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Off topic: Seeking fellow subtitlers around the world!
Thread poster: Adepto Norway

Adepto Norway  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:49
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Oct 29, 2005

Hello!

Are there any fellow subtitlers out there?

Get on board - let's get to know eachother!

Write a few words on who you are, where you live, what you do, etc.

Why do you do subtitling? What do you love about it? What do you NOT love about it?
Etc...etc...etc...


Looking forward to seeing this thread grow - and to find some colleagues out there!

Inger Lise, Norway


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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 23:49
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Why not meeting each other in person? Oct 29, 2005

Hi,
In less then one month the ProZ.com Conference will take place in Kraków, Poland where one of the sessions will be a discussion meeting between subtitlers. See the Subtitlers Discussion Group session.
25 participants already signed up - why not join them?

Best,
Magda


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 15:49
French to Spanish
+ ...
Subtitlers or translators for subtitling? Oct 29, 2005

Anyway, I do both.
I began as a translator for subtitling here in Mexico.
I have now a little company specialized in electronic subtitling for film festivals in Mexico and Chile. The subtitles, previously prepared of course, are projected in a little screen above the big one, and it works quite well.
Here in Mexico, translators for subtitling MUST write down in the software Time In and Time Out... oh, I hate that! Well, I don't do it anymore... I have a group of translators who do it!
I hate dealing with people who think they can translate a movie "because they know little English and that's easy to do, isn't it?"

Auviovisual translation is quite an art: you have to translate, of course, but you also have to adapt, to resume what actors say because the lack of time on screen. Then, rythm and subtitles sincronicity are a must. Finaly, I do hardly insist to translate into "real Spanish": no censorship at all and use of local expressions and vocabulary. I hate "neutral Spanish".

I love my job: I see good cinema and I like to see things wrote "as they must be", in spanish we use everyday. And... well... I make not bad money, should I say.

I'd love to go to Krakow but... it's quite far and expensive, I presume! Cheers to all ovethere!

(And please, excuse my poor English writing).

Juan.


[Edited at 2005-10-29 16:05]


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Nora Diaz  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 14:49
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I'm new to the field and loving it! Oct 29, 2005

I'm new to subtitling, so I don't know if I qualify as a subtitler just yet.

For the past couple of months I have been devoting about 30% of my time to translating subtitles. I get the timed scripts so I don't really have to spot the video. It's great fun and a nice break from the technical translation I do the rest of the time.

I have also completed a few projects for direct clients where all I've gotten is the original video/DVD, and I've had to create the spotting file, subtitles and finished DVD/tape.

I'm curious about one thing: I've experimented with several workflows to see what works best for me, and I'd like to know what works best for others. Here are my options (this applies to projects for which I get the timed script):

a) Translate the whole script first, then watch the video and edit the translation as needed.

b) Watch the video first, then translate the script.

c) Watch the video as I translate, pausing the video every few subtitles.

I have done all three to see which would be the most time-efficient, and so far, option c seems to be the best, option a the second best, and option b by far the worst (I need to watch the video again anyway, so that doubles my "watching" time).

About meeting in person, I agree with Juan, Krakow is just too far and expensive for us in Mexico. Hopefully there will be a conference in the American continent in the near future.

- Nora


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Adepto Norway  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:49
English to Norwegian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
From the other side of the world... Oct 30, 2005

Hi Nora and Juan! Great to "meet" you

Hopefully we will be able to get a lot of people to take part in this informal attempt to make a "subtitling" part of this forum.

Or to the moderators: is it possible to get a separate part of the forum for subtitling? Hope so!

Anyway, I am Inger Lise from Norway, and I have been doing subtitling for about a year. I do approximately 50 % subtitling and 50 % regular translations, as I work fulltime (++) as a freelance translator.
However, even though the industry of subtitling is paying less - it is by far the most fun thing to do in my opinion. I just love it....

Nora, I have to agree with you on your option C. Even though I sometimes do option B if it is a difficult film or subject, in order to get the "full picture" before I start. The reason for this is that sometimes I suddenly realize something way out in the film, that changes quite a bit of what I did earlier. So I have to back and correct. I also like knowing how the "level" of the job is (is it difficult, straight forward, etc.), and avoid surprises. But of course, yes, it doubles your viewing time, as you would have to see the final version in the end.
Generally, though, option C is a good approach.

