Subtitling: What is SDH Subtitling?
The SDH stands for Subtitles for the Deaf or Hard-of-hearing.
Closed captioning is specifically for the deaf or hard-of-hearing people, so it has information such as sound effects, music symbols or music descriptions, character ID when the character is not seen on the screen and also pertinent descriptions of the dialog such as:
Where are you? (whispers)
For a deaf or hard-of-hearing person, the same information is needed to make it easier to enjoy the content. So SDH subtitles not only translate the foreign language to their native language, it also provides the enhanced descriptions of closed captioning where important non-dialog information has been added, as well as speaker identification, useful when the viewer cannot otherwise visually tell who is saying what.
Subtitling: What is Forced Narrative?
In the words of Neil Hunt, Netflix Chief Product Officer (text copied from Quora):
“Forced narrative is a jargon term that means text in the picture that is not part of the primary language dialog – “A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…”, “9 months earlier”, “London, 2012”, “15:30h”, as well as dialog by speakers not in the primary language of the film (e.g. Spanish spoken by a Mexican as part of a US film whose primary language is English).
When a show or film is exhibited in a different country, the primary language dialog is translated into that country’s language, either as dubs, subs, or both. However non-primary-language dialog, as well as place-names, explanations, times, backstories etc., are all forced to be displayed in the translated language, even if subtitles are off (e.g. because the viewer is fluent in the primary language, or is enjoying the content in dubbed form).”
Talking Type’s Subtitling Process
We will first QC the English stl file that you will send to us.
We export a time code and subtitle file. This file has the English subtitles with time codes.
We create an excel file with this exported text that has time code in, time code out, and the two lines of subtitles in individual columns.
These are sent to our vetted translators who add the translations along the English text in a separate column. The time codes are maintained throughout.
We receive this translation and after inspection, import it into our captioning software. Since these subtitles have used exactly the same time codes in the English text, all the time codes are perfect.
We create a proxy video with subtitles and send it either to our client to check (if that’s we’re asked to do) or to another editor who watches the subtitled video and makes corrections to the excel file that we have received from the first translator.
We incorporate the changes to the imported subtitle file.
After the final QC, we export the final deliverable subtile file and send it off to the client.