Maija Hirvonen

Postdoctoral researcher

  • Finland

  • PL 24

    00014 University of Helsinki



Forskningsoutput per år

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Personlig profil

Information om forskning och undervisning

I'm currently conducting two research projects:

  • MUTABLE: Multimodal Translation with the Blind (2017-2019, Academy of Finland),
  • MeMAD: Methods for Managing Audiovisual Data: Combining human accuracy with computational efficiency (2018-2020, EU Horizon2020),

In MUTABLE, I study the translation process from the perspective of multimodal interaction and collaboration between translators and users. As a case in point is the audio description 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. 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 Finland, Germany and Austria. The primary data consist of video recordings of face-to-face encounters between audio describers.

In MeMAD, an international consortium of research and business partners develop methods of accessing audiovisual content through language (audio and content descriptions, and subtitling). The idea is to combine human and machine translation to create an improved model of information extraction, retrieval and search. The method will benefit in particular the Creative Industries in dealing with the ever-growing amount of audiovisual big data, such as videos and films, but it can also be adapted to improve the access services as semi-automatic audio description and subtitling.

In general, my research interests are:

  • intermodal translation (audio description, subtitling, multisensory interpreting, environmental description)
  • accessibility
  • multimodality in translation and interpreting
  • multimodal interaction, asymmetrical interaction
  • human-machine interaction
  • multimodal machine translation
  • media culture, film studies
  • cognitive linguistics
  • shared cognition, cultural cognition

I teach BA and MA level courses in translation studies and supervise MA and doctoral theses. Here's an example of my teaching, featuring a video lecture about accessibility services in multimodal translation (hosted by UniTube).

Outside the university, I am elected member of Young Academy of Finland (2017-2021; information in Finnish) and member of its board. I am audio describer and member of the audio description board of the organisation "Cultural Service for the Visually Impaired" (Näkövammaisten kulttuuripalvelu ry) in Finland.



  • 6160 Övriga humanistiska vetenskaper
  • 6121 Språkvetenskaper
  • 613 Konstvetenskap
  • 518 Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap

Internationellt och inhemskt samarbete Publikationer och projekt inom de senaste fem åren.


Öppen tillgång

Blindheit als Ressource: Zur professionellen Kompetenz eines blinden Teammitglieds bei der gemeinsamen Anfertigung einer Audiodeskription

Hirvonen, M. I. & Schmitt, R., 2018, I : Gesprächsforschung. 19, s. 449-477 29 s.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

Öppen tillgång

Miten elokuvan kuvailutulkkaus syntyy?

Hirvonen, M. I., 2018

Forskningsoutput: Icke-textbaserad outputWebbpublikation/-platsProfessionell

Öppen tillgång

Imaginary places – Verbalization of setting in the English, German and Spanish audio descriptions of Slumdog Millionaire

Hirvonen, M. I. & Igareda, P., 2017, I : mtm - A translation journal. 9, s. 341-364 24 s.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

Audiodeskription und Sichtdolmetschen: Translation über Sinnesgrenzen: Eine Begriffsanalyse

Hirvonen, M. I., 2018, Spielräume der Translation: Dolmetschen und Übersetzen in Theorie und Praxis. Kvam, S., Meloni, I., Parianou, A., Schopp, J. & Solfjeld, K. (red.). Münster: Waxmann

Forskningsoutput: Kapitel i bok/rapport/konferenshandlingKapitelVetenskapligPeer review



Multimodal translation in audio description

Hirvonen, M. (Skapad av), Maija Hirvonen, 2016



Translation as interactive meaning constitution and negotiation

Maija Hirvonen (!!Speaker)

13 mar 2018

Aktivitet: Typer för tal eller presentation!!Invited talk



Mari Wiklund (Talare: Presentation), & Maija Inkeri Hirvonen (Talare: Presentation)

7 jun 2018

Aktivitet: Typer för deltagande i eller organisering av evenemangArrangemang av och deltagande i konferens/workshop/kurs/seminarium

Teamwork between blind and sighted persons: Effects of visual asymmetry on intersubjectivity

Maija Inkeri Hirvonen (!!Speaker), & Liisa Tiittula (!!Speaker)

11 maj 2017

Aktivitet: Typer för tal eller presentation!!Oral presentation

Nuorten tiedeakatemian klubi - Young Academy Club

Maija Hirvonen (!!Speaker)

14 maj 2018

Aktivitet: Typer för tal eller presentation!!Invited talk


News and articles on my research in audio description

Maija Inkeri Hirvonen


4 objekt av Mediabevakning

Press/media: !!Press / Media

News, articles and interviews on the MeMAD project

Maija Hirvonen


1 objekt av Mediabevakning

Press/media: !!Press / Media

Training of students in accessibility services (subtitling, audio description) at University of Helsinki

Maija Inkeri Hirvonen


2 objekt av Mediabevakning, 1 Mediabidrag

Press/media: !!Press / Media

Hack for Society -hankkeen tiimit

Tuija Kinnunen & Maija Inkeri Hirvonen


1 objekt av Mediabevakning

Press/media: !!Press / Media

Kuva muuttuu sanoiksi

Maija Hirvonen


1 Mediabidrag

Press/media: !!Press / Media