Fan translation is a translation that is not officially recognised, but is used for the translating of both written and multimedia products. The translators are called fans and unlike certified translation services professionals, have not received any formal education in the art of translating. They often volunteer to translate such things as television series, movies and other audiovisual products.
Fansubbing is the name given to translating movie and TV subtitles. The most common fansubbing is turning English into other languages mostly for Hollywood movies, and US TV drama programmes. When it comes to using English in subtitles entertainment from East Asia is most commonly translated.
Fan translation for video games has risen recently, focusing mainly on the older versions of 1990s games. Scanlation is the translating of comics where the fans go about scanning the comics ad transforming them into images on their computers. They then translate the words placed on the pictures. These translations normally stay in the electronic format and are distributed to viewers and buyers. Groups of fans also act as Fandubbers which is when movies, TV programmes and video games are dubbed. This is an area of translation which is unlikely to see being the work of a NAATI translation professional. Fan translation also takes place for the translating of written fiction, normally short stories.
The fan translation of audiovisual materials, such as anime, first started in the 1980s when fans were offering to provide better translations than ones that at the time were being used in their dubbed form on TV networks located outside Japan.
The earliest fandubbing and fansubbing attempts concerned the manipulating of VHS tapes which was often expensive and took up a lot of time. The first ever reported fansub was the film, Lupin III, that took place in the U.S. in the 1980s. This translation task needed one hundred hours of work just for a single episode!