Women Leaders in Tech

.MSpotlight: Ivanka Vassileva, Profuz Digital CEO, PBT EU CEO

The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) in 1975, but the earliest observance of the holiday goes back all the way to 1909. Countries around the world have embraced Women’s Day to varying degrees, but there’s an undeniable global movement to more diversity, inclusion, and equality. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”. We take this opportunity to reflect on the extraordinary accomplishments of women all over the world now and in the past.


We are proud to share that the companies behind SubtitleNEXT, Profuz Digital and PBT EU, are women-owned, women-led and women-empowered workplaces. With 50/50 gender representation, we are blazing a trail to a more equitable work environment. Ivanka Vassileva is the CEO at both Profuz Digital, a software development company based in Canada, and PBT EU, a systems integrator based in Europe. She and Kamen Ferdinandov, CTO, co-founded the companies 6 years ago united by their vision to push the boundary of business processes and information management optimization, and democratize access to enterprise-grade multimedia solutions. Heading both companies has not been without challenges, but Ivanka has successfully channelled her passion and diplomacy, and has graciously evolved into a global leader.

Global Mindset

With an education background in linguistics and translation, Ivanka commands 4 languages fluently. While completing her Master’s degree, she wrote news stories based on Reuters news abstracts. Upon graduation, Ivanka took on a role with Air France. There she utilized her language skills, and developed her business acumen managing B2B and B2C client relationships globally. Six years later, she entered the tech industry and in just two years was promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO). As a COO, Ivanka managed more than 120 employees, and helped clients world-wide achieve success.

Inclusive Leadership

Recent statistics show that at the executive level only 10% of roles in tech are held by women. If anything is to change in the future, next-generation female leaders need to truly be at the forefront of creating women-empowered workplaces. Recognizing women’s special talents and needs, and acting in accordance to embrace, support and accelerate as needed, is not an unattainable super-power. If every successful female leader feels it’s within her influence to uplift those around her with integrity and positivism, we will create a chain reaction of significant magnitude.


Mrs Vassileva fosters an environment where collaboration is the norm, ideas are welcomed and given proper consideration. She encourages team members to pursue their passions, and recognizes them for all their contributions. And this is how Ivanka has lead the development and expansion of the SubtitleNEXT, Profuz LAPIS, and NEXT-TT product lines.

“Working for a woman leader is a privilege and a delight for me. Ivanka’s leadership style, work ethic and prioritization of accuracy, attention and responsibility resonate effortlessly with my own. That makes it easy for me to do my best every day. Work-life balance is extremely important for me. I am happy that she inspires a supportive environment. This empowers me to be productive and fulfilled in the office and in my personal life. I believe that women leaders make decisions faster and are better equipped to navigate in uncharted territories. I feel like I truly belong here.”, acknowledges Maria Ivanova, Finance and Logistics Manager at PBT EU.

Let’s celebrate this wonderful feeling of belongingness this IWD 2020! Happy March 8th from all of us!


More about SubtitleNEXT

More about Profuz Digital

More about PBT EU

History of SubtitleNEXT. Part III. The present – What’s NEXT-TT?

Part 3 – The present – What’s NEXT-TT?

The NEXT-TT – SubtitleNEXT approach brings something different to the industry as Kamen outlines below.

“We offer something completely different to what is out there right now. We are not restricted to one market area; the product applies to every single company and industry. There literally are no limitations.

To provide an example, typically there are two approaches to providing solutions to customers, and they are either project or custom-based or industry-specific or ‘out of the box’.

The custom/project-based line is an extremely expensive option and can be slow moving. Also, historically from our experience, providers of such solutions are trying to replicate or reuse software that is made for specific situations which could prove to be a nightmare for users in the long run. Their knowledge and know-how are specific as they are focused on a limited number of customers/projects.

Regarding the industry-specific ‘out-of-the-box’ option, this can lack flexibility and needs additional integration work, which means that the company needs to adapt to the software and not the other way around.

Looking at both approaches, we effectively address both and our aim is to further develop and refine them. Of course, every solution has its drawbacks. However, by building certain partnerships, we are fully equipped to deal with challenges as they arise. For example, if an organisation has a requirement for the ‘best of breed CRM’, we would be confident and flexible enough to connect to whichever tool the client needs, and then be able to provide other functionalities much faster and at an affordable rate at the same time.”

