Movie subtitling is an essential practice for videographers who want to share their work with a wider audience besides speakers of their local language. Today, a majority of moves and screenplays featured on television and the internet have movie subtitles. So if you want more people to enjoy your work, you need to learn how to do subtitling properly.
This is even more important if the voice of the actors in the video will be very low. Remember that each film is foreign to an audience somewhere and you never know where your work will land. The internet has made it possible for moviemakers to spread their work across countries and continents and two things are responsible for this; the internet and movie subtitles.
Not only does subtitling help foreign speakers understand what is being said; but it also increases the economic value of your work. Today, close to 38% of video content has subtitles. This number is far higher for Facebook videos as more than 85% of Facebook users enjoy videos with no sounds. For the videos to make sense, movie subtitles are vital.
So as a moviemaker, or a beginner looking to improve your movie subtitling skills, what are the things to bear in mind? Here are some helpful tips to follow for movie subtitles.
Caption the source material
One of the first things you should always do for all your movie subtitles and videos is to caption it. Remember that the goal is to make it accessible to a wider audience; some of whom have poor and impaired hearing. Captioning the source material helps greatly.
YouTube and Facebook videos require captioning because these platforms provide display speech-to-text features. While this feature helps the viewer, you need to understand that it is not perfect but riddled with flaws. So to avoid this feature ruining your message, you need to use closed video captions. This will supplement audiovisual uploads.
Timing is crucial
When it comes to movie subtitles, timing is crucial. You don’t want the subtitles to drag for several seconds longer after the words have been said. The more this happens, it will ruin the work. The golden rule of movie subtitles is that the subtitles should not last for more than six seconds after the scene changes. This can only be achieved if the texts are fewer. So as the translator, you should use as few words as possible without diluting the message. The text should flow in accordance with spoken words and imagery.
Preserve the tone of speech
When a language is not understood, the message is lost to some degree during translation. As a translator, your job is to make sure that only very little loss is experienced. The only way to do this is to use the same speech and style. Using words that evoke the same emotions as that used in the video is very important. Take away the emotion from the speech and half the message is probably lost. So for your movie subtitles, make sure you preserve the tone of speech.
Replicate meaning not words
We notice how bad some movie subtitles can be and there are many reasons for this. One of the reasons is that the translator focuses on using more words rather than meaning. Language is fluid so using a particular word in one language may make sense but using the exact same words in the subtitle may be counterproductive.
This is why you find that so many movie subtitles have too many unnecessary words. This is not the way to go about it. Rather, you should focus on the meaning of the words rather than word quantity. This involves summarizing certain texts when they become too much.
Use inaudible speech properly
Using inaudible speech is not important but if you decide to use them make sure you use as few words as possible. This part of the work does not require extended texts since they hold very little meaning in the video. The same can be said for audio effects in the video. Inserting italics in parentheses is something you should do more often than not. This is necessary whether there is background noise or a noise source. This will make the text flow naturally without disruptions.
Are you looking for a qualified translator for your movie subtitles? Look no further than Circle Translation services. We have experts who can translate your movies and videos into any language of your choice. We have subtitled hundreds of videos over the last few years and ours is a service you can trust. Send us a message today and let us know how we may help you with your movie subtitling.