For the past 20 years, Wetranstech has been cooperating with the world's major production companies to localize, digitize and provide video/movie content for the entertainment industry.
Subtitles in movies have existed for more than a century. About ten years after the film first appeared, the first "subtitled" film began to spell dialogue in a silent film. Today, subtitles are the easiest and cheapest way to localize videos. Good subtitles are seamless. If done well, viewers will hardly notice that they are reading while watching subtitled videos. If done poorly, the subtitles may be distracting and offensive to the audience.
When choosing a localization service provider for a video, the following best practices should be considered
Translators and other personnel working on your project should have appropriate qualifications. Mother tongue is not a sufficient condition for subtitles for videos. The expertise of professional translators, writers and language experts is not just a simple translation. They are good at research on syntax, grammar, noun-verb combination, idiom expression and cultural differences. They focus on conveying the meaning of your content, rather than literally translating the text. After reading through your original script for the first time, a good localization translator may review the questions and comments with you.
Next, ask your video localization service provider about the process and quality control measures. Here is how it works
You provide videos and scripts (if any).
Localization service providers transcribe and/or proofread existing scripts.
Prepare to translate the source language file into the target language. It needs to be constructed, one subtitle at a time. Pay special attention to grammar, syntax and punctuation, spelling, line division and format based on linguistics.
Subtitles should conform to the overall aesthetic verification, perfectly synchronized with the video, and maintain readability.
Then, the subtitles are timed according to the optimal reading speed algorithm.
They are reviewed by a language professional to ensure that their meaning and purpose are maintained.
Then, the audiovisual editor uses the video to add custom edges, de-brightening, and shadows at the corresponding pixels, frame by frame, so you never have a white-to-white effect. They check for newlines at key language points and never put an article or preposition at the end of a line without a corresponding noun.
What can go wrong with subtitles?
A matter of time. Is there enough time to read? The rule of thumb is to keep 2 frames of subtitles on either side of the clip.
There are too many words on the screen.
The position of the subtitles on the screen should be determined by the grammar, and not look shorter than another line like "Christmas tree".
The text size can be slightly larger or smaller.
Important sound effects should be included in English SDH and closed captioning streams.
How do you know that the subtitles are accurate?
Unless you speak the target language, it is difficult to know whether the subtitles are correct. This is where you must trust your video localization service provider. Ensure that they have extensive experience in this industry, have a good record of cooperation with long-term customers, and have an extensive network of professionals.