subtitling market
Thread poster: sandra2080

sandra2080
Local time: 14:40
May 8, 2011

Hello Everyone,

I read some of the posts regarding the topic of subtitling. My apologies in advance if it sounds redundant.
I just would like some advice from people of the market, such as :
- Which company would hire
- What software to use

I have made some research on the internet. Companies can be found, but I guess method like networking, joining associations or groups can help making contacts in that field.

Any advice would much appre
... See more
Hello Everyone,

I read some of the posts regarding the topic of subtitling. My apologies in advance if it sounds redundant.
I just would like some advice from people of the market, such as :
- Which company would hire
- What software to use

I have made some research on the internet. Companies can be found, but I guess method like networking, joining associations or groups can help making contacts in that field.

Any advice would much appreciated.
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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:40
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
bad market May 9, 2011

Hi Sandra,

From what I hear and see is that the market for subtitling is sort of consolidating, only a few big players remain, offering ever lower rates and very thight deadlines. Feedback, corrections and post editing is minimal. Experienced subtitles have been fired or quit in persuit of jobs from which they can make a proper living.

So basically a lot of the companies who are hiring now, offer rediculously low rates.... not really a profitalble business unless you ar
... See more
Hi Sandra,

From what I hear and see is that the market for subtitling is sort of consolidating, only a few big players remain, offering ever lower rates and very thight deadlines. Feedback, corrections and post editing is minimal. Experienced subtitles have been fired or quit in persuit of jobs from which they can make a proper living.

So basically a lot of the companies who are hiring now, offer rediculously low rates.... not really a profitalble business unless you are either very good and experienced or really lucky....

Ed
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Sylvano
Local time: 14:40
English to French
Hello Sandra May 9, 2011

Same here. My advice would also be to consider another field if you want to earn a proper living with translation. Subtitling (and dubbing is following the same path) is collapsing.
If you want some info on that market, I suggest this (in French) :
http://www.traducteurs-av.org/index.php/nos-metiers/les-realites-du-secteur.html

(to
... See more
Same here. My advice would also be to consider another field if you want to earn a proper living with translation. Subtitling (and dubbing is following the same path) is collapsing.
If you want some info on that market, I suggest this (in French) :
http://www.traducteurs-av.org/index.php/nos-metiers/les-realites-du-secteur.html

(to be read with handkerchiefs next to you)
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kmtext
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:40
English
+ ...
Very few full-time subtitlers left May 10, 2011

The market is actually shrinking - at least in the UK. The smaller companies are merging with larger ones and the rates are being driven down. On top of that, more and more colleges and universities are offering subtitling courses as part of language degrees. This means that every year, there's a fresh group of partially-trained subtitlers coming out who are more than willing to take intern posts, which pay peanuts at best, so they can gain experience and get a foot in the door. As a result, sta... See more
The market is actually shrinking - at least in the UK. The smaller companies are merging with larger ones and the rates are being driven down. On top of that, more and more colleges and universities are offering subtitling courses as part of language degrees. This means that every year, there's a fresh group of partially-trained subtitlers coming out who are more than willing to take intern posts, which pay peanuts at best, so they can gain experience and get a foot in the door. As a result, staff posts aren't being replaced and there's less work around for experienced freelancers. The companies also know that within a year, they'll have another batch of enthusiastic graduates to replace this year's interns, so they've got very little chance of pursuing a career as professional subtitlers.Collapse


 

Przemek Kalemba  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:40
Member (2011)
English to Polish
+ ...
A request to Sylvano Jun 22, 2011

Hi there,

I have been reading your comments and apparently you must be a very experienced subtitler getting good rates and all. I did do a subtitling course myself back in 2008 at City University, London and have been working as a freelance subtitler (mainly translator) since then.

Unfortunately, I share your dissapointment with the industry, the rates, the "fun" part of doing boring translations, or even worse, like in my case, not doing subtitles at all, just transla
... See more
Hi there,

I have been reading your comments and apparently you must be a very experienced subtitler getting good rates and all. I did do a subtitling course myself back in 2008 at City University, London and have been working as a freelance subtitler (mainly translator) since then.

Unfortunately, I share your dissapointment with the industry, the rates, the "fun" part of doing boring translations, or even worse, like in my case, not doing subtitles at all, just translating templates prepared by in-house subtitlers working for huge agencies.

Do you think you could share with us how someone like me, already established in the translation industry, with a few regular clients (translation agencies) and several other (very irregular) AV agencies can get real subtitling projects? I mean projects including timecoding and translation...

How do you find these people? There aren't so many of them around, it seems. Yet you say you have worked as an AV translator for years and have been getting (better than) decent rates...

If you don't mind...

Many thanks, Silvano!
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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:40
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In memoriam
Two different markets Jun 23, 2011

Przemek Kalemba wrote:
How do you find these people? There aren't so many of them around, it seems. Yet you say you have worked as an AV translator for years and have been getting (better than) decent rates...


There are two different markets in subtitling.

One is the TV/movies industry which is heavily low-cost driven, and where you find those template-based translations. Though there are good, professional companies doing it comme il faut and paying almost decent rates, too many of them apparently try to hire fansubbers for some petty cash.

I wrote an article about the latter, however it's in Brazilian Portuguese, including a series of examples comparing fansubs and professional translation, with comments.

From what you said, I assume you, Przemek, are like me, capable of taking, at most, a VHS tape all the way to a subtitled, interactive DVD. TV/movie subtitling companies don't need that, as they do it in-house; all they need is the translation.

