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The audience’s reluctance to wait for the international release of audiovisual products, coupled with the easy access to audiovisual material and subtitling tools on the Internet, has triggered an increase in the production and use of non-professional subtitling. However, up to now, we know little of how people receive the subtitles and how much they understand when watching products with non-professional subtitles. This paper presents the results of a study that explores the audience reception of subtitled TV series using professional and non-professional subtitling. Fifty-two participants were shown three excerpts from The Big Bang Theory with three subtitled versions: the professional version extracted from the Spanish DVD and two non-professional versions produced by two different nonprofessional subtitling communities. Data were collected through questionnaires, eye tracking and interviews. The results show that non-professional subtitles do not necessarily affect audience reception negatively. Further, both eye tracking and self-reported data yielded interesting insights into audience reception. Based on the findings, it is possible to say that there are non-professional translations that are as good as their professional counterparts.

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