Keywords: museum audio description, inverse translation, translation competence, didactics.
The paper outlines the textual and linguistic specificities of museum (or art) audio description (AD), an emergent AD subgenre. The focus of the paper, however, is on the didactic potentials of this form of audiovisual translation in an English L2 setting. If exploited adequately, the process of producing and translating ADs into a non-mother tongue can in fact favour the acquisition of both intersemiotic and inverse translation competence while granting the retention and retrieval of diverse L1 and L2 linguistic forms thanks to the noticing effect that working with AD can induce. A case study on the creation in Italian and the translation into English of a multimodal descriptive itinerary illustrates how museum AD can be employed for explicit and implicit learning purposes, in order to impart professional skills to novice translators.