Questions about subtitling
Thread poster: Isabelle Louis

Isabelle Louis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:47
English to French
+ ...
Mar 10, 2005

I have a question for those of you who have experience in subtitling,

this friend of mine is finishing a documentary filmed in Spanish, that will need subtitling in different languages,
I am posting here his main questions after doing a research trough the site where I didn't really find the aswers that he is looking for.

Any suggestion would be welcome, a book, a website detailing guidelines for that kind of task.
Many thanks in advance.

Isabelle Louis


"I am looking for information with regards to subtitling for film
projects. Any thoughts would be helpful but my main question is
whether there is a standard formula as to how long words need to be on
the screen for the average person to be able to comfortably read them.
The words can only be on the screen for a limited amount of time so the
translation I believe has to first respect the time constraints and
then it has to be a faithful translation. I also wonder if anyone
might have suggestions as to what typefaces are commonly used and what
size is standard, if there are in fact standards"


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xxxsarahl
Local time: 02:47
English to French
+ ...
Technical constraints Mar 10, 2005

First of all, you need to find out how much space you will have, i.e. how many characters to a line, how many lines to a shot.

Second, remember that the viewers still need to see the picture, so keep the size reasonable. For that reason, you may have to find shortcuts, you probably won't be able to render everything faithfully like you would for a regular translation.

HTH

Sarah


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Dominika Schoenborn  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:47
English to Polish
+ ...
subtitling - constrained translation Mar 10, 2005

There are constraints in subtitling, the most important of which are time and space. You are only allowed to have maximum 40 characters per line, including spaces and 2 lines per subtitle. An avarage person can read between 170-180 words per minute; maximum duration of a subtitle can be between 6-8 seconds, while minimum 1 second. Because of these constraints, it is important to truncate - the same thing can be said in fewer words. But it is not editing things that are important to the plot
As far as font size and typefaces are concerned, I think it depends what'the purpose of subtitling, i.e. cinema or DVD. In cinema your screen is bigger so you can use bigger font, while DVD, you watch at home with 17" or 21" TV so your screen is smaller and you can have big fonts becasue they'll occupy the entire screen. Hope it will help


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 04:47
French to Spanish
+ ...
I'm here. Mar 10, 2005

Please, contact me.

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Mihail M Mateev
Bulgaria
Local time: 12:47
Member
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Please, check this one Mar 11, 2005

http://accurapid.com/journal/04stndrd.htm

A Proposed Set of Subtitling Standards in Europe

-------------

I did not have time to read it throughly, but I will do it soon.

Hoe that helps.

BR,
Misho


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Mihail M Mateev
Bulgaria
Local time: 12:47
Member
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
or just google: subtitling standards Mar 11, 2005



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Isabelle Louis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:47
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
THANK YOU ! Mar 11, 2005

I want to thank you all for taking the time to give me some answers, suggestions and links, I am sure that it will be very helpful and on behalf of my friend, I am sending you my gratitude. Proz is really a wonderful source !

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