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Ask me anything about subtitling
Autor wątku: Max Deryagin
jbjb  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 20:50
estoński > angielski
+ ...
pedal May 3, 2016

You would pause, play and rewind the video.
In the olden times this saved you the trouble of stretching your hand to the VHS player (and yes, you could save a lot of time that way).

In newer times, during the transcription process where you have mad 10-finger typing skills, it would save you the trouble of stretching one of those hands to the Numeric Pad to control the video. You can just type non-stop with the help of the foot pedal.

The value should not be so high during the translation process where typing speed is not the only factor holding you back.

Some old professional subtitling software had separate mouse-like handles for inserting incue-outcue (although you would use a keyboard that had the numeric pad and the traditional keys as well). I used the handle but I cannot remember why it was better than the keyboard keys I use now. Although you could stand up and stretch yourself and walk around a little while continuing to insert subtitles because the handle had a long cable (it was VHS time, so nobody expected you to respect shot/scene changes - it would take you 1-2 minutes of rewinding/cuing/repeating the process to get just one subtitle timed to perfection). And VHS era meant you translated everything in Word or Notepad first and them timecued it later - now most of the people would translate subtitle-by-subtitle and 90% of the time you have a timecoded template anyway.

It seems to me that for subtitling (not transcription) the pedals/handles lost their value with the digital age when requirements like "a subtitle should start exactly 2 frames after the shot change - not 1 or 3 frames" became the norm. And it makes more sense to tap this out in the numeric pad with your fingers, not with your toes under the table.


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Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Rosja
Local time: 22:50
Członek ProZ.com
od 2013

angielski > rosyjski
NOWY TEMAT
- May 3, 2016

jbjb wrote:
It seems to me that for subtitling (not transcription) the pedals/handles lost their value with the digital age when requirements like "a subtitle should start exactly 2 frames after the shot change - not 1 or 3 frames" became the norm.


Pedals are still used for SDH subtitling. They're quite a timesaver if your software has automatic splitting functionality (=autowrap). You set the parameters (row length limit, row number limit, delimiters, subtitle geometry), and the tool will split subs automatically as you smash your keys in a typing frenzy. Then you press a hotkey, and the whole sub chain is automatically timecoded based on the number of characters in each subtitle (the more characters, the longer duration). Not too accurate but crazy fast.


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Ana Hagen  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:50
Członek ProZ.com
od 2007

angielski > portugalski
+ ...
Is this some kind of scam? May 16, 2016

Hi!

I got a mail today from a firm calling itself SUBGO, offering me the opportunity to start working from home almost immediately with subtitling and captioning. They offer (meaning it probably costs a pretty penny...) an introduction, immediate, diverse and plentiful job opportunities and the chance to get connected exclusively to one subtitling company. Is it just me, or does this seem fishy? Anybody heard of SUBGO? If they're phony, can you put out the word to warn serious translators and others off?

Thank you!

Many regards
Ana Hagen
Haugesund, Norway


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Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Rosja
Local time: 22:50
Członek ProZ.com
od 2013

angielski > rosyjski
NOWY TEMAT
- May 16, 2016

Ana Hagen wrote:

Hi!

I got a mail today from a firm calling itself SUBGO, offering me the opportunity to start working from home almost immediately with subtitling and captioning. They offer (meaning it probably costs a pretty penny...) an introduction, immediate, diverse and plentiful job opportunities and the chance to get connected exclusively to one subtitling company. Is it just me, or does this seem fishy? Anybody heard of SUBGO? If they're phony, can you put out the word to warn serious translators and others off?


Hi Ana,

If SUBGO require their potential vendors to complete their paid training before offering any actual projects, that is definitely a red flag. Could you please confirm the training is not free of charge?


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jbjb  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 20:50
estoński > angielski
+ ...
subgo May 16, 2016

Never heard of Subgo but the industry these days works like that:
1. Client signs a contract with a large subtitling company, paying them 100% of the money.
2. The company does not want to handle all of the languages, so they would subcontract part of the work/languages for 70% of the money /maybe the same that they would pay to translators directly/
3. to companies who start looking for translators for 50% of the money.
4. The rate is often picked up by companies who start looking for translators, offering them 30% of the money.

I have actually seen a 10-time drop in rates compared to Tier 2 and Tier 4 companies.
If Sub-Go is a real company, it is at best a Tier 3 but probably a Tier 4 company. Your aspiration should be to get to the highest tier possible because lower tier companies are abandoned as soon as they lose their usefulness - and sometimes Tier 4 companies are just scammed by Tier 3 who won't actually pay them (and therefore Tier 4 will not actually pay their translators either).
Sometimes in Proz you can see ads by Tier 2, two days later by Tier 3 and one day later by Tier 4 for the same project. You could also Google what Sub-Go is offering and see if you can find the original higher tier offer.
In recent years there has always been a surge in Tier 4 offers when Netflix enters a new market/language. This is never long-term work, just everyone desperately scrambling for a few months until a bigger initial catalogue has been translated, then Tier 4 and Tier 3 companies are dropped and everyday work continues with the major companies and their translators.

