Do you translate subtitles from a written source text, or directly from source language audio?
Thread poster: Victoria Fletcher

Victoria Fletcher  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:02
Member (2020)
Japanese to English
Oct 13, 2020

Hi everyone,

When you do a subtitling job, do you translate from a written source text and write over it? Or are you expected to listen to the audio in the source language, with no written source language text, and directly translate into written target language subtitles from the audio?

Do you get given the source language text AND audio, or just one of them?


 

Kang Seok Lee
South Korea
Local time: 18:02
Member (2018)
English to Korean
+ ...
Both Oct 13, 2020

It depends on the sources of the outsourcer.
I mean if the outsourcer gives you a written source, you translate the texts and write over it. But if the outsourcer doesn't have a written source, you should listen to the audio very carefully and make them in written text (of the target language).
As the outsourcer knows very well that the subtitling job will be easier with written text(source), they will give it to you if they have.(why not??).
So if the outsourcer doesn't mentio
... See more
It depends on the sources of the outsourcer.
I mean if the outsourcer gives you a written source, you translate the texts and write over it. But if the outsourcer doesn't have a written source, you should listen to the audio very carefully and make them in written text (of the target language).
As the outsourcer knows very well that the subtitling job will be easier with written text(source), they will give it to you if they have.(why not??).
So if the outsourcer doesn't mention the text source, please ask them.
And very occasionally, the subtitling job rate with and without text source can be different.
(The rate with text source could be lower than that of without one(=audio only)
The most important part of subtitling, however, is synchronization.
And because there is no difference in synchronization with/without text source, I suggest you offer the same rate to the outsourcer.
Did my comment help you??
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abdelkader jbira
marijaflora
 

Sarper Aman  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 12:02
English to Turkish
+ ...
Templates Oct 13, 2020

Hello Victoria,

I'm working with EN-TR language pair. General practice in the industry (feature films, TV Shows etc.) is working with templates. Language Servie Provider, an LSP, sends me an English template with time-codes along with a visual, a video not an audio. Again, generally, you don't need to overwrite the English template cause you have another blank space for the translation, next to the English template. Template creators are expected to be native speakers so It's a bit
... See more
Hello Victoria,

I'm working with EN-TR language pair. General practice in the industry (feature films, TV Shows etc.) is working with templates. Language Servie Provider, an LSP, sends me an English template with time-codes along with a visual, a video not an audio. Again, generally, you don't need to overwrite the English template cause you have another blank space for the translation, next to the English template. Template creators are expected to be native speakers so It's a bit unlikely that the translator listens to the source language and translates it to the his/her target language at the same time. They must be native speakers in both languages. In some cases, there's no time-coded template, then comes the Script. Then the translator creates both time-coded subtitle boxes and does the translation. I did this few times in my 5 year subtitling career but %99 I've worked with time-coded English templates. And in my humble opinion, never ever subtitle with an audio. Visual is crucial in subtitling. I hope that answers your question and I didn't miss anything. Fellow subtitlers would add few more points, for sure.
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Victoria Fletcher  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:02
Member (2020)
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Oct 13, 2020

Kang Seok Lee wrote:

It depends on the sources of the outsourcer.
I mean if the outsourcer gives you a written source, you translate the texts and write over it. But if the outsourcer doesn't have a written source, you should listen to the audio very carefully and make them in written text (of the target language).
As the outsourcer knows very well that the subtitling job will be easier with written text(source), they will give it to you if they have.(why not??).
So if the outsourcer doesn't mention the text source, please ask them.
And very occasionally, the subtitling job rate with and without text source can be different.
(The rate with text source could be lower than that of without one(=audio only)
The most important part of subtitling, however, is synchronization.
And because there is no difference in synchronization with/without text source, I suggest you offer the same rate to the outsourcer.
Did my comment help you??




Hi Kang,

That's very helpful - thank you for taking the time to reply.


 

Victoria Fletcher  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:02
Member (2020)
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Oct 13, 2020

Sarper Aman wrote:

Hello Victoria,

I'm working with EN-TR language pair. General practice in the industry (feature films, TV Shows etc.) is working with templates. Language Servie Provider, an LSP, sends me an English template with time-codes along with a visual, a video not an audio. Again, generally, you don't need to overwrite the English template cause you have another blank space for the translation, next to the English template. Template creators are expected to be native speakers so It's a bit unlikely that the translator listens to the source language and translates it to the his/her target language at the same time. They must be native speakers in both languages. In some cases, there's no time-coded template, then comes the Script. Then the translator creates both time-coded subtitle boxes and does the translation. I did this few times in my 5 year subtitling career but %99 I've worked with time-coded English templates. And in my humble opinion, never ever subtitle with an audio. Visual is crucial in subtitling. I hope that answers your question and I didn't miss anything. Fellow subtitlers would add few more points, for sure.


Hello Sarper,

Thank you for this information. This makes sense. An LSP sent me some files, with no written script, as an example of the kind of work they wanted doing. I will be sure to ask for a written text if I ever get into subtitling work.


 

kmtext
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:02
English
+ ...
A source text makes the job easier, but it's not essential Oct 13, 2020

I prefer to work with a script if possible. It speeds up the process if the audio isn't clear and also simplifies the research.

I rarely work from a script alone though, because so much of the narrative depends on the visuals and it's very easy to make a mistake in translation if you only have part of the story.


Eric Azevedo
Kang Seok Lee
Vanessa Andrade dos Santos
 

Novian Cahyadi
Indonesia
Local time: 16:02
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Mostly templates Oct 16, 2020

Usually the client provides a subtitle file complete with timestamps. I just need to translate the script and make adjustments as necessary. But occasionally, I have to transcribe the video and create the timestamps myself. When that happens, I would of course charge more.

Although I never had to work from audio-only files. It was always from videos. Pretty weird if you were just given an audio file to work with.


 


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Do you translate subtitles from a written source text, or directly from source language audio?

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