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Subtitling

Nowadays, subtitling play a leading role in the distribution of film production in various countries.

Translation of movies is a very time-consuming and painstaking process. During subtitling, translators typically create a script in the target language of the original, in addition, each translated replica should be synchronized with the actors' movements on the screen. In addition, translators should take into account the peculiarities of the culture of the target film market in order to make sure that during the translation any traditions or superstitions that are typical for this culture weren’t  violated, it is also necessary to check the use of slang and vulgar vocabulary, and that the content of all dialogues is transferred as much precisely as possible.

Translators are working hard also in the period after the filming of the movie, when it is necessary to translate promotional materials that contribute to the distribution of the film abroad. It is about the translation of movie trailers, information about the given movie, which is presented on the Internet.

Although subtitling is considered a simpler kind of film-making, in order to transmit the meaning of the film as fully as possible, the subtitler should have a deep knowledge of the features of culture and know all the rules of the translation language.

What is Subtitling?

This is the addition of text to a video product of any genre and format. At the moment, the creation of subtitles is the most affordable and less expensive way to adapt the video compared to dubbing. Subtitle overlay is also the fastest way to translate almost any video. It is also irreplaceable if the video plays without sound, for example, at an exhibition. Subtitles are the fastest way to translate almost any video. It is also irreplaceable if the video plays without sound, for example, at an exhibition. Translation of subtitles is a kind of artistic translation, and such translation should be performed taking into account the genre features of the text and the requirements of the presentation of subtitles on the screen. The main feature of the subtitle text is conciseness and brevity, that is due to the limitation of the space occupied by subtitles and the time provided for their reading.

Considering the fact that the structure of the subtitle text has its own peculiarities, and there are requirements to the display of subtitles on the screen that are intended to provide the most comfortable conditions for the viewer, it is reasonable to say that, having encountered difficulties in translating, the translator will be forced to use various types of transformations.

To lexical transformations include transliteration, translation transcription, calculating, some lexical-semantic substitutions. Examples of grammatical transformations are literal translation (or syntactic assimilation), grammatical substitutions (replacements of sentence members, word forms, parts of speech) and sentence division. Lexical and grammatical transformations include explication, antonymic translation and compensation.

The presence of subtitles in corporate films, video clips about the company or presentation video will be a solid bonus and will enhance the status of the company in the eyes of foreign customers and partners.

Subtitling process

The creation of subtitles for the film is a set of works:

  1. Prior to the beginning of subtitling, the copy is checked by the technical control department, which evaluates its quality and makes up a defective list. If necessary, as agreed with the customer, the film can be restored.
  2. Experienced, highly professional translators translate multimedia files.
  3. Then the editors work on the film, laying the text in sync with the speech of the characters. At the same stage is the process of editing, adaptation of subtitles for a large screen, proofreading and other work with text.
  4. After this, the customer has the opportunity to watch a movie with subtitles in the "rehearsal" mode, if necessary, make his own edits, make comments or add/remove any information.
  5. After the customer approves the subtitle text, the laser engineer applies it to the film. This process is carried out on a professional laser subtitle creation system.
  6. After burning, the film copy with subtitles is washed in the restoration shop.
  7. The final stage of the work with the film copy is a check by the technical control department, which issues a technical conclusion about the state of the film copy.

Subtitling difficulties

Translation of movies is very hard work. Even the simplest dialogues must be translated so that they correspond to the normative norms of the target language. There are spatial and temporal limitations during subtitling, because spectators should have enough time to read subtitles. In addition, the subtitles must be synchronized with the video sequence and noise effects. On the other hand, duplicate replicas should not be longer than the original replicas.

Translators should be well versed in cultural features, know the technical, political, legal and diplomatic terminology, which is usually difficult to translate. Difficulties also arise in the transmission of emotions and expressions taking into account that there are only from 30 to 60 characters can be displayed on the screen at one time. Quite often, the humor and emotionality of dialogues are lost and replaced with simpler words due to time constraints. Subtitles appear on the screen for only a few seconds, during which the viewer must read and understand them, so they should be short. If there are pauses in the dialogs, the subtitles remain on the screen for a few seconds longer, but this happens rarely. Another problem that occurs while subtitling is the need to insert time stamps, which takes a very long time.

Our services

Everyone would agree that the era of digitization and information is now a thriving sector. Thus, our experts in the field of audiovisual translation and digital multimedia know that digital and multimedia materials have fundamental sense in the information society. In addition, we know that this sector is subject to changes and the existing forces of culture, commerce and linguistics. Since the Internet has come into our lives, we are faced with all kinds of audiovisual material; from ads on TV to training on various platforms. We use a specialized program for translating, synchronizing and inserting subtitles into various video formats, movies, documentaries, serials. We insert perfectly synchronized subtitles in any format.

Our qualified employees with many years of experience in the field of subtitling carefully process each film. The most attention is paid to such important things as the synchronism of the subtitle and the frame, spelling and stylistics, the ratio of the time the text is shown to the viewer giving him ability to read and understand it.

Our services include:

  • preliminary decoding and translation of the text;
  • marking and preparation of the text for subtitling;
  • subtitle overlay on video and quality control;
  • translation and replacement of screen captions in video (including the frame repainting);
  • installation of the final material.

Request a quote or information about our services and solutions.