Paid training is never offered by major subtitling companies.


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IT Pros Subs
Włochy
Local time: 19:50
Członek ProZ.com
od 2005

angielski > włoski
+ ...
Tiers May 18, 2016

Hi jbjb, what you described is really interesting and confirms my experience over the years. I must say these days it's increasingly difficult to get to work with Tier 1 companies. Do you have a strategy of some sort? What would you suggest?

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Elizabeths03
Wielka Brytania
Local time: 18:50
Beginner needing advice May 18, 2016

Hi,

I've been checking the posts on the forum but I kind of got overwhelmed with the information provided

I want to start subtitling Youtube videos for an organisation (i'm volunteering so it will be unpaid). I have experience in translation (text and audio) but I have never done video or subtitles.

They are not looking for the videos to be professional, just of good quality that can be reposted on Youtube after.

The videos that I'll be adding subtitles to, are already posted on their Youtube page, so I have to download them first.

Can someone please advise me on how to begin, in what format should I download the videos, which software for subtitles is more adapted to beginners.

I will be doing 1-2 one hour videos a month.

Thank You.


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Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Rosja
Local time: 22:50
Członek ProZ.com
od 2013

angielski > rosyjski
NOWY TEMAT
- May 18, 2016

Elizabeths03 wrote:

Hi,

I've been checking the posts on the forum but I kind of got overwhelmed with the information provided

I want to start subtitling Youtube videos for an organisation (i'm volunteering so it will be unpaid). I have experience in translation (text and audio) but I have never done video or subtitles.

They are not looking for the videos to be professional, just of good quality that can be reposted on Youtube after.

The videos that I'll be adding subtitles to, are already posted on their Youtube page, so I have to download them first.

Can someone please advise me on how to begin, in what format should I download the videos, which software for subtitles is more adapted to beginners.

I will be doing 1-2 one hour videos a month.

Thank You.


Hi Elizabeth,

in what format should I download the videos


From the point of view of program/compatibility issues, AVI is usually your safest bet, in my experience, though YouTube itself prefers MP4, because it is its native format. You can find the recommended specs here: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/1722171?hl=en

Please be advised that it is much better to add subtitles via the YouTube CC feature by uploading the subtitle file, rather than embedding subtitles into the video and then uploading the subtitled video. This is because YouTube never displays videos in their original size; it has only three modes of presentation: Standard Mode, Theater Mode and Fullscreen Mode. Regardless of the mode you choose, YouTube will stretch or shrink the video to fit your monitor's size/parameters. As a result, together with the video, your subtitles will be either stretched (=they become blurry) or shrunk (=they become choppy).


which software for subtitles is more adapted to beginners


All the good subtitling tools I have come across so far assume you know exactly what you're doing. If you want something for complete beginners, you can use YouTube's built-in subtitling tool. You can learn more about it here: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2734796?hl=en

But if you want something with more oomph, you can use either Subtitle Edit or Aegisub (but not Subtitle Workshop). These tools will require quite some learning, though.


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Tom in London
Wielka Brytania
Local time: 18:50
Członek ProZ.com
od 2008

włoski > angielski
Off topic.... May 18, 2016

Off topic:

Every time I look at the list of discussion topics and see this one, I get a mental image of someone walking towards me along the street wearing a T-shirt printed with

"Ask me anything about subtitling"




[Edited at 2016-05-18 10:04 GMT]


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Meta Arkadia
Local time: 00:50
angielski > indonezyjski
+ ...
It's absolutely brilliant May 18, 2016

Tom in London wrote:
I get a mental image of someone walking towards me along the street wearing a T-shirt printed with

"Ask me anything about subtitling"



And Max doesn't even have to claim he knows all the answers, that goes without saying. Kudos/z.

Cheers,

Hans


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Elizabeths03
Wielka Brytania
Local time: 18:50
Beginner needing advice May 18, 2016

Thank you very much for your response.

I did look at the Youtube option, but to do this I guess I would need to request full access to their youtube page, as I tried submitting subtitles changes as a viewer but couldnt find a way to do this.

Also, the reason why I am looking to do this externally, is because it would be preferable if the subtitles were embedded into the video as it is possible that the videos will be broadcasted on other websites/blogs and therefore might not have the possibility of adding subtitles (i hope i'm making sense).

