Tips for Subtitling into Foreign Languages

Adelphi is a subtitling agency producing quality subtitles in over 80 languages. Our subtitling services include transcription, subtitle translations including SRT and STL formats and on-screen text localization.

As a subtitling company, we have come to understand the do’s and don’ts when clients order subtitles in a foreign language. In this article, we have given some tips to follow when planning you subtitle localization.

Tips and advice when subtitling your videos into foreign languages

On many occasions, we have been given a commission for subtitling with little or no background information on the subject, only to be told after the subtitles are done that the company name or product names do not match what has been used previously. During the translation process, we often ask if there a set way to translate certain terms, brands, functions and button names associated with the subject matter and be told no, only to be told differently when the subtitling is finished. This often happens when the subtitling has been commissioned by an agency who have not asked their end-client the questions we asked and only comes to light when the end client sees the video.

  • Always check: if the subject matter has already been translated into the language you require, as this might mean there are established ways to spell product names, function/button names etc. Where possible, provide a glossary list of these, so we can inform our translators. This should be done before translation starts, as it is harder to incorporate such changes afterwards and will result in additional costs for the client to fix it.

Many times, we will have half or fully completed the subtitling process only to be informed that the video we had been working on has been changed and there is a new version the client wants us to subtitle, either with new parts added or parts taken out.

  • Make sure: the video you provide us with is final, as changes to the source material in the middle of the project could result in the need to repeat part or all of the work already completed at additional cost and time. Even small changes, if they turn out to be difficult to realise once the translation and subtitling are done, can cause a disproportionate and surprising amount of disruption and extra work.

A common error is when clients wish us to use their translations is for them to provide a non-timecoded transcript translated into all of the requested languages. This is well-intentioned but actually does not help the process at all.

  • It is always best: to transcribe the video with time-codes in the original language first and only then translate, so only one set of time-coding needs to be done. If not, then we must time-code each language’s translation individually, meaning extra costs and longer turnarounds. To subtitle, we need translations to be in a caption format like SRT, which defines time-codes for when text should appear on screen. This is why we create that format in the video’s original language first, then provide this to the client to have translated according to some basic instructions that respect the format. This means we only have to transcribe once. When clients provide multiple non-timecoded translations in Word files, as is often the case, we have to create new transcripts for every language, and transcriptionists are surprisingly harder to source than translators. In the past, this has meant that we have been unable to assist some clients with requests for rarer languages, because no specialist transcriptionist exists for them, even though the job would be more than possible if carried out with the optimal workflow.

Other advice we can offer of particular relevance to production houses is:

  • If: you are planning on shooting raw footage on location in a language you are unfamiliar with and editing it later, please ask your guide or interpreter if they can give you a written transcript of everything that was recorded. This will save you time and money when you return and need to cut the footage, as you then only need to ask for a translation of the transcript, rather than a transcript and translation, which takes longer to produce and costs more.

If you need advice on any aspect of localizing your video with foreign language subtitles, then get in touch with Adelphi. Adelphi is a subtitling company creating localized subtitles for advertising and design agencies, translation companies and media organisations worldwide. Our in-house subtitle translation department specializes in providing translations and SRT and STL subtitle caption files specifically for subtitling projects.  SRT and STL files are often used to provide subtitles for YouTube videos.

Included in Adelphi’s subtitling services is our capacity to localize motion graphics and animationsprinted materialsArticulate Storyline e-learning projects and any on-screen text, in-house with no outsourcing, making Adelphi the full-service foreign language localization agency for all your subtitling requirements.



Adelphi Studio offers subtitling and voice-over services globally from our offices in the UK and the USA.

All US, Canadian, and South American enquiries should be directed to our US office while all other enquiries should go to our UK office.

US Office
Tel : 916 414 8714
Email: us@adelphistudio.com

UK Office
Tel : +44 (0)114 272 3772
Email: sales@adelphistudio.com

 

Chinese Subtitle Localization

Chinese subtitle localization agency producing quality Chinese subtitles, includes transcriptions, Chinese subtitle translations including SRT and STL formats and on-screen text localization.

Chinese subtitle localization of both traditional and simplified subtitles, we also provide Chinese SRT and STL translations enabling companies to insert the subtitles into their own videos. SRT and STL files are also used to provide subtitles for YouTube videos.

Chinese subtitling for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Subtitle localization in both traditional and simplified Chinese

Professional Chinese Subtitling Services producing both open and closed caption Chinese Subtitles in both Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese Chinese. Open captions are also known as burnt-on subtitles and are on-screen at all times and cannot be switched off.

Adelphi always produces all their Chinese subtitles in-house and never outsource any of the work, therefore, maintaining confidentiality as well as quality. Adelphi produces Chinese subtitling in all video formats from videos such as Mov, MPEG-2, WMV, flv, etc.

