Five Important Challenges of the Subtitle Translation

The translation of subtitles often looks simple and plain considering the length of the texts. These look deceptively easy task as it keeps on stretching and shrinking on the tv screens. People often take it lightly and do not consider it much tough to translate dialogues into different languages. This could be easy and not much tough if the TV, film, and other multimedia content is made by foreign audiences and then uploaded for free. But it is tough when the translation agencies and translators have to take care of these. 

Factually speaking translating subtitles is one hectic job. It is more than the simple translation of short sentences and dialogues from one language to another. Multimedia translation services are quite challenging and draining. The translators have to be experienced and need to consider a lot of factors while performing this task. They have to face a lot of challenges.

Five of the challenges that translators come across are

1) Text Length and Screen Width

This is a real challenge in the translation of the subtitles. It gets hectic to fit a text in a limited space. The written text also varies in length with different languages. Also, the English language is considered the shortest of most languages which refers that the text can easily get expand when translation from English to other languages is carried out. Text expansion is common when it comes to the translation of subtitles and it gets tough for the translators to make it fit in the given space.  Subtitling translation services get a serious deal when translators have to put effort to make the text precise and short and maintain the same meaning and tone. As no one wants the screen to be taken up by the major text and it can be challenging in itself if viewers with multiple devices are on the front to be dealt with.

2) Dialogues Speed and Text Length

This is the second most important challenge that translators have to navigate through. Whenever a dialogue in the movie or video outpaces the reading speed of viewers, there is a problem with the adjustments. This could lead to two issues. Either the subtitles will be disappearing quite quickly or the viewer cannot keep track of the video and will be moving way forward before the subtitles.

Therefore, it is significant to plan ahead. It is essential to plan in advance to deal with the translation of subtitles. Once you realize that you will have to get your video translated you need to be vigilant and don’t go way ahead while translating your content. In case you fail to spare some time to plan before the time. You will need to have some experts on your side to work on the less text space while conveying the meaning too.

3) Multilingual Speakers

This gets tricky for the subtitles, despite the fact whether you are into translation or not. Even simple and basic translation gets tough to keep up when it comes to catering to multilingual speakers simultaneously. During this, you not only need to worry about the screen space and pacing but will have to take care of the corresponding text that people are speaking in the video as it should be clear and visible enough because the readers may finish the subtitle before the next text. Now, this is the actual problem as we talk relatively faster than we read. Similarly, interpreting voice-over texts also gets tough and companies hire voice-over services to meet the needs. Things get a little more complicated when you have to take care of half a dozen people speaking to each other. 

Planning the translation of subtitles beforehand can be beneficial here. However, this is not the only option and particularly for non-scripted content. This might lead to either adapting the translations or considering the option of voiceovers in order to keep the pace fast.

4) Style

Videos come in multiple styles now. We have short videos and long videos. There are reels too. Recreating the video style gets challenging with the film and ads as well. Moreover, whenever there is creative footage the translation and adjustments for subtitles get tough. Instructional videos may get easier in this reference but not unnecessarily, only if you opt for the friendly tone or use the characterized speaker. Therefore, the style of the videos also gets complicated to maintain with the delivery of pace-free subtitles.

5) Font Choices

The selection of font is also important while delivering the translation contained in the video as subtitles. According to experts and famous linguists, font choice is an integral part of subtitles services. First, it is super important to see that text is legible for different screen sizes and from a reasonable distance. For instance, a viewer who is using his smartphone to watch something with subtitles will have a smarter display than those watching through LEDs and other devices. Text size plays a key role in subtitles. Moreover, the size of the font is also essential as some font styles are naturally big whereas others are smaller. Additionally, the caps should be used where necessary to avoid additional space.

Final Words

Translating the subtitles is a tough job. The translators have to struggle a lot while translating content from one language to another. Text expansion and adjusting it into the limited space gets tough. The main challenges include text and dialogue length, dealing with multiple speakers, and style and font selection of the content. For more detail click here.

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