socio-cognitive analysis of translation processes and multimodal analysis of interaction, the project collects and investigates data from authentic audio description processes in various countries. The primary data consist of video recordings of face-to-face encounters between audio describers.

The project's results increase knowledge of translating as a multimodal interaction process and of interaction between sighted and non-sighted persons. The project highlights the role of interaction and users in the making of translation. Furthermore, it investigates the audiovisuality of cinema from the perspective of asymmetric interpretations: those who can both see and hear, and those who cannot see but hear (even more than the sighted?). The project’s findings can help identifying visually impaired persons’ expertise in relation to translation and multimodal communication. This new knowledge can be applied to foster inclusion in the society as well as diversity at workplace.

My postdoctoral project is funded by Academy of Finland and it lasts from 2017 to 2019.

In general, my research interests lie in the fields of audiovisual and multimodal translation and interpreting; in particular, audio description. My other research line relates to applying audio description to other uses, such as serving a more general purpose of content description which makes audiovisual archives accessible via textual content descriptions.

I have taught BA and MA level courses in translation studies, in particular in my fields of specialisation, and currently supervise two MA and one doctoral theses.

Outside the academia, I actively engage with audio description stakeholders (users, describers, etc.). I am member of the audio description board of the organisation "Cultural Service for the Visually Impaired" (Näkövammaisten kulttuuripalvelu ry) in Finland.

 

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Highlighted publications

  1. Benecke, Bernd: Audiodeskription als partielle Translation. Modell und Methode. Münster: LIT Verlag, 2014. [Book review]

    Hirvonen, M. I. 2017 In : Target. 29, 1, p. 150-155 6 p.

    Publication: Contribution to journalB1 Unrefereed journal article

  2. Multimodaalisen aineiston analyysi ja havainnollistaminen kuvailutulkkauksen tutkimuksessa

    Hirvonen, M. 2016 Kääntäminen, tulkkaus ja multimodaalisuus: menetelmiä monimuotoisten viestien tutkimiseen. Ikonen, T. & Toikkanen, J. (eds.). Tampere: University of Tampere, p. 121-138 18 p. (Tampere Studies in Language, Translation and Literature: B3)

    Publication: Contribution to book/anthologyB2 Contribution to book/other compilations (non-refereed)

  3. Towards Reliable Automatic Multimodal Content Analysis

    Lautenbacher, O-P., Tiittula, L., Hirvonen, M., Laaksonen, J. & Kurimo, M. 2015 p. 6-7 2 p.

    Publication: Conference contributionA4 Article in conference publication (refereed)

  4. Katsaus multimodaalisuuteen käännöstieteessä

    Tuominen, T., Hirvonen, M., Ketola, A., Pitkäsalo, E. & Isolahti, N. 2016 Kääntäminen, tulkkaus ja multimodaalisuus: menetelmiä monimuotoisten viestien tutkimiseen. Pitkäsalo, E. & Isolahti, N. (eds.). Tampere: University of Tampere, p. 11-24 14 p. (Tampere Studies in Language, Translation and Literature: B3)

    Publication: Contribution to book/anthologyB2 Contribution to book/other compilations (non-refereed)

  5. Multimodal Representation and Intermodal Similarity: Cues of Space in the Audio Description of Film

    Hirvonen, M. 2014 Helsinki: University of Helsinki. 133 p.

    Publication: Book/anthologyG5 Doctoral Thesis, articles

  6. SKY Journal of Linguistics 28: Journal of the Linguistic Association of Finland

    Hamunen, M. V. J. (ed.), Hirvonen, M. I. (ed.), Laippala, V. (ed.), Lantto, H. (ed.) & Rauniomaa, M. (ed.) 25 Jan 2016 Helsinki: Suomen kielitieteellinen yhdistys. 427 p. (SKY Journal of Linguistics; vol. 28)

    Publication: Book/anthologyC2 Edited book, compilation, conference proceeding or special issue of journal

  7. Intermodaalinen kääntäminen ja tulkkaus

    Tiittula, L. & Hirvonen, M. 2015 Käännetyt maailmat: Johdatus käännösviestintään. Aaltonen, S., Siponkoski, N. & Abdallah, K. (eds.). Helsinki: Gaudemus, p. 252-271 20 p.

    Publication: Contribution to book/anthologyA3 Contribution to book/other compilations (refereed)

  8. Verfahren der Hörbarmachung von Raum: Analyse einer Hörfilmsequenz

    Hirvonen, M. & Tiittula, L. 2012 Raum als interaktive Ressource. Hausendorf, H., Mondada, L. & Schmitt, R. (eds.). Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag, p. 381-427 47 p. (Studien zur Deutschen Sprache; no. 62)

    Publication: Contribution to book/anthologyA3 Contribution to book/other compilations (refereed)

  9. A method for analysing multimodal research material: Audio description in focus

    Hirvonen, M. & Tiittula, L. 2010 12 p.

    Publication: Conference contributionA4 Article in conference publication (refereed)

  10. Contrasting Visual and Verbal Cueing of Space: strategies and devices in the audio description of film

    Hirvonen, M. May 2012 In : New voices in translation studies. 2012, 8, p. 21-43

    Publication: Contribution to journalA1 Refereed journal article

View all (18) »

Highlighted activities

  1. Skolar Award (pitching competition for postdocs)

    Hirvonen, M. (Speaker: Presenter)
    29 Nov 20161 Dec 2016

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventPublic Talks

  2. SKY Journal of Linguistics (Journal)

    Hirvonen, M. (Editor)
    2015 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  3. Proposal review (Journal)

    Hirvonen, M. (Reviewer)
    1 Nov 201628 Nov 2016

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

  4. Reviewer of scientific articles (Journal)

    Hirvonen, M. (Reviewer)
    2016 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

  5. BAULT (Building and Using Language Technology) Symposium 2016

    Hirvonen, M. (Poster Presentation)
    1 Dec 20162 Dec 2016

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventPublic Talks

  6. Spielräume der Translation: Sprach- und translationswissenschaftliche Zugänge

    Hirvonen, M. (Speaker: Opponent/discussant)
    23 Oct 201626 Oct 2016

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

  7. EST 2016: Moving Boundaries

    Hirvonen, M. (Poster Presentation)
    16 Sep 201617 Sep 2016

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

  8. Finnish Conference of Linguistics

    Hirvonen, M. (Speaker: Presenter)
    26 May 2016

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

  9. Seminar on Multimodality in Translation and Interpreting

    Hirvonen, M. (Speaker: Presenter)
    21 Apr 2016

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

  10. Kuvailutulkkaustoimikunta (Audio Description Committee) (External organisation)

    Hirvonen, M. (Board member)
    1 Jan 2010 → …

    Activity: MembershipMembership or other role in national/international committee, council, board

  11. Institut für Deutsche Sprache

    Hirvonen, M. (Visiting researcher)
    1 Oct 201125 Oct 2011

    Activity: Visiting an external institutionAcademic visit to other institution

  12. Institut für Deutsche Sprache

    Hirvonen, M. (Visiting researcher)
    1 Mar 201130 Apr 2011

    Activity: Visiting an external institutionAcademic visit to other institution

View all (34) »

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