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Ask me anything about subtitling
Thread poster: Max Deryagin

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:07
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In memoriam
Yes May 3, 2017

Mariaduarte79 wrote:

I'm Portuguese, I work as a freelance translator (translating and subtitling from English and Spanish to Portuguese) and I already sent my resume to all of the Portuguese companies I could find online who hire freelancers to subtitling jobs.

I would like to expand my list of clients and just don't really know how to do it. Therefore, I was thinking: is there any way I could be hired by a client who is not a Portuguese company?

Is there any client in any part of the world who would need a translator from English or Spanish to Portuguese?
I work with Spot Subtitling Software and can also work as a literary translator.

Can anyone please help me?

Thank you all in advance.


You are subtitling for the distributor or TV station in Portugal.

If the original producers will launch a worldwide DVD or Blu-ray disk in umpteen languages, they'll hire a subtitling studio close by, which, on its turn, will seek translators in the target-market countries.

However the latest news I've had from a great subtitling studio in California is that the really big movie studios are now willing to pay for the entire subtitling job less than what that subtitling studio used to pay its translators for the translation alone. Those big movie producers plan to make millions with their successful flicks worldwide, yet they fail to include translation and dubbing subtitling costs in those very same budgets.


 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 18:07
Member (2013)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
- May 3, 2017

Mariaduarte79 wrote:

I'm Portuguese, I work as a freelance translator (translating and subtitling from English and Spanish to Portuguese) and I already sent my resume to all of the Portuguese companies I could find online who hire freelancers to subtitling jobs.

I would like to expand my list of clients and just don't really know how to do it. Therefore, I was thinking: is there any way I could be hired by a client who is not a Portuguese company?

Is there any client in any part of the world who would need a translator from English or Spanish to Portuguese?
I work with Spot Subtitling Software and can also work as a literary translator.

Can anyone please help me?

Thank you all in advance.


In my experience, cold-calling subtitling agencies doesn't work well. Few companies bother to call/write back, and those who do usually offer unsustainable rates. Just sending your CV in hope this or that agency will give you work is unlikely to be effective. It doesn't hurt to try, though; many companies' websites have the "Careers" (or "Work with us") section where you can attach your CV or fill out their application form to try your luck. But, again, this approach tends to yield poor results.

Here are three good ways to find clients:

1. Launch your personal business website and SEO it to the top of Google Search. Make sure you have a USP.
2. Register and be active on freelance websites such as LinkedIn, ProZ and Upwork. (These have worked wonders for me.)
  • Make sure to have up-to-date, detailed, visually appealing profiles.
  • Get pro subscriptions for better visibility.
  • Participate in discussions, forums, groups, KudoZ questions etc.
3. Join professional subtitling/translation associations and network with your colleagues.

Also, you can try to pass Netflix's Hermes test, for what it's worth.

Hope this helps.

[Edited at 2017-05-04 10:07 GMT]


 

Mariaduarte79
Portugal
Local time: 13:07
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Thank you May 5, 2017

Thank you all very much for your tips.
If I get something new, I'll let you know.
All the best to you.


 

bbclaura
Jordan
Local time: 15:07
Arabic to English
+ ...
Rates for language pairs May 9, 2017

Has there been any study on subtitling rates for these language pairs:

Arabic (MSA) - English
Arabic (Colloquial) - English
Persian (Farsi) - English



[Edited at 2017-05-09 16:40 GMT]


 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 18:07
Member (2013)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
- May 9, 2017

bbclaura wrote:

Has there been any study on subtitling rates for these language pairs:

Arabic (MSA) - English
Arabic (Colloquial) - English
Persian (Farsi) - English


Hi bbclaura,

Not that I know of. However, keep in mind that MSA is used in a number of countries with different standards of living (e.g. Saudi Arabia vs Syria), so the rates will vary depending on where you're from. But, again, to reiterate:

There are no set rates in the subtitling business apart from the ones recommended by the subtitling unions and associations. It is your job to figure the rates you are most comfortable with, that satisfy your financial needs and reflect your expertise in the field.


[Edited at 2017-05-09 20:36 GMT]


 

narcit
Local time: 15:07
English to Romanian
It does work, thanks a lot. May 12, 2017

If you know of any other tips, I would love to hear from you.

Thanks again. Very useful. Be blessed.

Max Deryagin wrote:

narcit wrote:

Hi!

Does anyone know if there is a keyboard command for the video frame to start without having to click on the ”play current line” video button, like there is for the audio frame while operating in the Aegisub? For example, if you preset it, the audio frame starts if only you scroll the mouse over and press the space bar. Also if I use Shift+Enter, it automatically breaks the line and you do not have to insert any \N symbols to do so. If anyone out there using Aegisub knows other useful tips for making the work fast, please share.


Hi narcit,

Not sure why, but I have stopped receiving email notifications about new posts in this thread. My apology for the delay.

If I understand your question correctly, which I am not sure I do, the shortcut for starting and pausing video playback in Aegisub is Ctrl+P. Please let me know if this answers your question.



