Subtitling for the hard of hearing and job opportunities
Thread poster: Raffaella Bagnara

Raffaella Bagnara
Local time: 05:04
Italian to English
+ ...
Jun 9, 2008

Hello,
I am facing a dilemma and I was wondering if someone working in the subtitling field could help me out. I am a free lance translator with some experience in subtitling. I really enjoyed the subtitling jobs I have carried out and was thinking of getting some sort of formal academic specialization in the field. I have been browsing on the net and it seems to me that London is the best place for these types of courses. Needless to say that London is also extremely expensive (and so are the courses I've considered) so I'm wondering if it's really worth my while to join such a course. Basically I'm wondering what will this course give me that I can't just learn on my own? Also, someone on this forum suggested Roehampton University for subtitling courses for the hard of hearing. Honestly I have no clue what this technique implies but it sounds rather interesting and I thought maybe this could help me find my little "market niche" to work in. I would love to hear from someone who works in this specific sector....Are there really jobs for this? I'm living in Rome and would like to continue living here even after the course at Roehampton (if I decide to join). Does anyone know if there is a market for this in Italy? What about subtitling schools in Italy, can anyone suggest a school that offers high quality courses and somewhat "guarantees" job placements?
Thanks to all who can give me some advice.
Raffaella

[Edited at 2008-06-09 13:47]


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fionainrome
Local time: 05:04
English to Italian
+ ...
Don't do it Jun 16, 2008

Raffaella Bagnara wrote:
Also, someone on this forum suggested Roehampton University for subtitling courses for the hard of hearing. Honestly I have no clue what this technique implies but it sounds rather interesting and I thought maybe this could help me find my little "market niche" to work in....Does anyone know if there is a market for this in Italy? What about subtitling schools in Italy, can anyone suggest a school that offers high quality courses and somewhat "guarantees" job placements?
Thanks to all who can give me some advice.
Raffaella

[Edited at 2008-06-09 13:47]


I live in Italy too and I do not do subtitling for the hard of hearing, just plain translation, but I work in an office where other people do ("per sordomuti" from Italian into Italian, so this includes transcription, "rilevamento" of the audio and time coding). So this is different from what you were looking for, but since you were asking about techniques etc here goes... They have no qualification whatsoever and when one drops out, someone else (usually a friend of one of the girls) is summoned to take the place of the drop out and hastily taught (by one of her colleagues) how to do the job.

Their working hours are terryfying and they have to work in the office and not from home (which is pretty bad when you have to stay at work till 9.pm on X-mas Eve). Also, you'll have to get registered for VAT (P. Iva) I don't know if you already are, but if you earn over 5,000 euros a year you will have to because no one will give you a contract in this field. This means you'll have to pay around 40% tax on what you earn.

I would advise you not to spend your money on a course if you are planning on working in Italy, this usually scares clients off because they know you'll expect to be paid more money. I hope it's not the same with all companies, but I have worked for three here and they were/are all the same.

This said, subtitling for the hard of hearing is not a niche market at all and I don't even think it's that hard to get a job in this field if you want to (I'm talking from Italian into Italian in this case, I don't know about other languages). Just do a little research and get a list of addresses on the internet and send off your cv with a presentation letter. I think they are always looking for new people or substitutes at the very least.

Personally I've found that working with foreign companies is far better in many ways.

If you have any questions you can even send me a private message if you prefer.
Ciao for now.


[Edited at 2008-06-16 17:53]


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SilviuM
Romania
Local time: 06:04
Romanian to English
+ ...
Are you joking? :) Jun 16, 2008

You have a dark room, where a door squeaks while slowly enters the murderer,.. and you say... '* door squeaking *' Why? Because a deaf or a hard-of-hearing person cannot hear (accurately) the squeaking sound in all that darkness, of course, thus not knowing what exactly happens, and you like to... transmit this chill down to his/her spine by typing what happens of importance. And, of course, you set the timing right, not when you see the murderer's (cloaked) face or hand or... foot.

And another one! You have a villain laughing to himself/herself, but you can't see his/her mouth. Maybe you only see him/her from behind; the back of his/her head(!) So, what do you do? While the camera focuses on his/her eyes, let's say, you type: '* X's laughing diabolically *' Why diabolical? Well, usually, while subtitling a B-rated movie, which involves 100% such low-rated scenario AND acting, the villain almost every time laughs this way. Because he/she's paranoid etc, etc. So, you'll have to... caption the obvious, I suppose.

Now, let's recap: only events of MAJOR importance to SOME scenes are to be described in a movie because, well, it's NOT a novel, which would be 100% description.

So, we have...

'PR: (sharply) Baldrick!
B: Yes, Your Highness?
PR: Is it true? Did you really write a poem about how lovely I am?
B: (fondly) Yes, and Mr. Blackadder loves you too. (smiles sweetly)
PR: Well I must say. I find that very touching. I do.
(The bell rings again.)
PR: I wish they wouldn't keep on doing that.
'
('Blackadder III', 'Dual and Duality').

