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what do you think of the subtitling course in London offered by The Centre for Language Studies
Thread poster: Florence Stubbs

Florence Stubbs
France
Local time: 11:59
English to French
Mar 30, 2006

Hi everyone,
I'm thinking about doing a subtitling course to broader my translation skills. I know that there is a course in london starting in April, offered by the Centre for Language Studies.
Does anyone know this course ? HAve you done it yourself? Was it worth it?
thanks for your help.
Flo


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Maria Boschero  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 06:59
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
I´d also like to know about subtitling Mar 30, 2006

Hi Flo,
I don´t know about the course you´re asking but I would also like to know about these courses and how you can start in the business of subtitling. Have you seen this link www.dotsub.com advertised in this site? Does anybody know about courses on subtitling somewhere in Argentina?
Fernanda


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Rita Bilancio  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:59
English to Italian
+ ...
hi flo! Mar 31, 2006

Hi flo,
I saw that this course and I think it will be useful. I don't know if it is worth it. I could try to post the message in the Italian forum to see if somedody attended it in the past!!!
Please let me know if you find any other info.

Thanx.

Rita


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Florence Stubbs
France
Local time: 11:59
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Hi Maria Mar 31, 2006

Yes, I saw that link yesterday but I haven't really "explored" the website yet. I'll probably do that at the weekend. I'm not sure i'm interrested in "on line" training though, if this is what this website offers. I feel more confortable learning things directly with a "real" teacher/tutor and other studients.
I'll let you know after the weekend what I've found out.
Cheers,
Flo


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Translation22
English
Course in Subtitling for Translators Sep 8, 2006

I did the Course in Subtitling for Translators at the Centre for Language Studies, London City University.
The course was 6 weeks: two evenings (3 hours each evening) a week for the first 3 weeks and then 3 more weeks one evening a week.
On the first 3 weeks we learnt about the software (Swift), we did 4 subtitling projects, i.e. we were given the video and had to create the subtitles from scratch in English. We also learnt about timings, reading speed, line breaks, type and appearance of subtitles, etc.
We actually did more subtitling (creating subtitling in English from the video), than subtitling translation, which was not really very logic…
The teacher is an in house subtitling translator in a major Subtitling Translation Agency in London and definitely knows a lot about subtitling translation, the software and the market. However, he is not a teacher neither a trainer, i.e. he hasn’t got a teaching/training qualification and that was often very clear. However, he was very friendly and professional.
On the 3 last weeks of the course we had a different teacher (language tutor – in your own language), and we had to translate a film every week and then we would watch it in the lesson and the teacher would give you feedback. The main problem here was that this language tutor was a translator and not a subtitling translator, so even though he was a very good and professional translator he knew nothing about the software, which was frustrating because if we had a doubt about the software or the technical side of subtitling he couldn’t really help us.
The main problem, however, was the fact that we were 15 students but there were only 6 computers (i.e. we had to book in advance to use the computers, etc.). In addition, the computers are quite old and some of them do not work properly i.e. get stuck/frozen often, keys in the keyboard don’t work, don’t have language software, etc…
We complained on the first week about the computers and the lady in charge said she was going to sort it out, however when we complained again on the third week things were still the same and stayed like that until the end of the course. In the final week with the stress of the course, coursework, bad organization and the problems with the computers we were all really fed up!
In addition, we were not really given clear instructions, e.g. what coursework we had to do for next week, and they just assumed we knew what we were supposed to do even though they wouldn’t give us clear instructions.
On the last week we visited a Subtitling Translation Agency in Central London and we soon realized that what we had been told by the lady who organizes the course (that there was a lot of work out there with our languages, etc.) was not necessarily correct. However, it was good to see the agency and the way they work.
We had to do an entrance test (translate a 1 page dialogue from English into your own language), and fill an application form to be admitted to the course, however our language tutor told us that he never actually saw the entrance tests! In addition, even though in their website and leaflet about the course it says that candidates need to be experienced translators, a few of the students were not translators, and had no qualification/experience in translation. Which makes me think that they only care about the money…
The course finished and we were told we would get the results/certificate of attendance within 2 weeks maximum. However, and even though we sent lots of emails and left messages, it was only after insisting a lot that we got a reply and our results/certificates: 8 weeks after the course finished!
We had also been told that we would get an “evaluation form” to make comments about the course, but we never got it!
Overall, I think I can say that I learnt a lot and that I can now do translation subtitling (and subtitling!) without any major problem, however taking into account that the course costs almost £500 and that it was so badly organized, I am not sure I would recommend it. It was very stressful due to bad organization.
I would like to hear other people’s opinions though; maybe someone has had a different experience of the course.