Basically, I am not sure if the Youtube option of viewing subtitles will be available if a person is watching the video from another website.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazylia
Local time: 14:50
angielski > portugalski
+ ...
Max deserves the right to wear it May 18, 2016

Tom in London wrote:

Every time I look at the list of discussion topics and see this one, I get a mental image of someone walking towards me along the street wearing a T-shirt printed with

"Ask me anything about subtitling"


Max Deryagin has been doing a great job here in clarifying both newbies' and oldies' questions about subtitling.

Too many of our esteemed colleagues think, Aw, I've been translating TEXT for so many years, maybe it's about time I tried my hand at subtitling. That oughta be both profitable and a lot of fun!

While Max offers guidance so that some new talents may blossom, others may realize that it's not so simple nor always pleasurable. At the same time, he offers valuable tips for old-timers facing unexpected trouble in doing it.

I only hope that Max is sufficiently far away from Siberia, so that his T-shirt won't be always covered with a number of unusually thick weatherproofing coats.


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Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Rosja
Local time: 22:50
Członek ProZ.com
od 2013

angielski > rosyjski
NOWY TEMAT
- May 18, 2016

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Tom in London wrote:

Every time I look at the list of discussion topics and see this one, I get a mental image of someone walking towards me along the street wearing a T-shirt printed with

"Ask me anything about subtitling"


Max Deryagin has been doing a great job here in clarifying both newbies' and oldies' questions about subtitling.

Too many of our esteemed colleagues think, Aw, I've been translating TEXT for so many years, maybe it's about time I tried my hand at subtitling. That oughta be both profitable and a lot of fun!

While Max offers guidance so that some new talents may blossom, others may realize that it's not so simple nor always pleasurable. At the same time, he offers valuable tips for old-timers facing unexpected trouble in doing it.

I only hope that Max is sufficiently far away from Siberia, so that his T-shirt won't be always covered with a number of unusually thick weatherproofing coats.


Thank you for the kind words, Jose

I actually live in Eastern Russia, and it's currently +26 °C outside (ugh!)


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jbjb  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 20:50
estoński > angielski
+ ...
Tiers May 18, 2016

Monica Paolillo wrote:

Hi jbjb, what you described is really interesting and confirms my experience over the years. I must say these days it's increasingly difficult to get to work with Tier 1 companies. Do you have a strategy of some sort? What would you suggest?


Depends on what you want - steady work or good rates. Most of Tier 1 in Western Europe is moving towards rates that are not livable and quickly approach the minimum wage (like it has happened e.g. in Scandinavia). Many Los Angeles based Tier 1 companies have dropped most (or all) languages and prefer project management because commissioning work from the abundance of Tier 2/3 companies is easier than dealing with hundreds of translators themselves (even though project management would be in India).

Better rates - probably the highest are with national broadcasters (RAI in your case?), corporate projects.
Go local and find independent distributors for cinema/DVD or TV channels that stiill handle their own translators (if any are left). Try UK- or US-based subtitling companies with occasional projects that always pay more than steady work.

Much of new work comes from services like Netflix/Amazon/Hulu, characterised by sudden spikes in work, followed by lulls where 90% of translators become redundant. Netflix is trying to become Tier 1 itself for many languages but you can have a look at their Tier 1 providers https://npv.netflix.com/europe (globals like SDI, Deluxe, BTI and smaller ones).
During spike times everyone will be looking for translators and subcontracting - although like Los Angeles based Tier 1-s, they prefer companies that offer many languages, rather than monolinguals.
A working relationship with one of the mid-sized companies might be the best - partnering with Italian translations when they bid the big client for a number of languages. Look for companies active with Scandinavian/Dutch who might be interested in adding Italian to their roster.


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Norfuer
Filipiny
Local time: 01:50
Doing Monolingual Subtitling Work for Ministry. No idea for rates. Jul 12, 2016

Hi!

I basically got my first subtitling job (0 experience). It's monolingual ENG>ENG, and includes writing out a transcript for a series of lectures ranging from 45-70 minutes long, as well as timing them to the video. There are a few technical terms involved, but since the audience are layfolk, they're either easy enough to look up, or not all TOO technical.

To give you an idea, I've already done the first video. I managed to get the transcript done in less than an afternoon (inclusive of breaks and interruptions, I live in a noisy house). 8700 words in 50 minutes. Most of the timing was just a couple hours, though I'm ironing out a few kinks, as my transcript is imperfect and I misheard a few things.

I mean, it seems simple and straightforward enough. But the difficulty for me isn't so much the work. It's the rates. Aside from having no idea what the average rates are, there's also the fact that the client is a donation-funded ministry that I'm personally invested in. So I'm not viewing this so much as an actual job, but rather something of a... service to help them out. They're asking for my rate, and I have no idea what to give them. I do believe I should give them a discounted rate, though.

Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


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