Tiina Tuominen (University of Glasgow)
Wed 05 Oct 2016, 16:30 - 18:00
Project Room 1.06, 50 George Square

If you have a question about this talk, please contact: Sebnem Susam-Saraeva (sssaraje)

In recent years, the Finnish subtitling field has undergone significant changes which have caused instability in subtitlers’ working conditions. Subtitlers have responded to this instability by seeking closer collegial cooperation. The Finnish subtitling field has traditionally been quite fragmented, and the subtitlers’ recent efforts have managed to create a more cohesive professional group which is able to advocate for itself with a more unified voice. One important means in the subtitlers’ community-building has been an active online presence: a virtual community consisting of, among other things, a website (http://www.av-kaantajat.fi) and a blog (http://av-kaantajat.blogspot.co.uk/).

The subtitlers’ online presence could be characterised as a “professional project” (Tyulenev 2014: 68–69), an attempt to institutionalise the profession and to seek social recognition for it. According to Tyulenev (2014: 69–74), a professional project consists of five elements: claiming monopoly for practicing the profession, establishing examinations and training, seeking recognition from the state, dealing with others who affect the profession, and presenting the profession as valuable for the general public. All of these elements can be detected in the Finnish subtitlers’ virtual community.

This talk will discuss how Finnish subtitlers have used their virtual community as a platform for a professional project. The subtitlers’ virtual community offers a variety of texts, shared language, images, and even objects and real-life events that function as tools and symbols for the professional project. This talk will introduce some examples of these tools and symbols. In addition, the talk will address the possible implications of such virtual communities for the status and professional identity of translators, and the prospects of virtual communities maintaining themselves in a rapidly changing professional landscape.


Tyulenev, Sergey 2014. Translation and Society: An Introduction. London: Routledge.


Tiina Tuominen has a PhD in Translation Studies (English) from the University of Tampere, Finland. Her doctoral dissertation (2012) investigated the reception of subtitled films in a Finnish context. She currently works as University Teacher and Convenor of the MSc in Translation Studies at the University of Glasgow. She has previously worked as Lecturer and acting Professor in the Multilingual Communication and Translation Studies programme at the University of Tampere. She has also worked as a freelance translator and subtitler for several years. Her research interests include multimodality in translation, translators' workplace studies, reception research, and usability and user-centered tanslation.