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Subtitling

Subtitling is an area of translation, which is a subset of a broader field of audiovisual translation, which includes dubbing, voiceover and audio transcription. Subtitling is divided into two types: subtitling within the same language, for the deaf and hard of hearing (also called captioning), and subtitling across languages, for foreign-language film and television.

The subtitler’s task is somewhat complicated because subtitles are limited in space (about 35-40 characters per line, and a maximum of 2-3 lines) and time (subtitles should not stay on the screen longer than the assigned number of seconds, which is usually 4-7 seconds). The result is, the content of the dialogue has to be cut down to fit in the subtitle. Not just that, the content has to be translated, and the subtitles also have to be ‘spotted’ or timed carefully to match the dialogue. Moreover, with target languages, where the order of syntax reverses, its all the more complicated, because at times a single sentence in the subtitle may be split into to two separate scenes.
In subtitling its not just translating the dialogue, but also other meaningful language in films such as signs, captions, and other written words that appear.

This is where the art lies, and it takes lots of training and practice.

Our translation agency provides Multi-lingual subtitling of pre-recorded television programs, documentary films, feature films, webcasts/podcasts, and of course of already transcribed subtitles.

The process begins with a subtitle editor transcribing the dialogue in a given movie word for word (unless its already transcribed). This is followed by formatting the text as subtitles and adding the time-tags at which each subtitle appears. Translator then translate these subtitles into the respective language.

A lot of languages (for instance, Spanish) will take significantly more words than the original English to convey the same meaning. When this happens, translators must paraphrase their translation in order to convey the meaning within the allotted time, for viewers to read the subtitles. For experienced subtitle translators, this is not an issue.

You can rely on our translation service for providing translation of subtitles. But this service is available for specific languages, not all.

The rates for subtitling may vary on hourly or per-word basis, or both, as the case may be.

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