Do you know how films are translated and subtitled?
No? We’ll explain it in a very simple way in the following article. 👇
Before we start watching a film in streaming format, we make an important decision: choosing the audio language and the subtitles.
Behind these possibilities, there are thousands of small decisions that a team of language professionals made so that viewers have a choice of audio languages and subtitles. Sometimes what at first glance may seem like a bad translation is actually a very good one.
In a very brief summary, we’ll tell you about the stages involved in translating a film:
The translation of a film begins when the production company receives the order to have it subtitled. From there, the professionals who will prepare the requested language version are selected according to their affinity with the film’s subject matter.
In an organised way, the translation and subtitling process is divided into three stages:
Firstly, the translator and the production company usually have access to the scenes and the script so that they can remain as faithful to the original product as possible.
Once the translation ready, everything is checked to determine the in-times and out-times for each subtitle, which is called timing, a function that has a specific professional for this: the timer.
This professional is also responsible for setting the correct position and the time at which each subtitle should appear or disappear from the screen in the subtitled programmes.
Once the translation has been completed, at the proofreading stage, it must undergo some grammatical revisions and adjustments to ensure that the subtitles work in synchronisation and that they are coherent.
It sounds simple, doesn’t it? In fact, it’s a job that involves great dedication to ensure that everything is perfectly coordinated and translated, it is a process that involves several professionals.
Now you understand the process, can you imagine what this translation process must have been like for films made years ago?
Here are some curious facts about film translation:
- When motion pictures with sound began, films were recorded in all the languages of the countries in which they were to be released. The actors had to wait for the new performance for each recording;
- In the 1980s, subtitles were made on graph paper, to ensure that they didn’t go outside the boundaries of the screen, and only then were they typed up;
- Dubbing production costs up to ten times more than the subtitling process for the same material.
Remember, for the translation of films, books and documents, it is recommended to use an experienced translation agency. This is essential to guarantee the final quality of your product.
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