(20 Posts)
Raspb3rry Fri 25-Sep-20 22:21:08

Does anyone do subtitling for a living? If so, how did you get into it? Did you do a course, or just apply for jobs?

I have a background in music, am a good listener, have good language/grammar skills etc and am a fast typer. I used to do freelance audio typing which I think is similar...

What's the best way to break into this field?

At the moment I'm torn between pursuing a career in subtitling, or doing teacher training in secondary music.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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EugenesAxe Fri 25-Sep-20 22:29:05

I quite often get the rage at subtitles. I remember reading someone had interpreted the name of the head Magi’s falcon in The Mummy Returns, as ‘Horace’. Of course, I didn’t verify it so could be wrong, but thought that given the Egyptian god with a falcon’s head is called ‘Horus’ (now massively doubting myself, in my self-righteous anger) it would be a pretty big bet that’s what was written in the script.

That doesn’t help you but please go and do what you can to ensure good standards everywhere 😂

user14123965865 Fri 25-Sep-20 22:30:44

Could be wrong, but I would have thought this would be ripe for automation.

ApolloandDaphne Fri 25-Sep-20 22:47:48

What is subtitling?

RunningFromInsanity Fri 25-Sep-20 22:49:07

I thought it was just an automatic speech to text programme

Pluckedpencil Fri 25-Sep-20 22:54:08

I'm a translator and have heard on the proz site that it is very very cliquey, like most stuff in the media. Also not that well paid. I have subtitled stuff. It is quite fun (if you're that way inclined)

hopeishere Sat 26-Sep-20 08:24:11

Is it not automated via speech recognition software?

Raspb3rry Sat 26-Sep-20 13:57:57

@EugenesAxe haha I also get the rage!! There was one on the Louis Theroux programme the other day where they translated 'death penalty' as 'indefinitely' - kind of a different thing!! I always get the rage when they are so clearly wrong.

Maybe it is all automated, that would explain the silly mistakes like the ones mentioned. It's a shame as a human touch would be so much better.

So the sense I'm getting is it's not that easy to get into, not many jobs and not well paid?! Is that accurate? Maybe PGcE route then...

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ScarletORyan Sat 26-Sep-20 14:06:11

I did this for a while via an online company called Rev. Poorly paid but enjoyable. It can be partly automated now but the subtitles still need correcting and syncing to the video for a good quality result.

EugenesAxe Sat 26-Sep-20 14:07:26

There was a subtitler on Pointless recently. I think he said it was voice recognition but he had a bit of a speech impediment so I was a bit confused

ScarletORyan Sat 26-Sep-20 14:14:23

You'd definitely earn far more as a teacher!

GetRid Sat 26-Sep-20 14:27:47

Most subtitles are put on by a specialist firm eg captionmax, this is not particularly well paid work, and it seems likely to become fully automated in the future once software gets better. Can't really see the career 'path'.

Train to be a teacher! They will always be in demand!!

Raspb3rry Sat 26-Sep-20 14:30:17

Thanks all, pretty clear consensus! grin

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AvonCallingBarksdale Sat 26-Sep-20 14:38:10

Ex-BBC Subtitler here. Back in the day we used to use highly paid highly skilled stenographers to do the live sections. However so much of TV is prepared beforehand it meant you could write the subtitles before the program went out to air. Then government guidelines changed and we had to ensure more programs were subtitled with no extra money to do that. Enter the use of speech recognition. This is less accurate but accurate enough IYSWIM. It’s a long time since I worked in that field but being at TVC were some of my best working years. Hey was pretty good as I remember but I imagine now as it’s less of a “craft” it’s easier to pay people less. Audio description might be worth looking at too.

AvonCallingBarksdale Sat 26-Sep-20 14:39:09

Pay not “hey”. My own speech recognition isn’t so great grin

titchy Sat 26-Sep-20 14:40:32

AvonCallingBarksdale Sat 26-Sep-20 14:40:47

@Raspb3rry FWIW I did an arts degree and went straight to the BBC after graduating - not straight into subtitling though.

throwingawaymyshot Sat 26-Sep-20 18:12:35

if you look at the signature organisation there are courses there.

You should also get NRCPD registration as many do not bother and they are the ones who are pretty rubbish at doing captions.

OneFiveFour Sat 26-Sep-20 18:19:02

My friend does this. He originally applied for a job with a company that provided them but since went freelance and has contracts with a few TV providers.

Generally plenty of work, makes his own hours, paid ok - well enough to have just bought a house. He loves the freedom of it - all he needs is his laptop and the internet. He even moved abroad for a couple of years and took his work with him.

He is very good, though. Massive attention to detail and very picky about the work being turned in in a good state. I suspect that's why he's used as a regular and given some of the higher profile work.

Raspb3rry Sun 27-Sep-20 12:46:47

Thanks all. I wouldn't be able to study at roehampton unfortunately, young family and don't live in London. I wonder if there are similar courses you can do remotely.

I really like the idea of audio description, perhaps more so than subtitling actually...intriguing

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