Subtitles, Shortcuts and Shuttles

Subtitles, Shortcuts and Shuttles

By Bernd Werner

Shortcut keys are a great way to increase your productivity when timing/spotting subtitles. Professional subtitling software, like e.g. SubtitleNEXT, lets you assign all the functions you need to specific keys or key-combinations on your keyboard.

In SubtitleNEXT you can find this option under Options > Customize Keyboard:

Here you can assign all functions you need to keys or key-combinations of your choice and then save it as preset. You can then display all assigned shortcuts in a list, print it out and post it next to your computer screen if you like.

 

Another option that works exceptionally well for me, is the use of a separate device to control these functions: the ShuttlePro or the ShuttleXpress by Contour.

ShuttlePRO v2

around $99

ShuttleXpress

around $60

The device is connected to your PC via USB and works as an extension to your keyboard. All buttons, as well as the jog-wheel and the shuttle-wheel, can be assigned to different functions for different programs.

 

How to install ShuttlePro or ShuttleXpress on your PC

Download and install the latest driver software for your device from http://contourdesign.com. After the installation, you will see the Control Panel for your device (in my case: ShuttleXpress).

 

You can also see the Shuttle symbol in your taskbar. By clicking on it, the Control Panel opens up.

 

In the dropdown menu under Application setting, you can find several presets for all kinds of software. In order to use the device with SubtitleNEXT, you have to create new settings and connect them to the program.

 

  1. Click on Options and choose Create New Settings and then Create Empty Settings.
  2. A file-explorer window opens up, and you have to select the SubtitleNEXT.exe-file. In my case, it is in this folder: C:\Program Files (x86)\PlayBox Technology Europe\Subtitle NEXT\bin.
  3. Then click on Open.
  4. Open SubtitleNEXT and follow the steps above to view the list of shortcuts.
  5. Choose those functions you would like to assign to your Shuttle device and note down the appropriate shortcut keys.

 

I picked the following functions:

 

Function Shortcut key
Play with Preview and Pause Ctrl+Space
Insert Subtitle at Current Time Shift+Ctrl+Enter (is not assigned by default)
Set In-Time (Take In) Alt+F9
Set Out-Time (Take Out) Alt+F10
Split Subtitle at Current Time Ctrl+ZIRKUMFLEX (looks like this: ^)
Next Frame Ctrl+F12
Previous Frame Ctrl+F11

 

  1. Next, go back to the Shuttle Control Panel. Now you have to assign the shortcuts you noted down to each of the buttons and/or the jog and shuttle wheels:

 

For example:

I want Button 1 to set the In-Time. So I choose it from the first dropdown menu on the right. You can see the highlighted button in the picture on the left.

Then I choose Type Keystroke from the second dropdown menu on the right.

Click into the field which says Not assigned and press the keys you want to assign (here: Alt+F9).

You can leave the rest unchanged, but you might want to add the function in the comment field.

Click on Apply and continue with the other buttons in the same way.

 

I want the jog wheel (the inner wheel) to move the video forward or backward frame by frame. So I assign Ctrl+F11 to Jog Left and Ctrl+F12 to Jog Right.

 

You can leave both, the Control Panel and SubtitleNEXT, open while you are assigning the keys. Thus, you can try right away if it works.

 

Always make sure to select SubtitleNEXT from the Application setting dropdown menu, because when you close and open the Control Panel, it automatically shows Global Settings.

 

Happy Subtitling!

Author: Bernd Werner

Video Game Localization in Latin America: A General Overview.

By Kali Corral

The market for Latin American video game translation has increased over the years, and as a localization translation specialist, there are various aspects I have observed along the way. Let’s discuss them briefly.

 

First, the dialect variant and how translation agencies resolve this. Latin America consists of 20 different countries (well, one could say 19, in Brazil they speak Portuguese), and in each country people speak a different dialect and, in each country, there can be a lot of different variants of it. In Europe you only have one.   So, when we translate, we must aim to the so called “neutral” Spanish, which in reality doesn’t exist, but it rather refers to a balanced Spanish with almost zero regionalisms but at the same time, natural and understandable by everyone. We have to be very careful in many ways, as there are a lot of words that in one country are OK, but in another they are offensive words (like “papaya”, a fruit, but in some countries, it refers to the vulva; or like “concha”, a sea shell, meaning the same as the previous one in some regions).

