A holistic approach to non-professional subtitling from a functional quality perspective


This article studies non-professional subtitling (NPS) within a holistic framework combining Chesterman’s propositions of functional quality and expectancy norms. NPS communities emerged due to discomfort among users regarding translated audiovisual products. The assessment of the production and reception conditions of NPS through a review of studies reveals that quality is relevant on both sides. On the production side, non-professional subtitlers have defined procedures aiming at ensuring the quality of the subtitles. On the reception side, users have developed a conscious approach to select the subtitles they want to use. For users, access and speed in the release of the subtitles are key when choosing subtitles. Results indicate that NPS fulfills the users’ expectations because the communities are geared towards producing subtitles that address the users’ needs. This article calls for further exploration of NPS settings to expand the notions of quality and translation under the current conditions.

Translation Studies, 12(2)
David Orrego-Carmona
Assistant professor in translation

My research interests include translation technologies, subtitling, non-professional translation and training.