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Carina Balbo
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:59
Member (2006)
English
+ ...
And what about the Intensive Course on Subtitling at the London Met Uni?? Oct 24, 2009

Thanks "Translation22" for your message. It was VERY interesting, indeed.

Now 3 years on from this message, it is me who wants to broaden my translation skills and trying to do a subtitling course.

Looking for a similar course on the web, I found an Internsive course on subtitling at the London Metropolitan Univesity. You can find more info here http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/depts/hal/shortcourses/programme-summer-2008.cfm. This is a 2 day course and costs £250. It's half of the money than for the course above, but it's only 2 days.

Has anyone done this course this year, 2009, or last year?

I would be interesting to explore some other alternatives.

Thanks a lot,

Carina


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Atanaska Ivanova-Massart
Luxembourg
Local time: 11:59
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
my advice from experience Oct 25, 2009

Hi everyone,

I saw this topic in the forum and decided I can share with you how I ended up in subtitling translation about six years ago.
I would advise against spending money on any course on subtitling that is not directly work-related, no matter if it is in a smaller or bigger college or university. The reason being that different subtitling agencies have different rules of work to apply, sometimes even contradicting, so no university or college will be prepared to cover the whole scope of requirements, rules, etc. Also, if you aim to work for a trustworthy agency, who know what they are doing, you should be prepared to learn the proprietary software of the agency, along with the separate guide with specific rules that they use.
For me, it would make sense that you start applying to bigger, professional-sounding agencies over the internet. Send them your CV and whenever they need more translators, they would normally contact you for a test translation. Do not worry that you do not know the software, they are judging your translation skills first. Once they approve you, they will send you the files with their rules and the manual for their software.
Bigger subtitling agencies have their Training co-ordinator to check on your progress and you can always ask her/him if something is not clear. Also your translation would normally be seen by a proofreader to check it and suggest what could be corrected (in terms of the text itself). If you have problems with the software, there is a person or rather a team of people to tell you how to sort out the problem. But the manual is normally very clear about what the procedure of work is.
I had bad experience once with taking on a job from a translation agency in the UK that obviously tries to work in the field of subtitling without having a good know-how about the nature of subtitling, it was a very painful and chaotic experience. They wanted to pay less, they did not pay me until 4 months later, they wanted me to get the text from the audio without software, to time-cue it, to translate it and proofread it all at once for nearly the same the price that another, professional agency would normally pay me for just translating the text in the software without being responsible for everything else.
So you have to be very cautious with translation agencies who try to work in the area of subtitilng as well. YOu should negotiate a price for each action you do for them as they are normally paid separately. And you should make sure that you are aware exactly what is expected from you - whether to do the subtitling from scratch to end or do just the translation only, hence the rates should be different.
Good luck!