Hana27 wrote:

Dear Max,

I would like to thank you for the goodwill you have to share your knowledge and skills.

Actually, I'm doing a research thesis on audiovisual translation, and I would like to know the professional softwares most used in professional institutions in USA, France, Spain and Russia.

For example, in Belgium the most used software is Swift, it is used in the RTBF, the official national channel, and more other institutions are using it, it is also the most used software in teaching at Belgian universities. IN Netherlands both Swift and Spot are commonly used.

I hope I can get answers from you and other members who may have an idea about this.

Regards.


I've answered your question in another thread, but if anyone else is interested:

Because Russia is a dubbing country, we don't have a rich history of professional subtitling, which means there isn't one preferred subtitle preparation tool. Here's what I know:

  • TV Teletext captions are created via FAB.

  • A couple of subtitling studios use WinCAPS.

  • Some international distributors use Swift.

  • I was the first subtitler in Russia to receive an EZTitles license (this was a couple of years ago), so I think very few Russian specialists use this program.

  • From what I've gathered over the years, most subtitlers in Russia use free subtitling software.

Hope this helps.

[Edited at 2017-04-30 14:11 GMT]


 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 18:07
Member (2013)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
- May 12, 2017

narcit wrote:

If you know of any other tips, I would love to hear from you.

Thanks again. Very useful. Be blessed.


I have quite many, since I used Aegisub for several years prior to moving to professional software, but it'd be quite a wall of text if I were to write everything that comes to mind, so it'd be best if you could be a bit more specific.

Here's a funny one:

If you want to add a sequence of SSA tags to all your subtitles (or a subset), you don't have to copy and paste your tags to each subtitle — you can do it automatically. Here's how:

1. Select the first sub in your subtitle list and insert a new blank line before it (right click on the first line > Insert (before))
2. Make sure the newly created line has the same style as your other subs that you want to add your effects to.
3. Check the Comment box for the new line (it's above the field where you type subtitle text). The line will become commented out and change the color.
4. Find the Effect field (to the right of the Actor field), put the text template line into it and press Enter to save.
5. Type your tag sequence in the new line as subtitle text (for example, {\pos(960,1000)\fad(500,500)}).
6. Go to Automation and click Apply karaoke template.

Aegisub will comment out all the subtitles with the same style as your template line and create their copies with the tag sequence added at the beginning of each one. Then you can remove the commented subs. Saves a lot of time for large subtitle files.


 

anton_07
Greece
Local time: 15:07
English to Greek
+ ...
Problem with subtitling Jun 17, 2017

Good morning! I use Subtitle Edit to subtitle a video clip and I face the following problem. I am given this limitation, among others: 12 char/s. The problem is either my sub overlaps with the previous one or I am out of characters very soon and I cannot subtitle! What am I doing wrong? Thanks in advance!

Antonis.


 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 18:07
Member (2013)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
- Jun 17, 2017

anton_07 wrote:

Good morning! I use Subtitle Edit to subtitle a video clip and I face the following problem. I am given this limitation, among others: 12 char/s. The problem is either my sub overlaps with the previous one or I am out of characters very soon and I cannot subtitle! What am I doing wrong? Thanks in advance!

Antonis.


Hi Antonis,

Twelve characters per second is quite a strict limitation for the reading speed, and what it means is you cannot translate subtitles the way you would normally want to; you have to make the translations very short, so that the intended viewers (probably children or people with literacy needs) have no problem reading your subtitles before they disappear from the screen.

How do you make your translations short? Well, you throw away filler words and phrases, use shorter synonyms, delete repetitions, reword in a concise form, maybe use contractions and short idiomatic expressions etc. It's called text reduction in subtitling lingo, and it is what you need to do to not be "out of characters very soon".


 

anton_07
Greece
Local time: 15:07
English to Greek
+ ...
Thanks! Jun 18, 2017

Thanks a lot, Max! It is such a simple solution, it just slipped away from me. I really thought something else was going on. Thanks!

 

francescacpr
Italy
Local time: 14:07
English to Italian
Minimum fees Jun 30, 2017

Hi everyone,

I am a newbie, I'm still a Translation student but I've been a fansubber (don't kill me, please) for 4 years so I know my way around spotting, subtitling rules etc.

I've received an email - through my uni - from a UKtranslation/subtitling agency which asked me if I wanted to work as a freelance for them: they attached a form asking for my rates. Now, I've read the thread and I understood that asking £4/5 per minute of video for translation+spotting and tr
... See more
Hi everyone,

I am a newbie, I'm still a Translation student but I've been a fansubber (don't kill me, please) for 4 years so I know my way around spotting, subtitling rules etc.

I've received an email - through my uni - from a UKtranslation/subtitling agency which asked me if I wanted to work as a freelance for them: they attached a form asking for my rates. Now, I've read the thread and I understood that asking £4/5 per minute of video for translation+spotting and translation from template is a fair price even for a noob BUT the agency asks for proofreading and spotting+editing rates. I believe they both refer to already translated subs (but I have asked for confirmation). Can you give me an idea of how much I can charge for those?

