Happy International Translation Day!

Every year on 30 September, the global translation and interpreting community comes together to celebrate International Translation Day. It is a great opportunity to make the work of translators and interpreters more visible, and to show our pride in our work.

This year’s theme, selected by the International Federation of Translators, is “United in Translation.” After spending a long time physically separated from each other, it is nice to foreground the ways in which translation can bring us together, whether physically or virtually. Subtitling certainly strengthens global connections by allowing audiences in different countries to enjoy the same audiovisual content and by helping build global fan communities. In addition, subtitling allows us to become exposed to languages we do not understand, because the original dialogue remains present in the subtitled programme. By having simultaneous access to the foreign-language dialogue and the subtitle translation, it is possible to learn new languages and become even more connected to the world.

Bringing people together has been one of our main reasons for launching SubComm. We wanted to create opportunities for subtitlers and academics from all over the world to get to know each other, and to find meaningful ways to support each other and work together. We have already had a couple of online events, and we hope there will be more events to come in the not too distant future. And in the meantime, our online forum is always open.

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

As a part of my research, I have interviewed many Finnish subtitlers (more on that in another blog post coming soon). One thing that they mentioned frequently is that subtitlers are a great group of like-minded people who have a lot of fun together and throw the best parties. Subtitlers have also worked hard in recent years to promote their rights and visibility and to combat the fragmented nature of the profession. This work has often been done through national associations and unions as well as through AVTE on the European level. So, subtitlers seem to be uniting both for serious purposes and for fun and games. It’s great to see this happening, and we hope SubComm can be a part of that development.

To celebrate International Translation Day, here are a couple of videos I’ve enjoyed watching recently.

First, an interview with the Danish subtitler Amalie Foss, published in the Journal of Specialised Translation in 2020. And second, a new talk from Jan Pedersen on the topic Rehumanising Subtitling: Why humans make better subtitles than machines.

Happy International Translation Day, everyone!

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