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Whether you’re creating a multilingual video ad campaign or translating your internal training videos, it’s important to understand the basics of subtitle translation to ensure that you’re maximizing your translation budget and getting the best end product for your customers and employees. Here is our essential guide to subtitle translation.

Don’t shy away from machine assisted translation.

Multilingual subtitling usually involves a first phase of source language transcription, then the translation of the transcription into all target languages, and then formatting to ensure all translations align with the proper timestamps. All this means that subtitling translation can be quite pricey, so by leveraging machine translation with a professional post-editor, you can bring prices down.

Machine translation post-editing also ensures that all repetitions will be auto-populated across all files in your project, meaning you only pay once for the translation of a repeated phrase or segment. Professional post-editors are experts at boosting the quality of a machine translated file to make sure it sounds as fluent as a human translated script.

Understand subtitle file compatibility.

The best file types for subtitle translation is .srt and .sub. They both indicate at what point a subtitle should appear during video playback via the data contained on cue points and sequencing. Additionally, .srt and .sub are both supported by most mainstream CAT tools, so your language service provider (LSP) will be able to directly upload and work on the file. This reduces turnaround time and pre-project fees.

Look for a LSP that harnesses automatic formatting services

It is essential that your LSP uses translation software that properly encodes your files to ensure post-translation reformatting. You don’t want your end product to have too much text on the screen or awkward transitions between segments. Without automatic formatting, there will be a lot of post-translation formatting work, which isn’t ideal with large video files.


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