Subtitling courses
Thread poster: magdalena2000

Local time: 23:35
English to Polish
+ ...
Dec 11, 2007

Hello everybodyicon_smile.gif

I am a freelance English to Polish translator. I have not much experience in subtitling. I did a short course on subtitling while doing my MA course. However, it didn't include any information on software and technologies used during translation of subtitles.

I thought that maybe it is a good idea to look for a short course which would give me a general insight into the technology as well as I could brush up on the translation strategies used while subtitling.

Anyway, my question is if anyone of you attended the course at City University, London ( I found one comment on proz forum on this course, which was quite negative so I am having some doubts if that's the way to choose.

Does anyone knows something about the course?

Many thanks for your help!


José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:35
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Check your market first Dec 12, 2007

First check the requirements of the market, viz. specific clients, you'll be serving.

Translation for subtitling requires applying some summarizing techniques while dealing with text, and following some common-sense-based rules on formatting. You can learn the techniques in a course, probably like the one you took already. And you can get the rules from the same course (or not!), or get a general idea from

I adapted the 17 years' experience in translation I had then for lip-sync dubbing, and started translating for subtitling 3 years ago. Then I learned from all I needed to actually do it with freeware. Yes, I can go all the way with freeware, from any video (even VHS but this requires some additional hardware) to a subtitled DVD.

However client requirements vary a lot.

- For instance, a small (actually any size) video producer will want just the translation, with line and subtitle breaks to their specs. A TXT or DOC file will do. They have all the staff and equipment to do the rest.

- A TV station might request that you also time-spot them, using a specific file format, and there are dozens of these, fortuntately most (but not all!) easily convertible into one another. Their equipment will apply the subtitles on-the-fly while broadcasting

- And finally a non-video-related business might want the whole job, either a simple DVD, or a fully-authored one (with menus, chapters, etc.).

Nevertheless, for the subtitling itself, in spite of all the freeware (though I use some commercial software as well, depending on the case), I get superb quality in subtitled video, not any worse (and often better) than what you see from large, specialized companies.

But you won't need such versatility, at least initially, if what your clients want is ONE type of job.

Good luck!


Local time: 23:35
English to Polish
+ ...
Thanks Dec 13, 2007

Thank you very much Jose, I find your answer very useful. Actually, it made me think if it's so necessary to attend a course as I do have the general knowledge I would need to deepen it and look for clients and maybe this is what I will do in the end.
Once again many thanks!


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