Why SubtitleNEXT?

Why SubtitleNEXT? By Alexander Stoyanov 


SubtitleNEXT is the latest industry-standard subtitling software lab available in one single compact and conveniently powerful application. It was created by Profuz Digital and distributed by PBT EU, specifically for language, media and subtitling professionals to handle client demand that encompass heavy workloads and tight deadlines.


SubtitleNEXT is an advanced and flexible software suite that delivers the maximum to meet the highest user-expectations and market demands with swift efficient tools that elegantly achieve results with excellence and to the highest standards of quality.


SubtitleNEXT provides toolsets and features that cover several and various areas that help operators save on time and energy, while making them more productive and efficient.


SubtitleNEXT is the subtitlers lifesaver at work.


With a plethora of subtitling and timed text software available on the market today, why is SubtitleNEXT making the headlines and becoming the professionals’ system of choice? Well-respected companies such as Videohouse have adopted the software and are putting it to use on high profile work such as HBO series, what is the appeal?


The dedicated team behind the software has taken the time to fully understand what subtitlers face daily at work and know firsthand as language professionals themselves what timed-text workflows are all about. The company recognizes the real need for a new generation timed-text technology in the industry and are informed of all the factors affecting language, media and subtitling professionals today in a rapidly changing mediascape.  PBT EU and Profuz Digital therefore see what solutions really work in practice and they make it work.


SubtitleNEXT’s predominant uses include vast functions – here are a few examples for users to take note of:


– Translating

Whether conforming a script or translating an existing subtitle form to another language or format, or even going from a blank file by writing down what is heard on video, SubtitleNEXT is a vital tool to have to hand.


SubtitleNEXT stems from a reliable legacy that has been built up over the past twenty years. The software development has evolved from a product called Subtitle, which was one of the first file-based subtitling tools, through to SubtitlePlus –  a worldwide renown subtitling tool for broadcasters, and eventually up to SubtitleNEXT and NEXT-TT – the latest generation toolsets for freelance audio-visual translation professionals, LSPs, production and post-production companies and broadcasters. SubtitleNEXT and NEXT-TT has had the advantage of evolving and growing to fit user needs and wishes over time before being refined as it is now into the fully-fledged sophisticated renewed versions that are now available and market-ready. The team encourages continuous dynamic evolution and users are invited to influence its development and future too by providing feedback and ideas to continue its improvement.


– Editing and adopting for either subtitles or dubbing

Quality is a huge factor of concern involving subtitles and translation including discrepancies that arise due to potential loss of information and the impact they might have on the viewer experience. SubtitleNEXT comes to the rescue with its ability to rapidly sift through and scrutinise text effortlessly.  It then finds and replaces words and phrases, using simple and complex search engines, such as Regular Expression.  It instantaneously creates custom or imports open source dictionaries and even searches online vocabularies and translation engines from within the software with just one simple click. SubtitleNEXT is a powerful tool to achieve this so expeditiously in real time.




– Timing/cueing/spotting

Timing is everything. You have multiple methods to manipulate time in any format, place or shape at your disposal in SubtitleNEXT. You can still use traditional methods if more comfortable too, whereby you can type the figures or hold a key while the media runs, the options are all there for you to choose from. You can also try out the modern automated parameter regulated insertion too. Of course, there are many more functions here, and yes, you can combine all of them as you wish – the choices are boundless and versatile to suit you personally.


– Verifying layout on the text over media

With SubtitleNEXT you’re encouraged to let go and enjoy your work. There are no limits to your creativity with the tools at your disposal.  SubtitleNEXT offers you an entire colour palette with Transparency – in all 32-bit glory. It’s immediate as you go, and you can view the look instantly as you work on your project. Save, import and export your Style settings for backup or to share with colleagues and coworkers. If you are working with files, live video or streaming (internet) media, you can do all of these things at the same time. Your subtitles can actually become your trademark, or you can make them match or be identical to the project requirements you’re working on to maintain consistency throughout.


