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How to become a movie, documentaries and cartoons translator
Thread poster: Alessia Scipione
Alessia Scipione  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:07
English to Italian
+ ...
Jan 22, 2007

Hi

My dream since I were a little child was to become a movie translator. Does any of you know How to do it? and Who shall I apply to?


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georgina singh  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 19:37
Tamil to English
+ ...
Thats a good dream you have!!! Jan 22, 2007

Alessia Scipione wrote:

Hi

My dream since I were a little child was to become a movie translator. Does any of you know How to do it? and Who shall I apply to?


Subtitling is no joke - its real hard work! Since you have this dream of of becoming a translator for the movies, cartoons etc... definitely you can achieve it without a doubt.

I have done translation work for a couple of movies, documentaries, songs and tele- serials myself so I would advise you to start with small things first.

For example do translations of a couple of songs and documentaries and then go meet people who are in these fields. Show them your translations and tell them you would like to take up an assignment like this.

If they like your work and give you an assignment then do the first few jobs on their premesis, because you could learn alot from the way they guide you.

Only when you are confident enough in doing it on your own- you could ask them to send the work to your place.

Being a translator and doing subtitling for the movies has to be precise - I mean the dialogue delivery and the timing has to fit almost hand and glove- otherwise poor opinions could be formed.
So it is very important to keep the same momentum as it is in the film or cartoon etc...


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biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 16:07
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
dreams can become reality Jan 22, 2007

Salve Alessia!

I used to have the same dream as you - to translate movies - and I managed to make that dream become my reality. The way I did it was really simple: I did a bit of research regarding the companies working in this field in my country and simply sent them an email saying Id like to offer them my services. In response I got a small test translation (usually I dont do them but hey - for a chance to make my dream come true I went for it) and in the end I got my job and am now happily translating movies.

They offered me to do subtitling as well, but I prefer to do voiceovers as I find them more interesting - with subtitles you must fit inside a given number of symbols which sometimes makes you lose some part of the text. Also voiceovers demand precision but I still find these to be a bit more flexible if I can say so.

Sure translating films does require precision and you must "feel" the languages you work with and have a really good knowledge of different things or where to look them up as you might need to find things like casino terms for some cartoon for example.:)

Anyway, from my own experience I can say - go for it and it will definitely pay off!:)

Stella


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xxxQuinox
Turkey
Local time: 17:07
English to Turkish
+ ...
Not that difficult, but... Jan 23, 2007

Hi Alessia,

Translating documentaries and movies is now my fulltime job and i hope i can give a few clues. First of all, at least in my country, translators work with subtitling and/or voiceover companies. In my case, which is voiceover, i work with a production company. I think there might be some kinda problem for you. I saw in your profile that you live in UK and translate into Italian. The problem is, the post-production company which will ask you to translate into Italian would normally be in Italy, where they can find native Italian speakers for the voiceover. and another thing is they usuaaly send the films, documentaries in dvd format. Hope it will not but shipping these materials might cause a problem. For subtitling this might not be the case, I'not quite sure.

Secondly, assuming that you've found such a job, i recommend that you try to choose subjects that you're interested in. You'll have to be creative and if you don't like the movie or the documentary this will be a difficult task.

Best of luck!


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 08:07
French to Spanish
+ ...
Not the same. Jan 23, 2007

You have four options, but you always must, in order to do a good job, see the movie, cratoon, etc.

1.-Subtitling. Nowadays, quite simple. Client gives you a "spotting list", that you overwirte. Don't put more caracters, that's all. Dialogues are "resumed" because lack of time to put them all.

2.- Dubbing. Very difficult. You must know about "lips synch", or lipsynch, that is, lips synchronisation. Somehow, you must adapt your translation into your language so that lips movements are OK with target's one.

3.- Voice off.
4.- Voice over.

Those two are simple. You translate all the text in Word. The studio will do the rest.

You should apply with subtitling/dubbing studios. Not easy. There's a lot of know-how involved, but also a lot of know-who.
Best of luck.


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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Well... Jan 23, 2007

...I am not trying to burst your bubble, but you should know how it works in Italy..."connections", and especially in the movie industry.

Unfortunately, as far as I know, most of the translations into Italian in these fields are assigned to Italian companies/publishers, so here we come again...Unless you know somebody, it is gonna be hard.

This obviously does not mean you don't have to try...

And by the way, if you ever watched an English movie with Italian subtitling, you would find out that the movie-subtitling industry in Italy really lacks good translators, many subtitles contain terribly gross mistakes and are obviously done by wannabes!