What do you think of idioms (regular and fixed expressions) when subtitling? How do you handle those translations in order to concey the correct meaning(which I believe is the most difficult part for a subtitler).?

Great meeting you!

Inger Lise


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Bianca AH  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:49
French to English
+ ...
Researching subtitling Oct 30, 2005

Dear subtitlers out there,

I'm writing my MA thesis on a South African film ("Hijack Stories") which was subtitled (then dubbed) into French. I'm looking mostly at the journey the film made, from South Africa to France, but aspects of its screen translation will certainly be considered.

The research is in its early stages, but further down the line I'd be delighted if I could rely on any of you (being experts!) with questions regarding subtitling. You will, of course, be duly cited at the end of the thesis.

Thanks Inger - your topic definitely caught my eye!

Kindest regards,
Bianca


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Nora Diaz  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 14:49
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Idioms, puns and cultural references: the greatest headache Oct 30, 2005

What do you think of idioms (regular and fixed expressions) when subtitling? How do you handle those translations in order to concey the correct meaning(which I believe is the most difficult part for a subtitler).?



Hi Inger,

I agree that idioms can be difficult. I try hard to find an equivalent expression in the target language, but you know how it is, it's not always possible. Whenever there are puns, however, it's virtually impossible to translate them and make them work as intended. : (


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 17:49
SITE FOUNDER
I created a forum for discussions related to subtitling Oct 30, 2005

Inger Lise Saeter wrote:

Hi Nora and Juan! Great to "meet" you

Hopefully we will be able to get a lot of people to take part in this informal attempt to make a "subtitling" part of this forum.

Or to the moderators: is it possible to get a separate part of the forum for subtitling? Hope so!


Good suggestion. Here you go: http://www.proz.com/forum/123 (forum 1-2-3)


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VivianeB
Local time: 16:49
English to French
+ ...
E-F subtitling in Montreal, Canada Oct 31, 2005

Hi,

I have a university degree in translation and 3 years of experience in E-F technical translation, but in June of 2004, I got myself a job as caption editor. I've been working full time doing closed-captioning of TV shows of all types since then, both in English and French, but during the past few months, I also started putting my translation skills to use at work. Subtitling is done with the same software we use for closed-captioning, so I also view the video files I translate and insert the time codes at the appropriate places, making sure each subtitle will appear for at least 3 seconds on screen if it's a full 2 lines of text (2 seconds if it's one line).

Next January, I'll be taking a university course dealing with both subtitling and dubbing (no separate courses offered in my area). I'm very happy to be doing this in addition to closed-captioning because it keeps me on my toes.

Viviane


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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:49
Member (2005)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
3 seconds for two full lines? Oct 31, 2005

Hi,
I am an old hand at subtitling. You name it, I have done it.
So I am a bit surprised about Viviane giving at least 3 seconds for two full lines. One line requires 2.12-3 seconds, and two full lines 5-7 seconds. For two FULL lines 4 seconds is the minimum, and if there is less time, the text should be edited to make it shorter.

The other aspect is, that if your original text is in English, and it is to be translated, a number of other languages may struggle to fit the same text into the same amount of space. English words tend to be relatively short. Consequently it may be better to split the subtitle, or instead of two very full, long ones to make it into three 'looser' ones, if it is the same person talking.

Those companies who do a lot of subtitling usually copy the videos onto CD-s, and with the appropriate program it is much easier to work on them.

The 'C' method Nora mentioned is the usual working method. It helps to see the whole program first, but we seldom have the time for that. Note taking is a must. As you go along, you may notice that certain aspects are becoming clearer, and some adjustments are necessary on previous subtitles. No point to go to and fro, but make a note to remember these adjustments when you review the lot.

Judith


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 15:49
French to Spanish
+ ...
Minimum 1 second, maximum 5 seconds. Nov 1, 2005

I agree with juvera.
Even subtitles like:
No. = 1 second on screen.
Lines are about 35 caracters lenght.
Two lines, let's says 70 caracters = 5 seconds on screen.
After 5 seconds subtitle, we usualy change to another subtitle.
Saludos.