Subtitle styles
These Chinese subtitles were ‘burnt on’ to the video (also called open captions) and because of the nature of the video we used white text with an outline or shadow. There are many styles of subtitles to display on your video. We can advise you on the best type for your video and produce samples for you to choose from. We can also help on the best Chinese fonts to use as well.

Click here to see some samples of subtitle styles

Chinese Subtitle Translations – SRT and STL files

In Chinese subtitling translation, our Chinese audiovisual translator would create translated subtitles in the target language directly from the source video. Our subtitle translator would create SRT files that are be used to produce burnt-on Chinese subtitles. The STL format allows you to configure most subtitle settings, and change the settings on a subtitle by subtitle basis and are often used with YouTube videos.

Adelphi Studio is part of Adelphi Translations Ltd. a full-service translation agency, not just producing Chinese translations but also Chinese typesetting and Chinese voice-overs. Using Adelphi’s Chinese translation services for subtitling, quality and timing can be closely controlled throughout the project, ensuring that your subtitles will always be ready to publish on or before your deadline.

We also provide Chinese subtitling for many translation agencies around the world and are happy to work with their translations. As some languages must use specific fonts in order to work with the subtitling software, we can consult with you about your needs and advise you of all of your options. Adelphi is a proud member of the Association of Translation Companies (ATC).

Chinese On-Screen Text Localization

As well as producing the subtitles we can also localise any on-screen text, motion graphics etc. into Chinese. Depending on the complexity and how the original text was produced we may require the data package it was made in.

Click here for more on on-screen text localization

Transcription Services

We also offer a transcription service, to provide time-coded scripts for translation. The length of many languages will expand when compared to original English and care must be taken in the translation to keep the true meaning of the English, while staying within the time frame allowed. We sometimes have to edit the English to make a more concise version of the original, this is because the written version of many languages is much longer than the English and would not fit in the allocated time-slot. Of course, the edited English is approved by the client before translation into Chinese.

Articulate Storyline Localization

Through our combination of technical expertise and quality translation provision, we are able to localise your Articulate Storyline courses and presentations in any language, allowing your content to inform and educate new audiences.

We can translate not just the text from your Articulate Storyline course itself but also localise all of the button and slider content too, we also add voice-overs and subtitles to any embedded videos using translated scripts and voice talents we can provide.


Other subtitling samples include

 


Adelphi Studio offers subtitling and voice-over services globally from our offices in the UK and the USA.

All US, Canadian, and South American enquiries should be directed to our US office while all other enquiries should go to our UK office.

UK Office
Tel : +44 (0)114 272 3772
Email: sales@adelphistudio.com

US Office
Tel : 916 414 8714
Email: us@adelphistudio.com

Voice-overs vs subtitling – Which to choose for your e-learning project?

Voice-overs or subtitling which to choose

Whether to choose voice-overs or subtitles for your e-learning project can depend on a number of considerations, such as:

Budget

Subtitling is much cheaper than voice-overs, so if you have a limited budget subtitles might be the way to go. For voice-overs the cost will depend on the voice artist or artists you choose, studio time, editing of the raw audio and syncing to the video, all of which adds up. It can also depend if your voice-over is timed or not, if you require lip syncing or semi lip syncing which also adds considerable time and cost to the production.

Timing

Subtitles usually have a character limit of around 44 characters and 2 lines per subtitle but subtitling can be made to fit your video whereas voice-overs depending on the language, can be much longer than the source language. Resulting in the voice-over being too fast for the allocated time in your presentation or video.

voice samples

Projects delivery times

If you have a short delivery time or deadline for your projects then the time finding, choosing, recording, editing and syncing the voice-overs should be taken into consideration. Whereas subtitles if translated properly using SRT files, can take a fraction of the time.

SRT files are time coded documents that can be imported into the subtitling software which then puts the correct subtitle with the correct sequence, after this there is only a visual tidy up required.

Example of an .srt file

SRT translation

Adelphi Studio is a leading foreign language voice-over agency and subtitling company working with media companies in the UK, the USA, and worldwide. Our in-house dedicated audio visual translation department provide a quality subtitling and voice-over translation service. We also provide typesetting in over 120 languages.


Adelphi offices

Adelphi Studio offer subtitling and voice over services globally from our offices in the UK and the USA.

All US, Canadian, and South American enquiries should be directed to our US office while all other enquires should go to our UK office.

UK Office
Tel : +44 (0)114 272 3772
Email: sales@adelphistudio.com

US Office
Tel : 916 414 8714
Email: us@adelphistudio.com

Sylheti subtitling services

Sylheti subtitling agency producing open and closed caption Sylheti subtitles, including transcriptions, subtitle translations and on-screen text localisation

Our Sylheti Subtitling projects have been made for clients who have a non-disclosure agreement
so we are unable to show samples here


Sylheti Subtitling

Adelphi can produce open and closed caption Sylheti subtitles in all video formats including MOV, MPEG-2, WMV, FLV, etc. Open captions are also known as burnt on subtitles and are on-screen at all times and cannot be switched off.

