1. Technical Information
- Font: Arial, White
- Minimum duration: 1 second
- Maximum duration: 7 seconds
- 29.97 frames/second (fps) - 210 frames
- 23.98 frames/second (fps) - 168 frames
- 25 frames/second (fps) - 175 frames
- Reading speed (include spaces and punctuation):
- Adult programs - 20 characters per second (cps)
- Chidren's programs - 17 characters per second (cps)
- SDH (Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing)
- Adult programs - 23 characters per second (cps)
- Chidren's programs - 20 characters per second (cps)
- Frame gap: 2 frames minimum
Note: Frame gap should be 2 frames or at least 5 frames
All frame gaps of 3-4 frames should be reduced to 2 frames
- Character limit: 42 characters per line
DISNEY (DVD only): 40 characters per line
HBO: 40 characters per line
- Max. Number of lines: 2 lines
2. Line Treatment
- If an event can fit on one line, please keep it to one line. Do not split for grammatical reasons.
- For two line events, ensure that you maintain a logical and grammatically correct line break (e.g. after punctuation).
- Always position either top or bottom center. Never have subtitles in any other position.
- An event should be moved to the top if there is text in the lower third of the screen (e.g. credits)
- In cases where the entire screen is covered with text, choose the option that causes the least disruption to the viewer.
- If there is a supplied English Template, the timing for that should be followed. Events may be merged or split if the in-cues and out-cues are maintained. This rule supersedes all the below rules.
- Subtitles should be timed to audio (within 3 frames).
- If extra time is needed for reading speeds, the out-time can be extended by 12 frames past end of audio.
- If dialogue starts within 3 frames of a shot change, pull the in-time to the shot change.
- There should always be a minimum of 2 frames between the out-time of an event and the shot change after it.
- If dialogue ends within 3 frames or less of a shot change, pull the out-time to 2 frames before the shot change.
- While the reading speed is 20 cps, this is not always possible, the following priority should be followed:
- Time to audio and extend by 12 frames past end of audio (if it doesn’t cause the event to cross a shot change and look awkward).
- Let the reading speed go up to 23 cps.
- Merge or split events to help with reading speeds.
- Truncate without losing the meaning of the audio.
- If, after you have tried all of the above, the reading speed is still exceeding 23 cps then the file can be submitted as is, but all the above must have been tried.
- Subtitles should convey the context of the audio as accurately as possible, but do not need to be a word for word translation.
- Omit superfluous and unnecessary information such as hesitation markers, repetitions, and redundancies (e.g. "You know", "you see" etc).
6. Dual Speakers
Use a hyphen with a space to indicate two speakers in one subtitle, with a maximum of one speaker per line.
- Transliterate proper names (e.g. John, Mary), do not translate unless requested.
- Transliterate nicknames. Do not translate unless they have a specific meaning or are well-known and have official Arabic equivalents. (e.g. EXAMPLE)
- Use local language translations for historical/mythical characters (e.g. EXAMPLE).
- Translate brand names to a generic term if the brand is unknown in the territory and is relevant to context. (e.g. "EXAMPLE" for "Clorox")
Terms of address: Use formal or informal terms of address based on the relationship between characters and keep them consistent throughout (unless there is a change in the relationship). When in doubt, use formal terms.
- Do not use italics.
For ellipses, use the single smart character (U+2026) instead of three dots/periods.
- Do not use ellipses (3 dots) or dashes when an ongoing sentence is split between subtitle events.
- Use an ellipsis to indicate a significant pause (2 seconds or more) or dialogue trailing off.
- In the case of a pause (2 seconds or more), if the sentence continues in the next event, use an ellipsis at the end of the first event.
- Use an ellipsis without a space for an event starting mid-sentence.
- Use an ellipsis for abrupt interruptions.
- In the case of a sentence that is interrupted by a second speaker and then continues afterwards, you should have an ellipsis before and after the interruption.
- Follow instructions from Pixelogic regarding Main Titles. If instructions were not provided, double check.
ALULA Match Localization Library entry if provided.
NETFLIX Do not include Main Titles. If mentioned in dialogue, check with Pixelogic.
- Episode Titles: Do not subtitle if they do not appear onscreen, if they do, check with Pixelogic.
NETFLIX Do not include Episode Titles. If mentioned in dialogue, check with Pixelogic.
- Titles of movies, TV shows or published works: Use official / accepted translations. If none are available, leave in the original language.
12. Forced Narratives / On-screen Text
- Only include plot-pertinent Forced Narratives.
- Delete redundant Forced Narratives (e.g. identical to onscreen text/covered in dialogue/appears repeatedly in the video).
- Ensure that Forced Narratives do not cover onscreen text. In the event, there is onscreen text at the top and bottom, place the Forced Narrative in the location easiest to read. If both locations are identically difficult, then place the event at the bottom.
- Never combine a Forced Narrative with dialogue in the same event.
- If a Forced Narrative interrupts dialogue, use an ellipsis at the end of the preceding event and at the beginning of the following event.
