CPS settings with Aegisub
Thread poster: bernade

bernade
Cambodia
Local time: 00:01
English to French
Feb 11, 2015

Hi, still don't quite understand the CPS column in the subtitle grid. What are those numbers and what does it mean when some are highlighted in pink? Is it possible to change the reading speed settings?

Thank you

B.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:01
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The reading rally racing Feb 11, 2015

bernade wrote:

Hi, still don't quite understand the CPS column in the subtitle grid. What are those numbers and what does it mean when some are highlighted in pink? Is it possible to change the reading speed settings?


First of all, I haven't met Aegisub, so I'll talk about general subtitling.

We can hear and understand languages we are familiar with being spoken at any speed that does not compromise enunciation. Evidence of that is that when a language that is not our first is spoken too fast, it is normal to ask the speaker to repeat that, at a slower pace, when we can.

However it is not normal to rewind a bit of a video, after it has been translated into your first language for some pecuniary consideration, because you failed to understand a line.

Human speech varies in speed... a lot, depending on many factors. My pet example is comparing two "Peters", both management gurus: the late Peter Drucker, and Tom Peters. Find them on YouTube to compare.

Meanwhile our reading speed is much slower than our listening speed. So when spoken messages are converted into written text, conciseness is a must. Subtitles should remain onscreen for sufficient time to be read by an averagely educated reader of that language. How fast can that reader go?

This is measured by CPS = characters per second.
Some scholar might have different figures for different languages, another one may say that the number is preset by human nature. Maybe a third one will say it depends on education, so the type/genre of video and its consequent audience will change that limit. A five-course meal for thought, menu below.icon_wink.gif

As I came into subtitling from the dubbing world, I have an ingrained subjective speedometer for video. I'll immediately "feel" that a subtitle is too long for the time it will remain onscreen.

IMO the point on different languages allowing different CPS is the sounds/characters ratio.
For instance, Polish uses a lot of characters, especially groups of consonants, for each individual sound, e.g. Grzegorz Brzęczyszczykiewicz (28 ch w/spc). A Brazilian (we speak Portuguese) would read "Gjegoj Bjentichtikievitch" (25 = 10% less ch w/spc) with a somewhat close pronunciation.
Meanwhile in "Itaquaquecetuba" (a town in Sao Paulo State, Brazil) each and every letter except the second "u" has its sound that should be enunciated.
In Brazil we had a president with Czech ancestry; we wrote his name Juscelino Kubitschek. His original surname in Czech was much simpler, Kubíček.

To sum it up, there was a great interpreter I saw in action a few times, Mr. Samuel Oksman, who worked in about half a dozen languages. He was born in Russia, lived mostly in Brazil. On consecutive, he could absorb an enormous quantity of input, and then say it aloud without missing one single detail. I had the chance to meet his widow, and asked her what was its trick. She explained that he had an excellent visual memory. So regardless of the language pair involved, he always translated everything into Hebrew, and mentally envisioned it written on a wall, a piece of paper, whatever. Then he would do sight translation from his mental image.

The key, as she explained, is that Hebrew is a very compact language in writing, since the vowels are not printed (more info about it elsewhere). This explains why American movies are shown on Israeli TV with TWO subtitles, one line for each: Hebrew and Arabic (which has the same feature), and they are quite short.

All this said, your CPS on Aegisub (or on Subtitle Workshop's warnings) light up when characters exceed a certain number per second on that subtitle. There should be a settings menu, but first you'd have to find what's the generally accepted limit for your target language.

Having set it, when it lights up, re-check your in/out times; are they correct? If they are, work on conciseness!

[Edited at 2015-02-11 11:16 GMT]


 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 22:01
Member (2013)
English to Russian
CpS = characters per second Feb 11, 2015

To add to José's great reply, you can change the reading speed settings in View → Options → Interface → Character Counter.

What reading speed you should stick to depends on the target audience. From what I know, French subtitles for children's programmes, for example, should normally not exceed 10 CpS, whereas subs for regular films and programmes can go up to 14 CpS (and even 16 CpS in some cases). From my experience, subtitles that exceed 18 CpS become almost unreadable.


 

bernade
Cambodia
Local time: 00:01
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you. Feb 11, 2015

Thank you very much Jose Enrique for this interesting read. Yes I do understand CPS actually but not really know how it works in Aegisub, because the numbers don't seem to correspond to anything I can figure out.

B.

[Edited at 2015-02-11 11:22 GMT]


 

bernade
Cambodia
Local time: 00:01
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Max Feb 11, 2015

Found it, I must have a different version of yours, cause I have to go to preferencesicon_smile.gif. But I still don't understand what the numbers represent in the CPS column, or why some are highlighted in pink when they are obviously ok…

How can I send you a screen shot?

Thanks

B.

Max Deryagin wrote:

To add to José's great reply, you can change the reading speed settings in View → Options → Interface → Character Counter.

What reading speed you should stick to depends on the target audience. From what I know, French subtitles for children's programmes, for example, should normally not exceed 10 CpS, whereas subs for regular films and programmes can go up to 14 CpS (and even 16 CpS in some cases). From my experience, subtitles that exceed 18 CpS become almost unreadable.


 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 22:01
Member (2013)
English to Russian
It's simple Feb 11, 2015

bernade wrote:

Found it, I must have a different version of yours, cause I have to go to preferencesicon_smile.gif. But I still don't understand what the numbers represent in the CPS column, or why some are highlighted in pink when they are obviously ok…


The formula is as follows:

CpS = [number of characters in a subtitle] / [duration of that subtitle in seconds]

So if you have a two-row subtitle with each row consisting of 36 characters, and the duration of a subtitle is 6 seconds, the CpS will be 36*2/6=12

Hope this helps.


 

Andriy Bublikov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 20:01
Member (2009)
French to Russian
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
As I understood, you need this Feb 11, 2015

Hi bernade,

As I understood, you need this:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/9g1wyyt6jd6wj3n/CPS%20column%20in%20Aegisub_2.wmv?dl=0

Here is Aegisub manual http://docs.aegisub.org/3.2/Options/


[Edited at 2015-02-11 13:52 GMT]

http://translationjournal.net/journal/04stndrd.htm

[Edited at 2015-02-11 15:10 GMT]


 

bernade
Cambodia
Local time: 00:01
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Now, I understand but... Feb 12, 2015

yes, thank you for the explanation. I think maybe my version has a bug, cause I have , for example, a subtitle that is 23 characters and 2,53 seconds long , and CPS says "21" highlighted in dark pink…


B.
Max Deryagin wrote:

bernade wrote:

Found it, I must have a different version of yours, cause I have to go to preferencesicon_smile.gif. But I still don't understand what the numbers represent in the CPS column, or why some are highlighted in pink when they are obviously ok…


The formula is as follows:

CpS = [number of characters in a subtitle] / [duration of that subtitle in seconds]

So if you have a two-row subtitle with each row consisting of 36 characters, and the duration of a subtitle is 6 seconds, the CpS will be 36*2/6=12

Hope this helps.



 


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