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My first subtitling job!

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Alvaro Martín Gómez A., Jul 29, 2005.

  1. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Hi everybody.

    My vacation time is coming to an end. Next week I'll start again teaching and I've had an idea to execute before my schedule is full again.

    Yesterday, I got the "More Cowbell" (Yes. THE More Cowbell) sketch (hey, Kserg!) which made feel curious from a certain time since I'm not a fan of SNL. What a funny sketch! After watching it, I wanted to share it with some of my friends because I think it will be fun for them also (besides, latin people are supposed to "feel more" or "know more" about cowbells as a percussion instrument than americans - Just guessing. Please excuse me if I'm wrong). Problem is, just one of them has a little English knowledge. I can tell them what it is about, but I feel it won't be the same, so I did a research about creating subtitles and I've just finished. Very cool thing, but what a job! I can't imagine myself subtitling a full 2-hour movie, among other things because I have serious problems understanding English expressions from TV, movies, music... "More Cowbell" is pretty clear, though. I used SubStationAlpha to create the script. First I translated the sketch to Spanish, then wrote the translated text in the program, extracted the audio file from the video (I can take notes of times directly from the video, but just the audio in Adobe Audition is better for more control over time), entered times in SSA, saved the script, run the video in VirtualDub, loaded the SSA script, re-encoded the video and voilá! "More Cowbell" with Spanish subtitles in perfect sync. It was like more than one hour job for a 5:50 minutes video which has lots of music (I didn't translate the DFTR lyrics). I hope my friends will enjoy it. I liked the job, anyway.

    This reminds me that I have the video file for a French comedy I saw more than 20 years ago and it's one of the funniest comedies I've seen in my life. It's French title is "Les Sous-Doués Passent Le bac". Systransoft translates it as "TheGifted ones Pass the vat". Starring Michel Galabru and Daniel Auteuil, made in 1980 and directed by Claude Zidi. But it's in French (of course) with no subtitles. I can't get anybody who translates the whole movie for me. No luck trying to find the subtitles on the Net either. :(
  2. Jimbo


    Dec 4, 2000
    Philadelphia, PA
    wow sounds like quite the undertaking. you clearly have more work ethic than i do :p

  3. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Do you do the subtitles for Sportscenter on ESPN also? Whoever does them sucks. I see more errors than correct.

  4. Chiba


    Mar 11, 2005
    Subtitles for live programs are generally automated, like scanning a document with OCR software - only since it's live, there's not much time to fix mistakes.

    I'm hard of hearing enough that I use the closed captioning on my TV at home, and you wouldn't BELIEVE some of the 'mistakes' I'll see! One of my favorite 'mistakes' is programs that bleep out foul language - which is almost always left IN the captions :)

    Watching sex scenes is usually hilarious. The captions will read something like [Intense Moaning] or the like. A lot of times the captions will paraphrase the dialog too - the actor will say "I've told you over, and over, and over not to do that" and the captions will read [I've told you many times to stop]. Good stuff.

    My biggest complaint about CC is that when somebody breaks into a language other than English, most of the time they just put in [Speaking Spanish] or [Speaking foreign language]. Very irritating. I know just enough of a couple of different languages that I might pick up some things if they took the time/money to put the non-English into captions as well.

    Good luck with your future captioning/subtitling efforts!!

  5. LOL that is too funny
  6. ¡Felicitaciones! Alvaro. That is a huge job. Next you need to subtitle “Tommy” for the Latin American audience.
  7. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    If you ever get interested in doing that as a career you could use it as part of your portfolio.

    brad cook