Archive for February 2010

Code of Good Subtitling Practice – Part 2

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11) Given the fact that many TV viewers are hearing-impaired, “superfluous” information, such as names, interjections from the off, etc., should also be subtitled.

12) Songs must be subtitled where relevant.

13) Obvious repetition of names and common comprehensible phrases need not always be subtitled.

14) The in- and out-times of subtitles must follow the speech rhythm of the film dialogue, taking cuts and sound bridges into consideration.

15) Language distribution within and over subtitles must consider cuts and sound bridges; the subtitles must underline surprise or suspense and in no way undermine it.

16) The duration of all subtitles within a production must adhere to a regular viewer reading rhythm.

17) Spotting must reflect the rhythm of the film.

18) No subtitle should appear for less than one second or, with the exception of songs, stay on the screen for longer than seven seconds.

19) The number of lines in any subtitle must be limited to two.

20) Wherever two lines of unequal length are used, the upper line should preferably be shorter to keep as much of the image free as possible and in left-justified subtitles in order to reduce unnecessary eye movement.



Written by addjdl

February 9, 2010 at 7:48 PM

Code of Good Subtitling Practice

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On this post, I will be giving 10 tips on good subtitling practice. Everyone is free to share their ideas and comment.

1) Subtitlers must always work with a (video, DVD, etc.) copy of the production and if possible, should have a copy of the dialogue list and a glossary of unusual words, names and special references. 

2) It is the subtitler’s job to spot the production and translate and write the subtitles in the (foreign) language required.

3) Translation quality must be high with due consideration of all idiomatic and cultural nuances.

4) Straightforward semantic units must be used.

5) Where compression of dialogue is necessary, the results must be coherent.

6) Subtitle text must be distributed from line to line and page to page in sense blocks and/or grammatical units.

7) As far as possible, each subtitle should be semantically self-contained.

8) The language register must be appropriate and correspond with the spoken word.

9) The language should be (grammatically) “correct” since subtitles serve as a model for literacy.

10) All important written information in the images (signs, notices, etc.) should be translated and incorporated wherever possible.

Written by addjdl

February 3, 2010 at 5:33 PM