Subtitle Translation: What You Need To Know

Translation services have become more popular in recent years, especially for businesses who wish to expand their customer base and make more impact globally. Seeing as communication plays an important role in business, an increasing number of businesses across a wide variety of industries are beginning to explore subtitle translations as a cheaper way of passing information across to their target audience.

Statistics reveal that no less than 20 percent of the U.S. population speaks another language. This puts the number at no less than 63 million people in the United States. Without a proper strategy in place to reach out to these people, businesses will continue to fall short of their potential clients. This has led to an increase in the need for subtitle translations, especially as video marketing has become one of the trendiest ways to pass information across to consumers and target audience.

Subtitles provide businesses from all industries with a low-cost solution to reach all their prospective audience members, irrespective of their native language or language of preference. Whether you are interested in gaining more attention on your YouTube video or aiming to create a learning program that is directed to all users, subtitles may be the best solution for your needs.

What Are Subtitles?

Subtitles are basically a translation of the dialogue in a video, show, or movie. Subtitles are typically designed to appear either on the top or at the bottom part of the screen, allowing viewers to enjoy the translation service while also catching on to the main ideas in the video.

Subtitles have proven to be essential in improving communication as they stimulate the visual and reading skills of viewers.

Why Work With A Professional?

It is important to note that not all subtitles are created equally. There are certain factors to consider when choosing subtitles for your needs. With subtitles, there is no in-between, you either have a good subtitle which captures the nuances, syntax, idioms, sarcasm, and other expressions contained in the video, or you have a bad one which is bland and does a poor job of passing the desired message across.

While some people choose to produce caption files for their video then use a computer or machine translation tool to translate the captions, this does not guarantee the best results as some of the main points may be lost due to lack of cultural understanding or misunderstanding of certain expression during machine translation. On the other hand, choosing a professional subtitle translations service can save you from the headaches and stress.

Also, working with a professional guarantees that only the right words which aptly represent the expression in the video are used. Taking into consideration that there are some differences in languages when they cross over, and differences in the cultural interpretation of certain words, it is most recommended that you work with a professional who is in a better position to capture the essence of the video and accurately represent the information in subtitle form.

Common Challenges Faced When Subtitling

While subtitling may appear to be one of the easiest tasks to carry out, you will soon find out that it may be the most difficult task. Words do not always sound the same after they have been translated over into another language. In most cases, the common troubles associated with subtitling are those relating to an adequate representation of the original dialogue such that it captures the emotions, nuances, and other language syntax, even in the translated language.

Below Are Some Of The Most Common Challenges:

Tone/Register: whether you are working with a film, a television show, a marketing video or any other form of media, the dialogue may present itself in an informal way, rather than being formal or technical. This may pose a problem as the translator may struggle to represent the subtitles to match the tone.

Cultural Adaptation/Language Localization: in some cases, dialogue contained in the video may be region-specific and this poses a huge problem for the translator. The translator aims to capture the dialogue in the second language as best as possible while also passing the right information across. In cases like this, the translator will be required to possess an in-depth knowledge of both languages as this will help them to better represent the region-specific terms.

Length: One of the biggest challenges of subtitling is the length of the text. Recent research has revealed that the human eyes can take an average of 6 seconds to comfortably read through the maximum length of English subtitles, which usually contain 2 lines of text and about 37 characters per line. Keeping things concise without compromising the information passed across is the key when subtitling.

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