When it comes to hitting the quality of dubbing, closed captioning, and subtitling services in different languages, Netflix is a trendsetter. Subtitle quality has been hit or miss in the Over the Top (OTT) streaming industry in the past.
Netflix has set a high standard for competitors to meet. The company doesn’t always get it perfect, but it provides subtitles and dubbed content in many languages other than English, making it well competitive in the industry.
Let’s discover how Netflix has become the industry standard for subtitling and dubbing for streaming services and discuss a few of its guidelines for translators.
Netflix Has Raised the Bar on Dubbing and Subtitling Services
Disney+ and Netflix, for example, provide subtitles and audio tracks in various languages for a large percentage of their titles, even the unknown ones. There are times when you can only get dubbing or subtitles, but there are plenty of choices for every language. Spanish films, for example, are subtitled in French, and Norwegian films are dubbed in Dutch.
On the other hand, Hulu has Spanish dubbing for a tiny minority of its movies and TV shows, as well as all of its original programming. Audio and subtitling are available in German, Spanish, and other languages on AppleTV+. However, its limited library consists of acquired or original titles that pale compared to Hulu or Netflix.
So, how does Netflix manage to provide such a diverse range of translation options?
What Netflix offers the Industry
In recent years, global demand for online media has skyrocketed. International viewers have flocked to streaming services. Hiring professional dubbing and subtitle translation companies for films, series, and specials can increase the appeal of Netflix and other streaming services, which can enhance their income stream by focusing on localized content.
The more Languages, the more Users
The addition of global original content and additional languages to Netflix increased membership. As a result, the streaming service continued to invest in localized content, and you can now watch Netflix in 27 languages and more. This resulted in a 50% boost in subscriptions within two years.
Subtitling services are frequently initiated with an English script. This is used as a guide by the translator when creating localized material. This is not the same as a word-for-word translation. Translators attempt to give content a regional flavor to make it more digestible for global audiences. Nevertheless, the priority is always to maintain the original content’s creative vision.
Netflix Quality Standards for Subtitling services
When it comes to subtitles, dubbing, and closed caption translations, Netflix follows strict guidelines. The corporation is also considering using AI and NPL solutions to provide translators with a better starting point.
It should be noted that, when available, Netflix usually accepts the subtitles provided by the content provider.
Netflix specifies the minimum and maximum lengths of subtitle events. For 24fps filming, the minimum duration is five-sixths of a second or 20 frames. The maximum time allowed is 7 seconds.
#2. File Format for Subtitling services
The firm uses subtitle files in TTML1 format (.xml or. ttml). Japanese translations must be saved and transmitted in IMSC1.1 format (.xml).
#3. Glyph List
Glyphs are nonstandard characters that include punctuation, numbers, and currency symbols. Accented vowels and language-specific characters are also included. The NETFLIX Glyph List contains a list of accepted glyphs.
#4. Line Treatment
Everyone using Netflix and turned on subtitling knows that no more than two lines of text appear simultaneously. Netflix clarifies that only one line should be used. Here are some guidelines for dividing subtitles into two lines:
- Break the line after punctuation marks, prepositions, and conjunctions.
- Keep first and last names together and do not separate a noun from an adjective or article.
- A subject pronoun and verb should not be separated, and a prepositional verb should be kept with its preposition.
- Keep verbs and their auxiliary verbs, negations, and reflexive pronouns together.
All subtitles should be centered at the top or bottom of the screen. (Japanese translations can be vertically positioned.)
#6. Netflix Originals Credit Translations
Title card translations must include both full and forced subtitle streams. For more information, consult the Originals Credit translation guide.
#7. Title Cards
Subtitles are also used for title cards and dedications. “Based on True Events” or “In Loving Memory of John Doe” are two examples.
#8. Currency and Brand Names
The currency should not be changed for localized viewers by subtitlers. For example, if the characters speak in euros, you would not translate this to USD for American viewers.
Use well-known English-language brands or a generic term for the product being discussed. Is the brand known by another name in the region for which you’re translating? If so, make use of it.
Paraphrase quotes to avoid copyright infringement. If the translation is in the public domain or you have documented permission from the copyright holder, you can use the translation verbatim.
#10. Translator Credits
To avoid copyright infringement, use quotations. You may use the translation verbatim if it is in the public domain or if you have documented permission from the copyright holder.
GTE Localize Provides Professional Subtitling Services
GTE Localize provides localization services to clients across a wide range of industries. We can help you meet the requirements of streaming platforms like Netflix.
Our localization specialists have worked on thousands of projects and are skilled at using a variety of platforms for subtitling and captions. We also use translation automation technologies to translate content into 80 different languages efficiently.
Contact us today to discuss your company’s requirements.