Two European Audiovisual Translation Organizations Are Teaming Up

ESIST and SUBTLE are joining forces

Two audiovisual translation organizations are celebrating their plans to sign a “memorandum of understanding.” In other words, the groups are teaming up.

Both nonprofits are based in the UK, with offices for the European Association for Studies in Screen Translation (ESIST) in Norwich, and SUBTLE – the Subtitlers’ Association headquartered in London.

As the names imply, the organizations share many goals and methods, namely networking, promoting AVT education, and advocating for high-quality standards and better working conditions. 

SUBTLE liaises with stakeholders in the film production and distribution industry, such as filmmakers, consumer groups, media production houses, and certain unions. The group offers guidance to members’ potential clients and maintains a directory of members, who can be located anywhere in the world. 

The organization, a member of Translators Europe (AVTE), also networks with other national and international associations. Recent initiatives include the MyFavouriteProjectManager hashtag on X, which showcased audiovisual translators’ positive experiences with PMs. 

ESIST, founded in 1995, is a global organisation which takes a special interest in higher education teachers, academics, and students. 

It also established the Jan Ivarsson Award for invaluable services to the field in 2010, first awarded to its namesake subtitler. The award can go to a young scholar or industry veteran who has furthered the cause of AVT, and it is presented biennially at ESIST’s General Meeting, which is usually held in Berlin.

In light of the forthcoming agreement between the organizations, ESIST wrote in a LinkedIn post, “we invite ideas from our respective members to work together on future, brand new initiatives. Dream big!”

In a May 20, 2024 tweet, SUBTLE hinted at the ultimate goal of the partnership, “which hopefully will lead to research geared more toward us practitioners.”

Subtitling and dubbing have made their way to mainstream news headlines as AI companies develop new technology to automate AVT, with the eventual goal of doing so in real time.