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Old January 13th, 2011, 08:46 PM   #1
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Subtitles and 'AP' Method

I produced a series of 3 nutritional videos (with more to come) with a spanish speaking doctor, and I included english subtitles. After fixing the translation for grammar and general readability, a colleague tried to tell me that the subtitles must be written and structured according to the AP (Associated Press) method; thus, according to him, my sentence structure and grammar were incorrect. However, if you look at the teachings of a grammar book, I guarantee my grammar is correct, not to mention, subtitles must have a smooth flow for easy reading especially when there are several medical terms being used.

So...what is the 'correct' method for subtitles?
Steve Kalle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 14th, 2011, 10:28 AM   #2
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We did a lot of this at the newspaper I retired from, as our area is about 50% Hispanic and 50% English-speaking. AP style just doesn't apply here, I submit.

The task is to as accurately as possible translate what the speaker is saying, often in a condensed form, as people read much slower than someone speaks. So our task was to try to keep (1) the sense of the speaker's words (2) the style of the speaker him/herself and (3) maintain good grammar in whichever language we were translating to and (above all) be very sure that the necessary editing did not in any way change the accuracy or import of what the person was saying.

It is not an easy task and often ended in heated discussions by the bi-linqual editors who were called upon to double-check the work. I think adhering to an arbitrary style developed for written photo captions would inevitably lead to mis-translation or mis-interpretation of the speaker's intent. Creating good subtitles is an art and requires judgment and cultural knowledge. It aint' easy!
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Old July 13th, 2012, 08:08 AM   #3
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Re: Subtitles and 'AP' Method

Anybody know a site where I can read more about this subject?


Film & TV locations & production Spain
Dan Uneken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 18th, 2012, 11:06 PM   #4
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Re: Subtitles and 'AP' Method

I do quite a lot of subtitling work for various deaf facilities at schools around my State, and I've never run into any specified formatting requirements for independent or internal distribution of DVDs.

I know that 'closed captioning' for broadcast has certain requirements, but that's the only situation I can think of in which a particular format would need to be followed.
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