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Off topic: Seeking fellow subtitlers around the world!
Thread poster: Adepto Norway

Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:02
French to Spanish
+ ...
To Viviane Nov 3, 2005

A normal human eye can read as follow:

10 caracters > 1 foot > 2/3 seconds > 16 frames
20 caracters > 2 feet > 1 1/3 seconds > 32 frames
30 caracters > 3 feet > 2 seconds > 48 frames
40 caracters > 4 feet > 2 2/3 seconds > 64 frames
50 caracters > 5 feet > 3 1/3 seconds > 80 frames
60 caracters > 6 feet > 4 seconds > 96 frames
70 caracters > 7 feet > 4 2/3 seconds > 112 frames
80 caracters > 8 feet > 5 1/3 seconds > 128 frames

You say maximum 3 seconds... why? You can go up to 5, IMHO.

Now, you talk about "changements de plan": do you mean your client asks you to change subtitle when this accurs? If it's the case, I would'nt advice to do that: if you see the results on screen, they are very "nasty", making the reading difficult because of the continious changes of subtitle, very short too often + changement de plan, that is, 2 visual changes for the spectator at the same time.
Remember: we have to make the reading the more confortable as possible: if you can stick two dialogues in one subtitle, do it. The eyes of the spectator will thank you for that!
Good luck with your sutitling course!


Local time: 16:02
English to French
+ ...
To Juan Nov 3, 2005

Juan wrote:
You say maximum 3 seconds... why? You can go up to 5, IMHO.

I never said that. I said *at least* 3 seconds per 2 lines of text.

Juan wrote:
Now, you talk about "changements de plan": do you mean your client asks you to change subtitle when this accurs?

I never said that I create a new subtitle at *every* "change of scene." I'm saying that I won't overlap a subtitle over a new scene for 15 or 20 frames just so it'll appear for a full 4 seconds. Whenever I need to overlap a subtitle, I give it at least 45 frames on the new scene and make sure the next subtitle will also have its 45 frames on this same scene.



Ivars Barzdevics  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:02
English to Spanish
Another translator Nov 4, 2005

Hello all,

My name's Ivars Barzdevics and I live in Seville (Spain). I've been translating for dubbing since 1993, and a couple of years ago a began translating for subtitling purposes.
I just wanted to let you know that I think this forum is a great idea, and I would like to thank whoever came up with it.


Yoanna  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:02
English to Polish
+ ...
Not in person, but... Nov 16, 2005

Sorry I can't come to Poland, too far... but I'm also a subtitler since a year. I really enjoy this work!


Claudia Papurello
Local time: 18:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
Hi everybody! Nov 16, 2005

I'm a translator from Argentina. I've been working with subtitles since the year 2000. I translate for subtitling and dubbing and sometimes (most the times) I also have to prepare the subtitles... time in and out, etc. I mostly translate sit coms, movies for tv, and movies for film festivals. I absolutely love it! although the money isn't always so good, and so I had to take another day-time job, and now I'm only subtitling occassionaly, but I'm really missing it!!
I'm glad to find this forum in proz, hope to hear from other fellow subtitlers!


Claudia Boday  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:02
Hungarian to Italian
+ ...
Greetings from Italy! Nov 22, 2005

Hello everybody!
I'm really glad to find this forum since I am a cinema fan and I have a degree in American English. My thesis deals with film translation, in particular with Fahrenheit 9/11 (Michael Moore,2004). I translate subtitles only as a hobby now, but in the future I would like to become a professional in this field of translation. It will be hard I know..Do you think it may be useful to follow a course which deals with adaptations/translation of films? I mean, I have read lots of books, essays and comments on film translation for my dissertation and I also had the opportunity to speak with a dubbing director and ask him questions about his job. So I have a good theoretical basis, and maybe it would be better to get some 'real' working experience instead of following a course..What do you think? How do you start your carrier?
Thanks! ciao!

