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Ask me anything about subtitling
Thread poster: Max Deryagin

Alexandre Chetrite
France
Local time: 21:26
English to French
Editing translated SRT's Oct 9, 2018

Hello

A translation agency offers me 1 USD/word to edit translated SRT's (already translated SRT's from English to French).80 minutes to edit.

I know its a rock bottom rate, but I'm a newbie in this domain and it could be a good way to learn and sharpen my skills, to be faster next time.

How many hours do you think it would take me?

And what do they mean by "editing'"?

Any advice on which software/tools I could use to be more pro
... See more
Hello

A translation agency offers me 1 USD/word to edit translated SRT's (already translated SRT's from English to French).80 minutes to edit.

I know its a rock bottom rate, but I'm a newbie in this domain and it could be a good way to learn and sharpen my skills, to be faster next time.

How many hours do you think it would take me?

And what do they mean by "editing'"?

Any advice on which software/tools I could use to be more productive?

Maybe that newt time this agency will ask me to do audio transcription, (another topic) and I would like to know the international rates please and how much it takes for a newbie to transcribe 1 hour of audio and 1 minute of audio, to compare the rates.English/French always.

Regards,
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Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 01:26
Member (2013)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
- Oct 9, 2018

johndaniels1824 wrote:

Hi Max!

Sorry to bother you but this post right here: http://translating-genius.blogspot.com/2018/10/5-awesome-ways-to-become-best-subtitle.html caught my attention and interest to become a subtitle translator. I'm just being curious how fun it would be to work as one.

Would like to ask for some references where I could start learning transcribing and later on translating some of it. Do you have suggestions what languages are most profitable? Thank you so much!


Hi John,

The first part has already been answered in this thread — please read through the previous pages. In short, you can either take a course or learn via books, articles and hands-on experience. As to the most profitable languages, that'd be English to Japanese and English to French (if you live in France).

[Edited at 2018-10-09 16:57 GMT]


 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 01:26
Member (2013)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
- Oct 9, 2018

Alexandre Chetrite wrote:

Hello

A translation agency offers me 1 USD/word to edit translated SRT's (already translated SRT's from English to French).80 minutes to edit.

I know its a rock bottom rate, but I'm a newbie in this domain and it could be a good way to learn and sharpen my skills, to be faster next time.

How many hours do you think it would take me?

And what do they mean by "editing'"?

Any advice on which software/tools I could use to be more productive?

Maybe that newt time this agency will ask me to do audio transcription, (another topic) and I would like to know the international rates please and how much it takes for a newbie to transcribe 1 hour of audio and 1 minute of audio, to compare the rates.English/French always.

Regards,



Hi Alexandre,

1 USD/word is an improbably high rate, especially for a fledgling subtitler. Perhaps you meant 1 USD/minute?

How long editing an 80-minute film's SRT will take you is anyone's guess. It depends on what exactly your client wants you to do, the translation's quality, the video material's complexity, your individual ability and a number of other things — it can take you as little as 3-4 hours or as much as a week. The same idea applies to transcription.

As far as tools, I recommend using Subtitle Edit for the time being.


 

Sylvano
Local time: 21:26
English to French
Asking those questions is a problem Oct 9, 2018

I wonder which other professional fields have what we regularly have in audiovisual translation : people who have never studied/been trained one minute in the domain (rules, skills and tools), don't know precisely what they are asked to do, neither the correct rates for their national market and approximative duration to do it, but who will still take the job... Train yourself, see if you're any good at it, if you enjoy it and if you can make a living out of it. Not the other way round, which is... See more
I wonder which other professional fields have what we regularly have in audiovisual translation : people who have never studied/been trained one minute in the domain (rules, skills and tools), don't know precisely what they are asked to do, neither the correct rates for their national market and approximative duration to do it, but who will still take the job... Train yourself, see if you're any good at it, if you enjoy it and if you can make a living out of it. Not the other way round, which is not good for you, for us and for your client.

[Edited at 2018-10-09 18:58 GMT]
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Faustine Roux
Gloria Martín
Vero Gussoni
 

Luciana Costas  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 17:26
Member (Jun 2019)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Removing subtitles Oct 10, 2018

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

Luciana Costas wrote:
How can I remove subtitles from a video? I've been asked to subtitle into Spanish an already subtitled short film (originally in German, subtitles in English) and I actually did it by myself - that is from scratch, I didn't extract the English subtitles in order to translate. Now both subtitles, English and Spanish, can be perfectly seen on screen and they certainly don't overlap, but both are pretty much the same size and it's quite annoying to read either of them. I just need to get rid of the English subtitles, I'm not interested in getting the original srt file actually (though I'd like to know too, in case it happens again). Any ideas?


