SubComm’s 2023 in Review

By Tiina Tuominen

Now that the new year is well underway, I have been looking back at everything we did in 2023, and where SubComm is at the beginning of 2024.

A poster for our Subtitle Chat: Subtitle Analysis

2023 was a fairly busy year for us. We held five Subtitle Chats with a variety of topics. At each of them we had fun and insightful conversations with colleagues from various parts of the world. Some of the chats had many participants, others only a few, but thankfully the format allows for different kinds of conversations depending on how many people are there. We also started experimenting with a recap blog post and email to share some highlights from the conversations with all those who could not make it. We hope that has helped spread some of the interesting ideas further, and shown people what the chats are all about, so that they might consider participating in the future. We will continue our regular chats in the new year, with the first Subtitle Chat of 2024 scheduled for this afternoon (24th January – you can register here up until the event begins)! We continue to be open to topic ideas, so feel free to get in touch if there is something you would like to discuss. We are also trying out different days of the week again, so that those who can’t make it to our regular Friday timeslot will have an opportunity to participate. 

One of the most exciting initiatives from last year is our infographics project. It grew out of one of our Subtitle Chats, and it seemed like the perfect task for SubComm: both researchers and practitioners have contributed their ideas and experiences to infographics that introduce various aspects of subtitling to the general audience. We received funding for the project from the Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters (thank you!), and we have now found a great graphic designer who is working on creating the infographics. We hope we will be able to introduce the finished infographics to the world quite soon, and they will then be available for anyone to share in their networks. And if these first four infographics are a success, we might consider making more later on. So, if you have ideas for more, please share them with us. 

Our blog also saw a lot of activity last year. In addition to the chat recaps, several guest bloggers wrote fascinating pieces on their research. We thought these topics were relevant to subtitling practice, and we hope that the blog posts have helped practitioners discover interesting new ideas that may be useful for their work. We intend to keep the blog active in the coming year, and we invite anyone who wants to post about something to get in touch with us. You can write about your research, about an interesting professional experience, or perhaps interview someone whose voice should be heard by practitioners and academics alike. We intend to write blog posts of our own as well. There are some research-related topics as well as SubComm developments that we are eager to share with the world. 

We have also had the opportunity to talk about SubComm to colleagues at a few real-world events. Many people have seen the importance of our initiative, and that encourages us to keep going. We hope to continue speaking about SubComm this year to spread the word about our community and to encourage more people to join our activities. We will also do our best to be active on social media, and we hope you will all join the conversation. You can also start conversations in our LinkedIn group if you want to reach researchers and practitioners at an international level. 

One big reason for all the progress SubComm was able to make last year was our fabulous research assistant Amy Sexton, who worked with us last spring. She was brilliant at organizing things and keeping our communications running. We miss her a lot, and we are very grateful for everything she did for SubComm this year. 

We are excited about our plans for 2024. There will be more Subtitle Chats, amazing new infographics, fascinating blog posts and more activities to spread the word about SubComm. We are also making plans for brand new things. Hannah and I are working on a research project that was inspired by SubComm. We can’t share very much of it yet, but we hope it will lead to useful discoveries that support both academics and practitioners. Once we have some early findings, we will definitely share them here. In addition, we are thinking of setting up other online events besides Subtitle Chats. We would like to organise more substantive professional development and information-sharing sessions around specific topics that link research and practice. We have some promising ideas already, and now all we need is the time to put our plans into action. We are determined to find that time this year, so watch this space! We also welcome ideas from you, so let us know if you have great topics in mind. I should also confess that I am dreaming of producing new SubComm-themed merchandise, so perhaps 2024 will be the year of the SubComm post it note or coffee mug or beach towel. 

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

We want to thank all of you for your interest in SubComm, for your participation at our events, and for your encouragement. Hannah and I believe very firmly that a community like SubComm is needed, so that academics and practitioners can communicate and collaborate. We hope that our activities can help people feel less isolated and offer useful information and ideas for your work, whether it is subtitling or research. We also hope that in the long run, we can make a positive contribution to the professional environment around subtitling. It is a lot to hope for, but there is no point in setting the bar low. So, there is a lot of work ahead of us in 2024, and we are excited to get started. Thank you for 2023, and we look forward to seeing you all this year! 

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