The sky is the limit In the Cloud

Kamen expands further that NEXT-TT can provide a complete cloud solution, or it can be configured to work in a “hybrid” way.

“It would be entirely up to the customer and what their needs dictate in terms of the architecture. This adds an additional layer of security and creates a single environment to control the management, usage, structure, storage of various data and processes.”

“So, it is entirely up to you, “ adds Kamen, “If you want, you can have access to all your business-critical files from any web device whether you’re at your desk, working from home or at a coffee shop halfway around the world. Businesses are more mobile today than ever before.”

Advantages worth mentioning involving cloud asset management with SubtitleNEXT and NEXT-TT include easy implementation, quick adoption, great integration, an intuitive user experience and crucially, security. Fast implementation frees up IT resources and allows you to get started straight away. “We also want our customers to enjoy a user-friendly interface that anyone in their organisation can understand, and NEXT-TT is incredibly convenient and easy to use.”

The SubtitleNEXT team have attended several key events and have had extraordinary feedback and positive results with many freelancers, language service providers and linguist specialists adopting the SubtitleNEXT software. As a team they are always thinking about the next move.

What’s NEXT for SubtitleNEXT?

Kamen concludes, “Our secret is that we listen carefully to what everyone has to say. The team also genuinely cares about what challenges the industry faces and they take an interest. We work with this vital feedback and use it to implement positive changes, develop new capabilities and hopefully bring ground-breaking functionalities that benefit users more than ever before.”

The team has also been hard at work building a sense of community around the product for users to enjoy, which helps them to understand their needs and expectations at all levels. The successful launch of our online members group NEXT Club is a space set up by Profuz Digital for subtitling professionals to share resources, tips & tricks, and contribute to news articles and blogs in the “world of subtitling”.

“We have been overwhelmed by the enormous interest in SubtitleNEXT recently across various international events that we have been involved in such as The Languages and Media forum in Berlin, Media 4All8 in Stockholm and more recently at IBC2019 in Amsterdam followed by the Intermedia Warsaw Conference in Poland as Gold sponsors and Toronto’s Elevate event. The Profuz Digital outlook has always been fully committed to deliver simpler and versatile solutions without compromising functionality and performance.”

This is a company with software capabilities that are definitely going somewhere and here to stay for the long-term.

For further information about the company and SubtitleNEXT and Profuz LAPIS products, visit https://profuzdigital.com

Expanding on the development of subtitling software & timed-text over the year, popularity and trends. History of SubtitleNEXT. Part 2

Part 2: Expanding on the development of subtitling software & timed-text over the year, popularity and trends

The SubtitleNEXT of 1990 is not the same product that has now evolved into what it is today, but the goals of the creators of the company, helped get them get to where they are now. This evolution eventually led to the present day SubtitleNEXT and NEXT-TT platforms and has grown to fit user needs over time. It has been masterfully refined into the fully-fledged sophisticated renewed versions that are now available and “market-ready”.

Kamen sums up the advantages that the evolutionary process has brought to the present-day systems SubtitleNEXT and NEXT-TT,  “Unlike other tech products that tie up users with single vendor dependencies, we prefer to give our clients the freedom to benefit from a variety of dynamic industry-specific technologies, while retaining the distinct advantages that using a single system brings, such as providing a single place to generate searches and reports even across multiple external systems.”

Kamen runs through SubtitleNEXT’s 2019 version’s key features that make it stand out.

“It provides users with a multi-file synchronous browsing editing feature with a standard and text editor-like experience that can create standard and modern creative subtitles and timed text messaging that adapt to all the latest rules, checks and fix-ups to the subtitles (both text and timing).

RegEx Search and Replace engine has been included to allow advanced search and text replacements, for example one can find all Name Family type names and reverse them to Family Name without explicitly listing all name pairs, nor doing it a pair at a time.

The Hybrid platform called NEXT-TT supports both local and online materials such as subtitles, media and metadata. The latter one gives the same experience as in a web application but with the benefits of a desktop application, and uses all available translation and other tools, in case of a limited web application on terms of the webserver’s provision.

SubtitleNEXT has the flexibility to work with all kinds of timed media from video, audio, presentations, and also supports Live Subtitling with one or two stages of “re-speaking”.

SubtitleNEXT also supports non file-based media and direct video signals such as analogue, digital, and streaming which makes it perfect for all types of live shows and events such as festivals, live gigs, the Opera, theatre, presentations, conferences, seminars – you name it.  Its “automation for airing” feature is also useful for live shows and events with prepared subtitles.