 

The difficulty to achieve balance is high and in my experience the agencies are blind to this, diminishing our work in different ways: telling us to “adapt” from the Euro version, or way worse, having our Euro colleagues edit and “adapt” for the Latin American version! This comes from the uninformed perspective that the Euro Spanish is “the” Spanish (idioms and all), thus everyone everywhere must understand it and this is certainly not the case.

 

There is also the matter about rates, which are extremely low, especially for all the work we have to do (for example, if it’s a dubbing project, we always have to include entering time codes of each dialogue) and that they demand everything as urgent but refuse to pay extra for the urgency, they think it’s our obligation to comply to this abuse. And when a Euro company opens an office in Mexico, with time (sometimes more, sometimes less) this new branch succumbs to an evil that dominates Mexican agencies: nepotism. They also lower the rates, exploit the translators more, and never offer them ongoing training.

 

I have observed that when a manager creates a translation team with translators from different Latin American countries, and encourage them to communicate between them (that’s another matter, they like to keep us blind and not talking to each other), the quality of the delivered work is way better! A Mexican translator might not be spotting a regionalism and a Colombian or Argentinian or Chilean one could, or the other way around, that way we can fix it and improve it. Video game localization for this region would highly improve if more companies and managers did this.

 

About how we learn how to do this: at least in Mexico, where I’m from and so far, it has to be self-taught because until very recently, this specialization was only available in very expensive universities (for rich people) so you had to investigate and learn by yourself (the same goes for dubbing and subtitling). Let’s not go further than this, the Translation Bachelor’s Degree at a public university just opened last year. I’ll dare to say that almost all Mexican Audiovisual Translators come from Linguistics (like myself) or Literature, then self-taught. Only a few of us come from the private universities. And talking to my peers from other countries I discovered this is not the case in countries like Chile or Colombia and I find this extremely curious as almost all Audiovisual translation is done in Mexico (and almost all translation professionals are Mexican).

 

Video game players can notice the difference between Euro and LATAM Spanish, as the use and idioms are quite distinct. They can also notice between a good translation and a bad one (even if they can’t say exactly what or why, but the speakers always sense this), and this is why we alongside the agencies must care about delivering quality to the audience, we owe it to them.

Author: Kali Corral

Why subtitling can be considered an art form.

Why subtitling can be considered an art form.

By Monica Paolillo

“Due to the complex nature of subtitling, the subtitler must possess the musical ears of an interpreter, the stylistic sensitivity of a literary translator, the visual acuteness of a film cutter and the aesthetic sense of a book designer”. Henrik Gottlieb

If standard professional translation requires special skills and qualifications, subtitling is an even more complex task. It’s not just about studying languages, speaking multiple languages fluently, being a bilingual or a specialist in your areas of expertise… All that is great, but it’s not enough. In subtitling you don’t just transfer ideas and words to make them accessible to the reader in the target language.

Subtitlers carry a message and stand in between cultural settings, straddling the languages they work with the way simultaneous interpreters do. They have a profound knowledge of idioms and slang both in the source and target languages. What we do is somewhat related to the way humans naturally communicate and it’s as if any two people (the original dialogist and the subtitler) were meeting and having any conversation and/or reporting an event or an anecdote. One of these two people then meets a third person (our viewer) who, of course, is not aware of what has been said or what has happened. The content of their conversation and/or the anecdote is then transferred to this third person. The way in which the content is transferred will have to take into account who the third person is, their background and experience (the language and culture of the viewer) because that’s the only way our communication will be immediately understood (within the few seconds of exposure of individual subtitles). Therefore, we will use sentences and ad hoc expressions that are certainly different from those pronounced in the original language but that will still keep any inherent message or nuance unaltered. Our interlocutor will thus be correctly informed.

