Fan translation

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Fan translation (or user-generated translation[1]) refers to the unofficial translation of various forms of written or multimedia products made by fans (Fan labor),[1] often into a language in which an official translated version is not yet available.[1] Generally, fans do not have formal training as translators[1] but they volunteer to participate in translation projects based on interest in a specific audiovisual genre, TV series, movie, etc.[2]

Media[edit]

Notable areas of fan translation include:

History[edit]

Fan translation of audiovisual material, particularly fansubbing of anime, dates back to the 1980s.[1] O'Hagan (2009) argues that fansubbing emerged as a form of protest over "the official often over-edited versions of anime typically aired in dubbed form on television networks outside Japan"[1] and that fans sought more authentic translated versions[1][3] in a shorter time frame.[3]

Early fansubbing and fandubbing efforts involved manipulation of VHS tapes, which was time-consuming and expensive,[3] the first reported fansub produced in the United States was of Lupin III, produced in the mid-1980s, requiring an average of 100 hours per episode to subtitle.[3]

Influence[edit]

The development of cultural industry, technological advances and the expansion of online platforms have led to a dynamic rise in fan translation[citation needed]. Followed by is the increase in voluntary translation communities as well as the variety of the content.[5] There is no doubt that the largest beneficiaries are audience, readers and game players who are also fellow fans of various popular culture products,[5] since they are given the chance to receive first-hand information from foreign cultures. The entertainment industry and other cultural industries also benefit because their products are given global exposure, with a consequence of cultural immersion and cultural assimilation. However, people also consider fan translation as a potential threat to professional translation;[6] in fact, fan translation communities are built on the spirit of sharing, volunteering, a do-it-yourself attitude[5] and most importantly, passion and enthusiasm for the same goal. Like a lot of specialization-based and art-based professions, rich experience and related knowledge are highly demanded in translation industry.[6] Therefore, fan translation cannot be regarded as a threat. Instead, to some extent, it includes two significant senses: for fan translators, it means a period of valuable experience and a pack of adequate preparation no matter if they are willing to take their fun hobby into another level; for professional translators, it serves as a type of sources to be referred and consulted once they encounter similar situations. In addition, from the perspective of development of fan translation, the content is no longer limited within movies, video games and fan fictions. Various forms including educational courses, political speeches and critical news reports appear in recent years, which injects brand-new meaning to fan translation by extending its value from entertaining nature towards social significance.[5] Just as Henry Jenkins states: “popular culture may be preparing the way for a more meaning public culture.” [7] As a newly emerging phenomena dependent on the progress of Internet-supported infrastructure, it surpasses its original focus on personal interest and makes itself visible in front of the entire society, as a result, it has to be admitted that fan translation is somehow an inevitable trend.[5]

Problems concerning copyright and censorship[edit]

There are indeed a couple of main issues that fan translators are confronted with, its sustainability is considerably challenged by censorship, copyright and commercialization mostly from governments and for-profit organizations.[citation needed] Calls from authorities aiming to stop fan translation activities never come to an end, they claim that such behaviour infringes the rights of the writers and producers, despite the fact that fan translators explain that they have no intention to make profits and only want to share the enthusiasm among their fan fellows.[8] As mentioned above, the influence of fan translation extends beyond fan communities or circles; it also reaches the academic and political spheres.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j O'Hagan, Minako (2009). "Evolution of User-Generated Translation: Fansubs, Translation Hacking and Crowdsourcing". The Journal of Internationalization and Localization. 1: 94–121. doi:10.1075/jial.1.04hag. 
  2. ^ a b c Pérez-González, Luis (2014). Audiovisual Translation: Theories Methods and Issues. London: Routledge. p. 308. ISBN 978-0-415-53027-9. 
  3. ^ a b c d e O'Hagan, Minako (2008). "Fan Translation Networks: An Accidental Translator Training Environment?". In Kearns, John. Translator and Interpreter Training: Issues, Methods and Debates. Continuum International. pp. 158–183. 
  4. ^ "Self-Organized Citizen Translations of Harry Potter 7", 26 July 2007 (English translation of original Chinese article from yWeekend)
  5. ^ a b c d e Zhang, Weiyu; Mao, Chengting (March 2013). "Fan activism sustained and challenged: participatory culture in Chinese online translation communities". Chinese Journal of Communication. 6 (1): 45–61. doi:10.1080/17544750.2013.753499. 
  6. ^ a b Mandelin, Clyde. "Legends of Localization: Fan Translation: Does it Help or Hurt Getting Professional Work?". Legends of Localization. Retrieved on November 16, 2016.
  7. ^ Jenkins, Henry (2008). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide ([New]. ed.). New York: New York University Press. ISBN 9780814742952. 
  8. ^ Spencer, Richard (2 August 2007). "China's Censors Move in on Translators of Harry Potter". Pacific Newspaper Group, the Vancouver Sun.