Should sing-song dialogue be in italics?
Thread poster: Pilar Dueñas

Pilar Dueñas  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 02:46
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jan 6

Hello forum,
Is dialogue spoken in a sing-song voice considered singing according to Netflix guidelines?
For instance:
Tommy made a booboo...


 

Ekaterina Verma  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 11:46
Member (2020)
English to Russian
+ ...
Italics for the Netflix Spanish subs Jan 7

Dear Pilar,

I assume it is again for Spanish target, right?

According to Netflix guidelines for Spanish, both songs (with background music) and any recited poetry should be italicised, i.e. everything different from the normal spoken voice.
Not sure which guide applies for your case but here is the Castilian & Latin American one:

11. Italics
Italicize the following:
Works of art (e.g. sculptures, paintings), album, book, film, video gam
... See more
Dear Pilar,

I assume it is again for Spanish target, right?

According to Netflix guidelines for Spanish, both songs (with background music) and any recited poetry should be italicised, i.e. everything different from the normal spoken voice.
Not sure which guide applies for your case but here is the Castilian & Latin American one:

11. Italics
Italicize the following:
Works of art (e.g. sculptures, paintings), album, book, film, video games and program titles (use quotes for song titles).
Foreign words, unless they are proper names (e.g. a company name) or part of regular usage (e.g. sushi, pizza). This is not always in line with official regulatory recommendations. Thus, linguists should follow their best judgement, taking into account that italics should not interfere with legibility.
Dialogue that is heard through electronic media, such as a phone, television, or computer.
Only use italics when the speaker is not in the scene(s), not merely off screen or off camera. Additionally, italics are not needed for subtitle events that belong to a single continuous sentence, divided by a shot change, in which the speaker is not in the scene before the shot change, but is visible after the shot change.
Song lyrics (if rights have been granted).
Recited poetry.
Voice-overs.
Do not use italics to indicate emphasis on specific words.


https://partnerhelp.netflixstudios.com/hc/en-us/articles/217349997-Castilian-Latin-American-Spanish-Timed-Text-Style-Guide


So I guess the questions are whether there is any background music to it, how long is this sing-song going and whether it is one word or the whole sentence? This can allow you to qualify it for the part to be italicised.

Regards,
EK
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Yaotl Altan
 

Pilar Dueñas  Identity Verified
Costa Rica
Local time: 02:46
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Jan 7

Hello again, Ekaterina.
Yes, it's the same project of classic films for a Spanish audience. There is no background music and it's only one short sentence, of the type children use to mock or taunt another child, for instance:
«We can see your undies, na-nana-naa-nah!...»
According to the Timed Text guidelines, poetry should be in italics, so I suppose we'd use italics for chanting in sports cheering, taunting i
... See more
Hello again, Ekaterina.
Yes, it's the same project of classic films for a Spanish audience. There is no background music and it's only one short sentence, of the type children use to mock or taunt another child, for instance:
«We can see your undies, na-nana-naa-nah!...»
According to the Timed Text guidelines, poetry should be in italics, so I suppose we'd use italics for chanting in sports cheering, taunting in a sing song voice, or recitation of liturgical mantras -for instance, «Om...»- but I wanted to talk to you guys because both the English and Spanish versions were not italicised.
Thank you so much, Ekaterina.
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Ekaterina Verma
 

Ekaterina Verma  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 11:46
Member (2020)
English to Russian
+ ...
PM can provide a better insight on italics in subs Jan 7

Hi Pilar de nuevo

I believe it is a bit hard to evaluate how much of reciting there is in one line without actually hearing it but yes, I agree with you that the logic is that if something is not spoken in a normal voice but recited, sung, then it should be in italics.

I bet your PM must have a more informed opinion on that and they can check with the client if it needs to be specifically highlighted.
... See more
Hi Pilar de nuevo

I believe it is a bit hard to evaluate how much of reciting there is in one line without actually hearing it but yes, I agree with you that the logic is that if something is not spoken in a normal voice but recited, sung, then it should be in italics.

I bet your PM must have a more informed opinion on that and they can check with the client if it needs to be specifically highlighted.

If the original English template did not have it in italics, I can only assume that, removing the possibility that both subtitle owners made a mistake, either 1) the English template author contacted PM, they checked with the client and probably decided that this is not enough to be highlighted (for instance, they only sing-song ONLY this naa-nana, but not the whole sentence). In this case we do not use italics to indicate emphasis on specific words; or 2) there are at least two subtitles, and the speaker is on and off screen in them, then we need to avoid going back and forth between italicized and non-italicized subtitles.

Something like this, just guessing.

Because in general, across all Netflix guides, we should avoid going back and forth between italicized and non-italicized subtitles if it is one sentence split between several subs for consistency purposes. Maybe this is your case, too?

I am glad if I could have been of any help.

Regards,
EV
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Dalia Nour
 


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Should sing-song dialogue be in italics?

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