domingo, 16 de abril de 2017

Subtitling films and Historias de Lavapiés

Image result for historias de lavapiés

Image result for historias de lavapiés

NETFLIX wants to pay a mint for translating film dialogs.

First you must pass a hard online test to see whether you qualify as a translator. It seems that they pay by the minute and you will be tested by the minute also.

Not too long ago I had this experience. I translated the script of the film HISTORIAS DE LAVAPIÉS. I had the aid of the director of the film, Ramón Luque, and we worked hand in hand on the translation and on the subtitles. It was no piece of cake.

Obviously the guys from Netflix do not know where they are getting into, test or no test, notwisthstanding the big bucks.

First, we had to go over the script while watching the film at the same time. Actors have a tendency to ad lib; sometimes because they choose to, other times because they forget their lines. This procedure is painstankingly arduous and very time-consuming.

Second, and something that escapes the Netflix crowd who forget that people hear faster than they can read.  Not all the dialog can be subtitled because the audience cannot read that fast.

Third, and this escapes everybody: not all the dialog can fit the screen. Subtitles should not take up most of the screen, no matter how accurate the translator wishes to be. It is a film we are watching, after all.

Fourth: the best that can be accomplished is a guideline, a résumé, of what is going on in the scene. Trying to translate idiomatic expressions, as the Nexflix team wishes, is the least of the problems to be encountered.

Translating and subtitling HISTORIAS DE LAVAPIÉS was  quite a feat and I tried to express the essence of the dialog so as to give the English-speaking audience a close idea of what was going on. Nothing else can be done. And a lot is lost in translation, in the subtitles.

And, yes, of course, I recommend the film.

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