Adelphi always creates all their Sylheti subtitles in-house and never outsource any of the work. Our multimedia department is set up to work on a wide range of specifications and is able to take your original video or DVD and create a working copy with Sylheti subtitles ready to publish for film, TV, on the internet or on DVD.

Subtitle styles
The above Sylheti subtitles were ‘burnt on’ to the video (open captions) and due to the nature of the video we used a transparent band behind the text for optimum readability. There are various ways of producing subtitles to display on your video. We can advise you on the best option for yourselves and even provide samples for you to choose from. We can also advise on the best fonts to use too.

Click here to see some samples of subtitle styles

Adelphi produced Sylheti translations and materials for Amnesty International, The Care Quality Commission, Tesco, Refugee Action, the Department of Health and many other companies and their agencies.

Sylheti On-Screen Text Localisation

We also localise any on-screen text and motion graphics etc. into Sylheti. Depending on the complexity and how the original was created we might need the original data package it was produced in.

Click here for more on on-screen text localisation

Sylheti to English Subtitling Services

As part of our subtitling services we also offer a Sylheti to English Subtitling Service, including translation, transcription, SRT creation and subtitling.

Sylheti Subtitle Translations

In Sylheti subtitling translation, our Sylheti audiovisual translator would create translated subtitles in the target language directly from the source video. Our subtitle translator would create SRT files that can then be used to produce burnt-on Sylheti subtitles.

Adelphi Studio is part of Adelphi Translations Ltd a full-service translation agency producing not only Sylheti translations but also typesetting and voice-overs.

Using Adelphi’s Sylheti translation services for subtitling, quality and timing can be closely controlled throughout the project, ensuring that your subtitles will always be ready to publish on or before your deadline. Adelphi is a proud member of the Association of Translation Companies (ATC).

Transcription Services

We also offer a transcription service for those customers lacking a transcript of their videos. We provide time-coded scripts of your videos that are ready to be translated. We will then use those translations for the subtitle text, sending you the files at each stage of the process for you to review and assess.

Articulate Storyline Localisation Service

We can translate not just the text from your Articulate Storyline course itself but also localise all of the button and slider content too, we also add voice-overs and subtitles to any embedded videos using translated scripts and voice talents we can provide.


Other subtitling samples include:

LA Spanish Subtitling Services

LA Spanish Subtitling Translation agency creating quality LA Spanish subtitles. Subtitle SRT files, localisation of on-screen text and motion graphics

Latin American Spanish Subtitling Service

LA Spanish Subtitling Sample
Click video to play


LA Spanish Subtitle Translation Services – SRT file creation

Adelphi are a specialist media localisation agency and have a full time translation department sourcing translations in over 120 languages. As well as Subtitling we also produce voice-overs in over 70 languages and typesetting of printed materials in over 120 languages.

Because we control all of the aspects of the subtitle localisation from the transcription to translation to the finished subtitled LA Spanish video, we can offer quality control through out the process as well as a high degree of confidentiality.

All our LA Spanish subtitles are produced in-house and never outsource any of the work. Our media department works on a wide range of specifications and can take your original video and produce a working copy with LA Spanish subtitles ready to publish on the Internet, film, TV, or on DVD.

These subtitles were ‘burnt on’ to the video, which is also called open captions, and because of the nature of the video in this case we used a transparent band behind the text for best readability. There are other styles of subtitles we can produce. We can advise you on the best option for your video and even produce samples for you to choose from. We also offer samples of fonts to choose from if required.

LA Spanish On-Screen Text localization

On-screen text can also be localized into LA Spanish and our technical engineers can convert any on-screen text in the required style. Depending on the complexity and how the original text was produced we may require the data package it was made in.

For more on on-screen text localization go here

Transcription Services

We also offer a transcription service, to provide time-coded scripts for translation. The length of many languages will expand when compared to original English and care must be taken in the translation to keep the true meaning of the English, while staying within the time frame allowed. We sometimes have to edit the English to make a more concise version of the original, this is because the written version of many languages is much longer than the English and would not fit in the allocated time-slot.


Other subtitle translation samples

  • Arabic Subtitling

    Arabic for MAERSK

  • French Subtitling

    French for Shift MS

  • Arabic, Chinese and Lao Subtitling

    For the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

  • Finnish Subtitling

    For the Honey Monster

  • English Subtitling

    English Subtitling for ABSOLUT Vodka

Click video to play or use the arrows to move to next language

Arabic Subtitle Translation Service

Arabic Subtitling Translation agency creating quality Arabic subtitles.
Subtitle SRT files, localisation of on-screen text and motion graphics

Arabic Subtitling Services

Arabic Subtitling Sample
Click video to play


Arabic Subtitle Translation Services

Adelphi are a specialist media localization agency and have a full time translation department sourcing translations in over 120 languages. As well as Subtitling we also produce voice-overs in over 70 languages and typesetting of printed materials in over 120 languages.