- Speaker’s title for documentaries: Only translate a speaker’s name and title once, the first time the speaker appears in the documentary.
13. Foreign Dialogue
- Foreign dialogue should only be subtitled if the viewer was meant to understand it per creative intent in the original version. Please check with Pixelogic to see if you are using a Subtitled or Subtitle-less version of the video.
14. Numbers, Time & Currency
- Numbers must alwaysbe written numerically: 1,5, 10, 15, etc. including reference to clock time (e.g. " .سأخرج في الـ8ًءاسم ")
- Exceptions to the above are “one” and “two” when they come as adjectives.اصطحبت مريضين إلى المستشفى.
- Months of the year should follow the Georgian calendar.
- Percentage (%) should be spelled out (e.g. بالمئة50)
- Convert to metric system: kilometers (km), Celsius (°C), Kilograms (kg).
- Never convert currency.
- Exceptions to the above can be made for space limitations or correct usage (e.g. EXAMPLE).
15. Quotation Marks
- Use double quotation marks (" ") without spaces for regular quotations.
- Use parenthesis ( ) for quotes within quotes.
- Quotes should be used at the start and end of a line of applicable dialogue and not at the start of every subtitle.
- Use double quotes for proper names of people and places.
- Put song titles and song lyrics in quotes.
- Only use double quotes at the start and end of the song, or if a portion of the song is interrupted.
- Direct speech is introduced by a colon/comma. Both are accepted, but should be used consistently throughout.
- If the whole sentence is in quotes, the period comes before the quotation mark.
- If only a portion of a sentence is in quotes, the period comes after the quotation mark.
قال لي وهو يضحك
إنه لم يذهب إلى "ذاك الحقير".
- Commas go outside the quotes.
- Do not abbreviate titles such as (د.) and (م.).
- Units of measurement should not be abbreviated (e.g. EXAMPLE). Exceptions can be made for space limitations while keeping consistency.
- Translate names that are acronyms in all instances if not well-known. (e.g. EXAMPLE)
- Well-known acronyms can be transliterated with double quotes. (e.g. EXAMPLE)
- Do not translate words or phrases repeated more than once.
- If the word or phrase is said twice in a row, time to audio but do not repeat the translation.
- This rule can be ignored if the context uses repetition for emphasis or comedic effect.
- If the song is original to the show/movie, check with Pixelogic if translation is required. For all other instances do not translate.
LIONSGATE This rule is for characters singing only. Do not translate background songs.
- Songs in which the lyrics have been altered or parodied for comedic effect can generally be titled.
- Use an ellipsis if the song continues in the background but is interrupted by dialogue.
- Only question marks, exclamation marks and ellipses can be used at the end of a line.
- Song titles and song lyrics are in double quotation marks.
20. Translator Credit
- Include if present in provided English template, otherwise do NOT include a translator credit.
NETFLIX Include a translator credit - "ترجمة "
PARAMOUNT (Theatrical) Include a translator credit - "ترجمة "
SONY (Feature/Episodes only) Include a translator credit - "ترجمة "
ALULA Include a translator credit.
FOX Include a translator credit.
NBCUNIVERSAL Include a translator credit.
- If a client requests a translator credit and does not specify a format use one of the above prioritizing top to bottom,
- Company names are not allowed as Translator Credit. Only the individual translator.
- In the cases where the file is a reformat of an older subtitle file, there may be no translator credit required as it may not be present on the original file.
21. Language Tag
- If the following event is present at the end of the template:
[LANGUAGE TAG - Do not Translate]
do not omit or translate, but simply copy the English text into your language file. This is an identifier in English for BD/DVD authors.
22. SDH Instructions
Speaker IDs/Sound Effects
- Use [ ] brackets for speaker IDs or sound effects.
- Use lowercase, except for proper nouns.
- Only use speaker IDs or sound effects when they cannot be visually identified.
- If a person who is on-screen continues talking off-screen, do not add another identifier for their off-screen dialogue. We assume it's the same person talking until another person is visible or until there is an identifier for a different speaker.
- Do not identify a speaker until their character name has been introduced. Until they are introduced, use generic IDs (e.g. [man], [man 2], [cop], [doctor])
- For documentaries, commentaries, bonus material (VAM) etc. do not identify interviewees by their first name. Only use their last name. You can use first names for the characters from the program, assuming they have been identified that way in the full program.
- Use a generic ID to indicate and describe ambient music (e.g. [rock music playing on radio]).
- Only include plot-pertinent sound effects.
- Include single utterances and exclamations (e.g. Oh, Um..., Wow!)
- If translated – Use [in language] (e.g. [EXAMPLE] )
- If not meant to be understood – Use [speaking language] (e.g. [EXAMPLE] )
- Always research the language. Do not use [speaking foreign language] or [in foreign language].
Songs (additional to Section 19)
- Song lyrics should be enclosed with a music note (♪)
- Songs heard within the scene should be identified if possible.
- If a word has been censored in the audio use four asterisks to indicate the censored word.
23. Client Style Guides
Apple - August 29, 2017 - V1