Field Guide Survey: International and localized media translation practices

The MediaCommons Front Page Collective welcomes responses to the following Field Guide Survey: In what ways do internet tools and culture recursively affect both international and localized media translation practices?


This Field Guide Survey seeks to explore the ways that technology has factored into the spread of popular translations and how those translations are published as fan, commercial, and deviant texts. These moves are often made in online participatory communities populated and policed by fans of the texts. Some approaches to responding to this question might include, but are not limited to:


  • What are the divisions between translation, transcreation, and adaptation? How do digital tools aid or impede divisions between the different kinds of work?

  • What do fan translation practices look like? How do they fold into other fan communities like comiket and dojinshi groups?  

  • What are the entry points for novice fans into translation communities? What is the divide between professional and amatuer translation? How do communities train and support novices? How do translators develop both the technical and linguistic skills?

  • What technical and nontechnical strategies are used to obtain content made ‘inaccessible’ due to copyright and distribution rights?

  • Are texts that are considered deviant, such as Boys Love manga, particularly subject to fan translation practices? What considerations of localized and international translation may affect the flow of illicit and deviant texts?  

  • How is translation both a global and localized practice? Why does thinking of the flow across media genres often default to a East-to-West phenomena? How do media creators consider glocalized practices and fan translation in production?

  • How does technology both help and hinder access, flow, and convergence in translation communities? How do these practices work within commercial practices?

  • What light can theorists of transcultural flow such as Iwabuchi, Yano, and Appadurai bring to the translation practices debate?


The project will run from February 1 through February 19 Responses are 400-600 words and typically focus on introducing concepts for larger discussion, with the idea that interested individuals will read and respond daily to engage authors in digital conversation. Proposals may be brief (a few sentences) and should state your topic and approach. You may submit as an individual or offer up a special cluster of responses with others. Submit proposals to by January 18th to be considered for inclusion in this project.

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