Because we control all of the aspects of the subtitle localisation from the transcription to translation to the finished subtitled Arabic video, we can offer quality control through out the process as well as a high degree of confidentiality.

All our Arabic subtitles are produced in-house and never outsource any of the work. Our media department works on a wide range of specifications and can take your original video and produce a working copy with Arabic subtitles ready to publish on the Internet, film, TV, or on DVD.

These subtitles were ‘burnt on’ to the video, which is also called open captions, and because of the nature of the video in this case we used a transparent band behind the text for best readability. There are other styles of subtitles we can produce. We can advise you on the best option for your video and even produce samples for you to choose from. We also offer samples of fonts to choose from if required.

Arabic On-Screen Text localization

On-screen text can also be localized into Arabic and our technical engineers can convert any on-screen text in the required style. Depending on the complexity and how the original text was produced we may require the data package it was made in.

For more on on-screen text localization go here

Transcription Services

We also offer a transcription service, to provide time-coded scripts for translation. The length of many languages will expand when compared to original English and care must be taken in the translation to keep the true meaning of the English, while staying within the time frame allowed. We sometimes have to edit the English to make a more concise version of the original, this is because the written version of many languages is much longer than the English and would not fit in the allocated time-slot.


Other subtitle translation samples

Click video to play or use the arrows to move to next language

Japanese Subtitling for John F. Kennedy video

Bringing John F. Kennedy’s Legacy to a New Audience

English to Japanese translation and subtitling supplied by Adelphi for the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation of Boston, USA. Over the course of several months, we had the great honour of working with the Foundation to make key portions of their archival footage and publicity material accessible to a Japanese audience ahead of an exhibition and talk they subsequently held in Japan.

The video above is of President John F. Kennedy’s address at the commencement ceremony for American University in June 1963. Adelphi time-coded the English from the footage, translated the spoken and on-screen English into Japanese and then subtitled the videos, ready to be enjoyed by visitors to the exhibition whether they spoke English or Japanese. Our native Japanese member of staff was also able to provide useful input for the client in connection with the cultural dimensions of this project.

Please visit http://www.jfklibrary.org/JFK/JFK-and-Japan.aspx for more information.


Adelphi offices

Adelphi Studio offer subtitling and voice over services globally from our offices in the UK and the USA.

All US, Canadian, and South American enquiries should be directed to our US office while all other enquires should go to our UK office.

UK Office
Tel : +44 (0)114 272 3772
Email: sales@adelphistudio.com

US Office
Tel : 916 414 8714
Email: us@adelphistudio.com

Japanese & Spanish Music Video Subtitling

Music video subtitling and translations

Adelphi Studio has produced Japanese & Spanish music video subtitling for Van Halen for their up-coming tour of Japan and Spain. We subtitled live performances of the song ‘She’s the Woman’ and a number of interviews including ‘Brown M&Ms’ and ‘As is’ about their life on the road. Van Halen provided the lyrics for us and Hiroko our Japanese project manager re-lived her childhood listening to one of her favourite bands while making sure the subtitles matched the English in the most suitable way.

Japanese Subtitling: The real story behind the ‘Brown M&Ms’

The videos release was delayed for almost a year as Eddie Van Halen was taken ill just before the start of their tour of Japan.

Spanish Subtitling ‘She’s The Woman’

We work to get the best from the lyrics, but as you know sometime a bands lyrics can be difficult to understand in English, so the translation has to reflect the feel and the meaning rather than being a literal translation.

Lyrics such as:

Fate is my pimp
But she was cool
Said  “If You’re doin’ business with me honey,
What does that make you?”
Some Casablanca gin joint
You’re a nervous wreck
Your IQ plummets fourteen points
Her thunder thong around your neck
Now, the song ain’t dirty
It’s really just the way we sing it
Sing it!
She’s the woman

Adelphi studio do more than Japanese & Spanish music video subtitling, we also are a full service translation agency, this means that we handle all aspects of the work in-house providing the transcription if required, the translation and the subtitling.


Adelphi offices

Adelphi Studio offer subtitling and voice over services globally from our offices in the UK and the USA.

All US, Canadian, and South American enquiries should be directed to our US office while all other enquires should go to our UK office.

UK Office
Tel : +44 (0)114 272 3772
Email: sales@adelphistudio.com

US Office
Tel : 916 414 8714
Email: us@adelphistudio.com