Translating, subtitling

This is the first translating ‘job’ I take on after the whole of the book (which has now sold 30 copies).

This time, as well as translating, I added subtitles to a Spanish video posted on YouTube, after boneidol’s suggestion, using universalsubtitles. Thanks HacktionLab for introducing this to us!

Other online resources I use for my translations are wordreference and imTranslator, both of which have nice plugins for Firefox.

So here is the result, with a mistake of mine, a mistake not mine, and I’m sure with many other mistakes I haven’t noticed yet:

Mistake of mine: Maybe because I thought I was translating it into Spanish, or maybe because I “live” in English and this video was one of the rare occasions when I work with my native language, I named the project as “Spanish”. Now I realise that it may convey that the video is in English and the subtitles are in Spanish, but no: the video is in Spanish and I added English subtitles.

Mistake not of mine:

Some of the subtitles do not appear on the screen at all. At least not on my connection. It is pretty strange; I “programmed” each sentence to stay on the screen for at least two seconds, but when viewing it, some stay way shorter and some just do not turn up. I don’t know how to fix this.

I can just share some pieces of advice for the future, from my good friend maqui, who has extensively used this tool to subtitle other films before me:

– do not make each sentence too short. They are more difficult to synchronise later and also they jump too rapidly in the screen. It is better to make them a little bit longer and then leave them on the screen for longer too. That way the pace is better.

– no need to subtitle literally. As long as you put in English what they say, it is fine. It does not need to be word by word. It is more important that it reads well in English.

– sometimes when synchronising, it is impossible to make the subtitle appear exactly when they speak. So do not try that. It is more important to get a good pace so that the subtitles can be read well, than to try to get the translation at exactly the time when the say it.

Next time it will be much better.