Good Luck
Giusi


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Alessia Scipione  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:07
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you!! Jan 23, 2007

Thank you very much for all your suggestions and advices, at least now I have a good starting point. I know I have to search in Italy. As Giuseppina said it will be very hard as in Italy if you don't know anybody you can't get in. And my case is that I don't know anybody, but I will try and try hard and hopefully ... with a bit of luck I can make my dream come true!!

Thank you everybody for your support!!

Alessia


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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:07
Member (2005)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
You don't have to search in Italy Jan 26, 2007

I expect, you want to translate from English into Italian.
The stuff being translated in Italy would be mainly for television, because the large film studios commission subtitling companies in the US or in the UK to do the subtitling for their films in several languages at once.

It makes sense, because one person can provide - what Juan called "spotting list", but in the UK it is usually called the masterfile, - the English subtitles with time codes. That can be translated into as many languages as whoever owns the rights (usually the studio) wishes.

There are a few subtitling companies in the UK, mainly in London, and a number of them in the US. You can apply to them, without knowing a soul, but of course you have a better chance if you know something about subtitling. Sometimes they just keep your records and may call you if they need Italian subtitlers, which can take some time.

You should look into the subtitling forum to get more information, and get some book on subtitling, to see what it is all about. There are also subtitling courses in the UK. I think there was some posting about them in the forum some time ago.

Good luck.
Judith


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Alessia Scipione  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:07
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Do you know some company I can apply? Jan 27, 2007

Hi Juvera

Thank you very much for your advices, I was actually thinking to get a book regarding subtitling. I have tried to get in contact with some companies in the UK, but without success, they do not appear on the Internet research engines. Could you suggest some?

Thank you very much

Alessia


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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:07
Member (2005)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Hi Alessia, Jan 27, 2007

Did you get my e-mail?

[Edited at 2007-01-27 19:31]


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csakiek
Local time: 14:07
English to Hungarian
How to start? I need some information, and any advice would be great! Jan 9, 2008

I would like to become a translator, the only problem that I have, I do not know how to start?
I live in the U.K a couple of years ago.
I found you here, so I thought you might be able to answer my question.
My email address is: encike@hotmail.co.uk, I would be really happy if I could get in touch with
you!

Many thanks
Eniko


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Barbara Salardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:07
English to Italian
+ ...
Another starting-up subtitler/subtitler translator Mar 3, 2008

Hello all,

I've been reading this board for quite a long time now and I found useful suggestions and advice to get started.

Actually, I've been doing subtitling and subtitle translation for free for an Italian community and I know how to use programmes like Subtitle Workshop and Visual Sub Synch. At the moment, this is just a hobby but I'd love to make a work out of my hobby.

Do you have any good references I can possibly apply to? I actually found some and I'll try those but a little help from professionals is always welcome.

Thanks a lot for your help,

Barbara

[Edited at 2008-03-03 12:01]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:07
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Reply to Barbara Salardi - the wannabe Mar 3, 2008

Ciao, Barbara,

There are two major markets for video subtitling, commercial and corporate.

Commercial means TV, DVD for sale or rent, and so on. This market covers a grayscale from the cheap, so called "B" movies, often disgusting to translate, to Disney productions at the top end. It is a cut-throat market craving for the lowest translation rates at the bottom, with gradually increasing quality demand and price, as you go up on the scale.

It somewhat overlaps - thanks to Disney's high quality requirements - the corporate video market, which encompasses training, technical and institutional films. Though there are some cost-squashing clients, most want top quality here. Either they don't want to jeopardize their image with shoddy translation, or a training film's accuracy may be critical for safety, quality, whatever, and the film is expected to be shown for decades.

Clients for commercial video subtitling may be foreign film distributors, TV networks, or the studios they hire (often for subtitling and dubbing - which is a different kind of work). Their technical requirements vary, and quite often Subtitle Workshop won't cut it for their needs: they'll either require you to use their software, or to provide subtitles in TXT or DOC files.

Clients for commercial video will mostly be direct (the companies themselves or their local reps), their advertising agencies, or video production/duplication studios.

Hope this helps in your search.


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Barbara Salardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:07
English to Italian
+ ...
Very helpful indeed... Mar 3, 2008

Dear José, thanks a lot for your post, I found it very helpful. I think I have a clearer perspective now.

As Juan Jacob pointed out a few posts back, I understand that I need skills in this particular job but also I need some connections to get started. A few months ago I applied to some Italian dubbing and subtitling companies and one of them kindly told me they would call me in case they needed someone. Let's see what happens.

I'll keep reading this forum and thanks again for the good advice.


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