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Faster way to translate subtitles?
Thread poster: larsjorgen (X)

larsjorgen (X)
Local time: 11:09
English to Norwegian
Jun 4, 2010

Hi there! I translate tv series subtitles most of the time, and I usually just translate directly into the Word file. This is so time-consuming, so are there any other and preferably a lot faster ways to do it?


Thank you,
Lars


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:09
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In memoriam
Windows Notepad Jun 4, 2010

I prefer using Windows Notepad, setting it to automatic line break, and adjusting the window width to my chars/line limit, so I'll immediately know if I've exceeded that limit.

To illustrate, I use a 32 chars x 2 lines limit. So I type:
1234567890123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234
and adjust the window width exactly before making it narrower causes the "4" to drop to the next line.

This will give you a TXT file, which you can later open w
... See more
I prefer using Windows Notepad, setting it to automatic line break, and adjusting the window width to my chars/line limit, so I'll immediately know if I've exceeded that limit.

To illustrate, I use a 32 chars x 2 lines limit. So I type:
1234567890123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234
and adjust the window width exactly before making it narrower causes the "4" to drop to the next line.

This will give you a TXT file, which you can later open with MS Word to spellcheck and save as a DOC file for delivery, if that's what your client/timespotter wants.


On a later thought...

I understood you were translating them from the video, not from other subtitles.

Anyone translating from subtitles in one language into subtitles in another language is not seriously considering quality. Sometimes there is no alternative, I know. In this case, it's merely text; any CAT tool will deal with it.

[Edited at 2010-06-04 18:48 GMT]
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larsjorgen (X)
Local time: 11:09
English to Norwegian
TOPIC STARTER
Great Jun 4, 2010

Thank you, I`ll try that.

Other suggestions are also welcome.

What about Trados? Or is that better for regular documents?


 

Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 11:09
English to Czech
+ ...
Trados Studio Jun 4, 2010

larsjorgen wrote:

Thank you, I`ll try that.

Other suggestions are also welcome.

What about Trados? Or is that better for regular documents?


Hi Lars,
you can open any text document in any Trados version. For Studio, there is even a special filetype for the SubRip format. You can download it free from: http://www.sdl.com/en/company/partners/sdl-openexchange/browse-studio-applications/default.asp


 

larsjorgen (X)
Local time: 11:09
English to Norwegian
TOPIC STARTER
Great! Jun 4, 2010

Great, thank you.

 

Robert Tucker (X)
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:09
German to English
+ ...
OmegaT Jun 4, 2010

OmegaT can also handle .srt files.

http://www.proz.com/forum/omegat_support/147806-omegat_20_released.html


 

juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:09
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Can you ellaborate? Jun 6, 2010

The lenght of subtitles depends not only on the pre-determined number of characters, but also on the length of time the subtitle is on the screen, which in turn depends on what is happening on the screen. In other words, for example if the screen changes to a different scene, the subtitle has to disappear with the change, even if the new scene has no narrative to show in a new subtitle.

If you are working with a decent subtitling software, you have all the facilities to make it easi
... See more
The lenght of subtitles depends not only on the pre-determined number of characters, but also on the length of time the subtitle is on the screen, which in turn depends on what is happening on the screen. In other words, for example if the screen changes to a different scene, the subtitle has to disappear with the change, even if the new scene has no narrative to show in a new subtitle.

If you are working with a decent subtitling software, you have all the facilities to make it easier to deal vith the constrains of subtitling, and change the parameters when required.
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larsjorgen (X)
Local time: 11:09
English to Norwegian
TOPIC STARTER
Maybe I was a little vague Jun 6, 2010

The files I receive don`t need for me to do anything with the timing, I only translate.

I use a lot of time counting characters on each line, so I won`t break protocol. Mr Lamensdorf tip was exactly what I needed; now I don`t have to count anymore.


 
I use Notepad ++ Jun 7, 2010

Notepad ++ should be a better choice as it has extended option than that of traditional notepad count .. I am using Notepad only at the moment but am planning to install Notepad ++ as many of my friends have suggested me to use it ...

 

Denis BENEJAM  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:09
Chinese to French
My subtitle softare : Ayato Nx Jun 7, 2010

Hi,
I use a subtitle software call Ayato Nx, like most of the french subtitling translators i know, very professional, it is produced by Ninsight company. (You can search on the web).
Best Regards.
Denis.


 

larsjorgen (X)
Local time: 11:09
English to Norwegian
TOPIC STARTER
French program? Jun 10, 2010

Denis BENEJAM wrote:

Hi,
I use a subtitle software call Ayato Nx, like most of the french subtitling translators i know, very professional, it is produced by Ninsight company. (You can search on the web).
Best Regards.
Denis.


French program? I assume this program works with just about any language? But is the program itself in French, because I dont know French..

Are there any other programs like this one, only in English?

[Edited at 2010-06-11 12:55 GMT]


 

jbjb  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 12:09
Estonian to English
+ ...
faster Jun 12, 2010

You have to try different systems to find the fastest way for yourself.

