Key Quality Checking Guidelines – Subtitling/Closed captioning

quality-checkAnyone with experience in subtitling and/or closed captioning knows and understands only too well the importance of performing a thorough quality check of the file before submitting the final project to the client.

To ensure a file is properly quality checked, there are a number points that we need to take into consideration.

Before you start working on any file, make sure you have read all the target language specifications. Pay special attention to: Reading Speed, Character limitation, Italics, Continuity, Dual Speakers, Forced Narratives, Punctuation and Quotes.

  • Position the subtitle according to the client’s specs
    • Horizontally (alignment: left, centred, left-centred, right)
    • Vertically (bottom or top)
  • Format/style. Formats captions according to the client’s specs.
    • Format in italics
    • Format Forced Narratives (All caps, mixed case…)
    • Format songs
    • Format dual speaker subs (dialogue captions)
  • Timing
    • Check cues (in and out) according to the start and end of pronunciation
    • Shot changes
    • Important (plot relevant) speech pauses
    • Min/max durations
  • Text
    • Fix line breaks (between subs and between lines within each sub) according to units of sense and punctuation.
    • Check ellipses
    • Keep consistent naming
    • In-depth proofreading: Punctuation and typos

Final quality checks:

  • Inconsistent cues, gaps between subtitles, raised subtitles, subtitles without text, non-printable characters.

Remember to always check the video until the very end of the video (including credits): Look for extra footage, dialogues, ending credits’ songs, etc.

About the author:

Kelly O’Donovan is the creator of GOSUB.tv – An education in the art of subtitling.

GOSUB was born from a passion and enthusiasm for subtitling and teaching.

Having started as a linguistic teacher and then moving on to become the Operations Manager of a leading subtitling agency, Kelly used her know-how, affection, and savvy to create efficient and exciting audiovisual courses.

From her years of experience working with producers, dubbing agencies, video-on-demand platforms, entertainment distributors, encoding houses and more, she has learnt a mountain of information about subtitling and closed captioning. She decided to couple this involvement with her other skill set, which is teaching.

www.gosub.tv

3 Myths about Subtitling

myths

Myth #1
Translators charge too much for a job that Google Translator does in 2 seconds.
The only people who seem to have this mindset are those who have never dealt with any type of translation previously. They may compare your translation costs to what they can get for free with Google Translate.
Translation clients that have been in the translation business understand the difference between automatic and professional translation services and, hence the need, for professional services.

Myth #2
Just because someone can speak two languages means that they can be a translator.
Solely being bilingual doesn’t qualify someone to translate. Translation is not an automated or emotionless process of transforming one sentence in language A into language B.
It is a rather complex art form in which idioms and thoughts have to be translated in such a way that the meaning is accurately and clearly expressed to the listener without losing the feel and the sense of language A.

Myth#3
The demand for human translations will soon fade.
Software and automated translations can give the gist of a foreign tongue, but for business and professional use, rough is not enough.
Translation requires a deep understanding of language. This ability lies far away on the horizon of machine translation.
Technology is a tool that helps them keep up changing times and with the surging demand for translations however it is far from replacing humans.
There is no doubt, machine translations and automated transcriptions save time and money but they almost always end up creating inaccuracies and errors.
Technology may not replace human translators, but it will help them work better.

About the author:
Kelly O’Donovan is the creator of GOSUB.tv – An education in the art of subtitling.
GOSUB was born from a passion and enthusiasm for subtitling and teaching.
Having started as a linguistic teacher and then moving on to become the Operations Manager of a leading subtitling agency, Kelly used her know-how, affection, and savvy to create efficient and exciting audiovisual courses.
From her years of experience working with producers, dubbing agencies, video-on-demand platforms, entertainment distributors, encoding houses and more, she has learnt a mountain of information about subtitling and closed captioning. She decided to couple this involvement with her other skill set, which is teaching.
www.gosub.tv