Promoting AV translation and accessibility: the work of FIT’s AVT committee

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FIT’s Audiovisual Translation Standing Committee, composed of Tiina Tuominen (SKTL, Finland), Elena Aleksandrova (UTR, Russia), and myself, is dedicated to advancing the field of audiovisual translation (AVT) through collaboration, education, and advocacy. Our recent activities, including survey analysis and roundtable discussions, have focused on addressing the pressing issues in our field and fostering a global community of AVT and accessibility professionals.

Survey insights: understanding community needs

Our committee’s first major initiative was a comprehensive survey conducted among AVT professionals within FIT member associations worldwide. The survey revealed several key areas of concern: the lack of proper training and accreditation, contractual issues, and the need for greater visibility and recognition. These insights have informed our next initiatives.

November 2023 round table: a platform for collaboration

In November, we held a successful round table event, providing a platform for AVT professionals to discuss current challenges and share insights. Topics ranged from the impact of AI to the need for standardised training and certification programmes. The event underscored the importance of regular meetings to facilitate networking and knowledge exchange among AVT professionals.

April 2024 roundtable: legal issues in AVT

Our roundtable in April was inspired – among other things – by the Audiovisual Translators Europe (AVTE) webinar “Authors’ rights 101 for audiovisual translators” held in March 2024. This session aimed to build on those conversations, focusing on the legal frameworks that influence audiovisual translation. Key concerns discussed included the lack of proper contracts, the need for client education related to AVT, and the significant impact of AI on translators’ rights. We explored the necessity for explicit contracts to prevent the misuse of translators’ work in training AI systems and the importance of ensuring translators receive proper credit.

Proposed solutions

  • Global collaboration and standards: development of standard contracts and guidelines to secure translators’ rights.
  • Educational campaigns and public awareness: initiatives to educate clients and the public on the importance of high-quality, ethically produced translations.
  • Legal advocacy and support: creation of position papers by international bodies like FIT to address translators’ rights.
  • Enhanced community support and networking: strengthening associations and creating networks to support members.

June 2024 accessibility roundtable: reflecting on the event

Our most recent roundtable event, held on 7 June 2024, focused on accessibility in language services. The event opened a dialogue and shared perspectives on how translation and interpreting professionals work to enhance accessibility with services such as audio descriptions, speech-to-text interpreting, sign language interpreting, and plain language services.

Get involved

We invite all FIT member associations and AVT and accessibility professionals to join us in our efforts to promote and advance the field of audiovisual translation and accessibility. Your participation and support are crucial in building a stronger community that can tackle the challenges we face and ensure what we do gains greater recognition.

For more information about what we’re doing and how you can get involved, please contact us at

Theodoros Sakalidis, ÖSDV Austria

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