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Ask me anything about subtitling
Thread poster: Max Deryagin

Caterina Scarpello
Italy
Local time: 13:39
English to Italian
+ ...
Backlot Nov 2, 2017

Hi, can you tell me what Backlot is? Is it like a file transfer platform in general, or is it something which is specific of Netflix?

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:39
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In memoriam
At least it's automatic Nov 3, 2017

MyrtleBi wrote:

Thank you so much for your reply. A first come, first serve policy makes it nearly impossible for a translator to get the job. A computer or smartphone glitch, or a slow internet connection when out and about, results in losing the job. It feels like a competition of who clicks first, if you are not fast enough, you don't get the job. It's really disappointing.


A fisherman throws the bait into the water, the first fish biting the hook will land on the frying pan.

Compare it with some other systems, where the prospect posts a job, gets a hundred bids, asks everyone to take a test, requests signed NDAs & vendor agreements, and eventually hires the lowest bidder. A widespread waste of time.

In this automated environment, all you'll know will be that: a) there was a job; and b) it was assigned to someone else. Better luck next time! Your consolation will be that the person who got it will be busy/unavailable for a while, thus improving your chances to get the next job coming up in this meantime.

In ANY trade, if there is an oversupply, and you can't stand out from the crowd for any reason whatsoever, it will be time to consider some other endeavor.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:39
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Ask me anything about subtitling Nov 3, 2017

Is this thread ever going to end?

 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 17:39
Member (2013)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
- Nov 3, 2017

CaterinaSc wrote:

Hi, can you tell me what Backlot is? Is it like a file transfer platform in general, or is it something which is specific of Netflix?


Hi Caterina,

It can mean either; it's not necessarily related to Netflix, although it most likely does.


 

Monica Paolillo
Italy
Local time: 13:39
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
I doubt it :) Nov 3, 2017

Tom in London wrote:

Is this thread ever going to end?


If you don't like it, just don't follow it.


 

Myrtle Birliraki, CL, MCIL
Greece
Local time: 14:39
English to Greek
- Nov 3, 2017

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

A fisherman throws the bait into the water, the first fish biting the hook will land on the frying pan.

Compare it with some other systems, where the prospect posts a job, gets a hundred bids, asks everyone to take a test, requests signed NDAs & vendor agreements, and eventually hires the lowest bidder. A widespread waste of time.

In this automated environment, all you'll know will be that: a) there was a job; and b) it was assigned to someone else. Better luck next time! Your consolation will be that the person who got it will be busy/unavailable for a while, thus improving your chances to get the next job coming up in this meantime.

In ANY trade, if there is an oversupply, and you can't stand out from the crowd for any reason whatsoever, it will be time to consider some other endeavor.


Apparently this is not about "standing out from the crowd" as selection is not based on qualifications and/or experience but on how quickly you respond. It is all about luck. Have a computer glitch or no mobile connection and you lose the job. This is the system, I'll go as the system requires. I wasn't lucky this time, no problem.


 

Adrián Bergonzi  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 09:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
Backlot Nov 4, 2017

CaterinaSc wrote:

Hi, can you tell me what Backlot is? Is it like a file transfer platform in general, or is it something which is specific of Netflix?


It's the platform where Netflix performs QC on every asset (video, audio, subtitles). It might have other uses as well.


 

John Michalis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:39
Member (2016)
Greek to English
+ ...
Two questions and a thank you! Dec 30, 2017

Hi Max,

Firstly, a long-overdue thank you to you and the other contributors for this very informative thread!

I have a couple of questions that I don't think have been covered so far. Any input would be highly appreciated.

1) Let's assume you have two different subtitles. One when the speaker is off-scene and the immediately next one with the same speaker being on-scene, continuing on the same topic. If the only option of making it work is to merge these tw
... See more
Hi Max,

Firstly, a long-overdue thank you to you and the other contributors for this very informative thread!

I have a couple of questions that I don't think have been covered so far. Any input would be highly appreciated.

1) Let's assume you have two different subtitles. One when the speaker is off-scene and the immediately next one with the same speaker being on-scene, continuing on the same topic. If the only option of making it work is to merge these two subs, what would you do in terms of italics (assuming your guidelines are to italicize off-scene dialogue)? None of the two, one or both?