Due to time constraints and character limits, subtitlers therefore have to condense dialog without losing the essence of it and still convey every single little nuance while being aware that, when it comes to rewriting dialogues, there can be no perfect equivalence without any difference. It is precisely in that effort that they will call upon all their creativity and ingenuity that would not be triggered otherwise and would have no way of expressing themselves in other scenarios.

Besides, subtitlers have to be proficient in spotting and timecode content based on the international subtitling guidelines. They have to determine with utmost accuracy when exactly a subtitle should go on and off the screen following speech rhythm. They make sure subtitles don’t go over scene or shot changes wherever possible. They have to use straightforward syntactical units and distribute text from line to line in sense blocks and grammatical units. They have to allow for a comfortable reading speed and determine the best exposure times for subtitles. They have to be tech savvy enough as to use a professional subtitling software (eg. SubtitleNEXT)

For all these reasons, subtitling can be recognized as an art form in its own right.

“You get paid to watch movies” is a hoax

Many people seem to think that subtitling is a fun and playful job. That idea has certainly something to do with the spread of the fansubbing phenomenon, which, however, has nothing to do with professional subtitling (that would be material for another post).

There is a common misconception that you spend all day watching movies and TV series and you even get paid to do so. It’s kind of crazy to imagine that such a possibility may exist, isn’t it? But anyway the reality is completely different, because, when someone watches a film or a series, they select their favorite genre, actors and directors, they watch their favorite content in their free time to unwind and relax. The life of a professional subtitler is anything but relaxing.

If you consider that the turnaround of a subtitled feature film (timecoding plus translation), is now close to five (5) working days and that, on average, you’re required to subtitle one TV series episode within a couple of days, there really is no time to relax. Besides, working on productions you really enjoy is a rare event and, even when that happens, especially if these are high quality productions that invest good money in good scripts and characters, after subtitling three seasons of the same TV series, you end up knowing your characters so well that you can even predict their lines, you might even dream about them in your sleep or hope that sooner or later the main character dies just to put an end to it all, an expectation that is the exact opposite to the one their fans have who, on the contrary, are hoping their hero becomes immortal at some point.

Then there are documentaries that tend to be very wordy without any action or soundtrack and their entire runtime is covered by content needing translation and timecoding (narrator plus interviews). They might be interesting when they happen to cover your personal interests, but if that’s not the case, they can be extremely boring.

In a nutshell, what we do is not channel zapping on the couch and working conditions are far from ideal in that you often have to deal with overlapping projects and deadlines.

Subtitling is a highly specialized job both from linguistic and technical perspectives. It is a job, a profession and also an art.

Author: Monica Paolillo

 

How does Italy deal with ‘adattamento-dialoghi’. And, more importantly, what is it?

How does Italy deal with ‘adattamento-dialoghi’. And, more importantly, what is it?

By Silvia Maragliano

 

Along with dubbing, adattamento dialoghi (dialogues adaptation) is a legitimate form of art in Italy.

 

So much so, that this country is one of those, if not the only one, where an institution exists representing AVT workers, particularly the so-called adattatori-dialoghisti, dubbing professionals, as well as several other professionals in the field.

 

In this article, we would like to tell you a bit about the Italian adattamento-dialoghi and the history of the professional association that puts together a number of professionals: Associazione Italiana Dialoghisti Adattatori Cinetelevisivi–that is AIDAC.

 

AIDAC was founded in 1976 and, at the beginning, it only had a limited membership. All of its members were adattatori-dialoghisti, and all of them shared a theatrical or cinematographic background.

 

Despite the fact that today AIDAC membership has grown compared to the time in which it was born, its foundational goals as a professional association remain unchanged. AIDAC offers a way to face new markets together, and to protect the interests of professionals who already are in the market.

 

On the other hand, the association acknowledges that the market is changing and is open to younger, fresher professionals with a different background, who are now moving their first steps in the field. This is why AIDAC now is also determined to promote a healthy competitive environment, in which everybody can benefit from each other.

 

Thanks to AIDAC, adattatori-dialoghisti have been acknowledged as legitimate authors, whose work is entitled to and protected by author’s rights.