First everything depends on the type of files you receive.
1. If you receive timecoded subtitle files as DOC and you have to replace the text (either original English or perhaps already translated into Swedish) with Norwegian and keep the timecode.
2. You receive dialogue scripts that are just text, not subtitles, and have to provide a text file with Norwegian subtitles that you send out to someone e
... See more
You have to try different systems to find the fastest way for yourself.

First everything depends on the type of files you receive.
1. If you receive timecoded subtitle files as DOC and you have to replace the text (either original English or perhaps already translated into Swedish) with Norwegian and keep the timecode.
2. You receive dialogue scripts that are just text, not subtitles, and have to provide a text file with Norwegian subtitles that you send out to someone else for timecoding.
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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:09
English to Hungarian
+ ...
That's what I was afraid of Jun 12, 2010

larsjorgen wrote:

The files I receive don`t need for me to do anything with the timing, I only translate.

I use a lot of time counting characters on each line, so I won`t break protocol. Mr Lamensdorf tip was exactly what I needed; now I don`t have to count anymore.


You don't have to DO anything with the timing, BUT you have to be aware of it.
If the text you receive for translation is already timecoded, you have to adjust the length of your text according to the available time.

Subtitling programs usually show the viability of the reading of the subtitle within the given length of time. The reading speed can be set for a film or video, and it depends on the standards used by the client, the target language and general accepted standards of the industry. The program would alert you when the subtitle oversteps the recommended length within the given time.

The length of the subtitle can start at 2sec (or even less) and can go up to 7sec depending on the settings required by the client, their standard.

At the sort end you cannot use a two line, 2x 38 characters long subtitle, while 7 seconds would be ridiculously long for saying "Yes" or "No", - although that is a lesser problem, and it would be the fault of the person doing the timecoding, not yours, because the source text would be similarly short anyway.

The problems usually arise in the middle range, where the timecoding may have been restricted by the length of the time the original dialogue takes to utter, and its transcription may be shorter than your translation of it.

To make it plain: the person on the screen says a sentence and it takes 3 seconds. His face is shown for 3.4 seconds, and the length of the subtitle is 3.0 second, because there has to be 0.4 seconds between each subtitle for technical reasons. The sentence is written down for you to translate, and it takes an 18 character line and a 25 character line. It may just be short enough to be within the allocated 3.0 sec. time.
When you translate it, your text becomes a 32 and a 37 character line.
You would be happy, because it is within the required 38/38 character line length, but is it readable? No, it is too long for the allocated 3.0 seconds at the prescribed reading speed.

That's why you need a subtitling program to translate subtitles, unless you are very familiar with subtitling and acquired an in-built sense to adjust the length of the text in accordance of the allocated length of time.
It would also speed up your work generally, because it would show the number of characters you typed per line, - no need for counting, and it would also show that you are within the limit set by the reading speed or not, as the case may be, prompting you to shorten your translation to make it more readable.

When someone else does the timecoding of your already translated text, they may have a problem. I should say, they may have a problem with every other subtitle. The sensible way to do it is to timecode the original transcription and adjust it accordingly, then have the translation done.


 

Joanna Hald  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 11:09
Danish to Polish
+ ...
No CATs for this kind of translations! Jun 13, 2010

larsjorgen wrote:

What about Trados?


If you have any respect for audiovisual translations you don't even think about using CAT to this kind of translation.
I and my friend (both working with audiovisual translations) made an experiment - and concluded, that cats are audiovisual translators friends, but CATs are worst enemies.

I don't have time to write all arguments, but remeber - no CAT will think as an audiovisual translator - creative, avoiding repetitions, considering idioms etc. What is really good for "common" translations is bad for film and literature.


 

jbjb  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 12:09
Estonian to English
+ ...
in-built Jun 13, 2010

That's why you need a subtitling program to translate subtitles, unless you are very familiar with subtitling and acquired an in-built sense to adjust the length of the text in accordance of the allocated length of time.


Some people acquire the in-built calculator quite easily - most do not. I've seen translators who have been translating for 10 years in that manner (doing subtitles in Word, sending it for others to timecode) and the only way they can manage... See more
That's why you need a subtitling program to translate subtitles, unless you are very familiar with subtitling and acquired an in-built sense to adjust the length of the text in accordance of the allocated length of time.


Some people acquire the in-built calculator quite easily - most do not. I've seen translators who have been translating for 10 years in that manner (doing subtitles in Word, sending it for others to timecode) and the only way they can manage is by printing out the script and writing down seconds every 3-4 seconds when there is continuous text. Or just marking down the pauses in the script in more obvious places.

Those who have built-in calculators, can print out the script and mark the subtitle changes, also noting down when the speech is fast or slow.

And if you watch the source video 30 seconds at a time and translate directly afterward, you are able to provide a pretty accurate translation, as you remember exactly where you have to shorten the text and where not. ▲ Collapse


 
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