With Service Pack 7, Transit NXT offers the option to translate subtitles for films, corporate videos and presentations. Traditionally subtitling has fallen outside of the scope of translation memory packages, perhaps as it was thought to be too creative a process to benefit from the features such software offers. However, with online video becoming an increasingly important part of the business marketing mix, many companies are looking to maintain consistency of terminology and style right across their published output, as well as wanting to make the most of their previously translated material. Well, now they can. And any Transit user can now produce professional translated subtitles with no previous subtitling experience.
With the new subtitling feature in Transit, you are able to import a time-coded source language file and translate it as you would any other document. Building on its core principle of separating formatting from content, Transit protects and hides the time codes, leaving the translator to get on with the translation without worrying about timings.
A new twist on the old approach
This new feature in Transit is not intended to do away with the fine art of subtitling. The source language template still needs to be created in the traditional way, with regard to timings, reading speed, visuals etc. And care must be taken to allow room for any expansion in the target language.
The subtitler of the source language will export their finished template to .srt format or .txt format which is then imported into Transit NXT.
The Transit subtitling filter makes sure the timecode is protected – the translator is unable to manipulate timecodes in Transit. All the timing work must be done outside of Transit during the creation of the source language template.
Once in Transit, the translator can get to work, utilising whatever reference material and dictionaries they have available – just like any other project.
When the translation is complete, it can be exported back to its source format for checking in traditional subtitling software or burning onto video or DVD.
Always in context with the Media viewer
Transit also supports the synchronisation of the multimedia file with the Transit editor. Put the cursor in the segment you wish to translate, and the Media viewer will automatically cue the video to play from the correct point, so you can hear the original speech in context. Alternatively you can manually control the media player to play back sections of video as required.
About the author
Steve Smith is the General Manager of STAR UK – http://www.star-uk.co.uk. Prior to joining STAR in 2007, he spent 10 years in the subtitling industry and was Head of Subtitling at the European Captioning Institute.