The full set of digital cinema and TTML format features are also fully supported in SubtitleNEXT, including text positions, effects, sizes and colours, styling, looks including user configurable screen layouts that can be personalised to suit the project and user convenience.”

Often referencing a system as “legacy” means that it paved the way for the standards that would follow and that it is tried and tested, solid, trusted and a reliable product that has had time to prove itself to the market.

In the case with SubtitleNEXT, it is evident, it always and still does provide for the users’ needs.

SubtitleNEXT’s impact on Profuz Digital due to its historical role has been a positive one, and Kamen explains why, “To have an established product that the market already believes in, provides a great foundation to build further on even more incredible features that can bring efficiency speed and proficiency to users in a busy environment – for example – development has also included adding new interfaces including web-based, terminal-based mainframe applications, forward engineering approaches and these have greatly improved and influenced  the legacy software and durability.”

Adding, “Technologists understand the importance of sound architecture right from the start. The best systems in place today are those that embraced well-known IT architectural principles.  Poorly designed systems often don’t last, both because they wear out and because their inherent faults invite replacement. Thus, many organisations are rediscovering the value of both their legacy systems and the theoretical underpinnings of those systems.”

The History of SubtitleNEXT – Part I

Part 1: – Introduction to the SubtitleNEXT 30+ Year Journey

Defined as one of the industry’s most reliable and emergent timed-text subtitling software packages, it is no surprise why SubtitleNEXT is referred to by many professionals today as the “subtitler’s lifesaver.”

Delivering to high industry standards, the system is teeming with an array of immediate resourceful tools and unrivalled features. Available in a single compact application, it punches above its weight and can be put to work on heavy deadline-driven workloads.

Primarily aimed at audio-visual translation freelance professionals, through to Language Services Providers, production, post-production companies and broadcasters, SubtitleNEXT has proven itself as a time-saving commodity, but also a productive profit-making asset to media organisations worldwide.

Many of the companies and educational establishments that have already adopted the system and use SubtitleNEXT on a daily basis including the likes of Canal+ Myanmar FG, the University of Rome Tor Vergata, The Hellenic American College, Doli Media Studio, The  European School of Translation and Europe’s largest Belgium-based production company Videohouse, where it has been used on well-known TV series such as Big Little Lies, Sirens, Vikings and many more.

Created by Profuz Digital and distributed by PBT EU, SubtitleNEXT stems from a reliable legacy that has been built up over the past thirty years.  CTO and Founder Kamen Ferdinandov is the brainchild behind the core software  development. With a combination of technological expertise, Kamen is backed by a passionate team with astute business acumen and industry awareness, jointly responsible for SubtitleNEXT’s ongoing growth and success.

Kamen established his company Profuz Digital in 2014 along with PBT EU’s CEO Ivanka Vassileva and Dessie Nikolov who is an experienced Software Product Manager and a Master of Digital Media from Ryerson University, Toronto and currently Profuz Digital’s Managing Director for the Americas. With headquarters based in Canada, Profuz Digital boasts an R&D Centre shared between Toronto and Bulgaria’s capital Sofia.

Profuz Digital was created  as a vibrant hub of technical innovation where business and technologies merge in order to provide game-changing and invaluable cutting-edge software solutions to a dynamic media and entertainment industry. The customised solutions created by Profuz Digital are not only powerful, but also cost-effective, user-friendly, time-efficient and easy to support 24/7.

The development of Profuz Digital’s LAPIS which is a  global business process and information management platform, took place in 2014.  Profuz LAPIS creates scalable customised modules that adapt to every type of complex business structure and connects all the dots that a business interacts with, including multiple-companies, outsourcing, partners, suppliers and customers, while constantly adapting to the needs of the organisation.   Doli Media and Canal + Myanmar FG are recent LAPIS customers, among many others that have installed Profuz LAPIS systems.

In 2016, the migration of SubtitlePlus quickly followed on to the next level, resulting in the SubtitleNEXT brand. Consequently, Profuz Digital was then in a position to offer users an entire product line which included a whole range of products such as SubtitleNEXT Enterprise, SubtitleNEXT CENTRAL, SubtitleNEXT Air, SubtitleNEXT LIVE Manager, NEXT-TT, Profuz LAPIS and the EXEcutor Media Integrator.  These were all in effect different products but still based on the core LAPIS and/or SubtitleNEXT technology software platforms.

