Spotting list issue for a DVD release
Thread poster: Nora83

Local time: 20:41
Apr 15, 2011

Ive been asked to create a spotting list for a DVD release both in English and French.
Unfortunately, I still have few doubts about the content of my spotting list.
Especially regarding the french part.

-Does anyone know if the accents have to be encoded in the text ?
Is there a "braquet code" to place around the letter?

-Is there an example of a spotting list for DVD feature available somewhere on the web?
Is it very different from a featured film one?




José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:41
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Check this out Apr 15, 2011

Click on the miniatures to see a large PDF.


Local time: 20:41
still confused Apr 17, 2011

Thanks for your help Jose, nonetheless that website confused me a bit more.
It seems to me that the spotting list sample is for a featured film.
Some of the text doesnt respect any word count and the timecodes are confusing.
Most of all its the first time I see the who-to-who inserted in the document.
Isn't only for continuity purposes?
Aren't the DVD spotting much more straight forward?
Content wise and presentation wise?

Ive done some subtitle translation for DVD few years ago and it looked like this.

I will never understand him

Neither do I

But this time, no subtitles to work from, I have to translate from video.
Is it what make it so different?

I also see in your profile that you work with portuguese language.
What do you do with the accents? Encode them or just leave them in the subtitle text?

muito obrigado




José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:41
English to Portuguese
+ ...
An attempt to explain Apr 17, 2011


Quite frankly, I don't have a clear idea on what a "spotting list" or a DVD "release" means. I hoped that site would help in clearing it up. These may be EN-UK expressions. Though I originally learned EN-UK, I completely converted to EN-US long before home video came to be.

I can go all the way, say, from a VHS tape to a finished DVD. Let's take it from digital video on. I translate using - at the same time - Express Scribe to play digital video, and Windows Notepad to write my subtitles. That may come from me translating video for dubbing during some 18 years before venturing into subtitling.

Taking a detour: no, one is not necessarily 'more difficult' than the other, though some translators (not me!) charge different rates. I use the same tools mentioned above for both, however quite different techniques, especially the 'frame of mind'.

Back on track... Then I use Subtitle Workshop to time-spot my subtitles. This (free) program may generate any from a whole array of subtitle files, each compatible with a different subtitle burning (or overlaying - for DVD) software package. The entire list may be found at .

So, if the spotting list is what I call the subtitles file, you should ask your client what software they will use, to save it accordingly, I mean, in the proper format. Bear in mind that some subtitling companies (AFAIK mostly in Europe) use proprietary software. Watch out for those that try to lure you into buying some software for which later you might have no use.

Regarding accents, I use Portuguese accents normally in Subtitle Workshop; it handles many alphabets, including ideogram-based ones.


United Kingdom
Local time: 20:41
+ ...
Spotting list Apr 18, 2011

Hi, Nora,
Your example shows a subtitle list or transcript rather than a spotting list.

Besides the verbatim text, the spotting list should contain the in and out times and duration of the caption as well as identifying the speaker and the person being addressed. It should also include notes to explain unfamiliar words or expressions, eg dialect, slang or jargon.

The reason for including the "who to who" is to help translators of languages which use different constructions depending on the genders of the speaker and the person being addressed.


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Spotting list issue for a DVD release

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