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Carina Balbo
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:59
Member (2006)
English
+ ...
But what about the software itself? Oct 25, 2009

Thanks a lot Atanaska. But what about the software? Did you buy the software for that subtitling job? Did the agency provide you with the software? Sometimes, these courses, thought they are pretty expensive, they teach you to work with subtitling software. I have NO idea whatsoever about subtitling. I could translate the text, the dialogue, yes, but if I had to do something else, I wouldn't be able to do it.
Also many translation agencies, when recruiting for subtitle translators, look for those with experience in subtitling....
Any comments?
Thanks


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Atanaska Ivanova-Massart
Luxembourg
Local time: 11:59
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
about software Nov 19, 2009

Carina del V. Balbo & Roxton S. Bell wrote:

Thanks a lot Atanaska. But what about the software? Did you buy the software for that subtitling job? Did the agency provide you with the software? Sometimes, these courses, thought they are pretty expensive, they teach you to work with subtitling software. I have NO idea whatsoever about subtitling. I could translate the text, the dialogue, yes, but if I had to do something else, I wouldn't be able to do it.
Also many translation agencies, when recruiting for subtitle translators, look for those with experience in subtitling....
Any comments?
Thanks



Hi, regarding software, bigger subtitling agencies (and more serious ones) use their own. They will provide it to you and guidelines for using it and training where necessary. So my personal opinion is: do not spend money on software before hand as you do not know if you will need it later.


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chriregina
Italian to German
+ ...
Subtitling May 21, 2012

Thanks to all of you. I am a translator, but I used to work for private companies with different tasks, besides translating. Since recently I lost my job I would like to work as a translator, and I am interested subtitling. Now we are in 2012, and I see your comments date back to some years ago, anyway, I found the suggestions useful, especially Atanaska's comment. Can anybody help me find some updated information on how to technically prepare for such a job ? Is there a demand on the market ? Can you live on it ?
Thank you in advance for your reply !

[Edited at 2012-05-21 16:01 GMT]


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Sylvano
Local time: 11:59
English to French
No bright future May 22, 2012

chriregina wrote:
Is there a demand on the market ? Can you live on it ?


Market is in very bad shape and, if you ask me, there's way too many (and wannabe) audiovisual translators today. It's becoming more and more difficult everyday to earn a decent living in this field and even to find enough work. Either you're cheap and you'll work a lot not to earn that much, or you ask for fair rates and take the risk not to work at all. Best of luck to you.


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chriregina
Italian to German
+ ...
Subtitling - no bright future May 22, 2012

Thank you Sylvano. I appreciate your comment very much, although it is not very encouraging. But we have to face reality ... ! I understand you translate from English into French. Is there anybody who translates into Italian or into German who can tell me if the situation is the same there ? And what about translating films (synchronization) ? Are there better chances there ?
Thank you very much for your reply ...


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Sylvano
Local time: 11:59
English to French
Yet another world May 23, 2012

chriregina wrote:And what about translating films (synchronization) ? Are there better chances there ?


If you refer to translation for dubbing, you have to know it's a very specific technique (which I personally consider harder than subtitling because of lip-synch, among other constraints) that you have to train to for quite a while (on soap operas, usually). Plus, I don't know about Italy, but in France it can be a very exclusive area, into which it can take a lot of time to get in.


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chriregina
Italian to German
+ ...
Rough translation for dubbing Jun 4, 2012

Hi Sylvano,
thanks for your reply. I understand translating for dubbing is quite difficult. But what about rough translations ? I have heard they are the first step, and on their basis the final versions (which must be adapted to lip movement) are prepared. I have heard that this job is often done by freelance translaters at home, either on the basis of the written scenario of the film in its original language or by using a DVD and translating directly from the original voice. Do you know anything about that ?
Thank you very much in advance for your reply !!!


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Sylvano
Local time: 11:59
English to French
Not in France, as far as I know Jun 6, 2012

chriregina wrote:But what about rough translations ? I have heard they are the first step, and on their basis the final versions (which must be adapted to lip movement) are prepared. I have heard that this job is often done by freelance translaters at home, either on the basis of the written scenario of the film in its original language or by using a DVD and translating directly from the original voice. Do you know anything about that ?


I don't think it is usually done this way, at least in France. And to me, it wouldn't be a very good way to work, since I really think it's better if the whole thing is done by one 'adaptateur', both translating (the meaning) and shaping lip-synch dialogue (the feeling) at the same time. In any branch of audiovisual translation, I would say the less steps or successive filters involved, the better (and the more natural) the result.


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