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lim0nka  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:49
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Greetings from Poland Nov 2, 2005

Hi! I’ve been subtitling films for 12 years now. In the beginning I only translated the text, but for the last three years I have been also timing the subtitles which is a great fun and I must say I really enjoy my work.

Nora Diaz wrote:
Here are my options (this applies to projects for which I get the timed script):
a) Translate the whole script first, then watch the video and edit the translation as needed.
b) Watch the video first, then translate the script.
c) Watch the video as I translate, pausing the video every few subtitles.


When I get a video and a list of subtitles to be translated, I usually choose to watch the film while translating it, and stop every few subtitles. However, when I have a really good film, option B seems best – it’s easier to feel the atmosphere of it when you know the whole story, from the beginning to the end.

Inger Lise Saeter wrote:
What do you think of idioms (regular and fixed expressions) when subtitling? How do you handle those translations in order to convey the correct meaning (which I believe is the most difficult part for a subtitler)?


They can be a nightmare, can’t they? Especially when you translate TV shows or sitcoms. Every time I receive a TV series like that I am worried that I won’t be able to convey the meaning of such an expression or of a pun. But when I succeed, the feeling is great! A real feeling of achievement.

Viviane Blais wrote:
I translate and insert the time codes at the appropriate places, making sure each subtitle will appear for at least 3 seconds on screen if it's a full 2 lines of text (2 seconds if it's one line).


It seems every country has different rules. The ones I have to abide by say: the shortest subtitle may not be shorter than 1 second, the longest one – no longer than 8 seconds. But these apply to TV shows only. When working for the cinema we should divide subtitles longer than 6-7 seconds.

There is one thing that really annoys me in this work: time pressure. The rates in Poland are quite low and even international companies tend to think life is so cheap here they can offer us ridiculous money, so we have to work more in order to earn a decent living. I usually translate and time-cue 150-200 minutes a week, but in "hot" weeks (before Christmas or in summer) I sometimes work on up to 300 minutes a week. It’s OK when it’s an easy to translate feature film, but when it comes to more complicated text I feel my translation isn’t as good as it should be. And then I see my name on the screen...

Anetta

P.S. Thank you Henry for creating a new forum especially for us.


[Edited at 2005-11-02 00:20]


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Adepto Norway  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:49
English to Norwegian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for creating this forum! Nov 2, 2005

Henry, thanks so much for setting up this separate forum. I am impressed - it took just a few hours from my e-mail was sent to the development team before this forum was created. Excellent job!

Inger Lise


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Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 23:49
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
Watching & Translating Nov 2, 2005

Hi,



The other aspect is, that if your original text is in English, and it is to be translated, a number of other languages may struggle to fit the same text into the same amount of space. English words tend to be relatively short. Consequently it may be better to split the subtitle, or instead of two very full, long ones to make it into three 'looser' ones, if it is the same person talking.


True, but this is true whenever the structure or the rhythm of the source language is very different from that of the target one.

I am asked to limit lines to 38 chars each, not more than two lines together. Trying to fit the Italian (wordy per se) version in is a nightmere sometimes...

As to the method, I first watch the video as a whole (but I admit I work on "short" videos with a lot of interviews) and then translate while watching (and stopping) the video.

It is a challenging and time consuming work, but I like it perhaps more than usual translations

Giuliana


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VivianeB
Local time: 16:49
English to French
+ ...
Number of seconds per line Nov 3, 2005

[quote]Viviane Blais wrote:
I also view the video files I translate and insert the time codes at the appropriate places, making sure each subtitle will appear for at least 3 seconds on screen if it's a full 2 lines of text (2 seconds if it's one line).

Thanks to all for your comments. My employer is new to subtitling so we're working based on what the client is happy with and not on industry standards. I translate documentaries for TV, not movies, so there might be a lot more talking going on. But when I only have 3 seconds to give for 2 lines, I make sure the text isn't full length (33 characters per line).

You also have to take into account what we call in French "les changements de plan", and they don't always allow for 4 seconds, with or without overlapping. Anyway, I'll know better once I take my subtitling course next January.

Viviane


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