The Europeana XX: Subtitle-a-thon Challenge Amsterdam

Do you speak Dutch and English and are you an audiovisual archives enthusiast? Then join us for the Europeana XX: Subtitle-a-thon Challenge Amsterdam! Share your language and subtitling skills, receive a participation certificate and win prizes!

The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, The European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) Cluster The Netherlands, and the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics are pleased to invite you to a subtitle-a-thon focused on audiovisual heritage.

The kick-off of the subtitle-a-thon takes place on Sunday, September 26th at 15.00 CET as part of one of the activities celebrating the European Day of Languages 2021. The event will start with a two-hour introductory session and will run online for seven days with a closing session on Saturday, October 2nd at 17.00 CET. The event will be held in English. Registration opens on September 7th  at 15.00 CET at

Making AV heritage more accessible

The Subtitle-a-thons are four sprint-like online events organised by the Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum – DFF (Germany), The Istituto Luce Cinecittà (Italy), the National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute – FINA (Poland) and, the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision – NISV (The Netherlands). During the events, people with different language skills work together toward a common goal: to create and add different subtitles to archival media fragments from various European collections.

The aim of the subtitle-a-thon initiative is to engage language learners and students in a playful way with multilinguality and audiovisual archival material, while raising awareness about the value of multilingual access to AV archival footage. The events also hope to promote European national languages and to stimulate discussions around the value of language, and thereby increasing the interest of local communities in 20th-century cultural heritage. The subtitle-a-thons are educational activities highlighting the profession of translators. The subtitles produced in the event do not intend to compete with nor to replace professional level translation.

Join the Amsterdam Challenge

The event targets youngsters and adults interested in audiovisual heritage, language and multilingualism. And more specifically, students, translators, language teachers and followers of advanced language courses (C1 and above). It is eligible only for participants fluent in Dutch, Flemish, and English. Participants will be invited to work individually, using a specialised media player with a subtitle editor, to subtitle the available audiovisual material. The winners of the Subtitle-a-thon Challenge Amsterdam will receive online prizes and all entrants will receive a participation certificate.

The participants will be subtitling short clips coming from the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision archival collection, as well as from the British Broadcasting Corporation.

We invite you to:

  • Create subtitles for a variety of short audiovisual clips, such as (but not limited to) newsreels, short documentaries and clips about art and culture.
  • Test a new tool and your language skills in a friendly and fun environment.
  • At the same time join the community of language enthusiasts and audiovisual heritage fans.
  • Win a prize (ecomondo gift cards) for becoming one of the best Europeana XX subtitlers!

Learn more about the event and register today for free here:

About Europeana XX

Europeana XX: Subtitle-a-thon Challenge Amsterdam is hosted by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision under Europeana XX: Century of Change, an EU-funded project dedicated to opening up 20th-century digital heritage collections, highlighting the changes that shaped Europe and still impact our world and lives today. Europeana XX is part of the Europeana family of initiatives supporting European cultural heritage institutions in sharing their digitised collections. Millions of digital objects from all across Europe are showcased on, the trusted portal for digital cultural heritage in Europe.


Explore the collections and stories from 20th-century history and culture through the Europeana XX editorials at

For more information about the Europeana XX project please visit:

ONLINE EVENT: Expand your knowledge of language and culture through films and subtitling

Leiden Translation would like to bring to your attention the following ONLINE EVENT, co-organized and funded by EUNIC and the Directorate-General for Translation of the European Commission:

Expand your knowledge of language and culture through films and subtitling

23 February 2021, 19:30 to 21:00 | OBA Online

How to expand your knowledge of language and culture by watching (subtitled) films? What exactly is involved in the art of subtitling films? How much of the original language and culture really comes across in subtitled films? And what are the effects of subtitles on our approach, interpretation, reception and appreciation of films and cinema?

Professional subtitler Peter Bosma, MA talks with Dr. Marie-Aude Baronian about choosing the right words and finding the right nuances when subtitling foreign films. Without providing a definitive answer to the question of whether film is “translatable” at all, they examine what is important in translating film and where translating words becomes translating culture. Together they investigate how subtitles contribute to a better understanding of foreign languages and cultures, or how they hinder them.

There is the opportunity to ask questions after the discussion.

With fragments from the films Calendar (1993) by Canadian-Armenian filmmaker Atom Egoyan and BlacKkKlansman (2018) by American filmmaker Spike Lee, and a video message by Michael Haneke. Recording images from these film clips is not allowed.

Marie-Aude Baronian is an Associate Professor of Film and Visual Culture at the University of Amsterdam. Her most recent monographic book is Screening Memory: The Prosthetic Images of Atom Egoyan (Royal Academy Belgium, 2017).

Peter Bosma studied English Language and Literature in Groningen and has been working as a subtitler for television and cinema since 1995. He is also a freelance editor and a board member of the Subtitles Department of the Dutch “Auteursbond”.

View the program via this Zoom LINK. Online from 23 February, 7:30 PM

This event is co-organized and funded by EUNIC and the Directorate-General for Translation of the European Commission.

19:30 introduction by the European Commission
19:40 conversation between Marie-Aude Baronian and Peter Bosma, moderated by Emma Hartkamp (European Commission)
20:15 question and answer session
21:00 end