 

As a representative of a great number of dialogues adaptation and dubbing professionals, AIDAC is one of the major decision makers in the field, also from a regulatory point of view.

In fact, Italy is the only country where these professionals[1] are protected by a collective agreement[2]. The agreement defines the role of the most important professionals in the field, how long they can work every day (in case of dubbing professionals, for example), and how much each of them is entitled to for their job. In fact, this agreement is so paramount because it is the only one in the field that sets out a minimum wage[3].

 

We saw that some of AIDAC’s goals have not changed with the passing of time. Of course, if the association wants to be ready to face new markets, it also has to acknowledge what in the market is changing and how. One new aspect of the market is that there are now many young professionals interested in entering it. What is the problem with that, if any? Just one, which is not really a problem, more a plot twist: these new, young professionals’ background.

 

In fact, while in the past adattatori-dialoghisti used to be theatre or movie actors and actresses, now they are linguists. What is the difference, you may ask? The difference lies in what each of these two groups knows.

 

On the one hand, first adattatori-dialoghisti did not use to master perfectly the source language–or, at least, that was not a top-priority requirement–yet they could certainly count on their knowledge of dramaturgy, character building, and the language of cinema and theatre.

 

On the other hand, recent adattatori-dialoghisti are true linguists, graduating from language and translation schools. Their background is made up of literature, linguistics, and translation studies. But they lack almost any knowledge of the dynamics and subtleties of filmic texts.

 

One may ask if and why is the artistic background so valuable? Well, the answer to that is: Yes. And that is because of what adattamento-dialoghi actually is.

 

With adattamento-dialoghi we refer to dialogues adaptation as the translation and adaptation of a movie or program script from its original language to a target language.

 

The collective agreement (CCNL, Art. 2 par. 5) defines adattatori-dialoghisti as professionals tasked with translating and adapting in a given target language movies or other foreign material to be broadcast in another country so that the nature of the original work is preserved.

 

We see then that it is not mere translation because one should be aware not only of single words, but also of rhythm, lip synchronization, field size, and many other subtleties that are typical of a filmic text. Like subtitling, adattamento-dialoghi is quite technical, and not only a creative job.

 

With that definition in mind, to adapt to the new face of the market AIDAC organizes and supports, among other things, professional meetings[4], open both to AIDAC members and non-members, to fulfill two purposes:

  1. Trying to fill the gap between what schools now offer and how the real professional world works by talking about how adattamento-dialoghi is done, explaining how tricky it can be, and what tricks adattatori-dialoghisti can hide up their sleeve to face its challenges;
  2. Making the old and the new generation meet and reflect together upon the most recent demands of industry stakeholders, from big major industry players such as Disney to big corporations and new stakeholders such as the so-called ‘big N.’

 

In the near future, we will see in more depth how the market has changed. In conclusion, change can be scary but there is no reason to panic. A strong community in which professionals support each other is a powerful tool with which to face any new challenge.

Author: Silvia Maragliano

[1] AIDAC does not represent subtitling professionals per se, for whom associations are much more common and widespread all over the world. Subtitling is also mentioned in the collective agreement, which only regulates a particular case, that is when material that has already been adapted into Italian has to be subtitled and the task is assigned to adattatori-dialoghisti themselves, who perform it based on their own dubbed script. In everyday, nowadays practice, this is not too often the case, and subtitles are made based on their English version–or in whatever language they are originally crafted–, even if the same program has already been adapted and dubbed into Italian before.

[2] Full text, in Italian: https://goo.gl/rNEg2u

[3] This means that anyone who either doesn’t pay their professionals or works for less than the minimum wage is acting in breach of a binding contract according to the Italian legislation.

[4] We will talk about these meetings in a future blog post.

Are you using the NEXT best security tools at work, or are you putting yourself at risk?

Subtitlers are faced with a plethora of subtitling systems to choose from nowadays.  Handling vast amounts of data and a wide range of content brings serious security issues though.  Therefore, selecting the best tools that provide the right measures of protection and security are an absolute priority.

This is where NEXT-TT really is the next big thing in subtitling as the system has been designed to make security an utmost priority in every way.

