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Subtitling/dubbing video clips
Thread poster: Libero_Lang_Lab

Libero_Lang_Lab  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:05
Member (2006)
Russian to English
+ ...
Dec 18, 2007

Hi,

Wonder if anyone can assist with some useful info. A client for whom we are working on a large ongoing project, providing translations for a website wants us to provide translation for video footage (interviews) that will appear on the site. They are willing to consider both dubbing and subtitling, though I think dubbing will be the preferred option. This is a new departure for me. I'd be really keen to pick the brains of any translators who have experience in this field...

Cheers,
Dan


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:05
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Two different sports Dec 18, 2007

If you equate "translating video" to "playing ball", when you consider dubbing and subtitling they'll be like volleyball and basketball. Often the same environment, a somewhat similar ball, but quite different rules.

For most films, the decision is cost-based. I don't know about it anywhere else, but in Brazil to dub a film costs roughly 3 times as much as subtitling it. When it's about music, dubbing is often pointless; when the film is overly visual, subtitling may damage the whole experience.

Many translators work on only one of these. I translated for dubbing during 17 years before daring to do it for subtitling. I know translators who have been working about that much for subtitling, and wouldn't dare to try doing it for dubbing.

Video clips are usually musical. If the famous singer can be properly replaced by a dubber, the latter should be a famous singer as well. Even if s/he were so, what would be the point?

Some flms are dubbed already in their original version, though for other reasons. Check Marni Nixon at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0633262/bio .

Translationwise, some people charge more to translate for dubbing than for subtitling. The Brazilian translators syndicate http://www.sintra.org.br/site/index.php?pag=valores suggests charging twice as much. Meanwhile I charge the same for both, as for me it means the same amount of work (spotting not included)

Dubbing or subtitling is not always a simple cost-based decision. However sometimes there is only one possible option. And there are cases where hybrids (parts dubbed, other parts subtitled) are a good compromise.




[Edited at 2007-12-18 14:04]


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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:05
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
One more example Dec 18, 2007

Jose, it is you (and so far only you) to the rescue, again.

Remembering your previous invitation, I will keep adding examples for the farewell bid at your funeral. No, really, do not even think about it. Long life to you; many will benefit from your kindness.


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Libero_Lang_Lab  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:05
Member (2006)
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jose Dec 20, 2007

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

If you equate "translating video" to "playing ball", when you consider dubbing and subtitling they'll be like volleyball and basketball. Often the same environment, a somewhat similar ball, but quite different rules.

For most films, the decision is cost-based. I don't know about it anywhere else, but in Brazil to dub a film costs roughly 3 times as much as subtitling it. When it's about music, dubbing is often pointless; when the film is overly visual, subtitling may damage the whole experience.

Many translators work on only one of these. I translated for dubbing during 17 years before daring to do it for subtitling. I know translators who have been working about that much for subtitling, and wouldn't dare to try doing it for dubbing.

Video clips are usually musical. If the famous singer can be properly replaced by a dubber, the latter should be a famous singer as well. Even if s/he were so, what would be the point?

Some flms are dubbed already in their original version, though for other reasons. Check Marni Nixon at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0633262/bio .

Translationwise, some people charge more to translate for dubbing than for subtitling. The Brazilian translators syndicate http://www.sintra.org.br/site/index.php?pag=valores suggests charging twice as much. Meanwhile I charge the same for both, as for me it means the same amount of work (spotting not included)

Dubbing or subtitling is not always a simple cost-based decision. However sometimes there is only one possible option. And there are cases where hybrids (parts dubbed, other parts subtitled) are a good compromise.




[Edited at 2007-12-18 14:04]



Thanks Jose, for such a detailed response. Your sporting analogy is quite apt, as the video clips in question are interviews with sportspeople.

I made a few enquiries today, with a friend who works for a tv sports production company, who do quite a bit of dubbing and subtitling. Their take, interestingly, was that dubbing would be by far the cheaper option, but I guess it all depends on how you go about it. As one of the language pairs we'll be working with is EnglishBrazilian Portuguese, I'd be interested in having a chat with you about this. Perhaps there might be some work here for you....

Best wishes,
Dan


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:05
English to Portuguese
+ ...
(Lip-sync) dubbing vs. VO (voice-over) Dec 20, 2007

Daniel Brennan wrote:
I made a few enquiries today, with a friend who works for a tv sports production company, who do quite a bit of dubbing and subtitling. Their take, interestingly, was that dubbing would be by far the cheaper option, but I guess it all depends on how you go about it. As one of the language pairs we'll be working with is EnglishBrazilian Portuguese, I'd be interested in having a chat with you about this. Perhaps there might be some work here for you....
Best wishes,
Dan


Threre is a significant difference between lip-sync dubbing and voice-over.

Dubbing requires a professional actor, with a matching voice, and a dubbing director. Sound effects will be required to "place" the actor properly, e.g. outdoors, indoors, in a cave, riding a car, using a microphone, over the telephone, etc. As dubbing will replace the original audio, the original M-E (music & effects), if not provided separatele, must be re-created, which might be quite expensive. There is also the need for mixing several voices. In a nutshell, it involves a lot of work, and often a lot of people.

VO is like having a personal interpreter by the spectator's side. When the interviewee starts to speak, their volume is lowered, and the "interpreter" does the job. After translation, anyone can do it in their own language, speaking normally. The only trick is to finish before the interviewee does, so their volume can be restored.

For videos where many people are interviewed, it's most normal to dub the narrator (which requires a narrator, not a drama dubber), and at most one man and one woman to voiceover ALL interviewees of their respective genders.

While dubbing must be done in a specialized studio, with the video, VO can be done via www. I recently needed a VO in Spanish. I sent the script to the speaker, he recorded it, sent me the audio files, and I mixed it onto the video. He never saw the video, and we never met each other.


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