Fansubbing in subtitling land
An investigation into the nature of fansubs in Sweden
Fansubs (subtitles made by fans for fans) have become a global practice, and it is by now a fairly well-described phenomenon, particularly for fansubs of Japanese anime. However, for Sweden, which has a long and strong tradition of prosubs (commissioned professional subtitles), there have hardly been any studies of this increasingly prolific phenomenon. This paper seeks to remedy this situation by investigating 16 subtitled versions of ten English-language films. The analysis uses the FAR model of quality assessment and also investigates other aspects, such as creativity. The results show that there is great variety between the various fansubbed versions. On average, Swedish fansubs are found to be of lower quality, less adhering to norms and also more abusively faithful than prosubs. Moreover, the fansubs in this study are hardly creative at all. This could be due to fansubbing being a rather marginal phenomenon in Sweden, the land of subtitling.
Keywords: subtitling, fansubs, quality assessment, functional equivalence, acceptability, readability, creativity
Published online: 31 October 2018
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