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Ask me anything about subtitling
Autor de la hebra: Max Deryagin

Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Federación Rusa
Local time: 08:30
Miembro 2013
inglés al ruso
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
- Aug 8, 2016

Hi Norfuer,

This is a rather unorthodox way to create subtitles. Here's the usual way of doing it:


[Time 1]
- Speaker 1: Line 1 [line break]
- Speaker 2: Line 2
[Time 2]


Is there no way to break a line in InqScribe?

What you can do, if you don't want to use other software that's better-equipped for subtitling, is create timecodes for both dialogue lines in one


[Time 1]
- Speaker 1: Line 1- Speaker 2: Line 2
[Time 2]


then open your SRT file in any text editor and force-break lines there, so you will have the following format, for example:


8
00:00:20,480 --> 00:00:23,890
- Boris: What a lovely day!
- Kate: Indeed!


[Edited at 2016-08-08 07:29 GMT]


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Norfuer
Filipinas
Local time: 11:30
- Aug 8, 2016

Hi Max!

Thanks for the help! I formatted it like the first one you suggested, rendered, and it worked perfectly! I don't know who wrote that timecode example, but they either worked with an older version of InqScribe, or had no idea how it works.

I'm now 5/8 through with the project, and things are looking great.

Thanks again!


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Nastia Ch
Estados Unidos
inglés al ruso
Where do I start? Sep 23, 2016

Hi Max,

I am new to this forum. I am fluent in both English in Russian. I am very interested in learning more about subtitling. I signed up to volunteer at Amara. So far, I've translated/subtitled just a short educational video and currently working on an other one. I think this is something I would enjoy doing on a regular basis. Where do I start? Do I continue volunteering at Amara to gain experience? Do I apply for a job at Amara? I can't find any reviews/pay etc about Amara anywhere on Internet.
Should I look for some good translating/subtitling agencies in Russia? I would appreciate any kind of advice. Thank you.


[Edited at 2016-09-23 03:23 GMT]


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Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Federación Rusa
Local time: 08:30
Miembro 2013
inglés al ruso
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
- Sep 23, 2016

Nastia Ch wrote:

Hi Max,

I am new to this forum. I am fluent in both English in Russian. I am very interested in learning more about subtitling. I signed up to volunteer at Amara. So far, I've translated/subtitled just a short educational video and currently working on an other one. I think this is something I would enjoy doing on a regular basis. Where do I start? Do I continue volunteering at Amara to gain experience? Do I apply for a job at Amara? I can't find any reviews/pay etc about Amara anywhere on Internet.
Should I look for some good translating/subtitling agencies in Russia? I would appreciate any kind of advice. Thank you.


Hi Nastia,

As any aspiring specialist, you should start with acquiring a solid theoretical basis, so that you get a good understanding of what subtitling is all about and how it is done properly. In my experience, the best way to do it for a newly established subtitler is to read the book Audiovisual Translation: Subtitling by Jorge Diaz-Cintas and Aline Remael (the paperback version): not only does this book offer great AVT theory and graded exercises, but it also comes with a DVD with sample film material and — most importantly — a demo version of professional subtitling software that you will use for the exercises. It's a great introduction package with a nice quality-to-price ratio.

Which brings us to the next point: software. There are three types of subtitling software: free, commercial and web-based. With direct clients you can use whatever software you want to, but serious subtitle agencies usually require that you own (and know how to use) commercial subtitle preparation software (e.g. EZTitles, WinCaps, SPOT etc.) or that you use their web-based subtitling tool. However, the companies that want you to use their web tool tend to be exploitative, at least in my experience. Depending on what kind of business you're running, you might want to invest into a commercial subtitling tool and learn how to efficiently use it (the program's Help section is your friend). I always recommend EZTitles as my preferred software, but what program to choose is of course up to you, and it depends on your budget and professional needs.

Now, I haven't heard of Amara, but you must ensure you can make a comfortable living off your projects with them if you work full-time with their rates. If not, you can continue working with Amara for gaining practical experience, and then, when you feel comfortable about your skill set, you can try and find better clients and projects.

