Subtitles defy conventional video translation
Recently, one of our clients asked us if there is a way around the "subtitles translation problem." If you work in video translation, you've probably encountered this.
Subtitles defy the very idea of translation – to relay a linguistic unit from one language into another, retaining the original semantic meaning (accuracy) while transposing culturally (fluency). For subtitles, translators can't just rely on accuracy and fluency as the metric for a good translation; they also have to take into account the video context and synchronization.
This post, the first of a two-part series, will look at the problem of video context in subtitles translation, and how to deal with it.