Translation Services for Subtitling and Captioning Online Video

May 14, 2019 Samantha

Here at Transcription City, we offer a range of translation services for subtitling and captioning (captioning services are designed for viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing – so also include non verbal cues and sounds that are integral to the video). We also provide transcription services in a very wide range of different languages, document translation and website localisation.

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As a bilingual person I work as a translator. But it also means that I can read books or watch films in different languages, if I want to. I can watch the original of a film or movie, or I can choose to read an article in the original language. That is incredibly enriching. But is it always worth it?

My children are also bilingual. In order to practice understanding and learning of both the languages they speak, we very often buy both language versions of any popular Disney movies with foreign language subtitles and captions. We also like to buy two versions of any famous children’s books. But is it always the same? Is the quality of the translation up to scratch? Are favourite bits of text always as nice in the other language? The answer is: Not always.

Take the example of Disney’s “Frozen”. Both my children were and are great fans. In our household we bought the DVD that had both the German language and the English language version. My children usually moan at me for insisting to watch the German version of any movie to practice. But how many times have we watched “Frozen” in German with English subtitles? Once. Just the once. That is because most of the songs in German, that is if you are used to the English versions and can understand them, are not as nice in German. I mean, I want to sing along loudly to “Let it Go”, right? Oops, I meant, my children want to, of course.

Then there is the beautiful “Gruffalo” book, an all-time favourite in our house. And yes, here we do read the German versions as much as the English ones and they work fine. The animated shortfilm versions also work both very well in both languages and also have similar famous actors providing the voices in both countries. But there are small things still. Sadly the German text of the Gruffalo does not flow as nicely as the English version. And that is not meant to be a criticism, because it is damn hard to translate these. Another Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler masterpiece if of course “Room on the Broom”, which has a much longer title in German, roughly translating as “There is still a place and a space for the dog and cat too”. My favourite rhyme in the book is when the Dragon wants to eat “Witch with chips” and when that plan is hampered he wants to do with “witch without chips” instead. Beautiful rhyme and content of the story, just simply not flowing as nicely in German. I guess witch with chips is simply not as nice as witch with French fries?

If you are interested in translation services for subtitling and captioning online video, translation services, foreign language transcription services, document translation services (including legal document translation services and medical translation services), why not get in touch today? We also provide transcription services, subtitling services to and from English as well as typing services and note taking services.

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Samantha

Transcriptionist and Virtual Assistant.

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