Also, what would an appropriate "minimum fee" - as they call it - for those kinds of services?

P.s. my language combo is EN>IT
Collapse


 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 18:07
Member (2013)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
- Jun 30, 2017

franfran wrote:

Hi everyone,

I am a newbie, I'm still a Translation student but I've been a fansubber (don't kill me, please) for 4 years so I know my way around spotting, subtitling rules etc.

I've received an email - through my uni - from a UKtranslation/subtitling agency which asked me if I wanted to work as a freelance for them: they attached a form asking for my rates. Now, I've read the thread and I understood that asking £4/5 per minute of video for translation+spotting and translation from template is a fair price even for a noob BUT the agency asks for proofreading and spotting+editing rates. I believe they both refer to already translated subs (but I have asked for confirmation). Can you give me an idea of how much I can charge for those?

Also, what would an appropriate "minimum fee" - as they call it - for those kinds of services?

P.s. my language combo is EN>IT



Hi franfran,

I'm not up to date with the EN>IT rates, but when Monica has some spare time, I hope she'll chime in.


 

Monica Paolillo
Italy
Local time: 14:07
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
EN>IT Jul 2, 2017

Hello, franfran.

Welcome to our forum. Subtitling rates for your/our language combination are very variable at this moment, and with good reason, based on dialog density and type of content, meaning you can't go with one rate for all types of content and stick with it at all times. It's only natural for example to charge way more for subtitling a documentary than an episode of a low-density action TV series. The number of produced subtitles in the former can reach three times the am
... See more
Hello, franfran.

Welcome to our forum. Subtitling rates for your/our language combination are very variable at this moment, and with good reason, based on dialog density and type of content, meaning you can't go with one rate for all types of content and stick with it at all times. It's only natural for example to charge way more for subtitling a documentary than an episode of a low-density action TV series. The number of produced subtitles in the former can reach three times the amount you create for the latter. And it's only natural to charge way more for subtitling a short film than a show including multiple episodes and seasons. That's why, while charging by the minute of video is desirable to give your client an exact quote upon ordering the service, it's also obvious that that rate per minute of video will change considerably based on project scope. It's also a very competitive free market where YOU decide how much you charge based primarily on your experience, the quality of the final subtitles you deliver and your production speed. That said, as a reference once you've made up your mind about YOUR own fair rate range for subtitling, I would go with a rate accounting for 30 percent of that amount for proofreading and/or respotting provided that the quality of the existing subtitles for proofreading is good. If that's not the case, I would propose subtitling the content from scratch and charging 100 percent of your rate.

HTH

Monica

Max Deryagin wrote:

franfran wrote:

Hi everyone,

I am a newbie, I'm still a Translation student but I've been a fansubber (don't kill me, please) for 4 years so I know my way around spotting, subtitling rules etc.

I've received an email - through my uni - from a UKtranslation/subtitling agency which asked me if I wanted to work as a freelance for them: they attached a form asking for my rates. Now, I've read the thread and I understood that asking £4/5 per minute of video for translation+spotting and translation from template is a fair price even for a noob BUT the agency asks for proofreading and spotting+editing rates. I believe they both refer to already translated subs (but I have asked for confirmation). Can you give me an idea of how much I can charge for those?

Also, what would an appropriate "minimum fee" - as they call it - for those kinds of services?

P.s. my language combo is EN>IT



Hi franfran,

I'm not up to date with the EN>IT rates, but when Monica has some spare time, I hope she'll chime in.


[Edited at 2017-07-02 19:52 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-07-02 20:05 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-07-03 06:50 GMT]
Collapse


 

Pilar Dueñas
Costa Rica
Local time: 07:07
Member (2018)
Spanish to English
+ ...
MOUTHS (into Spanish) Jul 3, 2017

Hello,

I've been reading guidelines for a few weeks now, both in English and Spanish, and I can't for the life of me find a translation for the label "MOUTHS", as in "What the f(MOUTHS) do you mean by that?". I'm referring to forming a word with your lips so that others can lip-read you but not actually hear the word.

"INAUDIBLE" is not very specific, but I will use it if this is the convention.


 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 18:07
Member (2013)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
- Jul 4, 2017

Pilar Dueñas wrote:

Hello,

I've been reading guidelines for a few weeks now, both in English and Spanish, and I can't for the life of me find a translation for the label "MOUTHS", as in "What the f(MOUTHS) do you mean by that?". I'm referring to forming a word with your lips so that others can lip-read you but not actually hear the word.

"INAUDIBLE" is not very specific, but I will use it if this is the convention.



Hi Pilar,

I wish I could help you, but I simply don't know what Spanish word is used for the NSI label "MOUTHS". In English CC it's used quite frequently, though. I'll ask around and see if I can find the right answer.

[Edited at 2017-07-04 20:57 GMT]


 
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