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Subtitle Workshop- Worth Giving it a Go for One Job?
Thread poster: Juliana Brown

Juliana Brown  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 11:47
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
May 13, 2008

A favourite client recently offered me the continuation of a project from long ago, which was a very simple transcription from a short medical video. As work was a bit slow then, I took it (usually I am not a transcriptionist; I took Latin instead of typing) and it was quick and easy and they were happy. Now the client is back with more, but this time they sent along a copy of Subtitle Workshop, asking if I could do more transcribing, but this time with the time coding. Having never done this I immediately said no thank you, but today they called again and said that it's just a matter of dropping the transcribed text in, and that there was no code-writing or html-style work involved.
I apologize if this sounds utterly ignorant- as I said, this is not my field. I would be humbly grateful however if one of my colleagues could tell me if what they say is true. I am always happy to improve my skills, and if this really is a piece of cake, I'll give it a go (and warn them that I'm new at this, so they are clear on that). If, however, this requires a couple of weeks of proper learning, then I am afraid I'll have to turn them down as I'm just too busy.
Thanks for any suggestions and advice.


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Shai Navé  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 18:47
Partial member
English to Hebrew
+ ...
If you got a template with time coding this shold be easy May 13, 2008

Hi,

If the clients provides you with a template that already includes the time coding for each line than it shouldn't be hard at all.
All you got to do is enter the sentenced on by one. The only potential issue I can foresee is that you might need to check that you didn't forget any sentence or mistyped it - meaning that you typed a long sentence whan actually because of subtitling rules, or any other constrain, was split in to two separate lines in the sodtware.
The software itself is really easy to work with (has of course much advances option, but if you only need to type the sentences than it is pretty straightforward). You have the time codes for each sentence (time of appearance and disappearance) on the left, and right next to it, the place to type in the sentence.
If you have the actual video file than you can watch it within the software and along you type which makes things much easier regardin split sentences and all.

I can only recommend that you come to an agreement with the client, take this job and try to do create subtitles only for the first 4 minutes or so. If all goes well than proceed, but if you encounter any problems than nothing happened, you didn't commit to the whole thing, and the client will have time to find a more proficient subtitler.
That said, I'm pretty sure that you will find it to be not such a difficult task.


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Juliana Brown  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 11:47
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Shai May 13, 2008

So, if I drop the movie into the program I can just type along next to the time codes? That would make life easier.

אפשר לפנות אליך אם יש לי שאלות?


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Shai Navé  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 18:47
Partial member
English to Hebrew
+ ...
It shold be easy May 13, 2008

If you have the template with all the time codes it should be as easy as watch, listen, type.
If you don't have the timecodes that becomes a much harder task (more time consuming at least).
Feel free to contact me with any question. I am not a professional, but I have some experience with the software.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:47
English to Portuguese
+ ...
How I do it May 14, 2008

Juliana,

I didn't get an accurate idea of what you are expected to do. I'll tell you how I translate videos in EN for subtitling in PT-BR.

First, this is my personal method, I translate the audio. I use Express Scribe, freeware drom http://www.nch.com.au/scribe/ which is a powerful dictaphone/dictograph, whatever you call it, in your computer.

You must know the standard the video "typesetter" will use, i.e. how many chars per line. Usually the limit is 2 lines. My standard is 32 ch/line, with tolerance up to 35.

Then I set up Windows Notepad (WNP hereon) with the following line:
12345678901234567890123456789012|12345678901234567890123456789012
The [|] character is the symbol for line break in one subtitle. I set the WNP to word wrap, and adjust its width exactly to the line above, so I'll know when I've gone overboard with char count.

Using WNP and Express Scribe, I make all my subtitles, and save it as a TXT file. I use the free Media Subtitler from http://www.divxland.org/subtitler.php just to open that TXT file and save it as a SSA (my favorite - there are dozens of subtitle file formats - check which one your client wants). You'll get a warning that no timecodes have been set. Actually you could do the spotting with this program, but it takes a barrel of adrenalin.

Then open the SSA and the video file in Subtitle Workshop, free from http://www.urusoft.net/download.php?lang=1&id=sw and go timespotting it. As you'll see the video there, if there is anything else left to translate, e.g. titles, signs, you may insert subtitles with [Ins] below, or [Shift]+[Ins] above where you are.

I hope you'll find all the instructions you need. If you want to go deeper into that, most of what I learned about subtitling, DVD, etc - before my intuition could take over - came from http://www.videohelp.com.

Good luck!


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Juliana Brown  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 11:47
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks so much May 14, 2008

I was hoping you might write in, since I know from other postings that you do a lot of this. As I said, this is a special favour for a PM I really like, who does not seem too clear herself on what the client wants.
Supposedly they'll send me the video and I'm meant to transcribe the dialogue into Subtitle Workshop, with time coding. The question is, will they send me a video with time coding in it, or does that get done automatically if I run it in Subtitle Workshop?
The file's not coming for a month, so I should have time to play around with it.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:47
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Both lost in the woods? May 14, 2008

Apparently neither you nor the friendly PM know exactly what is the goal in this project.

Apparently you understand Portuguese (checked your CV), so you might get some ideas from my corporate video localization guide at http://www.lamensdorf.com.br/jhlvideo.pdf . Please bear in mind that it is intended for a manager in a multinational company in Brazil who received "a video from headquarters".

There is a whole technique for subtitling. Some good basic guidance may be found at http://www.proz.com/doc/32 .

If you are subtitling into Hebrew, forget about cutting it short. AFAIK the translation from any other language will always fit the screen with plenty of room left.

You seem concerned about the timecodes. Timecodes on the video itself are useful for dubbing. It beats me why, but videotape operators seldom reset their counters to zero before recording. Don't bother about these.

Subtitle Workshop does start every individual file from zero. So, spotting is a matter of marking the "in" and "out" of each subtitle while watching the video. As you are thoroughly multilingual (like any Hebrew speaker I've ever met), you will be glad to know that SW has a "translate" feature: you can use the subtitles/spotting in one language to translate them into another, side by side, so you won't have to do the spotting again.

Give the program a try, save files often, and maybe over time you'll have yet another specialty in translation.


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Juliana Brown  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 11:47
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I appreciate your generosity May 14, 2008

and help on this. I will definitely have a look at it.
Like most of us, I'm happy to gain a new skill/ability, but I usually try to start from the beginning and learn it properly. This time I'm just diving in, so luckily I have some time to play with it.


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