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Poll: Do you generally read the subtitles when you watch a movie in your working language(s)?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 12:35
SITE STAFF
Jun 11, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you generally read the subtitles when you watch a movie in your working language(s)?".

This poll was originally submitted by Hikmat

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


 

James McVay  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:35
Russian to English
+ ...
Native language, too! Jun 11, 2009

It's an age thing. I turn on subtitles when I watch DVDs, and my wife and kids hate it.

 

Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Other Jun 11, 2009

I always turn off subtitles when I am watching a movie in English and they have Italian subtitles. The reason is because it really upsets me to see so many incredible translation errors, and this spoils the pleasure of watching the movie (let's not talk about what I think I would do to the translator if I only couldicon_wink.gif)...

 

lingelanguages  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:35
Dutch to French
+ ...
It's beyond my control... Jun 11, 2009

I just can't help it! Laziness maybeicon_wink.gif But that's how I can tell how bad TV5 translations are...

 

Maria Diaconu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 22:35
English to Romanian
Strange behaviour Jun 11, 2009

I hear the English, I make the translation in my mind, then I read the subtitles and I "proofread" them. It's funicon_smile.gif

 

Maria Diaconu  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 22:35
English to Romanian
Are they really so bad? Jun 11, 2009

Three posts so far complain about how bad subtitles areicon_frown.gif

 

Joan Berglund  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:35
Member (2008)
French to English
Other - strange behavior as well Jun 11, 2009

Maria Diaconu wrote:

I hear the English, I make the translation in my mind, then I read the subtitles and I "proofread" them. It's funicon_smile.gif

I do pretty much the same thing. And I don't think subtitles are always bad, sometimes I am suprised by how well they capture the meaning in a few words. I actually have more complaints about dubbing in terms of quality, but this may just be a matter of the particular films I have seen. Also, the relatively poor acting ability of some voice-over actors is distracting, while one tends to automatically fill in any deficiencies in subtitles by relying on the original actor's ability to convey meaning through tone and gesture- if this makes any sense. Actually, a lot of the time, I am not sure how much I am listening to the French, how much I am reading the subtitles, and how much I am deducing meaning from the action and actors' tones of voice.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:35
Spanish to English
+ ...
It depends Jun 11, 2009

Basically I'm with Giuseppina on this one.
Usually, if the film is not all that gripping, I start to pay attention to the subtitling errors. The ones that make me most angry are those obviously translated by non-natives, since subtitle translation work is well paid as far as I know and I believe if something is worth doing it's worth doing well. Pay peanuts = get monkeys.

[Edited at 2009-06-11 20:53 GMT]


 

Valeria Fuma
Argentina
Local time: 16:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
Unfortunately, yes Jun 11, 2009

Maria Diaconu wrote:

Three posts so far complain about how bad subtitles areicon_frown.gif


Well, I've seen beauty and disaster as regards subtitles. The ones from last TV series I watched in DVD had been "machine-translated", for sure, with no post-editing at all (I think it's best not to mention which TV series was, just in caseicon_wink.gif)

I used to translate subtitles; in fact, it's one of the fields I most like.

[Editado a las 2009-06-11 20:59 GMT]

[Editado a las 2009-06-11 20:59 GMT]


 

Valeria Fuma
Argentina
Local time: 16:35
English to Spanish
+ ...
Me too! Jun 11, 2009

Maria Diaconu wrote:

I hear the English, I make the translation in my mind, then I read the subtitles and I "proofread" them. It's funicon_smile.gif


Me too!! icon_smile.gif


 

Eleni Makantani
Greece
Local time: 22:35
Member
English to Greek
+ ...
I can't help it Jun 11, 2009

I generally opt out of subtitles when watching films/ serials on DVD. However, when watching a program on TV, I find it very hard not to read the subtitles - it's like they attract my attention and I can't help looking at them.

Also, I tend to immediately forget any translation blunders I might catch.

[Edited at 2009-06-11 21:31 GMT]


 

Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:35
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
I also cannot help it Jun 11, 2009

They are not always so bad - sometimes I really appreciate the skill of someone who did temicon_smile.gif

 

Alexandra Speirs  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:35
Italian to English
+ ...
for American slang! Jun 11, 2009

I rarely see films with subtitles and don't usually activate them when watching a DVD. But on some American films, even though they're supposedly speaking English, I find it very hard to follow so I have been known to use the English subtitles, not the translation.
In Italy most imported films are dubbed anyway, so if we want to hear the original version we have to go to a special night at the cinema, or hire/buy the DVD.


 
No, but.... Jun 11, 2009

Not usually, but sometimes.
But when I watch movie I am there to watch movie.
Not to compare the subtitle with what's being spoken.


 

Marna Renteria  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:35
Spanish to English
I answered N/A... Jun 11, 2009

...because at first I thought it was a trick question. Sorry, maybe it's the engineer in me, but the question seems to assume there are already subtitles there. Of course, most American movies do not have subtitles, but if I had thought before I clicked, I would have remembered the few American movies I have watched that had English subtitles for foreign language dialog, like Apocalypto. In that cases, technically, the movie was in my working language of English, except for those portions, so of course, I read the subtitles. However, for my working language of Spanish, I do read English subtitles in a movie if the actors are speaking Spanish, so that I could critique them. (;

The subtitle translation I most remember: I was in Mexico, watching 'The Temptations' movie on the hotel TV, and the song, "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" was playing. Subtitles in Spanish scrolled across the bottom, and the translation of the chorus caught my eye. The English is:

Papa was a rolling stone
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died, all he left us was alone

I had never read the lyrics before in English, so I had always assumed they were singing that last word as "alone". However, the Spanish rendered it as "deudas", suggesting that they heard it "a loan". I suppose a papa like that could have left them debts, too! Hmmm...

That leads me to ask, does a subtitle translator work from the script, or from the final film? I have noticed that sometimes the translation does not match the speech, in a way that doesn't seem to be a mistake, but rather perhaps a change in the dialogue since the translator saw or heard it.

[Edited at 2009-06-11 23:45 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-06-11 23:46 GMT]


 
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