In support of creative subtitling: contemporary context and theoretical framework
Year of publication
Although the issue of creativity in subtitling is gaining increasing awareness in academic papers and conferences, it is a topic that is often met with concern amongst subtitling academics and practitioners: the stylised nature of creative subtitling means that it is often too easily dismissed as amateurish and unprofessional. This paper, therefore, aims to speak out in support of the creative subtitling practice by drawing attention to its wide-ranging theoretical framework, its appropriateness in the context of contemporary digital media and its practical benefits. It begins by outlining the characteristics that might define creative subtitling and providing examples of films where this practice has been used to great creative effect, before drawing upon translation and film theory, amongst other disciplines, to discuss issues of creative thought, invisibility, corruption and abuse, and the importance of contingency in translation. Finally, it concludes with a discussion of the practical benefits of creative subtitling for subtitlers, filmmakers and film audiences alike. Ultimately, this paper argues that creative subtitling should be accepted as a viable alternative to conventional subtitling practice; one that transforms the film text into an enhanced filmic experience for the target audience.