To visually interpret SRF Go’s journeys

Sight interpretation is describing with words what is seen but not heard. It can be environments, people, gestures, glances, events, relationships, animals, plants, clothes, art… Visual interpretation creates inner images and in this way the journey can be more fun, more interesting and bigger. When you accompany, you can take the opportunity to describe a little of everything you see. Here are some tips on how you can think if you want to interpret a bit. Take the chance to try!

Visual interpretation is important and can also be fun and exciting. To be able to describe something in words, we have to look properly and when we do, we can see new things!

The person who sees builds his inner images from the material that comes through vision. Those who cannot see also build internal images and with the help of visual interpretation, the images can be based on descriptions in words.
Our inner images become memories that we carry with us from our travels, whether we built them using visual impressions or descriptive words.


To visually interpret an object

It is easiest to build an internal image of an object if you start by talking about what it is. Then there is a skeleton to build on when you talk about details.
For example, start talking about it being a cup. Then describe it: it is made of ceramic, large and red with purple dots, well used with some scratches in the glaze.
Colors are important, we can have a relationship with colors even if we don’t see it.
To include in a description: function, material, size, peculiarities.

To interpret an environment

Just like with objects, it is easiest to create an internal image of a place if you first get a “heading” for example: spruce forest, residential area, schoolyard or marina. Then you can build on the site with details, but remember that too many details will make the image cloudy.

Making descriptive descriptions instead of evaluating

If you are going to visually interpret a sunset that you think is beautiful, then try to describe what it is that you think is beautiful. Example: The yellow glow colors the sky in yellow, orange and red tones. The glow of the sun is reflected in the sparkling deep blue sea. The orb of the sun vibrates with golden yellow hues where it rests on the horizon of the sea. When we say “it is beautiful” it is not really a description but an opinion/valuation.
It is important to remember that different people think different things are beautiful/ugly. If, instead of telling you what you think, you make a descriptive description, the listener can think for himself.

Visual interpretation on the bus journey

If you don’t see, a bus trip through Iceland’s amazing lava landscape can be very similar to a bus trip back home in everyday life. Visual interpretation of what is outside the bus window can make all the difference!
Start here too by giving an overview and headings, then go to the details. Zoom in and zoom out of the image. Alternate overview and details during the trip.
When describing the view that flutters by, you may not have time to describe everything, but here are some things that might be interesting to pick up in the narrative.


Signs that tell us where we are, which town we pass, how far it is to a destination are interesting. Speed ​​signs can also be that, when it gets to 50 km/h then we know we are on our way into some densely built-up area. All sorts of signs provide clues; closure signs, store signs, homemade birthday signs, moose warning…


Inside the bus, you don’t notice much of the weather outside. Feel free to tell us about the changes in the weather; the sky is clear blue, the dark gray rain clouds are gathering, the wind is strong, the treetops are rustling in the wind. The sun spreads its light over the unused fields lying fallow.


What environments are out there right now? Tell! Are we driving through an industrial area, a vineyard on a sunny slope, along coastal meadows or through dense fir forest?


The picture often becomes more exciting if there are people involved. You might see road workers paving or discussing, police officers directing or stopping a car. A passing emergency vehicle may be heard entering the bus, talk about the bay, is it an ambulance?
Relationships between humans and animals can be interesting, try to find stories along the way. “A girl walks with a dog on a leash, the dog pulls and wants to go in the opposite direction and the girl lets go. Then the dog wags its bushy tail and stretches its nose in the air.”


It might be interesting to hear examples of how people are dressed where we are right now. Which garments, which cut, which material, which colour?
“The woman wears a red corduroy jacket and a pair of jeans where the knees are torn”.

From inside the bus

Even what happens in the bus itself is often missed by those who don’t see. The noise drowns out footsteps and voices and it can be fun to know a little about what’s going on. “Göran stands in the middle aisle talking to Berit, she listens and nods.”


To the one next to you

If you’re sitting next to someone/someone who can’t see, you can ask if they want to hear a bit about what it looks like outside and once the bus has stopped, there’s also a lot to describe; on the walk, at the restaurant, at the market…

With a microphone at the front of the bus

When the guide is not using the bus’s microphone, perhaps an escort can describe to everyone. But keep in mind that the sound goes out throughout the bus, even to those who might want to rest or chat and to travelers who are not part of our group.
Here it is advisable to check with all travelers beforehand and to only describe a little!

With guide equipment

With visual interpretation equipment, one person can speak into a microphone and everyone on the bus can choose if and when they want to listen to descriptions of the view, by listening in headphones. Remember to start by introducing yourself and to check that everyone who wants to has a headset and that everyone who has a headset can hear.

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Do you want to know more?

The authority for accessible media, MTM,
has issued a report:
MTM’s Reports no. 4, Visual interpretation,
research and practiceælden/rapportomsyntolkning/