Top 5 Tips for Subtitling Translators Working on a Movie Script

Posted by Gummy Tran on January 21, 2022.

Subtitling services have been recognized as an essential aspect for today’s marketers. On-screen captioning of conversations or storylines plays a significant role in bringing a large audience to movies, video games, documentary films, and television programs.

Subtitles, usually displayed at the bottom of the screen, are written translations of dialogues either in the same language or in a different tongue. This, in turn, aids viewers in comprehending what is said in the film.

Furthermore, because the world has become a global village, people are developing a special love for following films and shows in different languages. Businesses choose movie subtitling translation services, in which conversations are translated into the audience’s native language and offered as subtitles.

This indicates that the chances of landing a well-respected and well-paying job are higher in this field. So, if you want to start a career as a subtitler, you should consider the following suggestions.

Time Factor

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One of the most critical considerations that should be addressed is the issue of time. To ensure that the subtitles are carefully read, the time should be handled so that the content shows up as soon as the audience hears the oral counterpart.

The translation would be wasted if the optimal display time was not estimated. Every translator must comprehend the character-per-second percentage. In general, 15 characters are recommended for each second of the captioned period.


Language and Translation Skills

An ambitious subtitler needs to focus on his linguistic and translation abilities. Your native and other language skills and knowledge should be prepared enough that no one can surpass you in the art of captioning.

Assume you are translating English conversations into Spanish; in this case, you must ensure that the English to Spanish sentence translation is done so that the native Spanish audience comprehends every word spoken in the film.


Be Concise

Subtitle translators must ensure that their translations are clear and precise. While watching a subtitled movie, the audience can only read the caption once. If that movie section is left out, the audience will not understand that section of the film or the dialogue. As a result, keep the texts simple and free of wordy formations or lexical items.


Modulation and Transposition

Modulation and transposition are the two essential translation strategies that aim to simplify the text for subtitles. The term “modulation” refers to presenting a situation from a different angle. It should be noted that the sentence is depicted from a different angle, but the meaning is the same.


Avoid Background Speeches

Often, there will be a scene with a lot of background noise or background speeches in a movie. A scene in a crowded place or one in which someone is talking while the TV is on are examples. It is best to ignore the background speeches and focus on the main dialogue in such a case.


General Knowledge

It is critical to have a high general knowledge quotient to work on a Movie Script. A detailed understanding of international politics, law, economics, history, or scientific principles qualifies a translator to become an expert in the translation sector.


Analytical Skills

It is critical to focus on your analytical abilities. Continue to practice translating complex concepts. Examine your abilities to explain complicated concepts with high accuracy. You could even try writing news article overviews.


Localize or Not to Localize

When attempting to point out how to add subtitles to a movie, we must consider the issue of localization. Localizing content entails making that content (usually a translation) available to a specific audience in a particular location.

Imagine translating the Seinfeld scripts mentioned earlier for a Spanish audience. Localizing means creating pleasing translations for each audience—for instance, creating subtitles for a Peruvian audience, a Colombian audience, etc. Since this is very complicated and costly, the best alternative is to translate and create subtitles in a neutral form of the language, in this case, Spanish.


Cultural Knowledge

Knowing the differences between the two languages and cultures being translated is essential for an adequate translation. A lack of cultural understanding can be extremely troubling.


Partner with Trustworthy Subtitling Services Company

It’s no surprise that the demand for subtitling translation jobs is at an all-time high right now. However, the level of competition has risen. As a result, you must follow these guidelines and focus on your translation and subtitling abilities.

Once you enter this field, you will undoubtedly be able to shape a brighter and more promising future for yourself. So, hone your skills, follow the advice, and enjoy being a part of a fun job.

If you want to work for a pro company, you can send your CV to to apply as a translator.

Having an expert assist you when figuring out how to add subtitles to a movie or other content is a good bet. GTE Media has a team of translators and scribes who can transcribe audiovisual content and create subtitles. Depending on the project’s needs, comprehensive closed captioning is also possible, as is much more.

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For a free quote, contact us here. The GTE Media staff will immediately assist you, and the process can begin!

For more translation and localization needs, you may see more here.

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