– Verifying timing and other project requirements

Attention to detail is key and does matter! If you are a perfectionist, or if the project you are working on has stringent rules to adhere to regarding every possible option setting and choice – then be assured, there is absolutely nothing to worry about in SubtitleNEXT – we have it covered for you. Numerous features, tools and menus are available for you to take full advantage of. Prepare by setting all parameters and preferences to work for you – or you can use a fixing mechanism afterwards. Again, it’s up to you and easily sorted out as you work. SubtitleNEXT provides it all. Auto-generated Scene Change markers, draggable visualised timings, Wave form or Spectrum audio graphs, frame accurate predefined values of numerous rules and conditions, and these are just some of the incredible features you have access to.


– Delivering the work

Imagine you have just finished your project and it now has to be accessed by anyone, anywhere! SubtitleNEXT currently offers 15 different file formats, as well as the exporting to Video and DVD formats such as embedding subtitles into video, image set, transport stream, alpha only video … and so forth. You can save to the internet location using http or ftp in the same was that you can open from there. We recommend that you save your work in the native file format, as it provides the most options and possibilities.


From the summary above, it is hard to describe every single possible scenario of functionality and all of SubtitleNEXT’s many advantages in just two pages. Just trying to name them all would take a long time and make the rest of this article longer than your arm. However, what we have mentioned above, lists some of the useful advantages that  SubtitleNEXT modes allows you to operate manually.


Just imagine you are working on a VIP’s live speech spoken in a language that you are required to translate. Turn to SubtitleNEXT –  simply connect a laptop with the software installed to a video beam, manually display the subtitles, one by one, in sync with the spokesman – it is as easy as that. Alternatively, you could be playing a one-time movie with the subtitles on at a festival directly from the software – all is solved by just attaching it to the DLP projector. This can apply to many genres such as Music festivals, Conventions, Opera and Theatre… The possibilities are practically endless when it comes to SubtitleNEXT.


So, the answer to the question should rather be Why not SubtitleNEXT?  It certainly is the tool to use for your next project.


We ventured out to various SubtitleNEXT user sites to discover what real users were saying about the software.


What professionals are saying about SubtitleNEXT

Andrea Spila, Director of Studies at the European School of Translation stated,We are honoured to partner with PBT EU and very excited to start this joint venture. We are sure that our students will greatly benefit by using SubtitleNEXT during our courses and that they will be fully equipped subtitlers when they enter the industry.”


Lecturer at New Bulgarian University Amelia Mareva says, “SubtitleNEXT is an innovative and well-established software, which offers subtitlers of the future powerful subtitling and timed text toolsets that help professionals to sustain development in this field. It’s a proven and trusted product with over 20 years of industry expertise behind it. It is managed by a highly motivated team who are driven to provide industry professionals with the very best technology. Their ethos is reflected in how they equip experts in the field to make a positive difference in people’s lives. That is why we are proud to adopt technology like SubtitleNEXT in our department at NBU.”  


IT Pros Subtitles®’ experienced subtitler Monica Paolillo who trained a group of translation professionals to master the software notes, “…I am therefore very proud to play a part in such a positive educational scheme using SubtitleNEXT. It does make the hard work enjoyable. This course sets a great example of how applications like SubtitleNEXT can be applied in a business case scenario within a fast-paced high-pressure area …What I like about SubtitleNEXT is that, once you’ve gone through the necessary learning curve, it has potential to do exactly what you want it to do, responding to your own commands and keyboard shortcuts, tailoring your subtitler experience throughout the process, offering “nice-to-have” customisation features that do contribute to making your hard work enjoyable…Full marks to you, SubtitleNEXT. I’d encourage all professionals to get up to speed with it as it is a great tool for our profession.”



Founder & chairperson at the Listen Up Foundation, Ashod Derandonyan states, “PBT EU and Profuz Digital are a fine example of dynamic companies that are fully committed to the Rights of Equal Access to audio-visual content for the Deaf and hard of hearing and are taking positive action with tangible strategies to see change in this area. We welcome their passion and support.” 



