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Lost & Found in Translation

IMG_7143_smallThe challenge of translating and subtitling EUscreen’s 40,000 items of television and film content was explored in a special one-day workshop held in November London.  The workshop, aimed at reaching a wide range of general users via translations, was one of a series of three ‘sandpit’ events being held to develop pilot projects targeted at particular communities. Two more ‘sandpit’ events will be held to engage with academic researchers and the creative industries.

Report by Rob Turnock, RHUL

The ‘sandpit’ event was attended by professional AV translators and linguists and was designed to help develop a pilot project to subtitle EUscreen content. With EUscreen television and film material currently provided in 14 different European languages – with two more on the way – subtitling is seen as an important way of making content more accessible to a wider range of online communities.

IMG_7219_smallThe event was hosted by the BUFVC, and EUscreen colleagues from KB, Aalto, Noterik and Royal Holloway worked over the day with the translators and linguists from institutions including the BBC, Imperial College London, Nottingham University, Royal Holloway and the University of Bologna. Tasks and discussion organised in the workshop had three main objectives: to find out more about current AV translation practices; to find out how to involve translators in the translation of EUscreen content; and to understand what processes, mechanisms and tools might be required to facilitate this.

Over the day, the workshop generated numerous important insights. One of the most significant was that there are large groups of professionals, students and fansubbers who may be willing to volunteer to translate EUscreen content into a variety of different languages. Work will be needed, however, to build and sustain a dedicated community of EUscreen translators, and tools will be required to both support the community and to deliver subtitles. Following the London ‘sandpit’ on 17 September this work has already started. These workshops represent an exciting engagement with professional communities outside of the EUscreen Consortium, and it is hoped that this will lead to a wide range of benefits for user communities across Europe.