On 18 November, VIDEO TO VOICE held an audio description training workshop at the University of Hildesheim in Germany. The session was part of the Frazier Educational program, a cooperative venture with academic institutions helping to train the next generation of audio description and localization professionals. Throughout the training, students have free access to Frazier, VIDEO TO VOICE's audio description software.
To begin the session, VIDEO TO VOICE's CEO Lukas Pajonczek gave a short introduction to the company and its customer base. This was followed by a presentation on how Frazier brings teamwork to the fore, helping audio describers write and review their scripts more efficiently.
Next came the practical part, as the students split up into pairs to work on a four-minute video. Frazier allows users to collaborate on projects with live editing, so one student wrote the audio description for the first two minutes while their teammate took care of the second half. The students were able to discuss their decisions via in-built collaboration features and get through the audio description much faster as a team.
After that, the students took a closer look at the software's neural machine translation feature and learned how to export scripts. There followed a lively discussion on machine translation's role in producing multilingual versions of AD scripts.
To finish, participants learned how to create a broadcast-ready audio description using Frazier's audio post-production technology. The scripts were read out via text to speech with synthetic voices. Frazier then automatically mixed the audio description with the original soundtrack and mastered the final audio file to the relevant broadcasting standards. The students were also given a sneak peek preview of next-generation audio options for the final output.
The general impression of Frazier was a positive one. The students praised the software for being straightforward to use; it was easy getting started on the platform, requiring no specialist technical background. For the first time, all of the participants managed to create their own audio description, making seven described films that they could take home. The students were also very impressed with the quality of the text-to-speech synthetic voices.
"I didn't want to do an AD course actually, but it was really fun making audio descriptions with Frazier."
The Institute of Translation Studies and Specialized Communication runs the Translation of Audio Description Scripts (TADS) project at Hildesheim. Their research examines specific text type features in AD scripts to determine which localization tasks are required in the translation process. The parallel and monolingual corpora are provided by broadcasters ARTE and SRF in form of AD scripts from dubbed German and French TV series and films. VIDEO TO VOICE has given the department access to Frazier to work on the scripts.
VIDEO TO VOICE works closely with several universities and takes great pleasure in helping to train the audio describers of tomorrow. If you are interested in making Frazier part of your educational program, please get in touch.