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Poll: Have you ever done subtitling?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 08:10
SITE STAFF
Mar 2, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever done subtitling?".

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 10:10
French to Spanish
+ ...
Yes. Mar 2, 2006

And I've been around for sometime now in Proz and I see a lot af confusion in beeing a subtitler and a translator for subtitling. Big, big difference.
Translate a prepared file (That is: with Time In, Time out, number of characters allowed, etc.) doesn't make a subtitler and the title of this thread should be changed to: Have you ever done translation "for" subtitling?
The subtitler has to do the job all the way: receive the material (DVD, Betacam, 35 mm., whatever...), make a lot of work and send a proper file to the translator, then make a lot of work more (proofreading, simulation, localization, etc.) in order to deliver a final product (DVD, Betacam, 35 mm., electronic subtitling, whatever...) Not the same thing, as you can see.
I also see sometimes colleagues with no experience in this field asking for "subtitling prices". Translation for subtitling and subtitling are very specific -and difficult- jobs. I always answer: "Don't do it!"

Juan.


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:10
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Once was enough Mar 3, 2006

and I was pretty green then (in fact, fresh from the egg)

The film was being sent abroad, like, say, yesterday (sound familiar?) so it was still being put together when I was called in and a screening was impossible. I was given a script and told to "keep it short" so it would fit the screen. So far so good; in those days, the battlecry was still "no guts no glory" (famous last words if I ever heard any)

One year later (the lapse between a filmfest and general patronage) I discovered that something I had understood as a proper name was a nickname related to the way the character looked -- the action was taking place in a jail, where such nicknames abound -- and I had left that untranslated. (The difference between one and the other was simply where the accent fell when you pronounced it, and I had not heard it pronounced).

So much for my ideas of breaking into big-time show business (I blew a filmfest, gleep)

So never again, not without a screening and careful consideration and NO RUSH JOBS IN THIS DEPARTMENT PLEASE!!

[Edited at 2006-03-03 11:47]


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 10:10
French to Spanish
+ ...
No screening! Mar 3, 2006

As Parrot says, with humour: clients sometimes ask you to translate a motion picture a WITHOUT EVEN SEE IT! And the results are very funny (and shamefull)!

In French into Spanish (sorry):

1.-

-Entre ta mère et moi, c'était une histoire de cul.

-Entre tu madre y yo, sólo era anal. (Debiera decir: ...de sexo.)

2.-

-La France, c'est comme ce grand chêne.

-Francia es como esta gran cadena. (Debiera decir: ...este gran roble.)

3.-

-Pour la photo ! Souris, souris !

-¡Para la foto! ¡Ratoncito, ratoncito! (Debiera decir: ¡Sonríe, sonríe!)

4.-

-Tire-toi, sale clebs !

-¡Quítate, clepsidra! (Debiera decir: ...perro pulguiento.)

5.-

-Quelle cloche !

-¡Qué campana! (Debiera decir: ¡Qué tonto!)

In English into Spanish:

1.-

-Eventualy, there were a lot of casualties.

-Eventualmente, hubo muchas casualidades. (Debiera decir: Finalmente hubo muchas bajas.)

2.-

-Where the hell are you?

-¿Dónde infiernos estás? (Debiera decir: ¿Dónde %$xx# estás?)

3.-

-You're wellcome.

-Eres bienvenido. (Debiera decir: De nada.)

Want more?


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:10
English to Spanish
+ ...
CONTEXT Mar 3, 2006

I've never done subtitling, but as in any job I always say "gimme CONTEXT".

Without it you're lost.


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JaneTranslates  Identity Verified
Puerto Rico
Local time: 11:10
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Only documentaries Mar 3, 2006

I'm not clear on everything Juan Jacob wrote, but I certainly am a translator, not a subtitler; I have no clue how the technical part is done.

I receive a documentary film on VHS or DVD. Previously I have had to do the transcription myself (which has the advantage of becoming very, very familiar with the film before starting to translate), but for the current project I received a transcription a few days later. With errors. For example, a boat-builder called himself a "carpintero de ribera" and the transcriber wrote "carpintero de Rivera." So I really prefer to do the transcribing myself!

I then translate the text, but don't have to worry too much about time. Usually, since it's documentaries, it's all either "talking heads" or voiceover, with interludes of scenery and music. When I see that I'm going to have to keep a particular section short, I do a condensed version, but usually it's pretty straight translating.

