UCL Global


Soundscape Attributes Translation Project (SATP)

Towards standardised assessments of urban sound environments across languages, countries, and cultures. Part of the Cities partnership Programme.

23 September 2022

We could use different words to describe soundscapes around us, like pleasant, annoying, calm, quiet, vibrant, or lively. Soundscape and noise pollution researchers rely on some standard adjectives or attributes for asking people about their perception of the acoustic environments via questionnaires and surveys. Meaning could get ‘lost in translations’ between languages. This risks misleading designers and policymakers responsible for noise policies and soundscape design interventions.

To address this gap, the UCL IEDE Acoustics Group informally started an international collaboration with soundscape researchers worldwide. Tentatively called the Soundscape Attributes Translation Project (SATP), it was coordinated by UCL. Researchers in other countries provided an “educated guess” about translating the semantic scales of the ISO standard. These translations should now be validated with the listening experiments to be carried out in all countries.

This project will now move to the next stage: to validate the proposed translations using standardised listening experiments in different languages and geographical regions. This Cities Partnership Programme-funded project pilots the listening experiments in English and in Swedish, and use this project as a platform to establish a permanent international network for soundscape translation studies to show the feasibility of the procedure (and the value of the initiative) to the other partners around the world.


Environmental Engineering

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