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Non-professional subtitling and translation studies: a matter of convergence

Calendar Thursday, 12 November 2020
Calendar 16:00-18:00

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Transnational Cultural & Visual Studies

An online public lecture with guest speaker, Dr David Orrego-Carmona (Aston University), by the Transnational Cultural & Visual Studies research theme.


Non-professional translation networks operate at a global scale, across languages, cultures and borders, and heavily influence global media distribution. This talk will introduce key concepts to understand non-professional translation in relation to other terms such as volunteer translation and crowdsourcing to focus on non-professional subtitling and its impact on media and translation.

Non-professional subtitling creates connections that make possible the materialisation of alternative media flows and the democratisation of access in the digital world. This enabling power of non-professional subtitling highlights the relevance of translation as a social activity in the 21st Century and the potential it has to bring people together in a world mediated by technologies.

Non-professional subtitling is a controversial topic. It is sometimes argued that non-professionals undermine the position and value of the profession. However, professional and non-professional translation practices co-exist in a complex convergence of production and consumption. Outside the boundaries of the professionalisation of translation practices, which can largely be considered a Western concept, and in the realm of the informal economy, translation has a primarily communicational role. This borderless communication has become essential in a society enhanced by digital technologies.

This talk zooms into that role of translation in the context of media and through the exploration of audiences. It approaches non-professional subtitling as a key component in the informal distribution of media and a manifestation of the participatory culture. Through these considerations, the talk aims to contribute to the conceptualisation of translation as a human activity to revisit cornerstones of translation studies, such as visibility, quality and professionalisation.


David Orrego-Carmona is a lecturer in translation studies at Aston University (UK) and a research associate at the University of the Free State (South Africa). His research deals with translation, technologies and users, as well as the integration of open science into translation and interpreting studies research.

His research analyses how translation technologies empower professional and non-professional translators and how the democratisation of technology allows translation users to become non-professional translators. He is interested in how non-professionalism impacts social translation, professional translation and translator training.

More information is available via Dr Orrego-Carmona’s website.

Simultaneous Translation

The event will be delivered in the medium of English. You are welcome to ask questions in the medium of Welsh during the Q&A session. If you intend to do this, please contact by Thursday 28 October to request simultaneous translation. Please note that 10% or more of those planning to attend will need to request this provision in order for it to be sourced and will be subject to resource availability.


We apologise that the entire registration page is not available in the medium of Welsh. Unfortunately, the platform we use does not offer this service.

Recording of Event

Please note this event will be recorded.

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