Like anything in digital video, there are more variables that can be included in a simple question.

The first check is to see if the subtitles are truly burnt on the video. There are some video file formats (mkv among them?) that allow including subtitles as if they were burnt, while they are not. It's tricky, but possible to remove them in this case.

Once I had this problem, they were actually burnt on the frames, and I chose to blur them, but only the area they occupied, and only when they appeared. It was a very tedious and time-consuming job, though the video was short, and the result was not as neat as I expected. It was the kind of blur used by TV stations to cover exposed genitalia and nipples, to get the idea clear. It took a whale of time for Sony Vegas to render that.

The neater solution I had was on an even shorter video, however I had to check whether it would work. In that case, it did. You can see it about halfway down on http://www.lamensdorf.com.br/edicao.html . It was just a snippet from Roberto Benigni's "Life is Beautiful", to be used for training. The film was spoken in Italian, but they only had it subtitled in English, and wanted Portuguese. So the left is a screencap of what I got, and the right is what I delivered.


Hi José,

First, my apologies for replying so late. It turned out my client was ok with both subtitles on screen (though I'm not sure their clients would be!), so I didn't need to get rid of the English subtitles this time, then I forgot to reply.

I think your Portuguese subtitles turned out quite nicely actually! They don't look overlapped or blurred at all. May I ask what your method was in this case?


 

Luciana Costas  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 17:26
Member (Jun 2019)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Removing subtitles Oct 10, 2018

Max Deryagin wrote:

Luciana Costas wrote:

Sorry if this has been discussed before or it's a very simple question.

How can I remove subtitles from a video? I've been asked to subtitle into Spanish an already subtitled short film (originally in German, subtitles in English) and I actually did it by myself - that is from scratch, I didn't extract the English subtitles in order to translate. Now both subtitles, English and Spanish, can be perfectly seen on screen and they certainly don't overlap, but both are pretty much the same size and it's quite annoying to read either of them. I just need to get rid of the English subtitles, I'm not interested in getting the original srt file actually (though I'd like to know too, in case it happens again). Any ideas?


Hi Luciana,

My apology for not answering earlier — I was at a conference in Berlin and had limited access to the internet.

Regarding your question, you can't really remove burned-in (embedded) subtitles, because they're now part of the image. I think the easiest solution in your case would be to cover them: what you can do is give your Spanish subs an opaque background box and superimpose them on top of the original English ones, something like this:





There are many ways to do this, but if you're not sure how to, you can use Aegisub:

1. Download and install the program.
2. Open your subtitle file and video in it.
3. Go to the Style Editor by clicking the "Edit" button here:





4. Check the "Opaque box" option in the Style Editor, then adjust the size in the "Outline" box.
5. If needed, you can fine-tune the box size of each individual subtitle using the \xbord and \ybord tags (as in the image above).
6. Export your subs in the Advanced SubStation Alpha (ASS) format.
7. Burn them into the video in any tool that supports the format (e.g. XviD4PSP 7, Handbrake, VirtualDub or something else).


Hi Max,

It's me who has to apologize for replying late. As I said above, my client was fine with both subtitles, though I was certainly not, so I forgot about my question here.

It's really a shame to know you can't actually get rid of embedded subtitles. I thought you could extract an .srt file from a video in order to translate and replace it later with the new subtitles.

I'd read using Aegisub styles to superimpose the embedded subtitles would be a good idea, but I wasn't sure how to do it. Thanks for the detailed tutorial!


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:26
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In memoriam
What I did Oct 10, 2018

Luciana Costas wrote:

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

The neater solution I had was on an even shorter video, however I had to check whether it would work. In that case, it did. You can see it about halfway down on http://www.lamensdorf.com.br/edicao.html . It was just a snippet from Roberto Benigni's "Life is Beautiful", to be used for training. The film was spoken in Italian, but they only had it subtitled in English, and wanted Portuguese. So the left is a screencap of what I got, and the right is what I delivered.


Hi José,

I think your Portuguese subtitles turned out quite nicely actually! They don't look overlapped or blurred at all. May I ask what your method was in this case?


I guess you missed it. As I was downsampling the video from FHD to HD, or maybe from HD to SD - don't recall it now - I cropped the existing subtitles out.

This is what I had:


And this is what I delivered:


If you compare, you'll notice that the second image has become a "closer" shot. Of course, I've downsized both images for my web site. As the client wanted just some 5-10 minutes from the entire film for some management or sales training program, I checked, and it would still work. Maybe the entire film wouldn't.

As I said, this was a while ago, so for this cropping I might have used Sony Vegas, AVS Video Editor, Movavi, or VirtualDub - can't remember which one. Most likely the last one, VirtualDub, as I may have done it in one step, while burning the subtitles too. It only works on AVI, but that's my favorite format.


