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General Subtitle Format Help


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#1 MasterOfPuppets

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 11:57 PM

I'm currently fixing subs for a movie, but I have some questions.

1) Do you usually subtitle laughter? Laughter is a "universal language" and everyone knows what it is, but I still see it done sometimes. Subber's preference?

2) When a line/word is repeated, how many times should you sub it?

3) Why do so many subs I see out there not have periods at the end of sentences? Sometimes there will be one, but more than often there won't be.

4) What is the general rule for subbing on screen text? ()s? ""s? italicized? Regular? All caps?
I do mine in ()s and all caps if it is the title of a building, section of a building or a word or two, otherwise I just use ()s except on rare oacssions.

I think that's it... Thanks for the help!

Edited by MasterOfPuppets, 30 November 2009 - 04:16 AM.

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#2 Barbobot

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 02:34 AM

QUOTE (MasterOfPuppets @ Nov 29 2009, 07:57 PM)
I'm currently fixing subs for a movie, but I have some questions.

1) Do you usually subtitle laughter? Laughter is a "universal language" and everyone knows what it is, but I still see it done sometimes. Subber's preference?

2) When a line/word is repeated, how many times should you sub it?

3) Why do so many subs I see out there not have periods at the end of sentences? Sometimes there will be one, but more than often there won't be.

4) What is the general rule for subbing on screen text? ()s? ""s? italicized? Regular? All caps?
I do mine in ()s and all caps if it is the title of a building or section of a building, otherwise I just use ()s except on rare oacssions.

I think that's it... Thanks for the help!

Just from observations as I've never done any kind of subbing.

1) Not necessary. Laughter is laughter in just about any language.

2) I've seen it done multiple ways. Primarily you can either just keep the single word/phrase on screen until it is stopped being repeated or just sub it as many times as it is actually said. Personally I never care which way it goes.

3) I guess no one really cares about the period unless they have multiple sentences being said in the same line of subtitling. It's just something that doesn't really matter that much so you can go either way.

4) A general rule I see from actual professionally subbed stuff on my anime DVDs is ()s with regular text.

#3 dchaosblade

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 02:37 AM

1) Laughter is extremely rarely subbed...I would say no.

2) What do you mean? As in, a phrase that a character says very often (for example, the typical 'name-of-the-attack' as they attack)? I see this go both ways, though I prefer it to be subbed. I always liked the way Dattebayo used to do bleach/naruto/etc - they'd give the translation the first time something was used and every time after they'd only name it in the subs.
If on the other hand you mean something like a character saying "never never never never never never never" etc for a long time, I see it different ways. Often, it's done as showing "never never never" until the character stops repeating him/her self. Other times the subbers choose to sub every part of it. It's up to the subber and it generally makes little difference.

3) Lack of periods is most often just a lack of proper structure. The subbers tend to leave it out just because. That said, a period shouldn't be included when the line continues or the like, be aware of what the next line is so that correct punctuation is used should you choose to include it.
Generally '?' and '!' appear whenever they are necessary though, regardless of whether periods are used properly. I tend to be a little anal about it and hate it when periods aren't used or are used in the wrong place, but...

4) Depends on the quality of the subs and how much work you're willing to put into it. If you want to make higher quality subs (and thus put more work into it), you would generally put the translation such that it's on the screen directly above or below the appropriate sign or whatever. Lower quality/easier is to only translate pertinent text, and put it as a note at the top of the screen (something like "Sign: Ramen stand" without the quotes). The real lazy way is - as you said - putting the text of the sign in parenthesis.
As far as italicized/all caps/etc - that's dependent on circumstances - what the sign says, what kind of meaning it's supposed to hold. A sign declaring victory will often be translated in all caps. A sign simply naming a store isn't.


Hope that helps.
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#4 MasterOfPuppets

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 04:14 AM

Thanks for the clarification! It should help in the finishing of these subs.
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