SilentsPlease wrote: Spiny Norman wrote:
SilentsPlease wrote:In short, this is a tough job. That's why a lot of discs from small companies don't have subtitles or closed-captioning.
Wouldn't go that far myself. Some people make volunteer subtitles, so if they can do it, it can't be that hard. There's also all sorts of helpful tools arounds like scripts and software and other ways to make the work easier.
Luckily, Cat People, Curses and all, have English (and other) subtitles on the internet so it can be applied with some trickery.
Anybody can make subtitles but do they have the right knowledge and skills to do a decent job? It takes the kind of tremendous skills that I mentioned earlier: the right diction, timing, paraphrasing, etc., plus knowing a whole lot of "rules" such as the use of italics for off-screen dialog and thoughts, all-caps for on-screen signs, etc. What to do in overlapping dialog, or hard-to-hear dialog? What to do with "made-up" words in dialog? You often have to look up source material such as screenplays and original novels to get the right spellings. Not to mention, this is a time-consuming job. In short, it often takes a film expert
to do the job right. Those "fan-subs" you mentioned are often made by people who don't know and/or care enough for people who are likewise.
Regarding subtitles from the Internet, the timing is often way off if the subtitles are from another video edition. Those who've done it know what I'm talking about.
Sorry, I completely disagree. Of course you will find many half-baked subtitles on the internet. Yeah, the bad ones are made "by people who don't know and/or care enough" - but even those are usually computer translations.
You're assuming that all the good ones are "official", and that's where you're wrong. Why couldn't an unpaid
film expert do it? It's not
rocket science to figure out the basic rules. The UK television standard for example is available online. We're not even talking translations yet, so issues with diction and wordplay are irrelevant. Also, there's this thing called internet in case of obscure names/words.
I can show you some examples that are of the highest standard in transcription, timing, and typography. I'd put money on it that you couldn't guess which ones were which.
By the way I know both a professional translator and fan subtitlers. The former is NOT a film expert, just a normal translator working for television and using her brain. The fan subtitlers that I know are not that different, except that they don't get paid - so much for them not caring, which I, as a sometime volunteer subtitler, find slightly offensive to read.
(Well, there IS one guy who keeps breaking
off lines at the most unnatural
places. But he only does Spanish, so he won't bother you.)
In fact, if you start paying attention to it, you can often find plenty of dumb mistakes in "official" subtitles - showing for example that they clearly did not have access to any written source or that they were made in a hurry / without proper attention. CLOSED CAPTIONS ARE ALL IN CAPITALS AND ON THREE LINES INSTEAD OF TWO - so that isn't exactly ideal either. TV stuff is often also in 3 lines and very badly timed. (Probably my favourite subtitling blunder is Star Wars, Han Solo defending why he dumped his cargo because "even he gets bored sometimes".)