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:26
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In memoriam
Not a shame, it's an option! Oct 10, 2018

Luciana Costas wrote:

It's really a shame to know you can't actually get rid of embedded subtitles. I thought you could extract an .srt file from a video in order to translate and replace it later with the new subtitles.


Some programs, like SubRip can do OCR on subtitles burnt on the video, but the recollection of doing it is not good. I found it easier/faster to translate/retype than fixing the resulting text (Trados worshippers will be throwing farm produce at me). So much for extracting a srt file.

Burning the subtitles is an option with a price tag attached. If the video is in FHD, it may be quite costly, on account of the time it takes to re-render the entire video without losing any quality. It's one of the ways I suggest to cut costs on http://www.lamensdorf.com.br/save-in-subtitling.html#SVS_EN_04

Some advantages of/reasons for having burnt subtitles are:
  • Fail-proof presence of subtitles onscreen (poka-yoke) - the only way to show the video without the subs is by covering the lower part of the screen (with duct tape? ). There is NO chance that an unskilled operator will play the video without them.
  • Subtitles visual quality - Subtitles will come out as neat and sharp as created, no chance for a lower-grade processor to render them jagged or otherwise ugly, nor with weird characters (ANSI vs. UTF-8) instead of the intended letters with diacritics.
  • Proof of source - Say the film is American and expensive. If it is shown in the USA with subtitles in Sloboviak - and it is sold in low-income East Slobovia for a small fraction of its US-SRP - this may be evidence of some breach to a licensing contract.

The disadvantage, you've found it. However it was the only option in the days of VHS analog tape.


 

Alessandra R.
Italy
English to Italian
+ ...
cat tool for subtitling Nov 24, 2018

Hello!
I recently read a news about the release of a CAT tool for subtitling. What kind of film do you think is suitable for? That is, CAT tool can help translators especially with technical texts..so maybe a documentary or a film that contains a specialised language is a better choice... I think that tv series could work too...
What do you think about it? Which film would you translate with it?
Thank you.


 

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 01:26
Member (2013)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
- Nov 25, 2018

Alessandra R. wrote:

Hello!
I recently read a news about the release of a CAT tool for subtitling. What kind of film do you think is suitable for? That is, CAT tool can help translators especially with technical texts..so maybe a documentary or a film that contains a specialised language is a better choice... I think that tv series could work too...
What do you think about it? Which film would you translate with it?
Thank you.


Hi Alessandra,

CAT tools can be used in several ways in subtitling:

1. To ensure terminology/name consistency across
- numerous assets (e.g. all 646 episodes of The Simpsons or a series of e-courses under one umbrella theme).
- multiple subtitlers working on the same project (e.g. a rush job aimed at producing the subs faster than the fansubbers).
- new and legacy subtitles, if a company went through a transformation/merger/etc. (or if one subtitler quit and you hired a new one).

2. To build glossaries to be used by the company's other, non-AVT translators.

3. To speed-up term research.

There are probably some more uses, but I can't recall them.


 

Faustine Roux  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:26
English to French
subtitling is not a hobby Nov 26, 2018

Sylvano wrote:

I wonder which other professional fields have what we regularly have in audiovisual translation : people who have never studied/been trained one minute in the domain (rules, skills and tools), don't know precisely what they are asked to do, neither the correct rates for their national market and approximative duration to do it, but who will still take the job... Train yourself, see if you're any good at it, if you enjoy it and if you can make a living out of it. Not the other way round, which is not good for you, for us and for your client.

[Edited at 2018-10-09 18:58 GMT]


I totally agree with Sylvano, here.

How would anyone react to a technical translator asking advice for his/her first conference interpreting job at the UN, without any training whatsoever?

If you're not a subtitler, don't accept a subtitling job.
If you don't know what CPS/WPM mean, don't take the job.
If you don't know what a shot change is, don't take the job.
If you don't know what spotting mean, don't take the job.
If you don't know what TC-OUT and TC-IN mean, don't take the job.

And no, you can't just "learn on the go, on your first job". You're just going to make a mess. Get some proper, formal training first, and then you can consider marketing yourself as a subtitler. In the meantime, leave these jobs for the pros.

And just like translation is not just "for anyone who can speak two languages", subtitling is not just "some fun translation of films that anyone can do".

Sorry if this is not helpful, but it had to be said yet again.