Elisabeth Barber, Videohouse’s Subtitler/Translator said, “It’s been very busy, and it still is with work for HBO series and many other well-known titles. With the latest upgrade of SubtitleNEXT we can tackle these projects with ease and even faster and we achieve excellent results thanks to SubtitleNEXT. Everything is going very well, so we’re still very happy with our transition and investment in SubtitleNEXT technology. We’ve been enjoying using SubtitleNEXT right from the start and it has been in action here ever since.”


Ann Van Bogaert, Head of the Subtitling /Translation Department at Videohouse adds, “I use SubtitleNEXT on a daily basis and look forward to translating the upcoming HBO series 2 of Big Little Lies using the software.”



PBT EU and Profuz Digital provide a comprehensive pilot demo that will provide users with a taster of the tools to pursue their passions within the timed-text closed captioning and subtitling field.


Members are encouraged to invite and introduce guests, who we naturally encourage to join us in changing the conversation in a dynamic industry we are proud to belong to. https://subtitlenext.com/demo-download/


To become a NEXTClub member, join here https://subtitlenext.com/club/


What is new in the market of dubbing and ‘adattamento-dialoghi’?

What is new in the market of dubbing and ‘adattamento-dialoghi’?

By Silvia Maragliano

In a recent post last year, we introduced a bit about how the so-called adattamento-dialoghi works in Italy. We also talked about a big stakeholder in the Italian market, that is the professional association representing a fair share of Italian adattatori-dialoghisti: AIDAC.


We briefly introduced its goals and pointed out how it tries to reach them also by organizing and supporting professional meetings, open both to AIDAC members and non-members.


In 2018, AIDAC’s meetings[1] focused on what is new in the market of dubbing and adattamento-dialoghi. The series concluded on November 20th, 2018 at Laboratorio Formentini in Milan (Italy), with a final encounter about the state of the art in the field of what we call adattamento dialoghi and audio description.


The main speakers of the meeting in Milan were:


Cortesi’s speech focused on how the market has changed in the last few years, while Giordani talked about audio-description, a not-so-recent but ever-growing task that promotes accessibility for the blind.


Cortesi talked about the differences between how adapting work used to be done before major stakeholders such as Netflix and Amazon have entered the market as opposed today’s practices.

At a time when it was not a requirement to broadcast programs at the same time all over the world, broadcasting seasons used to begin at about fall and end the following summer. Adattatori-dialoghisti used to receive one entire program at the end of the season, in order for it to be dubbed and broadcast one year later than its original.

That meant for adattatori-dialoghisti to have a reasonable amount of time to adapt the script into the target language and for dubbing actors to be able to see a scene more than just once, before recording it.

These days, adattatori-dialoghisti receive so-called ‘preliminaries,’ which are videos or scripts that are potentially going to be edited further. Sometimes just one line is missing, sometimes it’s chatter. Yet sometimes entire scenes are yet to be inserted, which may be more or less crucial to the plot. On other occasions, cuts have not been defined yet. One of the speakers had even received a black-and-white video of the movie they were working on, only to find out at a later stage that the program was actually a color film. This changed everything! The speaker said that black and white had induced the need in them to use a slightly old-fashioned tone, and that–of course–it did not fit the real movie.

So, what does one do to cope with this new way of working? It’s simple: one adapts to it. In Cortesi’s opinion, a good strategy is to maintain the same musicality of the original. That way, the work is simpler, both for adattatori-dialoghisti and for dubbing actors, who–as we mentioned before–do not have time to watch a scene more than once before recording it.


In what way is this different than before?


Well, Italian dubbing had always relied on a maniacal choice of words, enjoying some freedom in choosing them.

However, the price to pay for this was many hours spent on one single line. As we saw, nowadays time is precious, and professionals do not have enough of it to go through one single line again and again. Also, more often than not, they will receive a preliminary, and they run the risk of spending more time on an unfinished version trying to perfect it, which results in them not having enough time to work on the final one.

Musicality, as Cortesi argues, helps save a lot of time, while still achieving a satisfying result.

