Subtitlers, translators and audio-describers are often the unsung heroes who make or break a film when making it accessible to an international audience or an audience with additional needs. It requires professional training and experience to produce a product that will not only satisfy the needs of the audience but that will actually fade into the background so that it becomes practically unnoticeable that they are reading subtitles, watching a foreign film or using audio description.
Subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing (SDH or HoH), also called Closed Caption (CC) are subtitles that feature extra information for the audience, such as sound descriptions or name identifiers.
SDH subtitling is often overlooked or even given to less experienced or novice subtitlers when in reality this task requires a whole different skill-set and should only be done by subtitlers with extensive experience in the field for these subtitles are often used by viewers who rely on the added information provided by the subtitler.
Too few SDH labels and the viewer will struggle to follow the plot, too many SDH labels and over-describing and the viewer ends up "reading" the whole film or show and is burdened by often unnecessary information which makes for an exhausting viewing experience.
Interlingual subtitles are subtitle translations that allow an international audience to watch content that has not been dubbed.
Interlingual subtitling is more than just translation. It is an art form to create a product that allows the viewer to not only follow the content but to be able to understand and relate to it, even the source material contains cultural difference or cultural phenomena that don't exist in the target language.
But finding adequate and functioning solutions to these challenges isn't the only job a subtitle translator is tasked with. Finding natural sounding translations and editing text down if necessary to ensure a reading speed that the viewer can follow are just as important and can be just as challenging as humans speak faster than they can read.
Have you ever turned on the TV and thought to yourself, "Why is this person describing all those things that I can see happen?" Well, it would appear that the show has audio description (AD) available which you turned on while leaning on the remote.
AD helps visually impaired viewers to follow the plot and see what we see. A good AD doesn't just describe the necessary visual actions but makes it an enjoyment to watch.
The challenge for AD is not only to decide which information to include, but also when to include it, especially considering the often very small gaps in the dialogue, in which AD has to be placed. To little descriptive content and the viewers struggle to follow the show, too much descriptive content and the narrator has to read it at such a fast speed that processing becomes exhausting or even challenging.
We can help you to make your product accessible to a wider audience, from dub and voice over scripts to audio and multimedia guides, websites, apps and other texts.
And if you need an interpreter for Germany/English, do not hesitate to get in touch.