7 Facts of Subtitling Services You Never Knew Before

Posted by Gummy Tran on December 31, 2021.

Subtitling services for videos and films enable a broader audience to appreciate and enjoy international audiovisual works.

Subtitles assist viewers in understanding foreign conversation in their native tongue. While subtitles enhance comprehension, the work involved in subtitling is time-consuming and precise.

Subtitling is an audiovisual translation technique. It has its own set of criteria, norms, and requirements. Professional subtitling necessitates the expertise of linguists who have undergone extensive training in the intricate process of interpreting various sorts of program genres and content. They can maintain the original material’s context and meaning within the subtitles they add.

In this post, we will show you 7 subtitling facts you never knew before.

Creating Subtitling Services

Subtitling Services

Producing subtitles requires more than simply translating the material and displaying it at the bottom of the screen! Subtitling is a type of translation with time limitations. These elements have a direct impact on the result.

Translators must be familiar with the materials they will be working with, maintain the original video’s context and content, and deliver the translated script into the target languages. It requires more than just translating textual content (script). It must consider audios and visuals that relate to a specific space and time.

The task of subtitling does not end there. The translator must change the translation to meet the constraints of the subtitles. The translator must consider the text’s placement and timing and the character-per-line limit and reading speed.


Subtitling Limitations

When it comes to subtitling, there are always constraints. The amount of space available for the translation is two lines of subtitles. Subtitles are usually placed at the bottom of the visible screen, centred.

Subtitles have a time limit as well. Subtitles must be at least one second long. The maximum time that subtitles are visible on the screen is six seconds.

These parameters, though, aren’t set in stone. They are simply the main principles to remember, as subtitling must be adaptable. There will always be exceptions to the rule.

While the number of characters and the duration of the subtitles have a minimum and maximum restrictions, they also have a direct relationship. This means that there are exceptions depending on the subtitles and how well (and quickly) they may be read.


Reading Speed Of Audience Is Vital

The number of characters in the subtitle and how long it stays on the screen will be decided by the viewer’s typical reading speed.

People do not read at the same rate when reading the same amount of material in six seconds or fewer. The average reading speed is currently estimated to be three words per second.

Reading two subtitles containing 70 characters (about 12 words) takes about four seconds for the average viewer. Only the most essential characters should be used when there is a limited amount of time.

Spotting is a technical part of subtitling. Here, the translator must try to predict when the subtitle will appear on the screen and when it will disappear. This is done to match the subtitles to the audio in the video.

Changes in the camera shot must also be taken into consideration. This has an impact on the length of the subtitles as well. The spectator is prone to re-reading the subtitle when the shot changes. As a result, scene and shot changes are added to the list of things a translator must keep an eye on.


Is Subtitling An Art?

Subtitling Services

Subtitling is regarded as an art form, and rightfully so. It is not an easy effort to create subtitles. When it comes to making subtitles, translators encounter several challenges. It is a type of art that allows films to reach a global audience.

Films from other countries influence various filmmakers. Subtitles assist people in understanding movies from all across the world.


Emotional Expression

A film is all about telling a story and expressing various emotions. One of the most challenging aspects of subtitling is emotional expression. The translator must convey the same feeling that the audience sees on screen in the dialogues.

The translator and editor must choose words by hand. They should successfully convey the same feeling as the scene and actors. The audience will not fully comprehend a situation if the terms used are not carefully chosen.


Words May Cause a Problem.

Subtitling Services

We communicate with language, and each word has a specific meaning. However, several English words do not have direct translations in other languages.

When translating some single English words, more words may be required. For example, in English, “shallow” (water) will be “peu profond” in French. Some English words need a detailed explanation rather than a direct translation.

On the other hand, some words have several meanings or have multiple meanings. For example, the Portuguese term “massa” can refer to pastry, batter, cake mix, or bread dough.


Subtitles Have Separate Screenplays

In the case of regional films, such as those made in India, the film writer or director frequently writes drafts in English as the film is being written. When editing the footage, this strategy helps save money and time.

When adding subtitles to a video, the subtitled screenplay provides a reference for how the subtitle should be done and, in some situations, what should be written. When this happens, the film’s artistic value is taken into account. It also ensures that the local language’s subtleties are preserved.


Pick a Right Partner for Your Subtitling Services

You’ve now discovered some interesting subtitling facts that not many people are aware of! We hope you will recognize the enormous amount of effort and expertise required by the translator to make subtitles that will allow you to understand a foreign film completely!

If you want to start your projects but don’t know where to begin, contact GTE Media experts for a free consultation.

Subtitling services

GTE Media is a professional media agency providing high-quality subtitling services. We have a team of professional native linguists with a deep understanding of many cultures and customs to give you accurate and culturally subtitling services. 

Contact us to book a free test!

If you want to discover more translation and localization services, check out here.

Tags: ,

Tags: ,

Your comment