The NEXT-TT platform is a fusion of SubtitleNEXT and  business management system LAPIS, making it super-efficient and providing users with the best of both worlds.  NEXT-TT is equipped with unique security advantages and hidden defense mechanisms.

Encryption and watermarking of video materials; user rights and SSL are all available in NEXT-TT too.

System administrators, managers and key personnel stand to benefit from these helpful tools as they provide a wide range of options and allow operators to set up various user rights and also log system activities in a detailed and concise manner.

Automation with user rights that are assigned to specific projects, tasks, groups, and individuals, helps to reduce errors and ultimately protect data leakage.

Another unique security feature of NEXT-TT enables subtitlers to work with only isolated sections of an entire video or movie. This helps prevent the film project being available in its entirety as it gets distributed across several translators over a set period of time.

“Encrypted communication between users in the system, whether in-house or cross-platform is a “must-have” feature.” Alexander Stoyanov, Sales Director at PBT EU says. “Research has revealed that nearly 50% of users face security challenges while working online. Users can benefit from online encryption as well as downloadable watermarking.”

Belgium’s Videohouse recently invested in SubtitleNEXT software for their subtitling and translation department and have worked on high-profile projects such as the Olympic Games to the Eurovision Song Contest, and serves big-brand accounts such as Endemol, CanalZ, Council of Europe, European Commission, European Parliament, Fremantle Media, Play Sports, MediaLaan, Ring TV, Rai Italia, RTL TV1, and vrt, to name just a few.

 

Elisabeth Barber, Subtitler/Translator at Videohouse who is currently using the SubtitleNEXT software on a full-time basis,  outlines the advantages of SubtitleNEXT in this vital area, “Since we often work with confidential content, another aspect that is very important to us is that supporting video files are not stored locally. This means that we do not have to erase any folders before we take the computer home to work. All in all we are happy with our transition to SubtitleNEXT. We have received incredibly helpful support and we look forward to working with it in the future.”

The PBT EU team are extremely conscious of how crucial security is to the Videohouse team and that clients’ confidential and highly sensitive material is safeguarded and protected at all times.

Media Project Manager at Videohouse Willem-Alexander Hameeuw affirms, “The efforts taken by the PBT EU team to follow-up and to develop on the spot are quite exceptional in the broadcast world! A major advantage.”

The great advantage in NEXT-TT is that it has hidden and detailed user rights management along with robust activity logging mechanisms which ingeniously serve as an excellent alarm system. When user rights are properly defined and followed from the outset, they play a major protective role in monitoring any misuse of material.

 

Find out more at www.SubtitleNEXT.com

How closed captioning used in videos can raise awareness on a wider scale

Videos are a powerful branding medium. Content captures the imagination of a vast audience and video is one of the most powerful branding tools used across most social media platforms today. Marketeers are using videos to visually showcase their services and products to customers on a regular scale making them as popular as ever.

A concise well filmed presentation with a professional script and sound is vital to get the attention of a fast-paced audience with a short attention span.  However, the most important factor of all to consider is to ensure that the video file is closed-captioned so that it reaches everybody including those who are hearing impaired as well as those in noisy environments who want to follow along with the sound switched off.

The added value of closed captioning is also improved SEO as search engines document text and key words from image titles for example. Your video will then be revealed in search results resulting in increased ROI. In addition, closed captioning your videos can make translation much easier if you’re producing videos for foreign markets. With the words written out, translators can transpose it to any other language.

Whether you’re on Facebook or using Twitter or catching up with Linked In, closed captioning is really useful way of still following what’s happening. Statistics reveal that about 85 percent of Facebook videos are watched without the sound switched on, therefore it is evident that closed captioning is imperative.

The maximum length of a video on social media is about just under one-minute although closed captioning can entice people to watch for longer and persuade them into staying onto the end with interesting storytelling. People retain information better if they can follow along with a video and closed captioning certainly helps attain this.

Closed captioning is an underestimated advantage in how it can play a crucial role in raising your product’s awareness as it can help you reach more customers.  SubtitleNEXT offers closed captioning functionality so you can get started straight away.  Find out more at www.subtitlenext.com

facts on translation

10 Interesting facts on translation – Part 2

Did you know that?

