Just a few days after the unexpected news about a film on subtitling and subtitlers, another subtitler is the subject of a very nice article published in The Globe and Mail. Once again, the title revolves around (in)visibility and the apparent contradiction of placing subtitles over a screen and trying to keep them unnoticed: “The art of the film subtitler: How to be as unnoticeable as possible“. (I have to admit I’m extremely grateful that they refrained from repeating the puns around being lost/found in translation.)
What is explained there is not news for those who work in this industry, but there’s plenty of interesting (and not so obvious) information for the general public. A good deal is said about the technical challenges, and overall the text praises this experienced and dedicated specialized translator –Robert Gray– and even mentions rates, which is unusual.
I wonder if it’s just a coincidence that subtitles and subtitlers are being more noticed, and in such positive ways. Could it be just the coming Oscars or is there something else in the background?
Let’s talk serious business!
When I tell people that I work with film subtitling, my hardest task is to explain that most of the time I translate business, institutional or technical videos. This was a choice I made and it’s a market I cherish.
People –translators or not– tend to think that the best niche for a film translator is the entertainment business, like cinema or cable TV, because that’s what most people watch and enjoy. I agree that entertainment is fun; in fact, I worked almost exclusively in that sector for many years and I still love to come across fictional material to develop my creative or poetic or comic skills as a translator.
However, professionally speaking, working in the corporate field of audiovisual translation has some great rewards. Continue reading →
The Wall Street Journal published an excellent piece by Anthony Paletta about the importance of professional subtitling, notably the need to distinguish between “proper” subtitling and the many amateur, free alternatives out there.
I have to say that I never thought I would read something as gorgeous as the paragraph below in the press:
And much as our increasingly Web-based culture has blurred the line between amateur and professional journalism, often eroding newsgathering standards in the process, an expansion of crowd-sourced translation risks obscuring the essential—but already underappreciated—distinction between subtitling a movie and translating its words.
The truth is that not many translators are aware of this essential distinction, and Anthony Paletta deserves a round of applause for pointing it out. Continue reading →