... which can be re-written somewhat like this:


'Baldrick!

Y-Y-Yes, Your Highness?..

Is it true?

Did you really write a poem...

about how lovely I am?

Yes...

... and Mr. Blackadder loves you too.

Well, I must say...

... I find that very touching. I do.

* bell ringing insistently *

I wish they wouldn't keep on doing that!..
'


Why not clear indications HERE as to who's speaking? Because they are all quite visible in the scene. But the annoying bell is not; it's behind the Prince. Oh, and when you have to describe an emphasis and/or a shout, use capitals:

'E: Tell me, do you ever stop bullying and shouting at the lower orders?
W: NEVER! There's only one way to win a campaign: shout, shout and shout again.
'
('Blackadder III', 'Dual and Duality')

into...

'Tell me...

do you ever stop bullying and shouting at the lower orders?

NEVER!

There's only one way to win a campaign: shout, shout and shout again!
'


~ S.M. ~

[Editat la 2008-06-16 22:49]


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Raffaella Bagnara
Local time: 05:04
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Terribly sad :(( Jun 18, 2008

fionainrome wrote:

Raffaella Bagnara wrote:
Also, someone on this forum suggested Roehampton University for subtitling courses for the hard of hearing. Honestly I have no clue what this technique implies but it sounds rather interesting and I thought maybe this could help me find my little "market niche" to work in....Does anyone know if there is a market for this in Italy? What about subtitling schools in Italy, can anyone suggest a school that offers high quality courses and somewhat "guarantees" job placements?
Thanks to all who can give me some advice.
Raffaella

[Edited at 2008-06-09 13:47]


I live in Italy too and I do not do subtitling for the hard of hearing, just plain translation, but I work in an office where other people do ("per sordomuti" from Italian into Italian, so this includes transcription, "rilevamento" of the audio and time coding). So this is different from what you were looking for, but since you were asking about techniques etc here goes... They have no qualification whatsoever and when one drops out, someone else (usually a friend of one of the girls) is summoned to take the place of the drop out and hastily taught (by one of her colleagues) how to do the job.

Their working hours are terryfying and they have to work in the office and not from home (which is pretty bad when you have to stay at work till 9.pm on X-mas Eve). Also, you'll have to get registered for VAT (P. Iva) I don't know if you already are, but if you earn over 5,000 euros a year you will have to because no one will give you a contract in this field. This means you'll have to pay around 40% tax on what you earn.

I would advise you not to spend your money on a course if you are planning on working in Italy, this usually scares clients off because they know you'll expect to be paid more money. I hope it's not the same with all companies, but I have worked for three here and they were/are all the same.

This said, subtitling for the hard of hearing is not a niche market at all and I don't even think it's that hard to get a job in this field if you want to (I'm talking from Italian into Italian in this case, I don't know about other languages). Just do a little research and get a list of addresses on the internet and send off your cv with a presentation letter. I think they are always looking for new people or substitutes at the very least.

Personally I've found that working with foreign companies is far better in many ways.

If you have any questions you can even send me a private message if you prefer.
Ciao for now.


[Edited at 2008-06-16 17:53]


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Raffaella Bagnara
Local time: 05:04
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
terribly sad :(( Jun 18, 2008

Hi Fiona,
thanks for your reply, although you really have just confirmed many of my suspects on the subtitling field, at least here in Italy, and I can't say I feel terribly relieved!! My experience up to now has not been soooo horrible but I haven't been doing subtitles for the past two years or so, so maybe things have gotten worse in the meantime. Also, I really thought that it was precisely becaude I didn't have any formal qualification that I wasn't getting the best jobs. Now I'm really questioning whether such a thing as a good job exists here Italy
I'd be very motivated to specialize in this field if only I thought it would make a difference. The courses are not exactly cheap and it would be nice to think that job opportunities broaden once you are more qualified and not the contrary!!
You spoke of working for foreign companies as much better (not very hard to believe), but are there really so many foreign subtitling companies in Italy? I don't personally know of any...And don't THEY at least appreciate or expect you to be properly qualified??
By the way, I'm new at prozcom so I'm not entirely sure how to go about answering you privately...sorry...!!


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SilviuM
Romania
Local time: 06:04
Romanian to English
+ ...
That different?! :) Jun 18, 2008

Yes, well, I suppose that our two countries are not that different, after all: they both try to rub people of money.

Seriously now, if you DO want to help the deaf and/or the hard-of-hearing persons, just do what I do and what all of the other Web-based courses recommend us to do in such a field: outline the important scenes which are... not quite visible (see above).


~ S.M. ~


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Raffaella Bagnara
Local time: 05:04
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the advice Jun 18, 2008

Ok Silviu,
I'll keep it mind, your explanation was definitely helpful and clear....hope I'll have a chance to use your precious advice!
By the way, like your costume (if that's you...).


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