The software development milestones Kamen initiated had led to the evolution from Subtitle, one of the first file-based subtitling tools, through to SubtitlePlus, a worldwide renowned subtitling tool for broadcasters.

“Actually, when the first version of Subtitle appeared over 25 years ago, there were no file-based workflows around, and in fact, they were not even on the horizon. Back then, only tapes were used for preparing subtitles and the problem was that the existing subtitling workstations at that time were specialised and expensive devices.  So, my initial concept was to create a software-only solution which would provide the same high-level workstation but with a standard PC, which we  successfully achieved.” Kamen reflects.

“The design was (and still is) independent from any specific hardware as such, but allows for the inclusion of additional hardware support, such as video signals processing and video mixers that create open subtitles over video signals, as well as timecode readers, VCR controllers, and so forth.  This in turn, also prepared the software for upcoming file-based workflows.“

Furthermore, Kamen had the insight to recognise that it made sense to make the subtitling process more accessible to a much wider user group and not strictly for professionals alone. His initiative was to  implement user-friendly and familiar text editing application tools.

“In the development of the product, my aim now is to ensure that any software user, even without a subtitling background, can find it easy to use our subtitling tools.” Kamen adds.

An example of how this development has evolved in SubtitleNEXT, is that unlike many other subtitling tools that restrict users to work on one subtitle at a time, SubtitleNEXT allows you to work with the whole text in multiple subtitles in line with advanced text editing applications that are familiar in the market today.

The Subtitle version was a DOS-based programme and used the standard PC components to create, edit and air (burn subtitles over video signal). Kamen remarks, “I think back then, it was the only programme of this type and  the only one that could both create, edit and air subtitles.”  Soon afterwards, he created the SubtitlePlus version for Windows. “

A year after the first version of SubtitlePlus appeared, the file-based workflow was then included in its infrastructure. I think it was possibly the first ever file-based workflow in the subtitling world and definitely the only one that provided a mixed environment for both tape-based and file-based pipelines.”  Kamen recalls

Another significant innovation break-through that Kamen can take full credit for concerns the independence of existing standards in Subtitle and SubtitlePlus. Kamen explains, “This concept is more relevant today than ever before. Most existing subtitling solutions available on the market, even now, are highly dependent on what kind of subtitles one creates, whether it be in teletext format, or as open subtitles, closed captions and so on.  This means that some knowledge of these standards is still required, and therefore  limits what can be done with the subtitles. The modern standards that broke this mould are compatible in SubtitleNEXT which is a system that has adapted and shows its readiness to handle and serve all the latest formats, resolutions and technical requirements including various fonts, font sizes, looks, positions, appearance, and much more. This allows SubtitleNEXT to widen the scope in which subtitles or other forms of timed text formats are used.”

Between 2002 and 2014, the focus of SubtitlePlus further evolved across its broadcast-related features and the development  of the multi-channel, multi-language automated subtitle airing platform known, as the DVB Subtitle Server, evolved into SubtitleNEXT Central.

In 2016, Profuz Digital focused on the upgrade and further development of the latest version of the software and renamed it as SubtitleNEXT.  Many of the new features, modern standards and formats were then added and have led to the system that we now see today. It is platform-independent and runs smoothly on all major operating systems such as Windows, Linux and MAC OS.

What Is Pro Bono and Why Should I Do It


Pro-bono publico (English “for the public good”) is a latin phrase for professional work undertaken voluntarily without payment. Unlike traditional volunteering, it uses the specific skills of professionals to provide services to those who are unable to afford them.

Pro-bono service is provided to people and organizations who have noble cause, civic standing or simply develop the cultural environment. The most important reason to do pro bono work is to provide benefit to the community that might otherwise not be available. It is win-win solutions for the society and freelancers.

Pro bono might be good start for a career in subtitling. A common dilemma for beginning translators is not having enough experience to be considered by agencies and potential clients. Offering translations on a volunteer basis is one way to combat this problem.

As a beginning translator, volunteer translation allows you the chance to make a practical assessment of your skills. You also get used to various aspects of the translator’s profession, such as meeting deadlines. In addition to building confidence, volunteer translation can be included in your CV.

Here is a list of websites looking for volunteer translators:

We from SubtitleNEXT believe that pro bono is win-win solution for the society and localization professionals, and we will try to connect NGO’s and subtitling professionals by publishing active volunteer opportunities in our social media accounts and NEXTclub.

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