Subtitling is one branch of audiovisual translation. It has its own demands and follows a distinct model, if compared to localization and translation.

The distinct model here means that in subtitling there are space and time restrictions the translator needs to be aware when subtitling any audiovisual material.

In addition to time and space constraints, the image in movement or static on screen directly dictates how the translation needs to be done.

Here, you can see part of the process that needs to be followed for subtitles to be created:

  • Spotting: is marking the moment when a dialogue has started and ended. It is also used to identify for how long said dialogue needs to stay on screen. This is an important step as it can help the audience read the whole dialogue or completely miss part of the plot of the story being told.
  • Translating: As mentioned before, while translating there are character limitations the translator needs to be aware. The language of the film being translated dictates how many characters are available to be used. For instance, a film in English needs to be translated into Portuguese. The Portuguese language uses 20% more words on average than the English language. Therefore, the translator will need to use words that not only maintain the meaning of the English version but also fit into those characters limitations.
  • Quality Assurance: Here the translator resolves all possible problems with timing and translation that might have passed on the first-round of the work.

Do you have a film, marketing material or internal training video you would like to subtitle?

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