Video Subtitle Translation – Why Human is Best!

August 18, 2014 Samantha
Video Translation Services London

Dodgy video transcription can cause problems!

Technology is an amazing thing. It seems almost every day, a new app or advanced technology is developed to fix some key problem or need for either an individual or company is facing on a day to day basis. This applies to not only the translation services and transcription services world, but indeed, in every sector. So with all of the subtitle translation software out there, why would you choose a human translator for your projects? Well, here’s just a few reasons, and we think they’re pretty big ones!

Video Subtitle Translation and Keeping the Meaning

We all know that the English language and other languages for that matter, have words that have the same spelling, but can mean completely different things. If a linguist is translating audio or translating video for subtitles, they will have the intelligence to make an informed choice about which meaning is the correct one. They will also have the ability to watch the video to apply context to what is being said to further help them to understand the meaning. This ability to understand what is being said, make sense of it and reinterpret it effectively is what makes a good translation service. In speech, sometimes the words that are said are not arranged in a grammatically perfect way, but by the intonation of a speaker and the correct context, a person can still make sense of what is said.

An automated programme may have an algorithm that allows it to make choices as to which meaning is most likely to apply to which sentence, but this code will be flawed as different people speak in different ways, and context or further understanding cannot be applied by listening to the tone of a speaker, or seeing what is happening in a video translation. Also, computer software will likely make mistakes in reinterpreting sentences that have flawed grammar, such as double negatives, which very often occur in speech.

Video Subtitle Translation and Keeping it Short

Translating subtitles in .SRT format takes more than just substituting word for word from one language to another. In different languages, sentence structures can be completely different and a line by line substitution does not always work. Linguists will look at the overall sentence when translating subtitles and split the final lines equally for the subtitles. Computer software will not be capable of making well informed choices on where to cut out text that is not necessary, in order to make subtitle lines the correct length, or how to rearrange the words to fit within the .SRT lines. High quality subtitle translation services are those taken on by translators who have the confidence and the understanding of where to split lines of text, and how to arrange the words to retain meaning.

Good, effective translation is an art form. It requires a high level of intelligence and understanding in order to reinterpret what is said. Think of it this way: A chef and a scientist are both asked to attend a lecture on microbiology. They listen to one sentence and then are asked to repeat what they have been told. Who do you think would more effectively relay the information? The biology student, of course, because they have an understanding of the topic, of what is being said. This being so, why would any professional company trust a computer to reinterpret important information over a qualified, professional translator with true intelligence and understanding of a topic?

If you would like to know more about our video transcription services or video translation services, why not get in touch today?

And to finish, we thought we’d share a hilarious video outlining the importance of using professional translation services. Enjoy!

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Samantha

Transcriptionist and Virtual Assistant.

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