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Speaking in SubtitlesRevaluing Screen Translation$
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Tessa Dwyer

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474410946

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474410946.001.0001

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Fansubbing and Abuse: Anime and Beyond

Fansubbing and Abuse: Anime and Beyond

(p.135) Chapter 5 Fansubbing and Abuse: Anime and Beyond
Speaking in Subtitles

Tessa Dwyer

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter focuses on the emergent, participatory practice of fansubbing (‘fan subtitling’), examining its origins within anime subculture and its ongoing evolution. Fansubbing is examined as an informal translation practice that emerged as a subset of media piracy with its own ethical standards and rules of conduct. Much early anime fansubbing focused on redressing the domesticating tendencies of professional services, and in this sense highlighted the gatekeeping, controlling function of translation. Hence, this case study further demonstrates links between piracy, censorship and subversion introduced in the previous chapter. It also demonstrates how fansubbing’s intervention into screen media points to the growing significance of translation as a mode of cultural participation responsive to the intensifying multilingualism of global media and technologies. Fans are discussed as ‘lead-users’ of new technologies that trial functionality and uncover emergent uses, demands and desires along the way—exemplifying the increasingly active and unruly ways in which people currently consume and engage with media. Proposing that fansubbing’s communal, errant tendencies are vital to its re-evaluative function, this chapter identifies a point of difference between the reconceptual program of this book and the notion of ‘abusive subtitling’ (Nornes 1999).

Keywords:   Anime, Media Fandom, Convergence Culture, Participatory Media, Participatory Culture, Abusive Subtitling, Henry Jenkins, Collaborative Translation, User-Generated Content (UGC)

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