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Subtitling: a resource to be emphasized
Thread poster: Marcia Andrade

Marcia Andrade  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:14
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Oct 21, 2008

I would like to suggest the emphasis on subtitling, since it is a very interesting and profitable market to work in, and in constant expansion. Translators could be directed to it, through this powerful channel,, and find a way to profit.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:14
English to Portuguese
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I think I missed your point Oct 21, 2008

Marcia, I failed to get the idea, i.e. o que você quer dizer com isso?

Where do you want anyone to emphasize subtitling?

Also, it's not something that any translator is able, or even willing to do. It requires specific skills that - of course - can be developed, but also the bravery to face and solve complex technical problems the client is not even aware of.

Right now I'm subtitling some videos for a new client, who was referred to me by a colleague highly regarded for her legal translation skills. However she told me herself that she'll ask her husband to put a DVD in the player when she wants to watch it. She keeps my phone handy, so if any client tells her "I have a video..." she'll give them my number and step out.

Profitable? Not so much. Maybe for those mainstream sitcoms where the translator gets the full script, and is unusually fast on the keyboard. But I wouldn't think so. Competition is fierce, and everybody seeks rock-bottom rates.

Anyway, for me video translation for dubbing is a job in itself. However as I run the whole nine yards in subtitling, sometimes from an original that is still on VHS tape, to a fully interactive DVD, translation for subtitling it's simply one step of the way.

Some clients just want the translated subs. Others want them time-spotted, too. And there are those who want the complete DVD. I wouldn't know where I would put the emphasis, as any step in the process can ruin the whole outcome.

Since you are interested, you may find some material worth reading in the ideas I've put together at . (It's in Portuguese, folks!)

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Marcia Andrade  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:14
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Re: Subtitling: a resource to be emphasized Oct 21, 2008

Well, if you look so, the translators of subtitling are going to resign, rsrs
There should be really an emphasis in the CARREER , yes, it is a profitable market, where a translator may find a continuous source of income, to add to the not so regular ones.

The more regular source of income he finds, the better. The one who does not struggle to find, to develop, to improve his conditions of work, so, things will be as they are. Think you have got to go for it, if you want it. That's it.

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CynthiaPiaud  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:14
English to French
Do you subtitle? Nov 5, 2008

Hello Marcia,

I would agree with José Henrique on the point of profitability.
Being a full-time subtitler, yes there is work, but at what price? It depends hugely on the country where you work (rates vary enormously) and don't forget you also have to invest in the software and be super fast if you want it to be profitable enough to justify the time it takes to master.
It is a very interesting skill to have, indeed, but I wouldn't encourage anyone to go for subtitling only (unless you love American tv-reality so much you don't mind doing that most of the time
As for it being in "full expansion", perhaps, but it means there is also massive competition and shrinking prices by the day. You also have to be flexible enough to do not only multilingual subtitling but also subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing, voice over... all of which require specific skills.... if you want to survive.

Anyhow, as you said, it's up to everyone's choice!
Good luck


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