Translation profession is as old as the world. SubtitleNEXT has selected top 10 facts that will intrigue and make you think. Enjoy and share. Then check Part 1.

translation infographics 2

10 interesting facts on translation

10 Interesting facts on translation – Part 1

Did you know that?

Translation profession is as old as the world. SubtitleNEXT has selected top 10 facts that will intrigue and make you think. Enjoy and share. Then check Part 2.

translation facts infographics

Are you captivated by what’s ahead in subtitling localisation?

Current influences affecting and shaping subtitling in the localization industry

 

The relentless influx of rapid global demand for high-quality localized content for TV, streaming sites, social media and other platforms are immense challenges to the localization market right now but also brings very exciting opportunities to subtitling providers.

As social media platforms continue to grow, these new trends provide great sales and promotional opportunities. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and other popular sites are embracing streaming commercials and always hungry for compelling content which always needs multilingual on-screen titles, captioning and subtitling.

Many viewers all over the world are now watching content across social media, usually on their phones, with the sound off, and this has generated even more demand for timed-text services across a large range of cultures and languages.

Short & sweet, customized and repurposed film clips are the rage to grab online viewer attention spans these days as people move on to the next thing fairly quickly.

The tendency that viewers crave bite-size content on demand at speed, are all playing a major role in accelerating the volume of requirements for video subtitling at an enormous rate.

Other influences include 360 videos and VR which are formats already making use of localization subtitling tech. YouTube has allowed for traditional captioning for VR videos. Broadcasters such as the BBC is looking to develop standards so that VR content will be fully accessible to the hearing impaired eventually.

The subtitling sector has become saturated and there are many reliable and professional software systems to choose from such as SubtitleNEXT as an example. The key is to test them out and trial the complimentary demos on offer to see if they work for your specific needs. It’s an exciting time to be a subtitling expert and embrace exciting toolsets that are out on offer with SubtitleNEXT. The online world is literally at the fingertips of the timed-text creative artist. With SubtitleNEXT, you can be the best at what you do, and the world is your oyster.

SubtitleNEXT holds Silver Sponsorship status at Languages & Media 2018 Conference

Languages & The Media 2018 Conference features SubtitleNEXT as official Silver Sponsor product this year.

 

The 12th International Conference on Language Transfer in Audiovisual Media takes place from 3 – 5 October 2018 in Germany’s Berlin-Mitte.

Major themes at the conference which are being sponsored by PBT EU and STAR, will include new distribution models, language tools, interlingual transfer, accessibility, the future of work and quality standards.

Visitors to the conference can discover how SubtitleNEXT can be tailored to suit and adapt to their specific requirements. As part of the lecture agenda, a PBT EU representative will present on the ground-breaking SubtitleNEXT news – to be confirmed closer to the time.

Come and explore SubtitleNEXT at the conference.

We are living at a unique time in history when the digital, biological and physical are interconnected like never before by emerging technologies. This revolution is already affecting every industry and economy in some way. How will new technologies affect media and transform language-use? Will technological innovation lead to change that empowers us?

Considered “the fourth Industrial Revolution reshaping languages in the media”, this dynamic conference will examine these crucial questions and the way in which innovative technologies are changing how AV media is delivered globally and how we consume it across languages.

 

This conference is for you if you are a:

  • Decision-maker on language transfer in the media (film, television, DVD, video, online platforms)
  • Producer and distributor of AV media programmes and services
  • Broadcaster
  • Film festival organizer
  • Software, hardware and website developer
  • Translator and interpreter
  • Subtitling and dubbing company
  • Localisation vendor
  • Language industry specialist
  • Teacher, researcher, and expert in translation and media studies
  • A representative of consumer/viewer organizations
  • VoD service provider
  • Media and accessibility manager
  • Language service provider
  • Trainer
  • Language practitioner
  • Entrepreneur

 

Visit the home of subtitlers here https://subtitlenext.com/

Register for the conference here https://www.languages-media.com