How subtitling professionals perceive changes in working conditions
An interview study in German-speaking countries
The job of a subtitler is undergoing significant changes. This study investigates subtitling professionals’ perceptions of the effects these changes are having on their working conditions. With this aim in mind, an email interview study was conducted with nineteen freelance subtitling professionals producing German-language subtitles. Overall themes in the subtitlers’ accounts were disillusion with recent trends in the subtitling profession (the precarization of the subtitling profession, acceleration of production processes, virtualization of collaboration), concerns about quality (unavailable or low-quality working materials, market entry of unskilled subtitlers, replacement of established local subtitling guidelines by international ones, machine translation), but also opportunities (predictability, solidarity among subtitling professionals). Suggestions for future directions concern longitudinal studies to evaluate the effects changes in professional subtitling practice have on working conditions over time with follow-up surveys to collect subtitlers’ opinions on how the problems identified could best be tackled.
- Related research
- Change as disillusion
- Concerns about quality
- Change as opportunity