[Edited at 2005-11-22 14:29]


Pavel Constantinov  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:02
Member (2016)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Greetings from Bulgaria, then! :-) Nov 28, 2005

Just thought I'd say hi

A great part of my translator's experience is subtitles...

What I love is that I get to see lots of movies (of course, don't you all love that?), and what I like the least is the payment - not that good in my end of the world...

Hmmm, if you want to ask me anything, please go ahead!


Claudia Boday  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:02
Hungarian to Italian
+ ...
Hi Pavel! Nov 29, 2005

Hi Pavel! It's nice to get in touch with subtitle translators from all over the world : ). I would like to start my carrier in this field as well, from English to Italian or to Hungarian which is my mother tongue. What film genres do you translate mainly? Feature films, television films, documentaries or something else? Do you also translate subtitles for DVDs?


[Edited at 2005-11-29 11:44]


English to French
Where to take classes in subtitling? Dec 10, 2005

Hi Viviane,

I am a graduate student studying Translation/Interpretation, and am focusing on subtitling. I noticed that you mentioned taking classes in subtitling, and I was wondering if you could share with me where you have found courses in the subject. Thanks for your help!


Imad Almaghary (X)
Local time: 00:02
English to Arabic
+ ...
Please do not think of it as being something commercial. Think of those audience. Feb 14, 2006

Good morning

I think the point of view of Inger Lise Saeter is the most realistic one in this thread. You are successful undoubtedly if you think of financial income but you are in essence more successful if you consider audience and who the film or show is going to be considered after the work is done. If I have film to be given to a professional who will not watch it as a whole first then i will refuse him or her to go on and would rather select someone else who is going to see the whole show first. This is like using Microwave in cooking which is faster in food delivery but bad for health, sorry. Understanding the central idea is working effectively and getting the entire theme and where is the stress is and is not is rather helpful to put bluntly. Do not feel shameful if you do not know some idioms or terminology, go and ask about it. you have one aim that is to transfer the real idea that is hidden behind words or sentences but be careful make it as the author or producer wanted. Do not intervene as some professionals do.

Mr. Imad


Local time: 23:02
TO ALL :-) Apr 2, 2006

Nice to meet all of you

I am a subtitler from Czech. My English is not very good (I am not a translator myself).

I work for the Czech Television (Ceska televize) since 2002, I make closed captions (subtitles) for deaf people.
Over here, we have no courses for subtilters - beginners. We must learn from the practise. My wife is deaf (since her childhood) and so I just ask her for her opinion. (She is the leader of the Subtitling Commission of the Association of the organizatons of the Deaf and HOH in the Czech Republic).

We would like to contact subtitlers from all around the world (thank you for this list) and ask about some points realted to the closed captions/subtitles.

* Do you use colours in your closed captions/subtitles? (I mean as to distinguish the speech of various heroes in a film in TV).

* If yes, what colours or their combinations are preferred in your country? (Any research?)

* Do you always use the black box in your closed captions/subtitles (with contrast colours of characters on it) or do you use also other colours for the box (which colours) and contrasting colours of characters (what combination?).

Over here, originally we used only black box and yellow characters, later on the characters get also white and azur.

I tried to use more colours on the black box - magenta, red, and green.
People didnt like red as less visible on the black box, so we stop using it.
Some of them disliked magenta because the Czech television sets didnt show the colour correctly (people said they saw it as
a dark wine colour) so it was not visible enough. Only the foreign television sets showed it correctly. So we stop it again.
The green on the black is visible enougn and people like it - some prefer it as the best beside the yellow.

We also tried to indicate teh sounds on the azur box with black characters, some people like it, some not...

What about your opinion or experience?
Or do you know about research on this field?

The further questions are about the law.

1. How much % of programmes must be subtitled/captioned in your country?
Over here, we won the 70 % in CT1, 70 % in CT2 (both public TV) and 15 % TV Nova (commecial), 15 % TV Prima (commercial).

2. How about the law for the duty to caption/subtitlie DVDs for deaf people in your country?

I must apologize for my bad English but I hope you understand and thanks for your reply...


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