So I answered "yes" to the poll, but of course, I've done no subtitling, just translation for subtitling. Would NEVER consider doing it without having a copy of the film to watch repeatedly.


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Natalia Zudaire  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 12:10
English to Spanish
+ ...
Even only on transcription Mar 3, 2006

I was watching TV today, and the translator wrote "MaxRocks 20" instead of "Matchbox 20". I don't think a little pop culture for the translator of American Idol is too much to ask for.

Natalia


[Edited at 2006-03-03 04:49]


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Ma. Fernanda Blesa  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 12:10
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
subtitles Mar 3, 2006

Natalia Zudaire wrote:

I was watching TV today, and the translator wrote "MaxRocks 20" instead of "Matchbox 20". I don't think a little pop culture for the translator of American Idol is too much to ask for.

Natalia


[Edited at 2006-03-03 04:49]



ah!! Sony Entertainment Television is a fantastic source of "entertainment" for me hehe I must confess I watch American Idol too, but I didn't notice that one today

I remember I think it was "Twins", the movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger (sp?) and Danny De Vito, the two characters were running away from someone and they entered some building and there were some steps (as in stairs). One of them said "steps, steps" to indicate they should go that way, and the translation was "pasos" (as in footsteps), which made perfect sense as they were being followed.



[Edited at 2006-03-03 05:16]


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Carmen Schultz  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:10
English to Spanish
+ ...
Subtitling Mar 3, 2006

I did it for few months for movies that were going to video. It was interesting and I would not mind doing it again.

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Ikram Mahyuddin  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 22:10
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Not yet Mar 3, 2006

I never subtitle anything yet, but I am very interested in subtitling any movie in the future. Can you help me?

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Dina Abdo  Identity Verified
Palestine
Local time: 18:10
Member (2005)
Arabic
+ ...
Did it once! Mar 3, 2006

And it was such a BAD experience.

It was my first time working on subtitling, and I had to follow tons of rules from my demanding client who ended up to turn out as a non-payer!

I'll never do it again .. I guess


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Dusica Cook
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 17:10
English to Bosnian
+ ...
bosnia.... Mar 3, 2006

you should see what we get here! thankfully, i speak and understand english, so i do not need the subtitle...

i remember the first matrix... not even a remote similarity with what the film was about! horrible!

and then "only fools and horses" - god help us!

many, many other examples...

i have never done it, but i would love to try... maybe then i will not be as critical towards those who are doing it now as i am!


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:10
French to English
Yes and it has been great fun Mar 3, 2006

I've done it a few times, in a studio, with all sorts of lights, machines and strange buzzing sounds around me. It was good fun. I knew the subject matter inside out and it was intense, tough but great fun for a few days.

I have also done the time coded Word file type lots of times, but tend to record my version first.

In both cases, the footage has always been made available to me. How can you do a serious job otherwise?!

Also, means that at last some of the material you though about buying for home can be written off as expenses. It's just so hard to justify spending money on expenses when you're a translator !


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simona dachille  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:10
Italian to English
This is how I make my living! Mar 3, 2006

ProZ.com Staff wrote:

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever done subtitling?".

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


I translate for subtitling for a living. I really enjoy my work and avoid any other kind of translation. I work over the internet and don't even need to leave my house. I do films, both old and new, interviews and documentaries. I always have very tight deadlines and often work during the night but I don't mind as I do a job I love. I would like to learn how to so spottin but am always so bogged down with work that I never have time! Yes, it's true that often there are mistakes but hey! nobody's perfect! I'd rather die than do a legal translation or anything of the kind! I am at the moment looking for contacts to do this job in England. Any help ?


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:10
French to English
Just the once! Mar 3, 2006

I did the English subtitles for a promo DVD (about 15 minutes) for a long-standing client once. I didn't have any script, and the film consisted largely of blokes in hard hats mumbling jargon in front of clanking machinery. Even with the TV on window-rattling volume, I still couldn't hear what they said properly

I wouldn't want to make my living doing it, but it made an interesting change. I have a notion (backed up with my experience from watching subtitled films) that this is a field that ideally requires a team of native speakers of both source and target - source to make sure that the original is understood properly and not guessed at, and target to render it properly.


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