15 Steps To Follow When Creating Subtitles

Nobody in the history of life has ever wanted to embark on something and not want to achieve anything or worse enough knowing very well they will fail. Just like in any other process, subtitling is a process that has a couple of steps if followed well, one is assured of success. Subtitling being a form of film localization, we will look at the distinct steps you need to take for it to work successfully for your business.

  1. It is very important to set out clear goals and targets that you are expecting to reach with the subtitling process and make it known to every other stakeholder or business partner you have. This makes sure that you have a clear outlook on what you want to achieve and having this in mind will make it easier for you to work towards your goals.
  2. Make sure to perform an evaluation process where you can account for the resources, effort, and tools required to make the entire process a success. This will ensure that everything needed for the entire process till it ends is accounted for to avoid any fallbacks or misunderstandings when the process commences.  
  3. Depending on what your language pair is, it is important to look into the cultural, technical, and linguistic aspects of your target language. This is a very important step that will help you during the translation process. Different languages have different cultural and linguistic differences. If you don’t clearly find out this when translating, you might end up missing the context of the original audiovisual in the translated text. Take this step as serious as you could take any other step on this list.
  4. The subtitling process is one that cannot be done without the use of software and in this case, depending on what software you are comfortable with, it is important to ensure that it works well and it is in great shape and condition before the process begins. We are all aware that software shut down at times and having a backup is really important and it will ensure you don’t end up lagging the process when a software malfunction happens.
  5. Make sure that the script being translated for the subtitling process is correctly extracted from the audiovisual to avoid a back and forth with translators. Many people usually forget this step and end up having to pay extra for something they could have avoided if they were keen. We all know the translation process is what makes subtitles, and if there is any missing text then you risk the chances of the translation being totally off context.
  6. This should have been the very first step I mentioned but number six is still a good number to have it on. Make sure you are aware of the statistical analysis done with absolute concentration because this is where all the source materials for getting the whole process off the ground until completion will be calculated. Any mistake on this step will have you either going over the budget or having debts to settle to your contractors for work already done.
  7. During the subtitling process, translation takes more time and a bigger budget. If you are working with a language pair that has been worked on before, it is very important and cost-effective to reuse existing translations, creation, and maintenance of terminology glossaries. I promise you this step will save you a couple of dollars that you would have rather used to pay translators. No one hates saving a dollar or two so thank me later.
  8. More times than not, businesses opt to outsource translation services because they either don’t have internal translators or it’s just a preference of theirs. It is important to invest in in-house translators because using them for your translation works when you are working on bigger projects will be more convenient and less expensive than getting external translators. Make sure to invest in great and professional internal translators.
  9. If you ask any translator, they would tell you for sure the main language they create subtitles for, is always the English language. This means that most production houses need their foreign language films subtitled into the English language. When you have to work with languages like Arabic as your target language, you must invest in an Arabic native speaker who will do the adaptation to the script, and translate it in the best way possible and still maintain the original context. It is important to work with Natives when working with language pairs that are not common.
  10. Invest in a proofreader who will go through the translated scripts and ensure that the translation was done perfectly well and the context of the original script is still intact. If you have no money to invest in this, then make sure you invest in translators who know exactly what they are doing. Production companies have a tendency of wanting to work with subpar translators for their subtitling process and still expect to get services that are impeccable.
  11. After the proofreading has been done and the translated scripts are in perfect form, be sure to get a film spotter who will help you in determining the timings where the subtitles will sit in line with the audiovisual. This is another step that should not be brushed over and should be looked into carefully. You do not want to have an amazing translated script that is completely off when put side to side with the audio. If you mess up on this step, then you will have messed up the whole subtitling process. Be sure to get a spotter who knows exactly what they are doing.
  12. After the spotter has created the subtitles and set the timings in which they sit in line with the audio, be able to go through the entire file to ensure that the subtitles are in perfect form and no changes should be done. This means you approve for them to be permanently mounted on the video which is usually the last step in this entire process.
  13. After the spotter has determined where the subtitle texts should sit in line with the audiovisual, while following the rules and guidelines set for the subtitling process and you have approved of their work, get a good videographer who knows how to mount the subtitles on a converted video file. This is possibly the last technical step that you will have to do for your subtitling process. Getting a videographer shouldn’t be hard and having them mount the subtitles isn’t usually expensive.
  14. After the videographer mounts the subtitles on the audio-visual, you will get the subtitled video and go through it to ensure that it looks exactly how you wanted it and that it is in perfect shape to be presented to the public.
  15. Now that the whole process is over and you have received your approved subtitled video, it is time to launch it to the public. Before you launch it, do a series of promotions to make the target audience aware of its availability and anticipate it. This will ensure the film is received well when you launch it. After the promotions, you can launch the video and see how well it performs in the market. If your research on the target audience is done well, the project will definitely be received well.

There are people who don’t usually follow through with all the steps and their project ends up missing something that would have been of help in catapulting it to greater success. Following all these steps for your subtitling process will guarantee you a successful subtitled project.


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