Building an online subtitling platform
Thread poster: Pilar Dueñas

Pilar Dueñas
Costa Rica
Local time: 19:02
Member (2018)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Feb 1

Hello forum.

I am planning to start my own subtitling company, initially for English and Spanish as target languages.

I have reached out to a few web developers and nobody seems to know how to embed the editable video viewer so that linguists can create the template, translate, QC, export, etc., on the platform, rather than downloading the video and then exporting the subtitle file. This is important because I need the whole team to work together on the file so that turnaround time is reduced while maintaining quality.

Any thoughts or advice?


 

Manuel Bas y Mansilla
Netherlands
English to Spanish
Use an existing platform Feb 2

I'm not sure you can build a 'cheap' (as in affordable for a small company) platform from scratch. There are existing platforms like CaptionHub, or Amara.org, which offers that service at around $12 per user (monthly). Good luck, I hope it goes well with your company.

 

Pilar Dueñas
Costa Rica
Local time: 19:02
Member (2018)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, found one. Feb 4

I've found a company that can start with about $3000, so that would be feasible for me.
I don't like either CaptionHub nor Amara, I want to be able to subtitle an episode in under 24 hours, so that multiple linguists can work on the file at the same time.
Thank you.icon_smile.gif


 

Jocelin M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:02
English to French
+ ...
Hello Feb 10

If you don't mind me asking, what gave you the idea to subtitle episodes in less than 24 hours?
As far as I can tell, having multiple translators on the same series can already lead to roadbumps in quality, I can't imagine the effect of multiple translators on a single episode.
Plus, that would require fixed schedules and the constant stress of a rush on translators (which wouldn't help quality either) and such task would be paid at a higher rate, which would make you more expensive than the competition in a market that tend to reduce the cost of translation (and translators) more and more.
So, genuinely, I'm curious about how it could be a good idea.


Jan Truper
Andreas Kjeldsen
Michelle McBride
 

Pilar Dueñas
Costa Rica
Local time: 19:02
Member (2018)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hello Feb 10

I'll give you just one tiny example because describing the whole project would take me several hours.

As you know, we fill up a Known Names and Places and FT to ensure consistency in translation, spelling and formality. This is painstaking work and even good translators make mistakes. The KNP that I use has formulas linking the list of characters to the formality table, so when you add the names to the characters sheet the formality table is automatically populated, so you reduce the workload by more than one third and you avoid mistakes. (This is a simple =B2 formula, not rocket science.) This kind of inefficiency is repeated a hundredfold throughout the subtitling process.

The problem is the workflow with companies like Amara or CaptionHub, and agencies that work with freelancers, is inefficient, so linguists start cutting corners in order to be able to make a living.

By implementing proofreading techniques and allocating different tasks to different members of the team, defining a streamlined workflow, assessing who is consistently doing a good job, and utilising linguists' time more efficiently, each language would have a team of committed subtitlers who would work less but see better results.

So putting the system in place takes time, but once everything is working people work better and faster.


 

Jocelin M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:02
English to French
+ ...
Thanks for the answer! Feb 10

Honestly, I think this is not how translation works, but it was kind of you to take some time to respond. Good luck to you!

Michelle McBride
 

Sylvano
Local time: 02:02
English to French
Indeed Feb 11

I would also say this is not the way translation works, consistency being key here. And I really have huge doubts about the "better and faster" part.

Michelle McBride
 


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