Finally, I don't recommend working with Russian subtitling agencies, because the rates they offer are usually not sustainable.

Hope this helps.


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jbjb  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 06:30
estonio al inglés
+ ...
Amara Sep 23, 2016

Amara is a crowdsubtitling platform mostly for free and volunteer work, basically subtitle training for novices like you are doing now.
I don't think they have any serious money-paying customers and work.
If you are based in the U.S., then looking for Russian subtitling companies means you are looking for the Russian living standard.
The average monthly salary in Russia is around 600 USD. If you would be happy with that salary in the US, then by all means look for work in Russia - the subtitling rates will reflect that ballpark standard.


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Nastia Ch
Estados Unidos
inglés al ruso
Thanks for the reply Sep 24, 2016

Hi Max! Yes, it helped a lot. Thank you so much for such a detailed information. I've ordered a book that was mentioned and looking forward to reading it. I'll continue volunteering for Amara to gain confidence and experience. Thanks to jbjb for the explanation about Amara. I have been reading this forum for a few days now and found tons of helpful information:-).

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Nastia Ch
Estados Unidos
inglés al ruso
speaking of Russia... Sep 24, 2016

jbjb wrote:

Amara is a crowdsubtitling platform mostly for free and volunteer work, basically subtitle training for novices like you are doing now.
I don't think they have any serious money-paying customers and work.
If you are based in the U.S., then looking for Russian subtitling companies means you are looking for the Russian living standard.
The average monthly salary in Russia is around 600 USD. If you would be happy with that salary in the US, then by all means look for work in Russia - the subtitling rates will reflect that ballpark standard.


jbjb--
I know they have been around for a while, but I couldn't find any reviews on Internet. Isn't it weird?

I agree with what you are saying about a very low pay from a Russian subtitling company, but don't you think it would be easier to find a job in Russia for someone new to the field than to compete here in the U.S with the pros?

Max---

I thought Amara is a popular platform in Russia too. I saw many profiles of Russian volunteers - translators on their website.


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jbjb  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 06:30
estonio al inglés
+ ...
Amara Sep 25, 2016

Amara is just one of a large number of web-based subtitling platforms that have been developed in recent years. Just a few of them (Sfera, ZOO) have been developed enough to get professional work, most are just too unprofessional (like Amara) to get work from serious clients. Translation is one thing but the behind-the-doors technical work required on a subtitling file is the key. Amara's platform is just not good enough to offer subtitle files that someone would pay for, right now it seems destined to remain a fansub site.

As you know, Russia is a voiceover country. 99% of the translation work is for voiceover and 99% of consumers never watch subtitled products. Subtitling is sort of a niche business for a handful of TV channels, DVD releases (where subtitle tracks are often reformatted voiceover translations) and now, new services like Netflix. So your best chance for Russian subtitling work outside Russia is with a major subtitling company providing services to major Hollywood studios or Netflix. Their rates are the lowest but none of them require translators to have their own subtitling software. After you have worked for such companies (it's not hard to find work there, as the low pay means a constant rotation of translators to replace those who are giving up), you are ready to decide if the work is attractive enough for you to invest in your own software.


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IT Pros Subs
Italia
Local time: 05:30
Miembro 2005
inglés al italiano
+ ...
Great recommendation Sep 25, 2016

Audiovisual Translation: Subtitling by Jorge Diaz-Cintas and Aline Remael (the paperback version): not only does this book offer great AVT theory and graded exercises, but it also comes with a DVD with sample film material and — most importantly — a demo version of professional subtitling software that you will use for the exercises. It's a great introduction package with a nice quality-to-price ratio.

I think this is a great recommendation, Max. I'll copy and paste this to our Facebook and LinkedIn pages and mention your name with it.

Thanks!


