Subtitling services

Veritas can provide yourself or your company with professional subtitling services to meet all of your personal or company needs.

Veritas – defining subtitling

Subtitling is used to translate dialogue from a foreign language to the native language of the audience. It is the quickest and the cheapest method of translating content, and allows viewers to hear the original dialogue and voices of the actors. Translation in the form of subtitling is often very different to the translation of written text. Usually, when a film or a television programme is subtitled, the subtitler watches the picture and listens to the audio sentence by sentence. There are two primary types of subtitling – realtime subtitling and offline subtitling.

Realtime Subtitling

Realtime translation subtitling, usually involving simultaneous interpreter listening to the dialog quickly translating, while a stenographer types, is rare. The unavoidable delay, typing errors, lack of editing, and high costs regard very little need for translation subtitling. Allowing the interpreter to directly speak to the viewers is usually both cheaper and quicker. However, the translation is not accessible to people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Offline Subtitling

Some subtitlers purposely provide edited subtitles or captions to match the needs of their audience, for learners of the spoken dialog as a second or foreign language, visual learners, beginning readers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing and for people with learning and/or mental disabilities.

Veritas – explaining subtitling; meaning, purpose and form

  • The subtitler may or may not have access to a written transcript of the dialogue.
  • In commercial subtitles, for example, the subtitler often interprets what is meant, rather than translating how it is said – meaning being much more important than form.
  • The audience does not always appreciate this, and it can be frustrating to those who know some of the spoken language, because spoken language may contain verbal padding or culturally implied meanings, and confusing words, if not adapted in the written subtitles.
  • The subtitler does this when the dialogue must be cut down in order to achieve an easy reading speed – purpose this time is more important than form.
  • In fansubs in particular, the subtitler may translate both form and meaning.
  • The subtitler may also choose to display a note, or series of notes in the subtitles. They are often put in parentheses, or even as a completely separate block of on-screen text.

Display notes provide the subtitler with the ability to preserve the form, and also to achieve an acceptable reading speed. By having the note on the screen, even after the character has finished speaking, form is preserved and it allows for a greater level of understanding for the viewer. If we look at Japanese, you will find that the language has many first-person pronouns, and as a result using one rather than another can imply a varying degree of politeness and courtesy depending on their use in different contexts. In order to alleviate this problem when translating from a language such as Japanese to English, the subtitling expert may manipulate the sentence, adding appropriate words and/or using notes where required.

 Veritas translation and interpreting services

For more information about our subtitling services contact our team :

T : +44(0) 8458 87 84 87 or FREEPHONE 0800 8600 674

We offer a free consultation service so we can support you and offer you professional advice. After all, when you achieve your goal, you will come back to us for more!

Whether you need a translation or interpreting quote, we are looking forward to hear from you.