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Audio-visual translation and subtitling

We all watch DVDs, but many may be unaware of the subtitles featured on these relatively recent technological developments. With the advancements made in DVD and audio-visual techn...

We all watch DVDs, but many may be unaware of the subtitles featured on these relatively recent technological developments. With the advancements made in DVD and audio-visual technology there has, evidently, been an increase in the need for translation services and subtitles. Subtitling is often the preferred method of audio-visual translation (as opposed to dubbing) as it is both the cheaper option, and preserves the original voices and dialogue of the film. With the DVD boom of the past decade, not only has there been a need for subtitles for new releases, but also for the vast back catalogue of films made before the advent of the Digital Video Disk. This has meant a steady source of work for experienced and reliable language service providers in this field.

Subtitling is a specialist skill and requires the ability to be concise and to convey the nuances of what has been said in one language into another. Subtitles can only be of a certain length, as the human brain is only able to comprehend a certain amount of text in one glance. The average viewer can read roughly 150 words per minute. As such, subtitles consist of no more than 40 characters. Should the subtitler translate everything that is being uttered by the actors, the subtitle text would undoubtedly often fill half the screen. Up to half of the original dialogue can sometimes be cut out in the creation of the captions on screen. Subtitles are selective, extensive swearing for example, which adds little to the content of the dialogue, is often omitted.

Subtitlers are acquiring new technology and software to enable them to work more efficiently. In general the subtitling process consists of watching/listening to the film, stopping and starting so as to hear all that is said, translating the utterances into the required language and entering what is deemed to be the most important dialogue into the subtitling programme. Time codes will be used so the production team know which frame the subtitles refer to. The subtitler may already have access to the written transcript of the original dialogue, which helps the process enormously.

Subtitling will, unquestionablyPsychology Articles, continue to involve especially with the ever increasing requirements in breaking down language and communication barriers. Simultaneous subtitling for live events on TV and in digital broadcasting is one area in need of development. So watch this space!

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Helen Fream is a project manager at Rosetta Translation, a leading translation company specialising in legal translation and technical translation in general, and Chinese translation in particular.



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