The roles involved in broadcast internationalization are another aspect that has changed. While back in the day, there used to be human supervisors with whom a professional could have a conversation in case an issue arose, now it is far less the case. This is especially true when working with major stakeholders other than the more traditional production companies.

For example, despite the fact that there are human QCers working for the big N, according to the speakers’ statement the company still seems to rely on algorithms to check that work is done properly, and sometimes these are not able to recognize adattamento-dialoghi best practices. This leads to instances where translating a saying such as ‘it is raining cats and dogs’–which corresponds to the Italian saying ‘piove a catinelle’ or ‘a dirotto’–with the correct correspondent in the target language is marked as a mistake.

When something like this happens, there are at least two consequences:

  1. A wrong usage of language is spread;
  2. Cultural differences are flattened.

Discussing why both of these consequences are–or may be–a problem, is perhaps beyond the scope of this article. Something we would like to say, however, is that these practices should not be encouraged. In fact, something that has never changed–and that probably never will–is that the first and foremost stakeholder of this market is its audience.

These are the people we really work for and whom we should always be thinking of in our work. And if the audience sees something that is not right, they complain, and rightly so.

So, instead of finding a way to adapt to this, the speakers encouraged us to watch with a critical eye, and to make the audience’s voice–to whom we also belong–be heard.


The paramount role of accessibility


A specific audience that surely complains, and most rightly so, when their experience is hindered in some way is the blind community.

During the meeting, Laura Giordani talked about another fairly new trend in the market: audio description.

To be honest, audio description is not a complete novelty, rather, with accessibility becoming more and more important, it is now certainly gaining momentum.

Giordani has been working in this subfield for many years now. She is actually one of the first adattatori-dialoghisti to work for accessibility for the blind, an initiative that in Italy was first undertaken and supported by our national public broadcasting company RAI (which stands for Radiotelevisione Italiana).

RAI is the major stakeholder in this subfield. Being also the first to make audio description available to the Italian blind audience, back in the day it also set the price to be paid to adattatori-dialoghisti who take care of Italian audio descriptions[2].

Given the importance of accessibility and the determination of the blind community in Italy, a great number of associations and organizations supporting the blind have been founded. Of course, many of them also discuss the theme of media accessibility for the blind. The blind community itself listed thorough guidelines[3] for audio description, that–as Giordani pointed out–in Italy may sometimes be more specific and peculiar than for other markets.


The most important principles to follow for well-done audio descriptions are:


  • Always describe what is happening on the screen;
  • Do not adopt a paternalistic or patronising approach: blind people are not able to see, but they are able to think and understand;
  • Always answer the W questions Where? When? Who? What?
  • Do not offer any interpretation of the scene. Describe it as precisely and as objectively as possible;
  • Be clear.

Some practical examples are:


  • Do not write ‘A handsome man is approaching.’ Rather, chose something like ‘A 40-year-old, muscular man is approaching.’ This is because the idea of ‘handsomeness’ is not universal, so it would not be a helpful suggestion.
  • Avoid obvious pairs. Do not write ‘The cold snow…’ or ‘The hot sun…’
  • Match colors to something of which the audience is supposed to have a clear idea. E.g.: ‘as blue as the sky’ or ‘as white as milk.’
  • Take advantage of silences and pauses to give further useful information to the audience.


What are our takeaways?


In conclusion, both speakers gave us an idea of how the market of dialogues adaptation and dubbing has now changed its face and is filled with new challenges.

Yet, there is no reason to panic as a strong community in which professionals support each other is a powerful tool to face challenges.


The path leading to this world may have changed, but it certainly is possible to close potential gaps in knowledge and expertise, especially if young professionals try to pair to a more experienced colleague to help them shape their career.


Also, there is at least one thing about this job that is still the same: this is a craftsman’s job, an art in its own right, to be learned in workshops just like painting and sculpture used to be during the great time of Italian Rinascimento.