The other market is what I name corporate video. For these clients, video is often far away from their core business. So they want to outsource the whole thing. They have an institutional, product promotion, or training video from 'headquarters', and need it subtitled in the local language.

Some Japanese manufacturers are relying on the pervasiveness of the DVD, and delivering user manuals on DVD, subtitled in foreign markets. I did a few of these. The only case where this isn't a good option would be a DVD player!

There is also a strong market for video translation in medicine, however this one requires dubbing. There is no way for a physician to read the subtitles while carefully observing what his fellow surgeon is actually doing on a patient. Medical translators for video dubbing are somewhat hard to find.

Some HRD companies offering worldwide training also resort to subtitling their courses and some presentations on video. When it's just a "talking head", subtitling is much better than dubbing.

So this is might be the market you are looking for, Przemek.

Pozdrowienie.


 

Sylvano
Local time: 14:40
English to French
I am going to disappoint you, I'm afraid Jun 23, 2011

Some years ago, my (ironical) answer would certainly have been : come and work in France, where rates tend(ed) to be decent and sometimes really good. Today, it's getting really worse, and a seasoned subtitler like myself, as you say (only 11 years in the business, right ?), is constantly struggling to get enough work to make a living. Well, to be honest I even fail to achieve this, since I had to partly diversify my activities (I now write for the press as well, where the situation is not bette... See more
Some years ago, my (ironical) answer would certainly have been : come and work in France, where rates tend(ed) to be decent and sometimes really good. Today, it's getting really worse, and a seasoned subtitler like myself, as you say (only 11 years in the business, right ?), is constantly struggling to get enough work to make a living. Well, to be honest I even fail to achieve this, since I had to partly diversify my activities (I now write for the press as well, where the situation is not better at all, but that's another topic). When I started to work in subtitling, a decade ago, I did what you do, in-house, for a big bad company for 3-4 years, but still had the opportunity to work quite often on programs from scratch (timecoding, etc.). Back then, rates were correct and volume was very high. Sadly, I made way more than I make now, working on feature films for the dvd market or cable, TV series, etc.
If I knew where to find good clients, good rates and steady work, I'd go there myself. I still have a few of them, but in specific fields (documentaries, institutional and corporate programs) and usually they provide low volume.
I guess part of your problem could be that you work for agencies. I've never worked for one myself, but for studios/technical laboratories/AV specialized companies or, even better, directly for the final client. It still is the best way to get more money, better work conditions and real dialogue. But from what I gather, the UK market is in really bad shape. Well, from the translators' point of view, I mean.
My final advice is actually a simple observation : the only new AV work I've ever found came 100% from networking and colleagues' tips...
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Przemek Kalemba  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:40
Member (2011)
English to Polish
+ ...
Thank you, Hose Jun 23, 2011

I think you are overestimating my subtitling skills but anyway thank you very much for your in-depth analysis. I appreciate the time you took and I find your classification of the different sectors in the subtitling industry quite interesting and probably very accurate in fact. I just wonder what others are thinking about it and if they have had similar experiences.

But how do you find these companies with loads of c
... See more
I think you are overestimating my subtitling skills but anyway thank you very much for your in-depth analysis. I appreciate the time you took and I find your classification of the different sectors in the subtitling industry quite interesting and probably very accurate in fact. I just wonder what others are thinking about it and if they have had similar experiences.

But how do you find these companies with loads of corporate to videos to subtitle. Do you simply knock on every door, send-emails, etc.?

Cuprimente...
(Is that right?)
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Sylvano
Local time: 14:40
English to French
See my final advice, Przemek... Jun 24, 2011

Przemek Kalemba wrote:
But how do you find these companies with loads of corporate to videos to subtitle. Do you simply knock on every door, send-emails, etc.?


Network, network, network...


 

DvKepp
Local time: 14:40
English to Dutch
The software question Jun 29, 2011

I hope it's okay to use this thread as I have the same question about good software for subtitling.
(No rendering or implementing it in the movie or series itself, just sending the file when I'm done.)

I've been dubbing for many years now, and by mistake took on a subtitling job.
When the company and I realized this, I offered to try a few minutes of subtitling, and they offered me a long list of shows to translate.

The software I used was just a free progr
... See more
I hope it's okay to use this thread as I have the same question about good software for subtitling.
(No rendering or implementing it in the movie or series itself, just sending the file when I'm done.)

I've been dubbing for many years now, and by mistake took on a subtitling job.
When the company and I realized this, I offered to try a few minutes of subtitling, and they offered me a long list of shows to translate.

The software I used was just a free program called Subtitle Workshop.
This is perfect for *.srt files, but some shows that they are offering me require a *.pac file.

I have tried Spot, but it's really not my thing, I don't want the "most professional" software, just something to help me subtitle as fast as possible.

Is there some software that operates like Subtitle Workshop (easy to use, not too many completely unnecessary options and just a preview option, to watch your work as you progress when you combine it with an avi, divx, xvid, mp4, mpeg?

Because the only thing Subtitle Workshop is missing is the option of aligning (although I think aligning in the middle is the best, but some series have to be left-aligned) and saving your project as a *.pac file?

Thanks in advance!

(by the way, the pay isn't great these days, but it's fun to do, that's worth something. )


[Edited at 2011-06-29 20:08 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-06-29 20:08 GMT]
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