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Character descriptions in period TV series: Payitaht Abdülhamid

Pelin Şulha

Abstract: As there are visually impaired individuals among the TV series audience, an additional narrative that fits the gaps between the dialogues should be produced and voiced. The audio description of the TV series is one of the main practices carried out in the field of media accessibility. Just like in feature films, in the audio description process of the TV series the translators who assume the task of the script writer deal with problems such as under which conditions, how, to what extent and when the distinguishing characteristics of different characters that are the basic components of the film narrative should be described. Gert Vercauteren (2014) aims to bring a solution to these problems using a systematic model based on narratology. According to this functional model, if the visually impaired audience sees the film character for the first time the physical, behavioral/communicational and mental characteristics that help recognize him/her are described. However, if the character is known from the previous scenes, it is proposed that the description content is organized regarding the character’s specific situation in the scene, i.e. his/her new characteristic or a change in his/her character and a new dimension in his/her relations with the time, space and actions (Vercauteren, 2016: 12-13). In this study using Vercauteren’s model, the process of audio describing characters is analyzed through the exemplary scenes from the selected episodes in the TV series entitled Payitaht Abdülhamid, which narrates the struggle of the Sultan Abdülhamid II during the last thirteen years of his reign. In conclusion, although the model has been designed for the description of different film genres in general, it is determined that it has also been practical and time-saving in the textual analysis of the TV series, which involves the translator’s identification of the visual elements to be described as regards the needs of the audience, during the production of the fraction of the descriptive text narrating the characters particular to a historical period.
Keywords: TV series / Payitaht Abdülhamid / translators / film / character / his/her / description

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