As a subtitle translator, I can't help but envy Korean filmmakers and look forward to Chinese films.....
The 2020 Oscars have just been announced, and the Korean film "Parasite" has bagged four awards including Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film, making it the biggest winner of this year's Oscars and making history for Korean films. It is worth noting that this is the first time in the 92 years of the Academy Awards that the Best Picture award has been given to a non-English film.
As a subtitle translation, I can't help but envy Korean filmmakers and look forward to Chinese films: When will Chinese films have a chance to sweep the Oscars? When will the overseas box office of Chinese films be able to create a $10 million club? WetransTech believes that it is time for Chinese films to make up for the shortcomings of English translation.
Is it expensive to translate a script compared to a second of special effects? If a Chinese film wants to achieve good results in English-speaking countries and be understood and respected by English-speaking audiences, the importance of translation quality can be imagined, but the current situation in the industry is that translation has become the most under-appreciated part of the entire film industry.
The translation market of TV dramas is even more ludicrous. The translation business of a TV series has about 8,000 words of lines in one episode, but the client's budget is only 1,000 yuan, and the translation needs to be completed within one day. What is this concept? Our experienced Chinese translators with over 10 years of experience usually handle only 2,000-3,000 words of Chinese to English translation work per person per day, and even if they are native speakers of both Chinese and English, they can only translate up to 5,000 words per day.
Frankly speaking, I have never seen a Chinese to English translator who can produce 8,000 words a day with a quote of less than 150 per thousand words in the international translation community. Of course, there is also a low-cost solution, that is, ask Google, machine translation and then manual rapid revision, not to check the dictionary nor the corpus, some mystery novels to overseas markets is to do so.
For a Chinese movie to be marketed overseas, the first step is to push the English translation of the script outline to overseas partners and distributors in advance, the second step is to get the jury members from different countries to read and like your script, and the third step is to face the movie audience who only say hello in Chinese and hope they can understand the feelings the characters want to convey through the fast flashing subtitles.
In each of these steps, the corresponding script outline (including plot synopsis and character biographies), script and line subtitles can seriously affect the audience's perception of the entire film, which in turn translates into the overall performance of the Chinese film in overseas markets.
WetransTech is eager to be involved in the translation of the first Chinese movie to gross $10 million overseas.