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Max Deryagin  Identity Verified
Federación Rusa
Local time: 08:30
Miembro 2013
inglés al ruso
PERSONA QUE INICIÓ LA HEBRA
- Sep 25, 2016

Monica Paolillo wrote:

Audiovisual Translation: Subtitling by Jorge Diaz-Cintas and Aline Remael (the paperback version): not only does this book offer great AVT theory and graded exercises, but it also comes with a DVD with sample film material and — most importantly — a demo version of professional subtitling software that you will use for the exercises. It's a great introduction package with a nice quality-to-price ratio.

I think this is a great recommendation, Max. I'll copy and paste this to our Facebook and LinkedIn pages and mention your name with it.

Thanks!


Glad you liked it

Also, jbjb, I really appreciate your input in this thread.


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Nastia Ch
Estados Unidos
inglés al ruso
thank you for the reply Sep 26, 2016

jbjb wrote:

As you know, Russia is a voiceover country. 99% of the translation work is for voiceover and 99% of consumers never watch subtitled products. Subtitling is sort of a niche business for a handful of TV channels, DVD releases (where subtitle tracks are often reformatted voiceover translations) and now, new services like Netflix. So your best chance for Russian subtitling work outside Russia is with a major subtitling company providing services to major Hollywood studios or Netflix. Their rates are the lowest but none of them require translators to have their own subtitling software. After you have worked for such companies (it's not hard to find work there, as the low pay means a constant rotation of translators to replace those who are giving up), you are ready to decide if the work is attractive enough for you to invest in your own software.


Do you think these well known major subtitling companies will hire someone new with little experience?

You are right about Russia being a voiceover country. I forgot all about it. In old times we had just a few TV channels. The only time you could see subtitles was during the news broadcasting. Everything has changed now. I am pretty sure many Russians use Youtube's captions for learning languages.


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jbjb  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 06:30
estonio al inglés
+ ...
inexp Sep 26, 2016

Inexperienced translators are often hired by major companies these days after passing a subtitling test. The main requirement is accepting the low rate they offer. Their subtitling software (either web-based or proprietary) has been dumbed down, so that translators really only have the "replace original text with translation" function, working with pre-prepared templates.
If a company expects you to have your own subtitling software, they would also expect you to have specific subtitling-related know-how but these jobs would be even more limited.
I don't think it has changed in Russia that much... Everything is still voice-over and Netflix is the first major service trying to enter the market with a subtitled product. But to make any mark there, they will probably have to resort to voiceover. And as voiceovers would be especially expensive outside Russia, they would use Russian companies to do the work - and the companies would use their own Russian-based translators. And if accompanying subtitles are used, it may be cheaper to convert the voiceover translation to subtitles, rather than pay for a separate subtitle translation. Also - to avoid someone watching with Russian voiceover and Russian subtitles and wondering why the translation is utterly different.

So Russian subtitles will always be a bit of a special case and there will be a limited demand for them.
Fortunately the dumbing down also means that many companies are scared to use subtitles produced out-of-house because you have to check that everything matches technically. So it's easier for them to order a new translation, using the template they use for all other languages.


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Dietlinde DuPlessis  Identity Verified
Estados Unidos
Local time: 20:30
inglés al alemán
Someone who actually works for Amara Sep 27, 2016

Now here is someone who actually works for Amara. I agree that their rates are very low; I rarely get over 6 or 7 USD/hr. However, many people sync their transcriptions sloppily or do not care to adapt the syncing of the translation from the original, and I suspect that makes them quicker.

The upside is that the videos are in a database from which you can mainly pick whenever and how much you feel like. Most videos are really short (3-8 minutes), so you can always do something quickly.


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Nastia Ch
Estados Unidos
inglés al ruso
Amara Sep 28, 2016

dilynn, What do you mean by saying they pay 6-7 USD/hr? Per hour of a video? An hour of a video is lots of work! It seems the rates are way too low.

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Nastia Ch
Estados Unidos
inglés al ruso
thank you Sep 28, 2016

jbjb, thank you for the useful information that you kindly provided. I wonder how long it would take for Netflix to enter the market in Russia and if Netflix would have a success in Russia, but it is a discussion for another thread. Like you said Russia will remain voice- over country for a long time.

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