Author: Silvia Maragliano

[1] As we mentioned in a previous blog post, before this meeting in Milan, AIDAC helped organize three more in Rome. The topic discussed were: so-called simil-sync programs, which–in brief–are broadcasts for which no accurate lip synchronization is required (such as reality shows); the collective agreement, which is not as well and widely known as it should be, especially by young professionals; and cartoons, the adaptation of which helps shaping a country’s culture and is a form of education.

[2] Giordani claims this price to be EUR 7.00 every 10 minutes of video.

[3] Here are the guidelines listed by the non-profit organization The Blindsight Project (full text, in Italian): https://goo.gl/3R4cWm

5 benefits of subtitling video and media content

By Lucia Mecocci

Hi! In this post, we will see 5 of the current benefits of subtitles, which are in greater demand in the localization industry.

To start with, what are subtitles?

Subtitles are a type of audiovisual translation (AVT): scholar Gottlieb defines them as a written, additive, immediate, synchronous and polymedial text.[1] In other words, subtitling consists in adding to the original soundtrack new written material, which is displayed synchronically with the film to the screen.

One of the main characteristic of subtitles is concision: not all is said in the original soundtrack can be transferred to the text on screen. That depends mainly on two reasons:

1. Viewers should read and understand quickly the subtitles in order to have the necessary time to enjoy the images.

2. Secondly, in subtitles, there are spatial and temporal parameters to be met. When subtitlers perform spotting (setting the “in” and “out” times of each subtitle), they try to reflect the rhythm of the film (pauses, shot changes and so on) and sometimes they have to condensate subtitles.

If you are interested in this topic and wish to learn more about subtitling from a technical point of view, I highly recommend you to read this book: Audiovisual translation: Subtitling by Díaz-Cintas & Remael.

Let’s now turn on the subtitling benefits.

1. Subtitles for corporate training videos
Companies nowadays are more willing than ever to hire employees abroad and training videos are being increasingly used to welcome and train new hires. It appears that if you can get your viewers to read through your videos this can makes them more engaging for the employees.

2. Subtitles as a language learning tool
Watching movies, TV shows and videos in general is an active process, since viewers are watching, listening and reading (when the translation mode is subtitling) at the same time. People are generally recognised to be visual learners and since they can hear the foreign language while reading the translation in the subtitles, they are confronted with many new words, sentence structures and expressions. Therefore, subtitles are a fantastic way for developing an ear for more nuanced features of foreign languages.

3. Watching videos in noisy or sound-sensitive environments
Users recently tend to watch social network videos with the sound off. For instance, while at work, where they risk to be disruptive by playing it loudly or in noisy public places (like the tube), where they cannot hear the sound. Digiday UK reports that 85% of Facebook videos autoplay on mute and according to marketers, subtitles are original video solutions for grabbing the attention of viewers while scrolling through their news feed on social networks.

4. Subtitles improve SEO
Although search engines (like Google) are not yet able to understand and index videos, they can index the subtitles embedded in them and give a boost in the search rankings of videos. This can make a great difference on the number of users who find, for instance, a company website, watch its videos and enjoy the content. Remember that search engines do not index automatically generated subs (like automatic subtitles on YouTube).

5. Hard of hearings need subtitles for understanding videos
Did you know that nowadays there are still many people who cannot have access to video and media contents? Think about people suffering hear problems: only in Italy, according to Istat, they accounts for more than 800.000 people. The main Italian TV stations, namely RAI and Mediaset, provide subtitles for hearing impaired, but only for a small number of TV programmes. Therefore, providing subtitles for hearing impaired is a must to ensure content is being shown in an inclusive way and enjoyed by a greater number of people.

It goes without saying that the list of the possible subtitling benefits does not end here, but keep in mind that all these advantages are related to professional high-quality subtitles and does not apply to automatic generated ones.

Author: Lucia Mecocci

[1] Gottlieb, H. (1992). “Subtitling – A New University Discipline”. In C. Dollerup & A. Loddegaard (eds) Teaching Translation and Interpreting. Training, Talent and Experience. Papers from the First Language International Conference, Elsinore, Denmark, 31 May – 2 June 1991. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Ben

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


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