5 blunders you can't make when subtitling videos

blunders when subtitling videos
By August 3rd, 2022 | subtitling | 0 Comments

Need to subtitle videos? If so, you may have considered doing it yourself or entrusting the task to someone in the company using one of the many automated tools you can find on the Internet.

However, this is not always a good idea. Subtitling is a difficult job, with defined limitations and rules that must be respected while still conveying the meaning and nuances of the original audio.

So, before deciding anything, read this article in which we tell you the 5 unacceptable mistakes in quality subtitling and why it is better to trust a professional video subtitling service if you need professional guarantees.

Requirements of a good video subtitling professional

As we were saying, not everyone can add subtitles to a video or, rather, do it correctly and without making almost absurd mistakes for a professional.

Subtitling and multimedia translation professionals have undergone specific training to provide them with the necessary resources:

  • Native command of the target language and culture. Only in this way will the target audience be able to understand the full meaning of what they are seeing and reading.
  • Ability to synthesize the entire message of the scene while respecting the character limitation.
  • Talent to translate double meanings, jokes or certain local references heard in the audio to the target culture. 

5 mistakes you can't afford to make when subtitling videos

There are mistakes that are costly and when translating a video into another language, both in corporate videos and in entertainment audiovisual material in series or movies, making the mistakes we list compromises the image of the companyor the audiovisual project and can turn you into a meme in social networks.

1. Using free digital tools available on the Internet

It's hard to believe, but despite the hundreds of sites that tell us about translation errors to make us laugh or cry, there are still those who do it once again and resort to free machine translation.

It is important to bear in mind that this kind of tool does not contextualize or understand nuances, which may result in the reader not making sense of what they are reading in relation to what they see in the video. That is, there is no correspondence between the subtitles and the video they accompany.

2. Translating literally

You may be fluent in the target language, but this is not enough to carry out professional subtitling. You must be creative enough to understand the full intention of every word in the scene in order to reflect it in the subtitling text and not let the original idea get lost. And all of this, of course, accurately.

3. Messing up synchronization

Even if they are not a physicist, the person in charge of the art and science of subtitling has to combine time and space. Subtitles must coincide in time with the image and dialogue to which they correspond. Multimedia translation involves the added difficulty of perfectly combining image, audio, time and space. Experience in this area makes things much easier in this respect.

4. Lack of adaptation

In subtitling, one must adapt to the target language and the linguistic channel when moving from oral to written. When subtitling, it is important to know how to translate everything that is said without losing the original rhythm and tone. In other words, knowing how to adapt to the elements that transcend beyond words and are implicit in them.

5. Formatting problems

Adjusting to the limitations of subtitling is not easy. You must be careful when cutting a sentence so that it does not lose its meaning, and be aware of line breaks and punctuation marks, which also take up space and in Spanish are doubled.

As you can see, subtitling videos can't be done by just anyone. On the contrary, if you want a quality result that does not devalue the video because you are going to make it public on your website, your channel or social media profile, trust the experience of a translation and subtitling company that is an expert in video subtitling.

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