Jean Dimitriadis
Henriette Saffron
Adrián Bergonzi
Gloria Martín
kmtext
Magdalena Adamus
Maximiliano Juncos
 

Paweł Zatryb  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 21:26
Member (2017)
English to Polish
23.976 fps videos and shot changes Nov 27, 2018

Hi,

I have problem with shot changes detection in 23.976 fps video and matching timecode to this video with both media timecode and subtitles timecode set to 23.97. I am learning now how to use SubtitleNext Explorer but generally saying I had the same problem with Ooona Tools (Translator Pro) or just simple Subtitle Edit. For the first 15 minutes of the video shot changes are being detected correctly, but later they start being detected one frame earlier before "real" shot change. A
... See more
Hi,

I have problem with shot changes detection in 23.976 fps video and matching timecode to this video with both media timecode and subtitles timecode set to 23.97. I am learning now how to use SubtitleNext Explorer but generally saying I had the same problem with Ooona Tools (Translator Pro) or just simple Subtitle Edit. For the first 15 minutes of the video shot changes are being detected correctly, but later they start being detected one frame earlier before "real" shot change. After reading this:

http://telestream.force.com/kb/articles/Knowledge_Article/Time-code-for-23-976-frames-per-second-video

I got to the point when I select media timecode as 29,97 and subtitles timecode as 29,97 NDF - the result is I have shot changes not matching video for the first 15 minutes (1 frame difference) but later they start matching the video (but not always).

My question- 23.976 fps videos are that problematic, or this can be solved somehow? How to get the best result?
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Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 01:26
Member (2013)
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
- Nov 27, 2018

Paweł Zatryb wrote:

Hi,

I have problem with shot changes detection in 23.976 fps video and matching timecode to this video with both media timecode and subtitles timecode set to 23.97. I am learning now how to use SubtitleNext Explorer but generally saying I had the same problem with Ooona Tools (Translator Pro) or just simple Subtitle Edit. For the first 15 minutes of the video shot changes are being detected correctly, but later they start being detected one frame earlier before "real" shot change. After reading this:

http://telestream.force.com/kb/articles/Knowledge_Article/Time-code-for-23-976-frames-per-second-video

I got to the point when I select media timecode as 29,97 and subtitles timecode as 29,97 NDF - the result is I have shot changes not matching video for the first 15 minutes (1 frame difference) but later they start matching the video (but not always).

My question- 23.976 fps videos are that problematic, or this can be solved somehow? How to get the best result?


Hi Paweł,

If the offset remains a constant one frame throughout part of the video, then the issue is definitely unrelated to your framerate, because those kinds of issues tend to accumulate and create a progressively increasing drift. For example, 29.97 DF vs. NDF leads to about 3 seconds of offset per video hour. The issue also seems to not be caused by a program bug, since it persists across various tools. If I were to guess, I'd say your video codecs that the subtitling tools use for video import and display are faulty. I suggest updating your codecs or trying different ones.


kmtext
 

Paweł Zatryb  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 21:26
Member (2017)
English to Polish
- Nov 29, 2018

Max Deryagin wrote:


Hi Paweł,

If the offset remains a constant one frame throughout part of the video, then the issue is definitely unrelated to your framerate, because those kinds of issues tend to accumulate and create a progressively increasing drift. For example, 29.97 DF vs. NDF leads to about 3 seconds of offset per video hour. The issue also seems to not be caused by a program bug, since it persists across various tools. If I were to guess, I'd say your video codecs that the subtitling tools use for video import and display are faulty. I suggest updating your codecs or trying different ones.


Yes, you are right Max, otherwise this error would accumulate over time, silly me... But anyway, I found out that Subtitle Edit shows scene changes correctly but only on mpv video engine, so using different codecs. Other rendering engines have the same issue. SubtitleNext is using LAV filters, and I can get into settings of this codec but I have no idea what I should select. Anyway, I will contact with pbteu support, maybe they will help me with this. Thanks.

[Edited at 2018-11-29 17:17 GMT]


Max Deryagin
 

Octavio Fajardo
Portugal
Local time: 20:26
Member (2018)
Spanish to English
+ ...
WinCaps alternative for Mac Dec 13, 2018

Hey there,

I'm wondering if you know of any alternatives, paid or free, that have the same features as WinCaps (such as automizing the workflow: ending subtitles 2 frames before new shot, starting subtitles at beginning of a shot if they fall within the "action zone"-- which is 2 to 10 frames after the beginning of the shot, etc.)

The client specifically asks for WinCaps Q4. I downloaded trial version of WinCaps but realized it is only for Windows.

Best,... See more
Hey there,

I'm wondering if you know of any alternatives, paid or free, that have the same features as WinCaps (such as automizing the workflow: ending subtitles 2 frames before new shot, starting subtitles at beginning of a shot if they fall within the "action zone"-- which is 2 to 10 frames after the beginning of the shot, etc.)

The client specifically asks for WinCaps Q4. I downloaded trial version of WinCaps but realized it is only for Windows.

Best,
Octavio
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