When you are working on a subtitling, SDH or closed captioning project, there are small fundamental checks that make a big difference in the quality that you produce and deliver.
Below are some of the essentials:
Video Frame rate
Make sure that the right video frame rate is correct and always time code your captions according to the video frame rate.
Consistently check the names of the people and places to avoid misspellings and typos.
Do not add punctuation to the song lyrics, only question marks and interrogation marks are common practice. Don’t forget that there should be a space between the musical note and the song lyric.
Position of subtitles
Unless otherwise specified, position your captions center bottom. Captions should not cover any onscreen text. If you have any on-screens conflicting with the captions, they need to be raised to the top of the screen.
Character ID’s and sound effects
Avoid unnecessary IDs when the speaker is on-screen. Only caption background sound effects when they are essential to the plot. Not every sound must be communicated. If the viewer can clearly see what is happening in the video, it is not necessary to caption obvious sound effects.
Don’t miss out on excellence
There are many great films made in non-English speaking countries, including some of the best. My personal favorite is La vita è bella. If we didn’t have subtitles readily available for these expert films, we would be robbing ourselves of great experiences.
The deaf and hard of hearing can enjoy the greatness of films
Films with captions guarantee equal opportunities to people with disabilities and they give everyone equal access to enjoy all the great content that is produced around the world.
Employment opportunities are created
Automated subtitling and closed captioning is by no means good enough yet. If you speak more than one language, you’ll agree that computer translation just isn’t quite here. Professional subtitlers and captioners are high in demand. This demand for quality captioning and subtitling has created employment opportunities around the world, for freelancers and in-house captioners.
Subtitles are great for learning languages
Subtitles is a fun way to develop your language skills. You get to watch whatever it is you’re interested in, and learn at the same time! When you watch subtitles, you are exposed to two languages at once, whether it is in the language you are learning or in a language you already speak. Being able to hear spoken English really helps with pronunciation and listening comprehension. Having subtitles in the language you are learning can be very beneficial, not only for learning the language but also to learn the culture of the language spoken, which is super important.