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|· Corporate promotional videos
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|· Seminar transcription
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· Medical transcription
· Legal transcription
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How subtitling is different?
Subtitling is a type of audiovisual translation that has its own specifications, rules and criteria. The first thing to do before exploring the world of subtitling is to understand that this type of translation has restrictions on time and space which directly affect the final result. Our translation depends on these parameters. It does not only consist of translating the textual context; it imposes on us the determined time and space of the image and the audio.
- Space Limit: The space which we have in our translation is limited to 2 lines of subtitles which are usually centered at the bottom of the screen.
- Character Limit: Each line cannot contain more than 35 characters (i.e. any letter, symbol or space). The subtitle (formed by 2 lines) can have up to 70 characters.
- Time Limit: A subtitle has a minimum duration of a second and a maximum duration of 6 seconds on screen. However, there is a direct relation between the duration of a subtitle and the number of characters that it can contain so that it can be read. The above parameters are based on an average reading speed. We cannot read the same amount of text if we have 6 seconds or less. It is estimated that the current average reading speed is 3 words a second. So, to read a complete subtitle of 2 lines and 70 characters, we will need at least 4 seconds, which house some 12 words. If we have less time, we must calculate less characters.
- Spotting: The translator should aim to calculate the moment in which the subtitles appear and disappear on the screen, so that the subtitles are synchronized with the audio. Also, the duration of the subtitles and the changes of the camera shot must be considered. When a change of shot is produced, the viewer tends to return to lowering their view and re-reading the subtitle, so one must consider, where possible, the shot and scene changes.
- Process: The process of subtitling consists of the following phases:
- Spotting: Identifying the entrance and exit times of the subtitles synchronized with the audio, calculating the minimum and maximum duration times and considering the changes in camera shot and scene.
- Translation: Translation and adaptation from the original and then adjusting it to characters permitted according to the duration of the subtitle.
- Simulation: Representation of the translated subtitles with the image and the audio to check that they meet all of the criteria and that they can be read in a natural way.
- Correction: Review and check of errors and then readjustment of the text.
The ideal result is that the subtitles are synchronized with the audiovisual document, in such a way that it sounds natural and fluent, so much so that the spectator is almost unaware that they are reading and is absorbed in the image, the audio and the text.