Anyone 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)
- Check cues (in and out) according to the start and end of pronunciation
- Shot changes
- Important (plot relevant) speech pauses
- Min/max durations
- 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.