The term “audio description” refers to the spoken commentary that is added to film soundtracks to enable visually impaired people to follow the action on the screen by supplementing the information that is already available from character dialogue and other parts of the soundtrack. This essay introduces some core narratological concepts and discusses how they are relevant to audio description research and practice, especially to the issue of characters' mental states. It then describes how corpus analysis techniques can be used to analyze larger samples of audio description and develop a preliminary classification of ways in which describers convey information about characters' mental states. It closes by discussing the synergies between audiovisual translation, narratology, and corpus linguistics. The essay is intended to be a contribution to the debate within the field of audio description studies regarding the possibility and desirability of “objectivity” in audio descriptions.

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