2) When a speaker is narrating a dialogue, would you use double quotes each time they are impersonating a different character? What if they are not using "(s)he said, asked, mentioned etc." but rather jumping straight into what was said? What if you unavoidably have two different characters speaking in the same subtitle?

Season's Greetings!
Collapse


 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 17:39
Member (2013)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
- Dec 30, 2017

John Michalis wrote:

Hi Max,

Firstly, a long-overdue thank you to you and the other contributors for this very informative thread!

I have a couple of questions that I don't think have been covered so far. Any input would be highly appreciated.

1) Let's assume you have two different subtitles. One when the speaker is off-scene and the immediately next one with the same speaker being on-scene, continuing on the same topic. If the only option of making it work is to merge these two subs, what would you do in terms of italics (assuming your guidelines are to italicize off-scene dialogue)? None of the two, one or both?

2) When a speaker is narrating a dialogue, would you use double quotes each time they are impersonating a different character? What if they are not using "(s)he said, asked, mentioned etc." but rather jumping straight into what was said? What if you unavoidably have two different characters speaking in the same subtitle?

Season's Greetings!


Hi John,

You're welcome

1) Good question! I've come across cases like this, and subtitlers usually either italicize or not (but not half-and-half). My take is this:

  • If there are no characters on-scene for the first subtitle, don't italicize, because it's obvious that the speaker's off-scene.
  • If there are non-speaking characters on-scene for the first subtitle, italicize, because otherwise the viewer might be confused as to who the speaker is.
2) Yes, there should absolutely be some indication, especially in SDH. This is a tricky situation, and you'll have to trust the viewer that they can keep track of who says what in this narrated dialogue, because you can't add the names (the reading speed will most likely not allow you). What you can do is use quotes together with dashes, like this (two-line subtitle):

"Oh, how rude!" – "You think?" – "Yes!" –
"How so?" – "You can't say that!"

This way the quote marks don't clash visually as much, and the text is easier to follow.

Hope this helps


A little plug: I wrote an article about issues with this year's video game subtitling (link), and it exploded on Twitter. If you like games, you might find it interesting.


 

John Michalis  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:39
Member (2016)
Greek to English
+ ...
Thanks! Jan 2, 2018

That makes sense. Many thanks for tips Max!

 

Hongxia LI  Identity Verified
Member (2015)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Thanks! Jan 4, 2018

Thank you, Max, and thank everyone who contributed to this thread. I took one afternoon to read it thoroughly and leant a lot!

Thank you and wish all of you all the best in 2018!


 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 17:39
Member (2013)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
- Jan 4, 2018

Hongxia LI wrote:

Thank you, Max, and thank everyone who contributed to this thread. I took one afternoon to read it thoroughly and leant a lot!

Thank you and wish all of you all the best in 2018!


Hi Hongxia,

You're welcome


 

Pilar Dueñas
Costa Rica
Local time: 06:39
Member (2018)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Subtitles with round corners Jan 6, 2018

Hi,

I've been searching the web for weeks and I can't for the life of me find a program that creates semi opaque backgrounds with round corners, which in my opinion are much nicer. I can change the transparency, but not the shape of the box.


 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 17:39
Member (2013)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
- Jan 6, 2018

Pilar Dueñas wrote:

Hi,

I've been searching the web for weeks and I can't for the life of me find a program that creates semi opaque backgrounds with round corners, which in my opinion are much nicer. I can change the transparency, but not the shape of the box.


Hi Pilar,

There are several ways to get round corners, all using different tools. The simplest I can think of is this:

1. Save your subtitle file in Subtitle Edit as text-based Final Cut Pro X (version 1.4+).
2. Import the file in DaVinci Resolve (the free version).
3. Select all the subtitles on the timeline and give them backgrounds with any transparency and roundness of the corners (it's done in the Text panel on the right, on the Edit page).
4. Import the video and add it to the new timeline.
5. Render your video with the subs.

If you're not sure what I'm talking about, you can watch my semi-related tutorial or any other online tutorial on how to work with subtitles in Resolve.


 

Pilar Dueñas
Costa Rica
Local time: 06:39
Member (2018)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Спасибо большое! Jan 6, 2018

Max, you're a star. I'm very grateful for your time.


[Edited at 2018-01-06 22:47 GMT]


 
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